I had been thinking about it for awhile. While willing, I was apprehensive, nervous and to be perfectly honest, rather scared. From what I had been told, it's very addictive...once you do it, you want to do it all the time. And it can be dangerous! Worry not, though...I was sure to go to the pharmacy and get what I needed to be safe.
The first time took a lot longer than I expected. I thought it would happen much more quickly than it did and wow, was I sore afterward! But the outcome was so worth the pain.
That's right, folks. I popped my cherry...I made my first batch of Cold Process (CP) soap!
I took some photos of the process...please keep in mind that they are a bit blurry and some are dark. It's not easy taking photos one-handed while wearing rubber gloves, safety glasses and a mask, lol.
I set up all of my equipment and ingredients.....
...and then I weighed out the oils and added them to my stainless steel pot.
I measured my water and then weighed my sodium hydroxide (lye) and VERY carefully mixed the lye into my water (while wearing all of my protective gear!). The lye-water mixture get very hot....so while that was cooling down I slowly melted my oils over low heat. Once both mixtures were around 98-100 degrees, I bundled myself back up in gloves, mask and safety glasses and slowly poured the lye mixture into my oils.
I stirred and stirred with my wooden spoon for all that I was worth...once the lye and oils mix together, you need to stir until the mixture reaches what is called "trace." Trace is when your lye mixture and your oils finally combine together and the entire mixture becomes thicker, like pudding, and you can "trace" on the top if it with your spoon.
This photo is of me stirring and stirring, before the trace stage. Unfortunately, I don't have a pic of the trace stage (well, I do, but it's so blurry it doesn't matter, lol).
Once your mixture reaches trace, that is when you add your essential oils, fragrance oils, colors and/or any additives. For this batch, I added Honeydew Melon fragrance...and then I poured out a cup or two of the soap and added green color to it.
I then poured the mixture into my soap mold, then swirled the green colored soap into it.
I wrapped it with a towel and let it sit for about 24 hours or so, then I unmolded and cut my soap!!
Ta-da!!! I has soap! LOL....in fact, I loved doing it so much, I made another batch the very next day. I made one minor adjustment, though. Screw the 2 hours of stirring to reach trace...I invested in a stick blender, and let me tell you what...that was the best $25 investment I've ever made! I reached trace in literally under a minute!
Here are some photos of my 2nd batch...this one is Sangria!