When I make soap here at the homestead, I use the cold process method. Cold process (CP) soap is made up of 3 things, a liquid, a combination of fats and lye. CP soap may sound intimidating to make but it truly is easy and fun if you take your time and do it safely. There are tons and tons of resources on the internet for CP recipes or you can invent your own. When making up your own soap recipe it is important to first looks up the sponification value of the fats being used on a sponification chart. You can then use that to calculate the appropriate amount of lye needed in the recipe. Too much lye in the soap, that is left unreacted, will result in a very high pH and can burn or irritate your skin. If too little lye is added then the soap ends up greasy. That's why you always see that "superfatted" % in the descriptions of soap. You want to superfat your soap to somewhere between 4 and 10 percent. That is going to ensure a safe and moisturizing bar of soap! If you're just starting out making soap then it's best to go with a trusted recipe before venturing out and creating your own.
Lye is dissolved in liquid, fats are melted down, the two are combined and mixed and then after weeks of waiting your soap is ready. Sound easy? It really is. This week well look at the supplies you'll need and the resources to obtain them. Plus a couple recipes to try!
I hope that you enjoy this month's look at soap making!