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Soapmaking On My Own

Today I made another 6 batches of soap using the same recipe as Monday. I did these batches completely on my own without assistance. I felt a little more confident in my skills and took my time. Soap making requires more patience than making a batch of lotion or lip balm. There are more variables involved where you can go wrong such as not dissolving the lye completely or not mixing the lye and soap completely.

I have an update on the soap I made on Monday, October 22nd. One of the 4 bars of soap that seemed to turn out well looks a little questionable. When I cut the loaves this morning there was a lot of moisture on the bottom of the bar and it looked extremely splotchy. This comes from an incomplete mixture of the lye and soap. Oops. Patience is key here! I got a little impatient mixing the soap on my first round and this is what happened!

I am keeping notes on the loaves of soap I am making so that I know when they are done curing. I am weighing the leader bar (first in the row) of soap from each loaf everyday. When the bar stops losing weight I know that it will be done curing. Since this is my first time making soap I want to know exactly how many days it takes to cure the soap. This is kind of like how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. There is only one way to find out!

Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Sodium Hydroxide
Distilled Water
Microwave Safe Container


Recipe in Grams
170 grams Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
141.75 grams Coconut Oil
141.75 grams Olive Oil
62.37 grams Sodium Hydroxide
Q.S. Distilled Water
Recipe in Ounces
6 ounces Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
5 ounces Coconut Oil
5 ounces Olive Oil
2.2 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
Q.S. Distilled Water
Recipe in Percentages
37.5 % Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
31.25 % Coconut Oil
31.25 % Olive Oil
Q.S. Sodium Hydroxide
Q.S. Distilled Water

Safety first! Use proper safety equipment (gloves, goggles, mask if desired). Measure the oils into a microwave-safe container. Heat until just melted. The temperature should be around 125 degrees Farenheit. Fill another container with water sufficient to dissolve lye. Pour lye particles into the water and stir well until all lye is dissolved. Pour dissolved lye into the oil container. Mix well with immersion blender (1-2 minutes at least). Pour soap into molds.

Notes: Did you notice that I used a thermometer today? Hurray! Today I felt a lot more prepared. I used a plate lined with a paper towel to set my immersion blender on between batches, I had a paper towel to set the spoon that was used to dissolve the lye in water, and I laid out all of my Saran Wrap properly in the molds. I like to be prepared and set myself up for success. All of my oils and lye were measured out, waiting to be used. I carefully inspected the soap as I was mixing it to make sure that the oils were mixed properly.

I remember when I was making my first few batches of lotion it felt really foreign to me. It was a new process and I was unsure of myself. I bought some materials, took them home, and made a whole lot of batches of lotion to get comfortable with it. My family and friends are very grateful for this, as they are the recipients of many, many jars of lotion.

My process is much the same with beginning lotion making. I am making a lot of batches this week to get the hang of it and practice, practice, practice. Today my mentor left me alone so I could think for myself instead of asking her, “Is it done? Does it look right?” I figured this out on my own today and tomorrow when I cut the soap I will know the official results. Stay tuned!


Cut bars from 10/22

Today’s finished loaves

Preparing the soap molds

Dissolving lye in distilled water

Lye and oils before mixing

Mixing soap. Can you see the oil line?

Soap completely blended

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