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Recipe: How To Make Real Soap

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  • Joy Rex
    Soap is easy to make once you get the hang of it, and as long as you keep in mind that being CARELESS with LYE CAN KILL ! Lye can burn skin away, it can blind
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 30, 2012
      Soap is easy to make once you get the hang of it, and as long as you
      keep in mind that being CARELESS with LYE CAN KILL ! Lye can burn
      skin away, it can blind you, it can kill you if ingested! It would be
      best to make sure no children would be in the house until the soap is
      ready to put up in a safe place to cure. Just pay attention, be
      careful, and everybody will be fine. Everybody will be better than
      ever, what with real, natural soap used on their skin.

      Please read and understand these cautions before ever opening a lye
      container.

      To make soap, you need fat, lye, and water. And a non-aluminum
      container to let it harden in (lye dissolves aluminum). Soap molds
      can be really fun to find :-) Anything that's not aluminum, and is
      flexible enough to pop out the hardened soap, will work. Jello molds
      are good, as well as plastic containers of just about any kind. You
      can also buy fancy soap molds at craft stores. Candy molds, yogurt
      tubs, etc., etc.

      You can make soap out of just about any vegetable or animal fat.
      Plain olive oil soap is excellent for the skin, though some people
      will complain that it's "slimy". And it melts faster in water than
      other soaps, so make sure you keep it out of standing water. Use
      olive oil from the grocery store -- extra virgin olive oil makes a
      darker green color soap, and may have more benefits for the skin.
      You'll probably see mention of "pomace" olive oil; that is the last
      dregs they could possibly squeeze out of the olives, extracted with
      so many chemicals it's not even food-safe. I would not recommend even
      trying to find any pomace....

      Lye can be a real problem to find. Do not use Red Devil lye! -- it
      now has metal flakes in it. Around here, the ACE Hardware has Rooto
      brand that is still 100% lye. You should probably call the
      manufacturer of any lye products to see if it actually is 100% lye
      with no additives. Or you might be lucky enough to live near a
      soapmaking shop.

      It would be better to at least have a kitchen scale, for measuring.
      You *can* make soap by volume measure, but I'll assume everybody has
      a little scale.

      A stick blender would be very helpful, especially with olive oil
      soaps, which take longer to "trace". Make sure it doesn't have any
      aluminum parts where it will be touching the soap.

      Goggles to protect the eyes from lye splashes would be a good idea.
      If you do get any lye water on skin / eyes / anywhere, immediately
      wash it off with cool tap water (it takes at least a few seconds to
      start feeling a tingle on the skin). Some sources will tell you to
      pour vinegar on it -- bad idea!! That would make a very hot chemical
      reaction! If any lye crystals fall on floor / other surfaces,
      immediately pick them up and drop them down the drain. Curious pets
      or children might pick them up, and you don't want to find out how
      much lye it takes to poison someone!

      I use an old brown plastic pitcher, on which I drew a big skull-and-
      crossbones and "LYE" and all that, to mix lye water. Make absolutely
      sure that no one is going to mistake it for a drink!

      One major thing to remember is to always slowly pour (and stir) the
      lye crystals into the water, not the other way 'round. There is a
      very popular soapmaking book that somehow got out of the publishing
      house with these exactly wrong instructions. If you pour water onto
      lye crystals, you will get a very caustic explosion!


      ingredients:

      16 ounces BY WEIGHT (1 pound) olive oil (your choice of variety)

      2 ounces BY WEIGHT of lye crystals (NOT Red Devil; make sure it's
      100% lye with no additives!)

      about 5 FLUID OUNCES of cool water (filtered would probably be better)


      Put the water in non-aluminum container, for mixing the lye water.
      Lye water will get pretty hot, so don't use just any old thin plastic
      thing.

      Put lye container and measuring utensils in the sink, to catch any
      stray lye crystals. Carefully open lye bottle, pour or dip it out
      with a dry spoon.

      In the sink, slowly pour lye crystals into the water, and stir --
      with plastic, stainless steel, silicone, or wooden spoon until they
      dissolve. It will get quite hot. Let it cool in a safe place.
      (setting it in a pan of cold water will cool it more quickly)

      Put the olive oil in a non-aluminum bowl or pan that has plenty of
      room for the soap to expand (lye will eventually etch enameled pans
      and such, and eventually eat up wooden spoons). When the lye water is
      cooled to room temperature, or at least 'til it's not too hot to
      touch, carefully stir the lye water into the olive oil. It will turn
      cloudy. And it will start smelling sooooo good! I love soap!

