Posted on: 26 May 2016
If you're a fan of natural olive oil soap, sometimes referred to as Castile soap, then you should try making it yourself. If you have the right ingredients, then it's not too difficult to make it in your own kitchen. You can find lots of recipes online that tell you the proper proportions of lye to water to oil, but first you need the tools and ingredients. Here's what you need.
The most essential ingredient in any soap making process is lye. Without lye, there can be no soap. It is essential for the process of saponification. It is also the hardest ingredient to source. You will probably have to order it online from a soap making supply store. Beware of "lye" that is sold in home improvement centers for cleaning out drains. These will often times contain minute particles of shaved metal, which makes them completely inappropriate for soap making.
You don't have to use extra-virgin or cold pressed. Any 100% olive oil will do. If you don't have enough olive oil on hand don't try and substitute canola oil or some other oil. Oils have different properties when saponification and your bar of soap will turn out different than what you expected. For instance, coconut oil creates a lot of lather and can be drying, which is not what you want in a creamy olive oil soap.
You want the water you use to be free of minerals. The easiest way to do this is to buy a gallon jug of distilled water.
Lye needs to be measured precisely otherwise the soap might not turn out right. It might either be too lye heavy, and thereby too harsh, or it might not harden up and remain in a mushy state.
After you add lye to water and add in the olive oil you will need to mix it while the chemical process of saponification is happening. You could do this with a plastic mixing spoon, but it is much easier to use a mixer.
Plastic Mixing Container
The lye and water cannot be put into aluminum because there will be a dangerous chemical reaction. You can use stainless steel, or better yet purchase a plastic mixing bucket from your local hardware store and use this as a dedicated bucket for your soap making efforts. This way you won't mistakenly use an aluminum pot thinking it's stainless steel.
Safety Glasses & Gloves
Lastly, you need protective eyewear and gloves. Lye, when it's mixed with water, can cause serious burns. Always wear safety glasses and plastic gloves when handling the chemical. Contact a business, such as Flowersong LLC , for more information.Share