The production of my own hand soap is one of my favorite way to move towards a more sustainable life. Today, I prepared my own new soap through the cold process.
Cold process soap is a chemical reaction that occurs between oils and lye. Learn more about it by reading my previous post.
Lye (sodium hydroxide) is a really DANGEROUS compound that have to be handle carefully. It’s a caustic substance and can hurt you if it splits on your eyes or skin. For these reasons, it’s necessary to wear protected laboratory goggles and gloves as well as long sleeves and long pant whenever lye is used. I also recommend to use a mask because lye gives off fumes when it’s poured into water. It’s better to work in a ventilated area, so open the windows to be more careful. Another important thing is that this procedure should not be done if there are children nearby, because we are going to handle dangerous products.
Once that all our security measures are taken, we can start with the soap making process.
affiliate disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links about products that can be used for this recipe.
It’s really important to respect the quantity to guarantee the success of the reaction. Remember that everything you are going to use (immersion mix, spoons, containers ) should only be used for the production of soap and no longer in the kitchen !!
First and foremost protect yourself with safety gloves and goggles and do it in a well ventilated room. We are using lye that is extremely caustic so be careful. In case of contact with the skin, wipe the excess of lye off and flush the area with running water, and of course call the doctor!
Prepare the colours just mixing the mica with some olive oil.
Weigh the water in a polypropylene plastic container (symbol 5)
Weight the oils and butters in a jar, big enough to contain about 300g (10.6oz) of finished product
Warm up the oils in a water bath or microwave till they are melted and then let cool them down till 45°C (113°F)
Weigh the lye in another glass
Pour gently lye INTO water and mix with a wooden or glass spoon. I would not use plastic or metal spoon to avoid potential reactions with the lye. REMEMBER: DON’T pour water into the bowl of lye. NEVER DO IT! The reaction is too energetic and will hurt you seriously!
The temperature of the solution will increase up till about 90°C (194°F). When the lye is completely dissolved, let cool it down till about 45°C (113°F).
Oil and lye solution should have the same temperature.
Pour the lye solution into the oil jar and blend the two phases with a hand blender.
When the solution gets thicker and opaque, divide the compound in two containers and add the colours. Just mix again and pour into the silicon molds.
I prefer to leave the soap undisturbed for at least a week to be sure that the reaction ends. After this time, just remove the soap from the mold and start using it. 🙂
If you think that the procedure is too dangerous or challenging, write me an e-mail and I will prepare it for you with the oils that you want! 🙂
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