Saturday, 27 August 2016

Make Your Own Simple Soap (No Thermometer Method)


Luxurious homemade soap using
four simple ingredients.


The very first soap I made was Rhonda Hetzel's recipe HERE.  I have come full circle back to this list of ingredients and it is the staple soap I make for the family now.  This soap is luxurious, frugal, mild on sensitive skin, great as a shampoo (cured my lifetime battle with dandruff ), has quality ingredients, traces so easily and is so easy to make.

Although the ingredients is exactly as Rhonda has listed, I use a slightly different method.

To make good quality basic personal bathroom soap, you do not need fancy molds, you do not need a thermometer, you do not need any fancy of special equipment.  The only thing you must have is an accurate set of kitchen scales, but the rest is all normal kitchenware.

Always wear eye protection and gloves, keep a window open, be near running water, keep pets and children well away, have old towels ready for any accidental spills, be 100% organised with everything you need before you start, work confidently and smoothly.

Ingredients:

173 grams of caustic soda
450 grams of water
250 gram block of Copha (Hydrogenated coconut oil)
1000 grams of olive oil

Please weigh these using your kitchen scales.  Do not guess as the amounts must be accurate.

Method:

  1. Break up the Copha into a non metallic bowl
  2. Add caustic soda to water slowly stirring all the while (not the other way around). You now have lye.
WARNING never add the water to the caustic soda or it will explode. Make sure you have an open window nearby as the caustic soda will emit fumes while it is reacting with the water. The water will nearly reach boiling point as you add the caustic soda so BE CAREFUL but not nervous.
  3. Add lye carefully to the Copha
  4. Stir until Copha is fully dissolved
  5. Add olive oil
  6. Alternately stir and blend with a kitchen stick blender. (You can use a set of beaters but be very careful of splatter...or you could just stir with a non metallic spoon - but this will take much longer)
  7. Bring mixture to TRACE.  You know you are at trace when the mixture looks and feels like custard and leaves a very noticeable trace or wake in the mixture.
  8. Pour into a plastic container. Use a spatula to get every last drop of soap mixture into the container.
  9. Pop a lid on the container or wrap with cling-wrap and set aside totally undisturbed for at least 24 hours.
  10. After 24 hours, carefully pop the set soap mold out of the plastic container onto a cutting board.
  11. Slice up into bars using the sharpest knife you have.
  12. Place bars of soap onto a cake cooler and set aside for six weeks to harden.

Here It Is In Pictures


Break up the Copha into a non-
metallic bowl.

Weigh the caustic soda excatly

Weigh the water excatly

Add the caustic soda slowly to the water stirring continually
WORK CAREFULLY HERE

Stir the caustic soda and Copha carefully
so as not to splash it 

Stir manually till Copha fully dissolved.

Weigh the olive oil

Add olive oil to the already dissolved
Copha and lye

Use stick blender - do not splash.

This is what trace looks like.
Think custard.

Pour into plastic container.
Plastic is great because it is so
much easier to remove the soap
once set.

Pop the lid on and leave undisturbed
for 24 hours.

Carefully twist the plastic container
until the soap mold pops out in
one piece.

Use a very sharp knife to cut up into bars

Place bars onto a cake cooling
rack to harden.  This will take
six weeks minimum.

If you have never made soap before, lean in and give this a shot.  It is as easy as falling off a log and so, so, so satisfying to make.

Take care folks and stay nice.

Mr HM

43 comments:

  1. Ha, this saves me searching for the recipe. I plan on making more today. It's been on my to do list all week but have been unwell.

    Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you perk up soon Emma.
      An slightly easier method is to mix the lye in the bowl first, then carefully add the chopped up Copha...then continue on from there. this means you only use one mixing container instead of two :-)

      Delete
  2. O.K. I am so going to do this next week. What has been holding me back is that I don`t want to use my cooking utensils to make the soap and I have resisted going out to buy anything specially for soap making- which is ridiculous as the local op-shop has glass bowls, plastic containers, wooden spoons etc for under 2 or 3 dollars. And once I`ve bought the equipment, I`ll feel really guilty if I don`t use it I SO want to make my own soap!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go for it Corinne - you will be hooked once you start. Start simple and perfect this recipe and then move onto more challenging soap making. The Op shop is a grand idea to get set up with the small amount of gear you need. Remember...nothing metal unless it is stainless steel. Feel free to email me if you need any help or tips.

      Delete
  3. Where do you buy Copha from please?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just from your supermarket in the refrigerated section with other hard block fats and lards. What country are you in and I will see if I can do some research for you.

      You could also use any hard vegetable hydrogenised fat/oil.

      Delete
  4. Hi Mista
    silly question
    can I use coconut oil instead of copha? Donna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ho Donna

      Of course you can.

      Perhaps run it through a soap calculator first to ensure you get your water and caustic soda amount dead right.

      I use this calculator here: https://www.thesage.com/calcs/LyeCalc.html

      Delete
    2. Thanks used your recipe, stick blender died not sure if I have mixed enough by hand will see if it has set tomorrow,going to the op shop to purchase hand mixer for next time Donna

      Delete
  5. Lovely soap. Always looks so white.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That is my go to recipe too, Mr.HM. It never fails.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Quick question...do you have to use olive oil, or can it be a different kind of oil? I would love to try this but don't currently have any olive oil, but I do have canola oil, would that work?
    Many thanks
    Cassandra

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cassandra. You can use pretty much use any type of oil for soap making that you have on hand or even a mixture of oils.
      Yes, you can actually replace the olive oil with Canola oil and this recipe will work perfectly - go for it!

