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If you’ve not made soap before, take a look at my full cold process tutorial here.Make sure you are making the soap in a well-ventilated area. Put on your gloves and eye protection, your mask, apron, and long rubber gloves. I always find it best to then prepare and weigh all of the ingredients before starting so we can add them efficiently later on.
Ensure you’re using a glass container or one made of PET plastic. Set aside to use later.You should also take the time to ensure your mold is prepared by cleaning and thoroughly drying it. If you are using a silicone mold like I am, you should be good to go.If not, you may want to make use of a bit of baking parchment/greaseproof paper to ensure easy removal of your soap later on.
Weigh out your water and your lye crystals into two separate containers. Ensure the containers you use are for this purpose only and never use them for anything else again. I find glass is best. Never use plastic.
When you’re ready, slowly addyour lye crystals to your water and stir with a stainless steel spoon until the crystals have dissolved. This will result in a chemical reaction, and the lye water will begin to increase in temperature and release noxious fumes. As you pour to crystals, turn your head and lean away slightly so that you can avoid splashes. Try not to breath in any of the fumes that release during this process. You’ll notice that the lye solution will rapidly begin to increase in temperature. This is normal.
Add your pink rose clay to the lye solution and stir once more with the same stainless spoon. Put to one side, preferably somewhere well ventilated.
1 tsp Pink Clay
Weigh out your oils (excluding essential oils) and mango butter into a glass bowl (again, one that you only use for this purpose).Then, apply heat until melted. You can do this in a double boiler/bain-marie, although I prefer to just use the microwave in 30-second bursts.
Now, check the temperature of both your lye solution and your oil/butter blend. You want them to be balanced between 90-120F. Once they have both cooled to between these temperatures you may move on to step 7.
Now the oil/butter blend and lye solution are temperature balanced, pour your lye solution into your oils. Once more, turn your head and lean away to avoid splashes.
Using an electric stick blender, blend your mixture in bursts of a few seconds. Immediately the mixture will become a creamy, opaque color. This is known as an emulsion.Continue to blend in bursts until you reach a light trace. For a good explanation of trace, including pictures, refer to step 5 of our basic cold process soap recipe.
Now we are at trace, we can go ahead and add our essential oils and give it a stir.It is importation to work quickly yet carefully as soon as you add your essential oil blend as soap batter has a tendency to harden quite quickly once added.
17 grams Blood Orange Essential Oil, 13 grams May Chang Essential Oil, 9 grams Rose Geranium Essential Oil
Pour or spoon your mixture into your chosen mold. To even out the top, you can pick up your mold and lightly tap it back down onto the table a few times.If this fails, it is likely that you have poured your batter into the mold too late and it has already thickened significantly.You can use a spatula to attempt to smooth the surface if this happens, otherwise, accept that your bars of soap may be a little irregular in ascetics and in weight.Then, cover it with a piece of cardboard and leave for 24-48 hours.
After the first 24 hours, check to see if your soap had hardened. If so, remove from the mold. If still relatively soft, leave for a further 24 hours. If after that time it is still too soft, go back and check the measurements of your ingredients.Otherwise, remove from the mold and cut into even bars. I usually get between 10-12 bars out of this soap recipe.Once your soap has been cut into bars, but it is not ready to use. As the bars are still quite caustic, we must leave them to cure for 4 weeks before they are safe to use on skin. During this process, your bars will also become harder as they lose more water.After 4 weeks, check the PH of your soap using universal indicator strips to ensure it is at a safe level of between 8 or 9.
This will make a 1281g loaf, and can but cut up into between 10-12 bars