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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 like to start off by weighing out my essential oils into a glass container now. This just makes it easier later on when we come to add them, as getting these minute measurements right can take some time.Weigh the distilled water into a glass jug. In a separate container, weigh your sodium hydroxide/lye crystals.When you’re ready, combine these by pouring your lye crystals into the water and stirring. This will result in a chemical reaction, and the lye water will begin to increase in temperature and release noxious fumes. Turn your head and lean away while stirring, so not to breathe any of the fumes in.Now place to one side, somewhere well ventilated, and allow to cool as we get on with our other steps.Last but not least, weigh out your oils and cosmetic butter. Melt the butter together with your oils in a microwave, using 30 second bursts.
Now it’s time to balance our oils and lye water. Check the temperature of the oils and compare this to the temperature of the lye water. We want them both to fall between 90-120F. Don’t try to warm the lye water up, but you can heat up the oils a little bit if they’re too cold.
Now we’re at trace, it’s time to add our essential oils and mint. Add your essential oils first, mix thoroughly and then add the mint. We don’t want all the mint to sink to the bottom, so I like to add it first.
Now all our ingredients have been mixed together, it’s time to get it into the mold. Once you add the essential oils, you’ll notice that soap begins to rapidly thicken. So, working quickly but carefully (as the batter is still caustic), pour or spoon the batter into your loaf mold.We’ll want to leave this to saponify for 24-48 hour before we can remove from the mold. I like to keep it well insulated during this period, just so gel phase is efficient. I do this by cutting a piece of cardboard to sit on top of the mold and then wrap it in an old towel that I only ever use for this purpose.
Once our soap has fully sapped, it’s okay to remove from the mold and cut into bars. You should be able to get between 10-12 bars from this batch, depending on desired thickness.Then, leave these to cure for 4 weeks, testing with a Ph indicator strip to ensure it’s safe to use (this is especially important if you gift or sell your soaps).