What are the steps to make soap?

iram12

New member
Joined
May 3, 2021
Messages
2
Hi,

Can someone please explain the cold process to me?

So far I understand that I have to mix the fats together in liquid form then add NaOH to it slowly and stir till the mixture becomes thick.

Where/when do I add the water? What is the superfat and what do I do with that?

What does trace mean?

Any help is much appreicated.

92
 

ChemicalPyros

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
30
Location
Lebanon
Hello @iram12 ,

The easiest and most straight forward way to make soap is the following:
mix the oils/fats together and heat them if necessary till they form one single homogeneous phase. If you must heat make sure that the final temperature is somewhere between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius.
In another recipient mix the lye and water (add lye on top of cooled water for more safety). Then you heat it a little bit, because it is better for the oil phase and the lye phase to have similar temperatures.
You add the lye solution on top of the oil phase and you mix with whatever utensil you deem fit (from a simple spatula to a 1200 Watt hand mixer) till you obtain a trace. The trace is called like that because in the olden times they use to test it with a spatula or something and it would leave a trace on the surface, so you could start with this info, and then with experience you will become more adept at identifying it.
Once you reach the trace you can add the fragrance oil, on another note the color should me added in the beginning with the oil phase. Then after adding the fragrance oil you mix a little bit and pour it into the mold(s).

It is a bit difficult to explain it in writing, but I know that there is a plethora of youtube videos that can help you visualize the process better.

I hope this helps.
 

ChemicalPyros

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
30
Location
Lebanon
I forgot to mention, that after pouring into the molds, you should cover the soap with a piece of nylon to isolate it for 48 hours, then remove the nylon and take the soap out.
After this step do what you wish to the soap (cut, carve, stamp, ...) then leave the soaps in an aerated place preferably hot (no more than 40 degrees celsius) for at least 1 month before using/selling.
This step is called curing, and good soap is like good wine, it gets better the more you age it. Some soaps must be cured for a year, but for the formula you are proposing I think 1 to 3 months should be enough, if you have some patience you could leave 1 or 2 soaps for 6 months just to get a feel of how curing time affects the soap.
 

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