Soap-making process

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~~ a handy reminder-list of the order in which things happen, and some significant details to have in mind ~~
downloadable document

Chemistry

Lye

  1. Get the refrigerated water - use scale to measure the needed amount (2 lbs 8 oz)
  2. Put on breath mask and gloves
  3. Open up lye container
  4. Measure the lye
  5. Add lye to refrigerated water

Oils

  1. Put the solid oils in the black pot
    • Weigh them as you're adding more, to get the right weight
    • Re-tare the scale after each one
  2. Add in the olive oil
  3. Heat the black pot to (slowly) melt the solid oils
    • Turn burner to 2 until solids melt, then down to 1 until it gets up to 115°F

Downtime

  1. Get moulds ready
  2. (if using rigid moulds) Rub castor oil in rigid mould
  3. Prepare cooler
  4. (if using powdered milk) Use stick to break up powdered milk (before adding in lye)
  5. Check lye-water periodically until it has cooled to 110°F

Once the lye reaches its temperature, everything happens rather quickly. Stir the mix until it begins tracing, then pour it into the moulds.

Cooler arrangement

  • bottom:
    • rectangular tray (Rita's)
  • top:
    • big log-mould with lid (TOG)
    • small number of small individual moulds for testing

After Saponification

Unmoulding

(no unmoulding notes at this time)

Trimming

  • It's probably a good idea to trim the soap no more than two days after unmoulding.
  • For cutting into bars, use green washer marks for aligning guide
  • If log edge is funky (uneven):
    • line the slidy bit flush with edge of cutter for first cut
    • then change to line up with green markings under adjusting washers
  • TOG: line with tall kitchen bag held in place by silicone liner rectangles