How To Make Lye Soap
What is more touching than a homemade labor of love? Really, gifts are more meaningful if you do-it-yourself. Using this video, you will be able to create your own soaps, out of lye, to use for yourself or to be given as gifts to friends. Express your creative side through soap making!
Today, I'm going to be showing you how to make lye. So, we need two main sets of ingredients and that's our oils and butters, and our lye itself. Now, lye is also known as Sodium Hydroxide and Caustic Soda, and it can be obtained just in the drain cleaning section of your hardware store. Technically, it's not lye until it's mixed with our water here, and I'm just using regular tap water. Let's look at our oils. Olive oil because it creates a beautiful moisturizing bar of soap. Palm oil adds some lovely waxy texture and a good feel to your soap. Coconut, coconuts are responsible for creating big bubbles or have a lovely lather on this soap. And my favorite finally, shea butter, which is like pouring a bottle of moisturizing lotion into your soap, really creamy and moisturizing. But the most important bit, we cannot make our soap without the Sodium Hydroxide and the water - our lye. The water I have here is just water from my tap or you could use bottled water. Water from the tap will make just as good soap. I'm going to weigh the water because I need 176 grams. Now, 176 grams is exactly the same as 176 moles. But if I'm looking at the scale along the display on the scales, and it's easy for me to be absolutely accurate. 178, a little bit too far. There we are, perfect. The trying to work out where 176 is using the scale would be very difficult for me and I need to be accurate. Put that to one side while I work on the Sodium Hydroxide. For this recipe, I need 70 grams of Sodium Hydroxide and I'm going to weigh it into my little bowl. It's fairly innocuous looking white powder, looks pretty much like salt that you might sprinkle onto your food, but it's not the same. Going up, 70 grams, and now, very carefully, without breathing the fumes, I'm going to pour my Sodium Hydroxide into the water. Now, technically, at this point, this is now called lye because it is an alkali solution. I stir it around to make sure it's fully dissolved and there are no gritty bits at the bottom. And as I'm doing this, the temperature of the water is increasing. It will get very, very hot and it will let off some fumes and they're not very pleasant should you swallow them. So I always recommend that once you've made your lye, you just put it to one side while you work on the oils. That's getting too hot to touch underneath. Now, it's time to weigh the oils and butters and get them into our saucepan to melt. I'm going to add them in any order, but palm oil is going in first. Palm oil is our ingredient that adds that lovely, waxy, hardness to our soap. And for this recipe, I need 85 grams of palm oil. We're making about 6 bars of soap here so I need roughly 600 grams in total. So, 85 into our saucepan, coconut oil, very moisturizing, but I use it because it creates big rich foaming soap - a lovely lather. Okay, we need more coconut oil than we used palm oil, and we are going to be using 128 of coconut oil. 122! Add it to the palm and then finally, the lovely shea butter. This soap will be very moisturizing anyway, but shea butter is like pouring a bottle of moisturizer into your soap - very, very creamy, your skin will love it. And we only need to add 30 to make a big difference. Okay, not quite that much. Good. Just a small amount of shea butter, pop that into our saucepan. Now, I need our lovely solid oils to melt. So I'm just going to pop it on to a low heat, just so it'll turn liquid. So, that's all the hard oils melted. So, the coconut, the shea butter and the palm oil all merged into a nice, golden liquid, and I'm going to add 227 grams of olive oil and mix that together. So, my saucepan now contains melted oils and I need to add a bit of lye solution to it. Now, a very good habit to get into, when I pour the hot lye into the hot oils, there may be some form of reaction in my saucepan. So I always just pour a tiny bit in, and if it doesn't start fizzing up, then I know the temperatures are right for me to merge the two. There's no reaction in that. And now, I'm going to stir until we get into the next stage. You know, water and oils don't really like to mix together so I need to keep stirring it to make sure they stay together. Now, depending on the temperature of the air and the temperature of the oils, this stage might take it, well, anything up to three days of stirring really. So I'm going to speed it up by using a handheld blender. And I just need to stir it like this until it reaches a stage called light trace, which is like custard, like that, looks like it is done, nice and thick and looking very much like custard. When I drizzle a little bit across the top, it sits on the surface before floating back into the soap. So, that is a light trace. As we're making goat's milk, this is the right time to add our goat's powder. Now, of course, you may have goat's milk, the liquid version that you want to add. And you can add this at the same stage. I'm going to add 2 spoonfuls. Just sprinkle it across and then stir it in. But when you're adding liquid goat's milk, it does start to scald and burn, and has a rather nasty smell. So, what we always recommend is that you freeze your goat's milk in ice cube trays and then add your frozen goat's milk at this stage. It melts but it won't burn, so you won't get that horrible smell. It is possible to add your goat's milk to the lye at the beginning of this stage but you will definitely get this burning smell there. Beautiful. The goat's milk powder has blended into my soap base beautifully. I'm going to add the essential oil. I've chosen orange essential oil. I love the fresh smell. There's quite a lot of orange oil I'm putting in here. I've got 14 grams which works. You could put in less but you would notice faded smell. Put that in there. Enjoy the aroma as it comes out and stir it around so that it's completely blended into our soap. Okay, I think that's blended in well, I don't see any traces of the orange oil. Now, the soap's ready to pop into the mold. The mold I'm using is a plastic lunchbox type mold, but actually there are many, many things you can use: ice cream cartons, orange juice cartons. My favorite is the face of the Devil Cream display that they have in Tesco's. Make sure we have all the soap out. Push it down a bit so it fills up every gap. At the moment, it doesn't look much like soap. What we're going to do is leave it for 24 hours wrapped in a towel or a blanket to keep warm. My soap has been under blankets for 24 hours. I can now take it out of the mold. And even though it's lye soap, it's not at all caustic anymore, otherwise I wouldn't be touching it. My soap's not quite ready for use. I need to leave it somewhere either as a whole block or cut up into slices for about 4 weeks. Just to allow the lye to completely mellow into the soap to make it soft enough and moisturizing enough for my skin. And that's how you make the lye soap.