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Angelarae Knits: Making Soap

Angelarae Knits

...and Crochets

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Location: Raleigh, NC, United States

Hello! Welcome to my Blog! I live and enjoy the fibery crafts here, in Raleigh, NC with my husband and 5 children! I love to share patterns, tips, and recipes along with my spinning from time to time. I hope you'll enjoy your time here and stick around a bit!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Making Soap

My husband has been asking me to make Peppermint soap for a while now. So, Sunday, I had a little extra time, and all the ingredients I needed, so I set to work. I wish I had snapped pics of the entire process, but that didn't occur to me. To make up for it, though, I will share my recipe for a small batch of soap. It makes about 15-20 bars and has worked for me every time. So, here it is:

Peppermint Soap
2 C vegetable shortening
1 C coconut oil
1 C olive oil
2 C cold water
20 teaspoons lye
1/2 ounce peppermint essential oil.

If you haven't made cold process soap before, please do not attempt to make this soap without reading up on the process and taking the necessary precautions. Lye is a dangerous chemical and can cause serious burns. Never, never, under any circumstances, mix lye with hot or even warm water. Use cold water *only*!
Also, vinegar counteracts the effects of lye, so you must have some of this, as well. Keep it handy in case of spills, etc...I always give everything a vinegar bath after making soap, just as an extra precaution.
I used the above creamer carton for the mold...any 1 quart carton will be the perfect size.
The first step is to mix the lye with the cold water and let that sit. It will be very hot at the mixing and will require 45 min to one hour to cool down to around 110 degrees. Meanwhile, I melt down my shortening and coconut oil over low heat. When the lye water is close to 110 degrees, with the shortening mix still warm, I add the cold olive oil. Having the oils and lye close in temps, I pour the lye water into the oils and stir until the mixture thickens, or traces, and add the peppermint oil last. Stir that in well and pour mixture into the carton. You don't have to grease this as it is lined in wax already and will be torn away anyway. I wrap the mold in a blanket and cover the top with several folded washcloths and let it sit undisturbed for 24 hours. The heat of the chemical reaction is what hardens the soap. So keeping it warm in blankets and undisturbed for as long as possible helps guarantee success.
After all is set, I cut into bars like so. Then the soap needs to cure for at least 2 weeks, maybe 3. To test, touch your tongue to the soap, and if there is no tingle, it's ready. Sometimes soap will get a powdery layer. This is soda ash and is nothing to worry about. Just brush or cut it off and use it. It will be fabulous, I promise. Nothing beats a shower with cooling peppermint soap after a long, sweaty day out in the heat!


Blogger punkychewster said...

wow i've always wanted to try making soaps, but have been rather uncertain about handling lye. it sure does sound easy enough! what a great thing to make for the summer! it'll make great gifts too!

9:31 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Yes! It is really nice after a long walk or working in the yard. You should give it a try, but, as I said, read up on the process first! There are plenty of step by step tutorials with pics. Most recipes require you to weigh the ingredients. This one is nice because you are making a small batch to try the process and you can measure your ingredients without a scale. Have fun!

7:50 AM  

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