Monday, 5 October 2015

Soap Making

For a few years now I've been wanting to make soap but was too frightened.  I think I was frightened of the safety aspect and the unknown.

Soap making was one of my goals for this year so I thought it was time to take the plunge. I came across a very simple and cheap recipe from a blog I follow called House of Simple.  Phil is the blog writer and he promised it would be easy.  So one Saturday I followed the instructions ( to the letter ) and the soap turned out beautifully.

Here are the instructions from House of Simple ( used with permission )  


Blended Vegetable Oil Soap
Safety Note: Wear eye protection, mask and gloves, keep kids and pets away, perform in close proximity to running water in case of spills, keep a window open for ventilation.



INGREDIENTS


1.25 litres of cheap blended vegetable oil (no name is perfect)
173 grams of caustic soda
450 mils of water



METHOD(please follow method exactly in this order)


1. Place water into a very large plastic mixing bowl
2. Pour caustic soda very slowly into water whilst stirring continually with a wooden or plastic spoon until dissolved
3. Add in vegetable oil slowly, stirring all the while with a wooden or plastic spoon
4. Mix with stick blender till a firm trace has occurred - must look like thick custard.
5. Place into large plastic flat-bottomed container - cover with an old towel.
6. Leave totally undisturbed for 24 hours
7. Remove from plastic container (twist the container slightly - turn upside down to pop out).8. Cut into bars with the sharpest knife you have
9. Put bars away on a wire rack in a cool airy place to cure for 6 weeks
This recipe will make about 12 bars of simple, frugal and lovely-to-use soap. This recipe is a great one to start with if you have not made soap before as there is no oil blending required, no thermometers required, no special molds or perfumes required either. The ingredients are not expensive which is important for a first time soap maker and vegetable oil is very forgiving

Wendy's notes -


*  I used silicon baking moulds as well as small oblong cake tins.  Silicon baking moulds can be found really cheap at op shops.

*  If using metal cake tins,  line them with cling wrap first for easy removal of the soap when it sets.

*  If the soap hasn't set enough within 24 hours, leave it for another 24 hours then you should be able to remove it from the moulds.

*  If you have an Aldi near you,  they have the cheapest blended vegetable oil at under $8 for 4 litres.

*  I bought the Caustic Soda from Bunnings.  I think it was in the paint section.  Make sure the container has the words "  for soap making " on it.

*  Make sure you have all your moulds close by and ready to use straight after the mixture reaches trace.

*  These soaps will make wonderful presents when added to a fancy face washer or hand towel.

*  I did not put a coloring or fragrance in the soap as I have skin allergies.

Some of the soaps I made
Reaching trace.  It looks like thick custard
Rose moulds
Waiting for the soap  to set
This was from Bunnings

33 comments:

  1. Wendy, your soaps are beautiful and the recipe is a simple and basic recipe. It's been a while since I've made soap but it's something that's on my to-do list to get back to doing. I love the little rose molds and you're right, thrift stores are good places to find the silicone molds.

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    1. I look forward to reading about it on your blog Patsy xoxo

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  2. I'm keen to add this to my "I can make that" list! :) Thanks for sharing

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    1. I hope you give it a try. Think of all the Christmas presents you'll be able to give.

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  3. Wendy i've been wanting to make soap for a long time but have always been scared to, i still have a kit Darren bought me, I follow Phils blog and looked at his recipe so its on my to do list when i get more time. Yours turned out great xo

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    1. Give it a go Karen. It's not hard at all.

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  4. You are braver than me Wendy, I have so wanted to try soap making, but I am too chicken. You have given me more confidence to give it a try!

    I love Phil's blog!

    xTania

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    1. Tania, I was chicken too but this recipe is vry easy. I've now made two batches. As long as you have everything ready to go before you start, you'll be fine.

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  5. Those rose molds make a beautiful finish - they look great. How did you like the soap to actually use?

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    1. I've been using it for four days now. No reactions on my skin which is good. It lathers up really well. Infact, the lather is much better than shower gel.

