This is one of those projects that you plan to do… plan to do… plan to do and then forget about it.
What’s up with that anyways? Why do we procrastinate?
That’s a thought that might be a little heavy for me this morning considering I have many of those types of projects around here so let’s just focus on this bright thought…
I did the project!
I didn’t have to order any supplies since I’ve been planning to do this for
years quite some time (cough, cough) and had ordered them eons some time ago.
The supplies you will need to complete this project are:
22 ounces coconut oil
4 ounces castor oil
1 ounce jojoba oil
16 ounces water
6.25 ounces potassium hydroxide (I order from Essential Depot)
3.5 quart Slow Cooker
This soap recipe came from the book The Everything Soapmaking Book by Alicia Grosso. It is widely available and is probably at your local library. I will just give you my own straighfoward instructions for how to make this soap, but if you want more detail than I’m offering, you’ll want to look for the book.
Making the Soap……
Step 1: Measure out your oils.
Step 2: Place oils in slow cooker on high heat. Place lid on slow cooker and melt oils.
Step 3: Pour 2 cups water into 6.25 ounces of potassium hydroxide. Be sure it’s a heat proof bowl. And here is where I messed up. I used sodium hydroxide instead of potassium hydroxide. I have both but pulled out the sodium hydroxide and just assumed it was what I wanted.
I’m happy with the results but now I want to know what my soap would be like if I had used potassium instead. (an aside – potassium hydroxide is potash.)
Step 4: Immediately pour the dissolved hydroxide into the melted oils. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture till it traces. A trace just means that you can drizzle some of your mixture across the surface and it will stay on top without falling back into the contents.
Step 5: Let the paste cook until it’s translucent. Stir the soap every 30 minutes for 3 hours. I did turn my slow cooker to low for this step after I had a miniature volcano overflow.
Step 6: After 3 hours, I let my soap mixture set for a while to cool while I did other things. It started to firm up pretty quickly.
If you decide that you want to make your paste into liquid soap at this point, here is what you do.
Step 7: Taking your paste, measure how much you would like to make, measure an equal amount of water and place in stainless steel pot.
Step 8: Turn to high and bring to boil. Stay with your pot in case it overflows.
Step 9: Once the paste has dissolved, turn off heat and stir for a short while, making as much foam as possible.
The Final Product – Although the picture on the right makes the soap look solidified, it is not.
So how is it for washing hands? It is more liquid than the traditional liquid soap you purchase, but it lathers very nicely. All in all I’m very pleased with the final product… and that’s with using sodium hydroxide instead of the correct ingredient, potassium hydroxide. If I had used potassium it would have been translucent instead of opaque.
I wondered why it wasn’t turning translucent…
So you can see if you make the same mistake as I did, all is not lost. It will still wash those hands. But next time, I’ll double check just to be sure I have the correct lye.
Update: Well… The soap works great as long as it is liquid. But…it wants to harden, as coconut oil can do. So maybe the correct lye would keep it liquified. I’ll have to try it again.
Have you ever made soap before? What was your experience?
Filed under: Homemaking
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