Hot Process Soap – Straight and Simple Prt 2 of a 4 prt series- The Making~

The Making

Sounds like a horror movie huh? I actually love that Tyler Durden made soap in the movie Fight Club. Fight-Club-Soap-soap-19341078-450-284

Interesting concept, using human fat. Disgusting, but as a soap maker, I’m truly left to wonder…

I make soap all the time but it seems to be like pulling teeth with me to get this out of my head and written into a workable format. I apparently love to make soap but it doesn’t seem as easy to write about. I knew I would eventually have to do a piece on soap making, so maybe, if I get it all out, I can move on to other things. Therefore, I will work hard to make it a good one. I hope you will walk away after reading this post with a full understanding of how to make ‘old-fashioned lye soap.’

Have all your equipment and ingredients out and ready. Parts of this process is of a timely manner, and you don’t want to be searching for something and let something go to long.

Distilled water not pictured

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You will have TWO process going on at the same time, your lye/liquid mix and the fats/oils mix.

You will work with the lye/liquid mix first

Another word about Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) before we get started:

When you mix the lye (sodium hydroxide) with liquid it gets VERY HOT! Over 200 degrees hot. Hence the precautions in the previous post. Make sure you have NO distractions when working with this solution. It will eat your skin as well as your countertops and floors, or any children/pets under-foot. Take precautions and move deliberately and slowly when handing.

Why is this caustic crap in your soap, (caustic: meaning it will BURN you, haha)? The chemical reaction when mixing the sodium hydroxide/liquid solution with the oils is called saponification. It creates soap! I never claimed to be a chemist so I don’t ask, I just do what it says.

It is in almost every soap, just check the ingredients label. All bar soap that is. Liquid soap is made using potassium hydroxide which lends it to have a syrup-like consistency. It is a whole different process than bar soap, so don’t try interchanging potassium hydroxide with sodium hydroxide because you will not get good results. Here is a good article explaining the difference and preferences in bar v/s liquid soap.

  • You can also see  information about how to make bar soap into liquid soap for super cute dispensers. Bar and liquid soap are made from two entirely different ingredients and melting down bar soap for liquid just doesn’t gel right. You can read more about that here on my website.

Making bar soap using the Cold Process method the caustic quality can remain in your soap for 4 to 6 weeks meaning you can’t use it. What a bummer!

BUT, we’re not using Cold Process! We are using the Hot Process method, which, in the end, removes the caustic, burning quality, adding only an hour to processing time! YAY! You can use your soap!

We are making bar soap, using SODIUM hydroxide just as a reminder!

*THE MAKING*

So, first things first – MIX #1 – Lye/Liquid solution – With Precaution!

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–  Measure your liquid you will be using to dissolve the lye and pour it into the plastic pitcher reserved for soap making only!

  Weigh your sodium hydroxide and slowly pour it into the liquid.

  • Always pour the dry sodium hydroxide into the liquid, not the other way around. It could cause a dangerous reaction the other way around

Sodium Hydroxide  ———————>  Liquid

–  Stir until desolved with the hard plastic spoonDo not hover too closely or breath the fumes it puts off at first.

–  Wait to cool.

  • When first mixed the solution will shoot up to over 200 degrees. We need it to cool down to around 120 degrees before we can use it. Just to note: Every recipe is different with the ideal temperature for that particular recipe.
  • The lye solution cools very slowly! You don’t really need to check the temperature for at least 30 minutes or so.

–  Check temperature after 30 min with glass candy thermometer. Once you get a good reading remove the thermometer from the solution to cool back down for the next temp. check. * Rinse the thermometer after being in the lye/liquid mix and be aware of where you lay it.

–  Check back every 15 min. or so to monitor the decline in temperature. (You can check the temperature whenever you feel like it. These times are just a general guideline for you)

* In the Meantime*

MIX #2 – Fats/Oils mixture

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  • While the lye/liquid solution is cooling go ahead and weigh out your fats and oils called for in the recipe for basic soap. Those should be your ingredients like shortening, olive, and coconut oils.

–  Measure each fat/oil individually and place in your enamel/stainless steel pot on the stove. NO HEAT  YET – we are simply preparing the oils to melt right now.

*Something to think on while your lye/liquid mix is cooling*

ADDITIVES

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You can add things to your soap mixture as mentioned before in the optionall ingredients list of the recipe section of part 1 of this post. To go a little further explaining the process, again we deal with our method of soap making.

