Safe homemade soap is now possible for anyone who owns a blender. No more messing
with thermometers to get the exact temperature, no more special pots, and it requires only minutes to make.
Because you are making your soap in smaller batches, you are free to experiment
with different ingredients, and won’t be stuck with four or five pounds of soap that you are not too crazy about. This
is a family-size recipe and you can be as versatile as you like.
However, the first time, you had better follow the
instructions to a T.
2 ozs. Olive
Oil (use the cheapest pommace you can find, not extra-virgin)
14 ozs. Solid
7 ozs. Water (soft or
distilled water is best – rain or melted snow is perfect)
Lye (sodium hydroxide)
1 teaspoon of your favourite essential oil (or
you may prefer fragrance-free)
A stainless steel or glass pot
or glass jug to process the lye
A plastic or wooden spoon
A clean 1
litre milk carton
A rubber scraper
A bath towel
friend to share with if possible
1]. Wear rubber gloves. Measure lye carefully. Working in a well ventilated spot, away from cats or kids, add to
frozen milk in a plastic jug and stir. The mix will get hot. Leave until it cools to about 100 degrees C. This mix is very
alkaline, so if you splash some on your hands, run under cold water and neutralize with a dab of vinegar.
2]. Heat the oils just until the shortening melts
and pour into your blender – it should be about 100 degrees, the same as the lye mix. Carefully
pour milk/lye mix into oil in blender. Try not to splash it.
Make sure that the blender is securely locked into position, put the cover on firmly,
and cover with a big towel in case of accidental spills or spits.
4]. Now process at the lowest speed on your blender.
After about twenty seconds (count to twenty slowly), stop the blender, wait until the mixture finishes burping, and check
to see if it has started to thicken. This is called tracing, because, when it is ready, you can give it a stir with your wooden
spoon and there will be a little trail left in the mix. If it is not ready, keep processing (count to twelve/check) at short
intervals until it reaches trace (the consistency of thin custard).If you wish to add essential oil or other ingredients,
do it now and blend briefly.
5]. Have your oven pre-heated to a very low temperature, about 100 degrees C. Pour the traced mix from your blender
into a clean stainless steel or glass pot and place in the center of the oven. The mix should not fill more than a third of
your pot, as it may expand.
Close the oven door but keep a close eye on your soap through the glass window. If it gets too hot it may decide to expand
suddenly. Too small a pot can mean that it will come up like a tidal wave and flood your oven. Any obvious expansion means
that you should reduce the heat even further.
7]. After ten minutes with no problems,
turn off the heat and let the soap sit quietly for an hour.The ‘cooked’ soap should
be somewhat transparent with the consistency of apple sauce. Take it out of the oven and
drop a small amount into cold water. If it sets with an opaque look, it is ready for the final stage. If not, put it back in the oven
at the original temperature and retest after a
8]. Finally, give the mixture a thorough stirring to ensure that it
is evenly blended If you wish to add essential oil, stir it in as fast as you can at this point, as the
soap will be starting to firm up. Pour the completed mix into a cardboard milk carton (I usually cut off the top part) and
leave it to harden overnight.
9]. Cut block into slices and
dry for a few days.