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Adventures in Liquid Soapmaking
I have been a soapmaker for more than 12 years mostly via the cold process method. Just when I thought I couldn't get more passionate about soapmaking, I discovered liquid soapmaking. Previously intimidated by all mystery, scant literature and complicated recipes, I kept putting it off. After all, I was pretty comfortable and proficient with the cold process method and the variety of lovely soaps it allowed me to produce. Finally conquering the fear and dread, to my surprise, the very first batch turned out to be a wonderful success. I can tell you, that was not the case with my first attempt with the cold process method. The only thing I needed was more patience during the process. With the cold process method the patience comes afterwards--waiting for your soap to cure. Now I could kick myself for waiting so long. I hope you don't wait. It really is pretty easy and loads of fun. And best of all--ready to use immediately. So get soaping! ~D.Batiste

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or shower gel. Continue to stir until the solution is thoroughly mixed. whether hard bar type or liquid. Mix the Lye Solution: Weigh the amount of distilled water your recipe calls for. Clear your work space and assemble your supplies. Measure & Melt Oil Solution: Measure your oils (by weight) and put them in the crock pot on low. Next use a separate container to measure the required lye (again on the scale). Corn Oil 5 oz. While the oils are heating up.My Bath Company http://www.from a light liquid hand soap. 1. For bar soaps.Potassium Hydroxide (KAOH) Dilution: 32 oz. slowly add the lye to the pitcher of water being careful not to splash. Remember in soap making the water is weighed on the scale (instead of fluid measure). starts with the chemical reaction of oils and an alkali. Gently stir the mixture until the lye is completely dissolved.5oz.com 10 Steps to Making Liquid Soap from Scratch All soap.) Borax dissolved in 6 oz. Lye . Recipe: 4. (You should be wearing your safety goggles and neoprene gloves). mix your lye-solution. Distilled Water 3 oz. Many variations in both bar and liquid soaps can be achieved using different oils and slight alterations in techniques to change the final product . Coconut Oil 8 oz.After you have weighed both the water and the lye. The oil mixture should be around 160 degrees (give or take 10) throughout. hot water You will need: Basic container(s) for mixing the lye crock pot (at least 4qt capacity) Scale Measuring cups Stick blender pH strip testers Storage container(s) for soap 2.6 oz. Distilled Water 2. dlbDesigns© 2007 All Rights Reserved 2 . to shampoo. 3. (6 T.mybathco. it's sodium hydroxide (NaOH) while liquid soaps. use potassium hydroxide (KOH). The difference comes in the alkali used to saponify the oils.

Put the lid on and wait. just when you think it's never going to finish. (No need to wait for it to cool. stir it some more. If there's any separation..an hour or so. 6. The mixture should remain translucent as it cools. getting more translucent. Cook the Mixture (to saponify): After it reaches trace. Continue checking on the soap every 20-30 minutes or so.do the best you can. Then. dlbDesigns© 2007 All Rights Reserved 3 . Turn the heat off on the crock pot. It may be difficult to stir through the taffy stage . Just keep blending. it will start to get creamy and move into the vaseline stage. Add the water to the soap paste. Stir it in a bit with a stainless steel spoon or large slotted spatula. put the lid on the pot. Dilute Soap Paste: More patience . just stir it back in and return the lid. Adding the water to the lye can cause an unpredictable violent reaction or splashing. After a while . stirring and waiting. 4. Trace appears as a thick pudding or applesauce like consistency. Don't give up. Check on the soap about every 15-20 minutes. You can leave it to sit overnight and dissolve. and let the mixture cook (saponify).) Using the stick blender began to blend the oils and lye together. Mix the Oil and Lye Solution: When the lye-water is completely mixed and clear. Initially the mixture may want to separate. Bring to Trace: Depending on your mixture of oils. During this time it will change and go through several "stages.com Safety Note: ALWAYS add the lye to the water. it may take a while to reach trace. In 3-4 hours (sometimes longer) the soap should be completely cooked/saponified. never the other way around. slowly add it into your oils.this is the stage for patience and perseverance. Or you can keep waiting and stirring." The saponification stages (loosely defined/described): Thick applesauce Cooked custard with small bubbles Watery mashed potatoes Stiff taffy Chunky/creamy vaseline Translucent vaseline Keep stirring every 30 minutes or so through each of the stages. 5.diluting the paste. The mixture will have softened some but will probably still be very chunky and gooey.mybathco. Take your remaining 40 oz. 7. Put the lid back on and wait some more.. of distilled water and bring it to a boil.My Bath Company http://www.