  • Cold Process Method means you will be adding the extra things at trace, then simply molding the mixture while still caustic. Additives are added at TRACE
  • Hot Process Method allows you to double boil the caustic nature out of the soap lending a gentler base for your additives. Additives are added after DOUBLE BOILING

Some people believe adding things like milk or herbs when soap is still caustic, as in the cold process method, can burn or harm the additives. It is really a matter of opinion, but the hot process method insures your additives will be safe.

Also remember if you add anything fresh, such as vegetable/fruit  juice or pulp you will also need to add a preservative. Here http://www.soap-making-essentials.com/preservatives-in-soap.html is a good article about preservatives in soap.

Here are some links to give you an idea of the countless ways to give your soap a boost and create your very own signature soap, custom designed by you, to suit your own personal senses and needs.

*BACK TO MAKING SOAP*

When your lye/liquid solution is about half way to the magic 120 degree pouring mark you will start to melt your fats/oils mix.

Turn on the burner under your fats/oils pot to a low to medium low temperature. The idea is to melt them slowly so no bubbling of hot oils. Stir with your wooden or hard plastic spoon.

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When it is all melted together turn off the burner

Let cool.

Check temperature with the other glass candy thermometer periodically as the oils cool. You are trying to get at that magic 120 degree mark, just like the lye/liquid mix.

NOW STARTS THE JUGGLE!

You need both your lye/liquid mixture and your fats/oils mixture to both be at 120 degrees before combining the two (as per THIS recipe). The oils cool more quickly than the lye, which is why you start the lye solution first.

It is better to try to juggle the fat/oils mixture on the stove than to juggle the dangerous and toxic lye/liquid solution.

  • You can always re-heat the fats/oils pot
  • Have a shallow cold-water bath with ice cubes in your sink to quickly cool the fats/oils pot if needed. (do not let the fats/oils pot float or take on water)

You don’t want to put the lye/liquid pitcher into the cold-water bath, but, I have put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes, and only when it is very near the 120 degree mark. I don’t know for sure but I don’t think cooling your lye solution to quickly would be a good idea for the whole time. But to juggle with the temps right around pour time is ok. Just don’t let anyone near the fridge while you are doing this!!!

You can’t really re-heat the lye though, except maybe in a hot-water bath, but that is not recommended. Do all the juggling with the fats/oils mixture while the lye/liquid solution temperature is dropping towards 120 degrees.

WHEN YOU REACH MAGIC 120 for both mixtures

Pour the lye/liquid mix SLOWLY from the pitcher into the fats/oils mix  pot on the stove, burner OFF.

The lye/liquid solution is brown because I used coffee as my liquid

The lye/liquid solution is brown because I used coffee as my liquid

STIR STIR STIR. I suggest stirring for a good five minutes to ensure a thorough mix.

You are done! Just kidding! No you’re not! BUT, if you were making soap the cold process, old-fashioned way this would be the last step before hours of stirring .

Ain’t nobody got time for that! Well, I take that back, I have done this, and it is a really good experience, but only once or twice. That is a lot of stirring!

I’m taking you on a much quicker, more modern way to getting your soap out of the mold and onto your skin, which is the hot process method. The next steps we will be taking are

  • Blending
  • Preparing your molds and additives
  • Double Boiling (hot processing)

I regret to inform you though, I feel that two of these steps deserve their own separate posts. I will tell you about preparing your molds and adding your additives in the Double Boiling/Hot Processing post.

To continue making your soap please see the future Blender Soap posts and Double Boiling/Hot Processing Soap posts that I will link to this page when they are published.

If you want to continue to make your soap without using the Blender Soap method or the Hot Processing method you can!

Continue to stir for an hour or more until you get to trace. That is the indention on the mixture when tapped with an object. I have never achieved a good trace hand stirring, but when I just plain got tired of stirring (after two hours) I went ahead and mixed in my additives and poured the soap into its mold. It turned out just fine.

– If you do this, please remember the mixture is still caustic and will burn you even after you un-mold it. It will take 4-6 weeks curing time to lose the caustic quality.

