Over the weekend my friend, Meagan, came over to my house to dig in and learn how to make soap! Cold process soapmaking is a lot like baking a cake. I know a lot of people who are afraid to give it a shot though because of the dangers of lye. I was pretty freaked making soap on my own the first few tries. But you quickly overcome that!
Meagan had it easy since she had a teacher so there was no hesitation on her end. You basically just weigh out your ingredients and combine. The lye goes into distilled water and is then set to the side cool. The oils and butters go into a big non-aluminum pot, are melted, then set aside to cool as well.
Once the lye-water and oils have cooled, you mix them together with a stick blender. Then you pour the soap into molds and insulate for 24 hours. Once that’s done you can unmold your soaps, cut into bars and set aside for 3-4 weeks to cure. Okay, so the gratification of soapmaking does take a bit longer than that of baking a cake.
Meagan and I made three batches of soap. We made one batch of Aloe and Cucumber Scented Shea Butter Soap with French Green Clay which is known for its ability to remove toxic impurities from skin, tone and revitalize complexion, tighten pores and clear problem skin.
To celebrate the arrival of fall we also made a batch of Handmade Spiced Pumpkin Pie Shea Butter Soap with Cow’s Milk. This bar will darken into a rich brown as it cures due to the vanilla content of the fragrance oil used, though it’s a rich warm, orange-brown at the moment.
And we also made a batch of Handmade Vanilla Buttercream Scented Soap with Pink Himalayan Salt. Pink Himalayan Salt is favored for its wide range of uses in both bath products and gourmet cooking. It contains 84 trace elements and iron. Unfortunately the salt lost it’s pink tinge in the soapmaking process – it’s a very lovely, coarse salt! This bar, like the Pumpkin Pie Soap, will turn a dark brown through and through once it finishes curing due to the vanilla content.
If you’d like to learn to make cold process soap for yourself, be sure to check out my DIY Cold Process Soapmaking Tutorial. Now is the perfect time to get started on making handmade soaps for Christmas gifts for the holiday season!