How Make Soap Bar ( Part 2 )
16 February, 2019 01:13 pm
Hint ( 2 ): Creating the Soap Batter
1. Do not skip part I. Some of these instructions may not make sense if you have not read part I. You also risk serious injury if you skip the safety instructions before handling lye.
- If you halved a recipe to make a small beginner's batch, remember to halve every ingredient, not just the oil.
3. Measure out the lye into its own container using a kitchen scale. Carefully measure out the lye into a heat-safe glass or plastic container. If using a small amount of lye, you can measure it in a paper "cup" formed from half an envelope. Handle with caution regardless, to avoid spills.
- Lye is usually sold at hardware stores or online.
- Measuring by weight is more accurate than measuring by volume and will produce better results.
4. Pour the lye into the water a small amount at time, while stirring. Stir continually with a stainless steel or heat-safe plastic implement. Let the mixture grow warm and turn white before you add more lye. Continue until all the lye is mixed into the water and the mixture is scalding hot.
- Never pour the water into the lye or dump the entire packet of lye into the water. This can cause a massive lye explosion that will splatter everything nearby with dangerous chemicals.
- Do not breathe near or directly above the mixture, as it releases dangerous lye fumes
5. Put a thermometer into the lye water and let the mixture cool. You should let it cool to at least 125ºF (50ºC) but 110ºF (43ºC) or less is ideal. You should move on to the next step while you wait, since you'll need to heat the oils up to a similar temperature before the lye is ready.
6. Heat your oils together until they reach the desired temperature. The goal is to get the oils about 10ºF (5.6ºC) cooler than the lye or less, so get the oils to roughly 110ºF (43ºC), or about 125ºF (50ºC) if the recipe you're using specifically says the mixture can handle the higher temperature.
- This mixture of hot oils is referred to as "fixed oils" in some recipes.
- Do not heat the oils hotter than the lye mixture.
7. Add the hot oils to the lye and water mixture. Think about whether you need a larger container first, but only use Pyrex or stainless steel. Pour the oils slowly into the lye and water mixture.
- Only use a stainless steel electric mixer or stick blender if you have the soap batter in a deep container to prevent splattering. They will greatly speed up the stirring process, but you should not use them again for cooking. Be aware that they will corrode after multiple batches.
- If using a stick blender, fully submerge it in the batter before turning it on. Tap it against the side to release air bubbles, then set it to low. Once the mixture is much thicker, you can set it to medium or high.
9. Add fragrances or other additives (optional). If you have any essential oils, herbs, or thickeners such as colloidal oatmeal, stir it into the batter at this time. Typically, a soap contains no more than 6% additives by volume, so go easy with them.
- Read the label on essential oils to see if they are safe for skin.
- Stir them in thoroughly to spread them evenly throughout the soap.
10. Continue stirring until the mixture is much thicker. The result is called a "trace" after the lingering trace lines left by the movement of the stirrer. Another way to test it is to lift the stirring implement up. The soap batter should clump to it, and when it falls, the drop should stay supported on the batter's surface.