      If you have a stick blender, pulse it in the raw soap mixture for a
      little while. Or, you can just occasionally stir it. Leave it long
      enough, and you'll see a thick layer forming on the bottom. Just stir
      it all up, keep stirring / blending until when you drop a trail of
      the liquid across the surface, it stays there. Make sure it's not a
      flat oil-spot; it needs to stick up above the surface. This is called
      "trace".

      Once you're sure it's actually "traced", pour the raw soap into
      whatever non-aluminum mold/s you want to use. You can always cut it
      up later, into bars. Or carve it :-) Carefully -- it is still liquid;
      it will spill! -- put it in a safe place where no pets or children
      can reach. Insulate it with towels or something, to hold the heat in,
      for maybe a day or two. When it hardens enough to firmly hold its
      shape, you can pop it out of the mold, and put it back in a safe
      place to finish curing. If it doesn't pop out, put it in the freezer
      until it will pop out.

      Any bowls / pans / spoons / stick blender / anything that has had lye
      or raw soap in it, put it in the sink, in water. Let them soak, or
      wash them off with soap (or "soap" detergent), rinse thoroughly, wash
      again. One thing to understand here is that lye will eventually
      neutralize, just left out in the air. That's another reason you want
      to keep it in air-tight containers. But go ahead and get all traces
      of lye washed off your stuff.

      Different people say different things about how long this "cold-
      process" soap needs to cure. If you leave it for a couple of weeks,
      it will most likely be completely cured -- all the lye will have
      reacted with the oil, so that you have no free lye left in the soap.
      What I and many others do is stand by the sink, and touch the tip of
      the tongue to the outside of the soap. If it zaps you like a 9-volt
      battery, there is still free lye present. Rinse your tongue in
      running water immediately. If it just tastes sweet and soapy, you're
      good to go.


      "Hot-process" soap: If you want to be able to use it immediately,
      just heat up the raw soap to make the saponification happen faster.
      You'll need to add a little more water, because the heat will drive
      some of the water out. One way to do this is to put your pan of raw
      soap in a bigger pan with water in it -- a "double boiler". Gently
      heat, stirring constantly. The soap will go through several distinct
      stages. Do not leave it unattended with active heat under it! It will
      jump out of the pot! When it sort of looks like vaseline, it's done.
      But get a dollop on a spoon, let it cool, touch your tongue to it,
      and if it doesn't zap you as above, it is done. Then you can glop it
      into molds, or even just in a pile. There is no "pour"-ing of hot
      process soap... It gets thick.

      Wow, this really turned into a long saga... Hope I didn't skip
      anything. Any questions, ask away. There is also lots of info online,
      and there are several fine email lists dealing with soap-making. And
      feel free to share this with anyone. Let's put the petroleum-
      detergent-bar people out of business! ;+)

      Joy
    • carus_lupus
      Is not possible to make soap without lye? Rena ... From: Joy Rex To: AlternativeAnswers@yahoogroups.com ; lucia_n36@yahoo.com ; Sandrasews2@Bellsouth.net Sent:
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 2, 2012
        Is not possible to make soap without lye?
        Rena



        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Joy Rex
        To: AlternativeAnswers@yahoogroups.com ; lucia_n36@... ; Sandrasews2@...
        Sent: Monday, July 30, 2012 5:26 PM
        Subject: [AlternativeAnswers] Recipe: How To Make Real Soap



        Soap is easy to make once you get the hang of it, and as long as you
        keep in mind that being CARELESS with LYE CAN KILL ! Lye can burn
        skin away, it can blind you, it can kill you if ingested! It would be
        best to make sure no children would be in the house until the soap is
        ready to put up in a safe place to cure. Just pay attention, be
        careful, and everybody will be fine. Everybody will be better than
        ever, what with real, natural soap used on their skin.

        Please read and understand these cautions before ever opening a lye
        container.

        To make soap, you need fat, lye, and water. And a non-aluminum
        container to let it harden in (lye dissolves aluminum). Soap molds
        can be really fun to find :-) Anything that's not aluminum, and is
        flexible enough to pop out the hardened soap, will work. Jello molds
        are good, as well as plastic containers of just about any kind. You
        can also buy fancy soap molds at craft stores. Candy molds, yogurt
        tubs, etc., etc.

