A selection of craft information for artisans of the HFS.


    Dame Katrin Karlsdottir
    Dame Katrin Karlsdottir

    Posts : 28
    Join date : 2011-06-02
    Age : 51

    soapmaking Empty soapmaking

    Post  Dame Katrin Karlsdottir on Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:48 pm

    Prepare Your Area

    Get your molds and work area ready first. Soap can move
    quickly once the batch is started. Remember that cleanliness counts: keep your
    counters and work areas clean from debris and dust.

    Use plastic, stainless steel, ceramic or glass
    containers and utensils only. Unbreakable containers are preferable because
    they are safer. Wear long rubber gloves, an apron & safety glasses. Do not
    allow any skin to be exposed to lye.

    Prepare the lye water first, following the safety
    instructions following. Weigh the lye very accurately. Higher amounts of excess
    fat give softer soaps with more emolliency. Excessive lye can cause irritation
    or burning from the finished soap. Excess fat ranges from 5 to 8 % are
    recommended to prevent problems.

    Lye Safety

    Always wear safety glasses and gloves. Lye can cause severe burns
    including blindness. Lye should be added to water. If water is poured onto lye,
    the reaction can cause a volcano of lye water and serious injury. Avoid
    breathing fumes. Label your containers. Never leave lye unattended & keep
    away from children & pets.


    will need the following:

    long rubber gloves
    vinegar/vinegar spray for lye cleanup (neutralizes lye)
    accurate scale
    liquid measuring utensils
    long handled plastic or stainless steel spoons
    plastic bowl to weigh lye
    melting container for oils
    large plastic or stainless mixing vessel
    stick blender
    soap molds & freezer paper

    soapmaking Clip_image001

    The Process

    Pour the water in the large plastic or stainless mixing
    and carefully add lye to water & mix well.
    Since t
    his mix will become very hot and
    give off strongly irritating fumes, it is best to mix in an open air setting or
    a well ventilated room. Avoid breathing the fumes. Set
    aside to cool in a protected area while preparing the oils.

    Melt the solid oils, butters and waxes and combine with the liquid oils.
    Temperature measurements are not necessary.

    Add the oils to the lye solution. Mix well using a stick blender. Mix
    for a few minutes to begin establish the emulsion. Do not worry if it takes
    more than one try to establish the emulsion. Mix for 2-3 minutes then allow the
    mixture to rest for 5 minutes
    ; mix again. Follow with more
    mix and rest cycles until trace occurs.

    Prepare your fragrances and additives during the rest cycles. The soap
    begins to thicken at trace. The blender will begin to work harder. The soap
    will hold a trace of drop impressions or stir marks. Tracing soap appears like
    a thickened cooked custard. Add your fragrances and other non-fragile additives
    quickly. Give one
    thorough mix with the stick blender. Mix in
    fragile additives such as herbs, with a spoon.

    Pour into freezer paper-lined, plastic- or formica-coated molds.
    Cover and allow to set up undisturbed. The soap will warm up and go through a
    clear gel phase as it finishes curing. Cover the molds during the intial cure
    to prevent soda ash from forming on the surface and to retain heat.

    Clean your equipment with hot soapy water. Do not pour large amounts of
    raw soap down the drain. It can cure in place and create plumbing problems,
    particularly with septic systems.

    Allow soap to cure for 1-3 days before demolding.
    The soap should be loosely covered during this phase. Cut into bars and allow
    to cure in a protected cool dry area
    . The bars will take 2 to 3 weeks to
    finish curing and harden.

      Current date/time is Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:52 am