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  6. I have been using Rhonda at Down to Earth method. The lye solution is poured into the oil not the other way around. I'm definitely having a go at this. For sensitive skin, which I have, I have taken flower heads off calendula plants and dried them. I place these dried petals into the oil I will use for soap making, in a jar with a tight fitting lid. The jar gets placed in a pot plant in the hot sun for a week or so. I strain the oil before making into soap. Calendula has natural healing and anti inflammatory properties. I also put some into a mug, usually op shopped, filled to about half way. This then becomes shaving soap for the men in my life. My military son loves this and has taken his on deployment. Orders arrived for his colleagues. I love soap making and am experimenting with natural colourants and essential oils.

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    1. Jane, I had a look at Rhonda's recipe a while ago but it looked too hard for a beginner. Her's needs a candy thermometre which I don't have and you have to get both the lye and oils to the same temp at the same time. That frightened me.

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    2. Wendy I made two batches of soap after reading your post. The first batch I made using your recipe and the second batch I made with Rhonda's ingredients but your method. Both batches turned out beautifully. Thanks so much for turning something that was a bit fiddly into something quick and easy. Happy days.

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    3. Jane, that's really good to know. Please let me know what Rhonda's soap turns out like. I'd be very interested to know. I'm assuming you need to wait 6 weeks for it to harden.

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  7. Simple soaps are the best, easiest, most frugal and nicest to use. There are lots of recipes for different types of soap, but for a beginner they can be terrifying. Your first attempts are beautiful Wendy, especially the roses. I use silicone moulds for my soaps too, so much easier to turn them out.

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    1. Cath this one is so cheap to make. I'll move on to different types soon.

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  8. It turned out well for you, Wendy. I normally heat the oils but have this method planned for my next batch although I will be using coconut oil and olive oil for mine. I have some calendula infused olive oil so might use that up instead of making salve.

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    1. Yes I was very happy with it. The hardest part was waiting six weeks to try the soap.

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  9. Absolutely beautiful success Wendy! I love the rose ones!
    Well done on achieving another goal for the year too. I will be looking for such pretty moulds now.xxx

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    1. Thankyou Annabel. I was so pleased with myself. I was also happy when I found the rose moulds for about $3 in the op shop.

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  10. Great job Wendy! It's addictive isn't it! I started off simple too, but now my favourite is a Goats Milk one that is so good for your skin, you need no other cleanser. I must post that recipe. You should be really proud! Love the rose moulds too. Love, MImi xxx

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    1. Thankyou Mimi. Yes, I just want to keep making more. I look forward to your recipe being posted on your blog. xoxo

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  11. I used to make soap many years ago but heating the oil and getting it and the caustic soda the same temp became too much for the lazy gene. My family loved it, including brothers ans sisters but it was time consuming so I stopped making it when the girls left home. DH uses shower gel and I don't use much soap due to allergies so couldn't be bothered anymore. I now intend to find some lovely moulds and make your version Wendy and of course Phil. Wrapped Annabel style it will make lovely gifts.

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    1. I hope you make it Maggie. It's so easy. Yes, wrapping it Annabel style is the only way to wrap anything - hehehe When I wrap mine I'll post some photos..

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  12. Love, love , love this Wendy, cant wait to make it,

    Thanks, xxx
    Maureen

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    1. It really is easy I promise. As long as you have everything ready.

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  13. I made some of this soap tonight - I could only get it to a thin trace after mixing for around 10 minutes with a stick blender. The motor got very hot :)

    I wonder what happened? I have made hundreds of soaps before with several different recipes, but I liked how inexpensive this recipe was.

    I'll cure it and see how it goes, but just puzzled at how I couldn't get a nice, thick trace!

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    1. It does take a little while to get to trace. Phil advised me to stop the stick blender every few minutes and just stir.

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  14. I made a batch of lye soap a while ago and it turned out great. I was planning to give it away as gifts, but after a few days on my cake rack the metal bars had discolored the soap. So we just used it ourselves! Have you had any trouble with this? Also I love the rose moulds :)

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    1. No I haven't had the cake rakes discolor the soap. I did find over time that it turned yellow. But that was after the 6 weeks. The soaps I wrapped in cllophane have not discolored. Not sure why.

      I'm making some more soaps right now using the different shaped moulds. I'm pretty sure the rose mould is a Willow brand.

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    2. Thanks Wendy. I'll keep an eye out for a similar mould. I think for my next batch I'll try laying some baking paper on the rack first :)

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  15. Is caustic soap named something different in the US?

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    1. It's also known as Sodium hydroxide (NaOH),

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