        You can make soap out of just about any vegetable or animal fat.
        Plain olive oil soap is excellent for the skin, though some people
        will complain that it's "slimy". And it melts faster in water than
        other soaps, so make sure you keep it out of standing water. Use
        olive oil from the grocery store -- extra virgin olive oil makes a
        darker green color soap, and may have more benefits for the skin.
        You'll probably see mention of "pomace" olive oil; that is the last
        dregs they could possibly squeeze out of the olives, extracted with
        so many chemicals it's not even food-safe. I would not recommend even
        trying to find any pomace....

        Lye can be a real problem to find. Do not use Red Devil lye! -- it
        now has metal flakes in it. Around here, the ACE Hardware has Rooto
        brand that is still 100% lye. You should probably call the
        manufacturer of any lye products to see if it actually is 100% lye
        with no additives. Or you might be lucky enough to live near a
        soapmaking shop.

        It would be better to at least have a kitchen scale, for measuring.
        You *can* make soap by volume measure, but I'll assume everybody has
        a little scale.

        A stick blender would be very helpful, especially with olive oil
        soaps, which take longer to "trace". Make sure it doesn't have any
        aluminum parts where it will be touching the soap.

        Goggles to protect the eyes from lye splashes would be a good idea.
        If you do get any lye water on skin / eyes / anywhere, immediately
        wash it off with cool tap water (it takes at least a few seconds to
        start feeling a tingle on the skin). Some sources will tell you to
        pour vinegar on it -- bad idea!! That would make a very hot chemical
        reaction! If any lye crystals fall on floor / other surfaces,
        immediately pick them up and drop them down the drain. Curious pets
        or children might pick them up, and you don't want to find out how
        much lye it takes to poison someone!

        I use an old brown plastic pitcher, on which I drew a big skull-and-
        crossbones and "LYE" and all that, to mix lye water. Make absolutely
        sure that no one is going to mistake it for a drink!

        One major thing to remember is to always slowly pour (and stir) the
        lye crystals into the water, not the other way 'round. There is a
        very popular soapmaking book that somehow got out of the publishing
        house with these exactly wrong instructions. If you pour water onto
        lye crystals, you will get a very caustic explosion!

        ingredients:

        16 ounces BY WEIGHT (1 pound) olive oil (your choice of variety)

        2 ounces BY WEIGHT of lye crystals (NOT Red Devil; make sure it's
        100% lye with no additives!)

        about 5 FLUID OUNCES of cool water (filtered would probably be better)

        Put the water in non-aluminum container, for mixing the lye water.
        Lye water will get pretty hot, so don't use just any old thin plastic
        thing.

        Put lye container and measuring utensils in the sink, to catch any
        stray lye crystals. Carefully open lye bottle, pour or dip it out
        with a dry spoon.

        In the sink, slowly pour lye crystals into the water, and stir --
        with plastic, stainless steel, silicone, or wooden spoon until they
        dissolve. It will get quite hot. Let it cool in a safe place.
        (setting it in a pan of cold water will cool it more quickly)

        Put the olive oil in a non-aluminum bowl or pan that has plenty of
        room for the soap to expand (lye will eventually etch enameled pans
        and such, and eventually eat up wooden spoons). When the lye water is
        cooled to room temperature, or at least 'til it's not too hot to
        touch, carefully stir the lye water into the olive oil. It will turn
        cloudy. And it will start smelling sooooo good! I love soap!

        If you have a stick blender, pulse it in the raw soap mixture for a
        little while. Or, you can just occasionally stir it. Leave it long
        enough, and you'll see a thick layer forming on the bottom. Just stir
        it all up, keep stirring / blending until when you drop a trail of
        the liquid across the surface, it stays there. Make sure it's not a
        flat oil-spot; it needs to stick up above the surface. This is called
        "trace".

        Once you're sure it's actually "traced", pour the raw soap into
        whatever non-aluminum mold/s you want to use. You can always cut it
        up later, into bars. Or carve it :-) Carefully -- it is still liquid;
        it will spill! -- put it in a safe place where no pets or children
        can reach. Insulate it with towels or something, to hold the heat in,
        for maybe a day or two. When it hardens enough to firmly hold its
        shape, you can pop it out of the mold, and put it back in a safe
        place to finish curing. If it doesn't pop out, put it in the freezer
        until it will pop out.

