||So you want to make soap at home - but aren't quite sure where to start. Making soap is actually a pretty straightforward process - that uses a lot of tools and ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
The most basic way of making soap from scratch is called "cold process" - because no heat is added to the soap during the process other than what is needed to melt the oils.
The first thing you'll need to start making soap is a recipe. Either get one from the internet or a soap making book.
Next, assemble all of your equipment, materials and ingredients, your recipe, and organize your workspace.
Put your soap pot or glass pitcher onto the scale and zero out the weight.
Following your recipe carefully, weigh the oils one by one into the pot or pitcher. Because it takes time to cool, make your lye solution first, and set it aside in a safe place.
Place your soap making pot with the solid oils onto the stove over medium heat. Slowly melt the oils while stirring gently. Monitor the temperature. Turn off the heat when the oils get to about 110 degrees. Keep stirring until all of the solid oils are melted.
Once the solid oils are melted, add the (room temperature) liquid oils to the soap pot. This will bring the overall temperature down. You want the oils to be at about 100 degrees when you add the lye-water.
Make sure all of your soap making additives, color, and fragrance are ready to go, and readily at hand. Make sure you've got all of the spoons, measuring cups, spatulas and whisks you're going to need nearby.
Grab your handy stick blender, and let's roll. Once the lye is added to the oils, the soap making chemical reaction begins, and you'll need to move steadily.
While stirring the lye-water-oil mixture with the stick blender, turn on the blender in short bursts. To start with, blend for 3-5 seconds and then stir some more. Once you start using the stick blender, you will immediately see the soap mixture begin to come together. Keep blending in short bursts until the oils and lye-water are completely mixed together. Once they are completely mixed together, you are nearing trace.Once the soap mixture is completely blended, but before it begins to get too thick, slowly add your fragrance or essential oils to the mixture. Stop stick blending the mixture and just use the end of the stick blender like a spoon.
By now the soap will have thickened quite a bit. Pour the raw soap into your mold using a back and forth motion to make sure that the soap evenly spreads out. Scrape the last, thick bits of soap out of the pot with a rubber spatula.
If the top of the soap in the mold is uneven, smooth it out with the spatula.
Pick the mold up and gently tap it on the counter top to dislodge and air bubbles that may have been trapped.
Set the soap in a warm, safe place to set up and begin curing.
Set your soap in a safe place and leave it alone until tomorrow. It will take about 24 hours for the soap to harden enough to take it out of the mold and slice it.
Put all of your ingredients and equipment away.
Keeping your gloves and safety goggles on, wash all of your utensils and soap pots with hot, soapy water. (Note: The oily raw soap residue that's left in the pan is still a bit caustic, and can cause irritation and burns.)
After your soap has set for about 24 hours, it should be hard enough to unmold and slice. Pop or slide the soap out of the mold. Slice it into whatever size bars you like, and set it aside to cure. While the saponification process will have stopped in several days and the soap will technically be safe to use, it really needs to cure for approximately four weeks until it's ready to use.