Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cold Process Soap - Equipment, Recipes & Links

Save yourself some heartache and get the right equipment to start with. I tried to do this without and regretted it! The soap did not come out well and I spent a lot of wasted time. It's worth the initial outlay to be able to make homemade and to know what is in your bath products.

- A weighing scale. All recipes (aside from the fragrances) are in WEIGHT not volume. Do not trust any recipe that goes with volume - they won't work and can potentially have high levels of lye left in them.
- A stick blender - yes, use it, or your arm will fall off and your soap will never set. They can be really cheap - and I recommend a cheap one.
- Thermometer - metal - don't even try the glass ones, they're not worth it as they don't last (I went through two before I finally went for the metal candy ones).
- A large metal pot - dedicated to soap making
- A tall sided plastic (BPA free) jug - for your lye dissolving, dedicated to soap making. BPA free because it heats up and you don't want BPA ending up in your soap!
- Stirring implements - I recommend plastic, dedicated to soap making and two - at least one being a large scooping spoon
- Molds - these can be anything that can hold hot (~150F) liquids - pyrex dishes, ice cream tub, specialized molds, wooden boxes, I've even heard of tin cans! I tried a few things and ended up buying some molds (for ~$5 per tray) and I have to say, wish I just had from the beginning!
- Plastic Wrap - you need this to exclude air during "cooking" and to line any dishes that are not flexible so you can actually get your soap out!
- Dish towels - to wrap and insulate the soap while it is cooking.

RECIPES - my two easiest and favorite

Basic Castille
10oz Olive Oil
2.5oz Coconut Oil
4.2oz Water
1.7oz Lye
2oz Fragrance
Colour as desired

Castille Plus!
23.5 oz Olive Oil
8oz Palm Oil (also called Vegetable Shortening in the supermarket)
8oz Coconut Oil
2oz Apricot Kernel Oil
2oz Avocado Oil
13.35oz Water
5.9oz Lye
6oz Fragrance
Colour as desired

- Check all lye quantities on a LYE CALCULATOR - especially if you reduce the quantities, halving the oil doesn't always mean halving the lye!

- Both of these recipes are 5% superfatted - this makes them nice and moisturizing!

- Fragrances and colour are all optional. If you add fragrance, i've found that (with essential oils anyway) you want the soap to smell really strong when you're making it, as the smell does diminish as the soap dries. Always add fragrance and colour last.


- This is my favorite site for learning and recipes - Millers Homemade Soap Page - I would strongly recommend reading through this site before starting any soap making.

- What all the oils do in soap - Sabrina's Soapmakers Resources
- Good resources and recipes - Teach
- Some nice recipes - Snowdrift Farm - I particularly like the shampoo bar!

No comments: