to convert (as fat) into soap; specifically to hydrolyze (a fat) with alkali to form a soap and glycerol.
Making soap is like baking. It's a process that involves mixing quality ingredients according to a recipe to create a finished product.
Fortunately, you can do it decently without having all that much knowledge of chemistry.
Which is a good thing since I never got beyond high school chemistry.
Yesterday I made soap from saponified olive oil (cold press, extra virgin), dried lavender and organic lavender salts (which I originally bought to take a bath with, but hadn't gotten around to using).
It has just recently been cut into bars and smells WONDERFUL. Just like lavender.
I used a lye calculator to determine how much sodium hydroxide was needed for the amount of oil I planned to use. The online calculator also gives a range of liquid (water, milk or herbal tea) needed to activate the sodium hydroxide and I used the high end of the range. The soap is still pretty soft and will need a few weeks for the water to fully evaporate.
So I just had to do it again. With less water. To see if less water will produce a harder soap. Soap-making ingredients can be expensive and hard soap lasts longer than soft soap.
Today's ingredients include various fats purchased at the local health food store...
- Almond oil, 16 oz.
- Cocoa butter, 7 oz.
- Shea butter, 7 oz.
I'm going to saponify these with 3.8 oz. of sodium hydroxide (NaOH, or lye) from the local hardware store, liquified in 8 oz. of water (from my tap) -- the low end of the range which is 8 - 11 fluid ounces.
Sea salt contains skin nourishing minerals such as magnesium, zinc, calcium, potassium and iodine. Some of the many benefits include:
- relaxes skin muscles
- cleanses and detoxifies face and body
- sea salts draw toxins out of the body, which will naturally lead to feeling refreshed
- grainy and therefore makes for a great scrub
- increases blood circulation
The mixture is poured into a mold to set (looks just like cake batter, huh?). When firm, it will be cut into bars and left to cure and continue drying for about three weeks.
Then we will have the most lovely soaps.
They will be available in Mary's Cupboard before Christmas.