      Delete
  8. You have explained this so well and in great detail. Your posts are excellent Phil and very informative for those who are beginning along the road to self sufficiency. I feel life is going to get tougher in the coming years and these are skills that will hold us in good stead.
    Blessings Gail.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi gail

      I think you are right - some hard times are around the corner and those of us that are skilled up will be the best prepared and also be able to teach others once they realise the necessity for these ancient skills.

      Delete
  9. What an excellent method - far less complicated than the way that I do it (two thermometers, lye at same temp as oils etc). We have about a year's supply of soap made at the moment but I'll use this method the next time that I make a batch. Thanks so much for a great tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pamela....a year's supply! Well done indeed.

      Delete
  10. Debbie in the U.P.29 August 2016 at 12:10

    I made this today. Like Pamela, i've used the other method for decades. This is fabulous! There's no turning back! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi five then Debbie! - I am glad you liked the method.

      Delete
  11. Hi Phil,
    Have read you blog from back in the "old" days, but have never commented. I would really love to try soap making, my kids all have eczema though. Do you think it woul be ok for their skin.
    Kind regards,
    Andrea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am no doctor Andrea, but it would be worth experimenting. Have a look at the ingredients listed on normal soap and see if this does not astound you, compared to the four simple ingredients in this recipe. If you live in Australia I am happy to post you a bar of this soap for you to try if you like....just email me privately if this is something you would like me to do for you.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Phil, I appreciate the offer, but I might give it a go anyway and see how we go. It looks so lovely and pure!
      Thanks again,
      Andrea.

      Delete
    3. Even better! I am sure you will love the result.

      Delete
  12. Thank you for the great post. Is there a way to turn the soap into liquid handsoap?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Simply grate up the soap very finely, add a little glycerine and then dissolve in hot water. If you use this homemade soap there is no need to add glycerine as it is full of natural glycerine already. There are many recipes for this all over the web....but glycerine is essential to stop it separating.

      Delete
  13. I probably should have made soap 2 weeks ago . Think I will try your method this time and see how it works. I usually always have to stand around waiting for things to come to a certain temp before mixing the lye with the oils. Thanks for posting this.
    Now to check my ingreds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Way to go Krystal. I am sure you will love the method - so much easier for this recipe.

      Delete
  14. Mr HM would this be a better recipe to start with or is the previous recipe with three ingredients better for a newbie? Cheers Beck

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The previous one is certainly a bit easier, but this one has better quality ingredients and is nearly (but not quite) as easy. Actually both are beginner-friendly IMO.

      Delete
    2. Thank you :o)

      Delete
  15. Hi Phil

    Do you know roughly what is cost you per bar? I imagine a kilo (1000g) of olive oil isn't cheap and I realise you can use cheaper oil. Love that it looks so simple. I've been put off complicated recipes in case I misread something and burnt the house down!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will work it out for you Shangri La. of course there are many variables based on if I bought the ingredients on special etc and how big or small I cut my bars - I'll get back to you soon with a $ figure.
      Also - for me it is mainly about quality of ingredients and knowing what is in my soap....look at a bar of soap in your cupboard and check out the ingredients list on the packet and be horrified!

      Delete
    2. OK - just did the math.... it works out to 75 cents per bar if you make 12 bars from this recipe. The bars are nearly double the size of a store-bought soap bar.

      Delete
  16. That's good and I know what you mean about the ingredients. I know will also get satisfaction out the process as well. If I do want to add essential oil is that just at the very end (yes I know it's about keeping it simple but I love the smell of sandalwood in the morning...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK - so adding essential oil needs to happen after you have reached trace and just before you are about to pour into the mold. Mix the essential oil in well after trace.
      A couple of points about essential oils that you ought to know:
      1. The lye will diminish the top notes of the aroma and you will be left with just the base notes.
      2. Depending on what base oil is used in the essential oil is to how it affects the composition of the soap. Some essential oils can have bad effects on the soap and others work perfectly fine. The challenge is knowing what the base oil is in your essential oils as the essential oil manufacturers rarely give you that info or incomplete info.
      3. Less is best

      Delete
  17. Can all soap recipes be made with out testing temps and just adding the lye to the oils? I feel I spend so much time stuffing around trying to get the oils and lye at the same temp of around 45 deg or something like that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No Clarissa - some oils and blends are quite fussy and need specific temperatures.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, I will give this a try next time, looks easier than the one I normally do - its not that hard though, cheers

      Delete
  18. Thank you so much for this recipe. I made my very first batch today. It looks a lot "yellower" than yours, but I think that's because the olive oil I used was pretty dark. Anyway, it's sitting in it's container for 24 hours and it'll be interesting to see what it's like this time tomorrow.
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  19. Rhonda's recipe measures water in mls. She says 450 mls. water. You say 450 g. water. Are they the same?
    Nannie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nannie

      Yes they are the same.

      The Metric systems of measurement and weight is based on water, so 450 mils of water always weighs 450 grams. 1 litre of water at sea level weighs 1 kg is the foundation of the metric system.

      Delete
  20. I followed Rhonda's recipe to a t (twice!) and both times as I poured the soap mixture into my glass container, it seemed uneven on top. Resulting soap was completely fine to use but hardened with these shreds on top if you know what I mean. It's not nice and smooth like yours or others I see on the 'net. Any tips to resolve this slight problem?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is 100% normal. Just thinly slice the rough edge off. Keep the shavings for converting to handwash, laundry liquid or re-batching.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...