        Any bowls / pans / spoons / stick blender / anything that has had lye
        or raw soap in it, put it in the sink, in water. Let them soak, or
        wash them off with soap (or "soap" detergent), rinse thoroughly, wash
        again. One thing to understand here is that lye will eventually
        neutralize, just left out in the air. That's another reason you want
        to keep it in air-tight containers. But go ahead and get all traces
        of lye washed off your stuff.

        Different people say different things about how long this "cold-
        process" soap needs to cure. If you leave it for a couple of weeks,
        it will most likely be completely cured -- all the lye will have
        reacted with the oil, so that you have no free lye left in the soap.
        What I and many others do is stand by the sink, and touch the tip of
        the tongue to the outside of the soap. If it zaps you like a 9-volt
        battery, there is still free lye present. Rinse your tongue in
        running water immediately. If it just tastes sweet and soapy, you're
        good to go.

        "Hot-process" soap: If you want to be able to use it immediately,
        just heat up the raw soap to make the saponification happen faster.
        You'll need to add a little more water, because the heat will drive
        some of the water out. One way to do this is to put your pan of raw
        soap in a bigger pan with water in it -- a "double boiler". Gently
        heat, stirring constantly. The soap will go through several distinct
        stages. Do not leave it unattended with active heat under it! It will
        jump out of the pot! When it sort of looks like vaseline, it's done.
        But get a dollop on a spoon, let it cool, touch your tongue to it,
        and if it doesn't zap you as above, it is done. Then you can glop it
        into molds, or even just in a pile. There is no "pour"-ing of hot
        process soap... It gets thick.

        Wow, this really turned into a long saga... Hope I didn't skip
        anything. Any questions, ask away. There is also lots of info online,
        and there are several fine email lists dealing with soap-making. And
        feel free to share this with anyone. Let's put the petroleum-
        detergent-bar people out of business! ;+)

        Joy




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Lori Granger
        Don t try to substitute another kind of oil in this recipe cause your amount of lye needs to be adjusted for each type of oil you use. That s more complicated.
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 2, 2012
          Don't try to substitute another kind of oil in this recipe cause your
          amount of lye needs to be adjusted for each type of oil you use.
          That's more complicated. This is a good recipe to start with though!

          Lori
        • jmr1290
          No lye -- no soap. You can buy pre-made soap base , which is just unscented, uncolored soap (which they made with lye and fat), but it may have other
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 3, 2012
            No lye -- no soap. You can buy pre-made "soap base", which is just unscented, uncolored soap (which they made with lye and fat), but it may have other additives in it, and it's expensive.

            If it wasn't made with lye and fat, it is not SOAP. You *can* make your own lye from wood ashes or something; after all, that's how soap used to be made. But it's messy and won't be standard and measurable and your soap will be different every time (and softer, I think...). I've never done it.

            Most of the "bath bars" (and body washes, etc.) you get in the stores are not soap at all, but petroleum detergent. Two exceptions that I know of -- Ivory is soap, but they take out the naturally-occurring glycerin to sell it separately, and that makes Ivory very, very drying to the skin. And Dove is soap, but they add lots of chemicals to it.

            --- In AlternativeAnswers@yahoogroups.com, "carus_lupus" <carus_lupus@...> wrote:
            >
            > Is not possible to make soap without lye?
            > Rena
            >
            >
            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: Joy Rex
            > To: AlternativeAnswers@yahoogroups.com ; lucia_n36@... ; Sandrasews2@...
            > Sent: Monday, July 30, 2012 5:26 PM
            > Subject: [AlternativeAnswers] Recipe: How To Make Real Soap
            >
            >
            >
            > Soap is easy to make once you get the hang of it, and as long as you
            > keep in mind that being CARELESS with LYE CAN KILL ! L
          • jmr1290
            thanks - I did forget to mention that! Joy
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 4, 2012
              thanks - I did forget to mention that!

              Joy

              --- In AlternativeAnswers@yahoogroups.com, Lori Granger <lather@...> wrote:
              >
              > Don't try to substitute another kind of oil in this recipe cause your
              > amount of lye needs to be adjusted for each type of oil you use.
              > That's more complicated. This is a good recipe to start with though!
              >
              > Lori
              >
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