originally from Spruce Crafts
This is one of my favourites to create as you have to be all in to create this for at least 3 hours. When done you have a concentrated liquid soap you can use for hand washing your dishes, body wash, hair shampoo, soap foamers and so much more. I am old school so I use ounces as I did not want to convert and estimate. Your kitchen scale offers both metric and old school.
If you have never made soap before, you may fail the first time but keep going as you will perfect it
16.5 oz. sunflower seed oil
7 oz. coconut oil
5.5 oz. potassium hydroxide KOH
16.5 oz. distilled water for the lye mixture
40 oz. distilled water to dilute the soap paste
2 oz. citric acid mixed into 10 oz. of water
You will need
a glass mason jar for mixing the KOH and silicone spatula for stirring
protective eye wear, rubber gloves and long sleeves
metal potato masher
Measure your oils and add to the crock pot. Turn your crock pot on low
While the oils are heating up, measure your KOH (Potassium Hydroxide) and pour into your measured water.
It is very important that when you combine the KOH (potassium hydroxide) and water that you always add the KOH to the water and not the other way around. The reaction between the lye and the water is immediate and intense – making the solution heat up to near boiling almost instantly.
It will create a chemical cloud so do not inhale it (I always lower myself so that I am under the fumes and not standing over them. If you can, make this solution outside. If indoors, open a window and turn on a fan
If you've never used potassium hydroxide before, don't be alarmed. It's a bit more volatile in the water than sodium hydroxide. It makes an odd boiling/groaning sound as it's dissolving. This is normal.
When the lye-water is completely mixed and clear, slowly add it into your oils. Don't turn the stick blender on just yet. Just stir the oils and lye together. Then, start using the stick blender. At first, it will seem to want to separate. Keep blending.
Keep stirring with the stick blender until the mixture is the thickness of crepe batter or heavy cream, this could take up to 30 minutes.
You want to reach ‘Trace’
When you think it is getting thick, lift the spatula and let the “batter” dribble back onto the surface of the soap. If it sits on the surface of the batter for a little bit before sinking in, it is tracing.
Once the soap has reached trace, you'll need to give the soap one more good stir, shake off your stick blender, put the lid on the pot, and wait.
Check on the soap in about 15 to 20 minutes. If there's any separation, just stir it and put the lid back on. Keep checking on the soap every 20 to 30 minutes.
In the 3 to 4 hours it will take this soap to cook, it will transform and go through several "stages." Don't worry if you don't see one, sometimes a stage will be brief and you'll miss it. The "stages" usually are:
Keep stirring every 30 minutes or so through each of the stages. It will be difficult to stir through the taffy stage. Do the best you can. The potato masher will help break the taffy up. Then, just when you think it's never going to finish, it will start to get creamy and move into the Vaseline stage, getting more translucent.
Once you've reached the 3 to 4-hour mark and the soap has softened and turned translucent, it's time to test it to see if it's cooked long enough. Take two ounces of boiling water and add one ounce of your soap paste. Stir the soap, breaking it up and helping it dissolve in the water.
Once it's completely dissolved (several minutes) check to see how clear it is. If it's just very lightly cloudy, that's ok. The soap will "settle" after it's finished and get even clearer. If the dissolved soap mixture is milky or very cloudy, you've either not cooked it long enough or you've were off on the measurements
If the test mixture stays clear as it cools, it's good to continue. The last measure of patience is needed when diluting the paste. Take the remaining 40 oz. of distilled water and bring it to a boil. Add the water to the soap paste. Stir it in a bit with a spoon or the potato masher.
Turn the heat off on the crockpot. Put the lid on and wait.
After an hour or so, stir it some more. It should have softened some by now but will likely still be very chunky and gooey. Put the lid back on and wait some more.
You can put the lid on and leave it to sit overnight and dissolve. If you prefer a more active role, just keep waiting and stirring, waiting and stirring. The potato masher will help to break up some of the larger chunks of paste, but nothing will help more than just waiting.
In addition to the different alkali, and the cooking of the soap, liquid soap is different from bar soap in the way it is formulated. If you run most recipes through a lye calculator you'll see that there seems to be way too much lye! Indeed, liquid soap recipes are usually formulated with about a 10% lye excess. This is to ensure that all of the oils are saponified.
After the soap paste has completely dissolved in the water, it's time to neutralize the soap. Turn the crockpot back on and bring the mixture back up to 180 degrees or so.
In a separate container, mix the neutralizing solution. take 8 oz. of boiling water and add 2 oz. of citric acid. It's important to stir very well and make sure that it stays very hot. As this mixture cools, the citric acid will start to precipitate out of the mixture and it won't mix into your soap!
Add 2 oz. of the neutralizer solution. Too much neutralizer can cause cloudiness, so it's best to round down and err on the conservative side.
Slowly pour the neutralizer into the re-heated soap mixture and stir well. Add one ounce first and let it sit for a bit. Then add another half ounce. Then, if you still have no cloudiness, add the final half ounce.
Let the soap cool and pour it into large bottles or jars. Put them aside in a cool place and just let it rest. During this resting phase, the insoluble particles should settle to the bottom and any minor cloudiness caused by insoluble particles in the oils should clear up. It will need to settle for one week. When you are pouring your soap into their final bottles or tubes, be careful not to disturb the settled solids, or you'll have to let them settle out again.
Enjoy Your Homemade Liquid Soap
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