Please let me know if you have any questions so far. I am excited to talk with anyone about making soap. Please remember to share this article with your friends and family. Until next time…

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Coconut Oil – One Recipe, 5 Uses

I am so excited to tell all of you about my new discovery, Coconut oil! There is so much information out there on the benefits of coconut oil, I had to try some of it. Let me just say, my experience with coconut oil is pretty extensive. I have used it for many years in making soap. I have learned a lot about its properties and consistencies. Coconut oil is a dry oil. It is not oily, like say, baby oil. It absorbs quickly and does not leave an oily residue. It is good in soap to make a hard bar that is moisturizer. But I’m not here to tell you about soap. I have recently experimented in using coconut oil in my health and beauty routine.

I am not one to go on, and on about beauty products, but our skin is our biggest organ. Plus it is on the outside, for everyone to see. Of course we want to present our best. That being said, I have pretty bad adult acne. I was truly a Proactiv girl in my previous, employed days. That stuff is really great. Those ladies have truly invented a superior product. But alas, unemployment be failed me, so I went to the knock off version. Good, but not as. Browsing the internet I learned that many, many people used coconut oil to wash their face. Proclaiming the wonders it worked for the looks of their skin. At the same time, my grandbeautiful had some eczema issues going on. Again, looking the internet over for something natural and homemade, I not only discovered a recipe for the eczema, I also learned that many, many people use coconut oil to wash their face! Imagine that, i thought. Then I looked for good, all natural exfoliants, as I was used to the wonderful exfoliating wash in the Proactiv. I discovered baking soda was used repetedly in home skin care recipes. Then I discovered someone who had put the two together, that being coconut oil and baking soda. Ta daaa! The perfect face wash! (I really wish I could tell you the site of the combined recipe, but I just briefly read it in the search engine’s site excerpts. I’ll do better next time!). Anyway, I knew the consistency I was looking for so I just combined the two till I got what I was looking for.

But even still I digress. The ONE recipe I promised you is the coconut oil that is the basis for all five uses. After making the eczema cream, I learned you can add what ever you wanted to the coconut oil. The eczema recipe called for rosemary essential oil. Lucky me, I had some! And then of course I immediately started looking up the benefits of Rosemary eo. Oh boy! This stuff is fantastic. Not only is it excellent for the skin, it is also good for your hair. Hey! So is coconut oil! Ok, I thought. Now what is the key ingredients here we can just have on hand. My answer was right in front of me. Coconut oil and Rosemary. Then I thought, lavender is also reputedly praised for its skin benefits too. And I have some of that too! So I set to work. My recipe for the coconut oil base is:

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Coconut Oil Base

  • Two cups of coconut oil (I just used the white, refined kind from the grocery store)
  • 4-5 drops of Rosemary eo
  • 3-4 drops of Lavender eo
  • A nice pretty jar with a big opening (Mine is a used Paula Deen candle jar)

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Of course all I needed now was the baking soda. And what do you know, I had some of that too! I was thrilled with my new discovery! Now lets hope it works. I can’t tell you how impressed I was! I really felt like I was getting a good scrub and my face was moisturized but not greasy. How wonderful! I did my best to refrain from messing with the acne, and believe it or not, (except for the occasional one or two at that time of the month) I have not had any problems. I have been using it for about six months now. And even with using the base for several other things, I have still not ran out of the two cups I originally started with. I used it in a hot bath last night and enjoyed a relaxing, moisturizing, aromatheraputic soak. I dunked my head in first though, so my hair would dry  with the coconut oil base in it. (Of course I washed it out first thing in the morning). My hair was so soft! I’ve also used it for and ends dressing. But, only use a TINY bit when doing this. This base goes a long way. I mix it as needed, and I have had a lot of fun coming up with new ways to use it!

5 Ways to Use Your Coconut Oil Base

  • Face wash
  • Hair conditioner
  • In the bath or as a lotion
  • A deodorant (and yes, I do this too and you will not believe how good it works!) Again, a TINY TINY amount is needed! You don’t want oil marks on your clothes. I just dab two fingers lightly, rub my armpits, dab the same two fingers in the baking soda, and rub the same armpit. Repeat on other armpit. All while you’re slathering yourself after a bath anyway! So freaking convenient!!!
  • Eczema cream. Just add oatmeal!

I hope if you give this a try you will enjoy it as much as I have. I would love to hear from you and your experience with the wonderful, ever useful, coconut oil.

Live strong and play hard! Until next time…