For the borax. to add your fragrance and color (food grade. This will give any cloudiness time to settle and clear up the final solution.and it won't mix into your soap! Add about 3/4 oz. When transferring your soap into their final bottles or tubes. the borax or boric acid will turn gritty and precipitate out of the mixture .mybathco. if desired. It's important to stir this solution extremely well and keep it very hot for it to completely dissolve. A good rule of thumb for fragrance is about 2-3%. 9.com 8. of boiling water. any other insoluble particles should settle to the bottom. When adding fragrance to the soap it may cloud the soap. During this resting phase. water-soluble). so it's best to round down and be conservative. mix your neutralizing solution. Some soapers use a 20% boric acid solution. boric acid. If you will be adding color (remember to take the amber color of the soap base into account). Add Fragrance & color (optional): After you've neutralized the soap. dlbDesigns© 2007 All Rights Reserved 4 . Put it aside in a cool place to allow it to rest. Add the fragrance to the soap and stir well. take 8 oz. stirring well.My Bath Company http://www. Slowly pour the neutralizer into the re-heated soap mixture and stir well. make sure this milky layer is left behind. Neutralize the mixture: After the soap paste has completely dissolved in the water. add a few drops at a time. In a glass measuring cup. but while it's still hot. I use a 33% borax (20 Mule Team) solution. 10. use 3 oz. it's time to neutralize. If the mixture cools. the soap will clear again as it cools. borax in 6 oz. Final Curing Stage: Let the soap cool then pour it into a large storage container. Turn the crock pot back on and bring the mixture back up to 180 degrees or so. of boiling water and add 2 oz. of neutralizer for every pound of soap paste (the paste before you added water) Too much neutralizer will cloud your final product.. For the boric acid.

At pH 7.com Soapmaking Terminology: Neutralize to balance the pH. a material is acidic (between 1-7 on the pH scale). which is Latin for soap. Trace the point in soapmaking when the soap mixture leaves a line. "sapo". across the top of the mixture before blending back into the mixture. If there are more positive hydrogen ions. Each has a different value. There are many online lye calculators which can make this task easier. dlbDesigns© 2007 All Rights Reserved 5 . For skin care products a pH of 6-8 is desirable otherwise it could be too harsh on the skin. All fats and oils have a “saponification value” or SAP value. also known as lye or caustic soda.mybathco. Saponification is a chemical reaction that occurs when fats or oils (fatty acids) are combined with lye (alkali base. which is the amount of lye needed to completely neutralize them into soap with no lye left over. the substance is alkaline or basic (between 7-14 on the pH scale). Soap a mixture of salts of various fatty acids made by an alkali acting on the fatty acids. Fats or oils mixed with an alkali form one molecule of soap and three molecules of glycerin. Sodium hydroxide a strong caustic base. also known as lye. the balance is just right. footprint or trace. Also known as caustic potash.) Saponification literally means "soap making" from the root word. Water steeped through wood ashes yields this caustic chemical which reacts with fats or oils to form liquid or soft soaps. The saponification reaction yields the byproducts of glycerin and soap. was the alkali used most thoughout history to produce soap. which is why it’s important carefully calculate your recipes. Potassium hydroxide is a caustic base.My Bath Company http://www. If the are more hydroxyl ions. This highly alkaline chemical combines with fats or oils to form hard soaps.