You know I like making things. For years I have studied and contemplated making my own soap from scratch. Not the simple melt and pour soap (that's not really making your own soap, is it. more like taking somebody else's soap and stamping your name on it), but the real, traditional way of making soap using oil, lye and water - saponification. Making soap the way it was made hundreds of years ago.
Why use natural soap? Well, did you know that your regular bar of soap contains little to no soap at all, and is full of harmfull chemical and is more likely a detergent? Most commercial soap companies strip the glycerin out of the soap and sell it to the cosmetic industry because it is more valuable than the soap itself. Glycerin is a product of saponification, and it what keeps our skin hydrated and moisturised. anyway, you can read online many other reasons why using natural soap is better. I'm just going to now describe how I made my soap.
This is by no means a tutorial on the cold-process soapmaking. It was just how I made my soap. If you do try it however, make sure you have done proper research especially on lye safety.
Ok so I started by assembling my equipments and material on the kitchen counter. the lye is not in picture because it was still hidden in my storeroom, and I wasn't going to take it out until I absolutely have to (hello, lyephobia much???)
Next I weighted my oils and melted my solid oils.
Then I weighted my water, in this case I used full cream milk that has been frozen and then blended to a slush.
Then I weighted my lye. Gigil tu tangan, ok. You MUST wear gloves, goggles, apron, long sleeves clothes when handling lye. If splashed, God forbid, it can burn through your skin, your kitchen counter, your floor, etc. Do not make soap while tending to children or pets.
Next I added the lye to my milk slush. Slowly.
Stirring constantly. Notice the colour has turned bright yellow and the milk has melted.
Ooops it turned bright orange. Lye solution made with milk can turn any shade from bright yellow to orange. I was hoping for a bright yellow but it's ok this will do as well. I colled the solution down in cold water.
When the temperature of both the lye solution and melted oils reached 45C, I added the lye solution to the oils.
Then I whisked by hand alternately with this old mixer. And the guess what happened? This £4, 3 year old hand mixer decided to die on me. Yes. Right in the middle of the action. Oh kayy. Major disaster. I do not want to be whisking 2 hours straight.
In it goes into my food processor. I have read that you can make soap in a blender, but there was no way this batch could fit in my blender. So I gambled and dumped the whole thing in the food processor.
It worked! I reached trace. Trace is when the texture becomes the consistency of pudding. Or susu pekat. When you drip on top of the mixture the drips stays on top.
Next I added calendula extract, because I am making calendula baby milk soap. Gave it another whizz in the food processor.
Ok then I poured the soap into a soap mold.
Looks yummy like caramel. Oh come to think of it the texture was kinda caramel-ish, too.
I freeezed it. Was trying to prevent over heating because milk tends to heat up and burn during saponification.
After 48 hours, it was time to cut!
Done! Luscious handmade soap. My baby's going to be so spoiled.
Oh, a bit of an anti climax though - we need to wait one month at least for this soap to cure before it can be used! Curing allows full saponification to occur, so the lye will be completely neutralised and no longer caustic to the skin, and also the soap will dry and harden making it longer lasting. Oh man....
Coming up next - more soapmaking and also liquid soapmaking. Stay tuned!