Handmade soap using “the cold” method

It is easy to make natural, handmade soap with “the cold” method if you understand the basic notions. For that you need oils and creams, infusion (tea, water), caustic soda (NaOH).

Caustic soda is the raw material, along with the oils and creams and must be handled with care because it can cause burns. It is indicated to have a bottle of vinegar with you to neutralize the soda if you come in contact with it. There are no methods of soap making without soda and you must remember that you can make the soap using caustic soda, but that the soda does not appear in the final product.

The soap made using this method does not contain unreacted caustic soda; the common made soaps have 5 to 7 % excess fat.

Lavender Soap

Image by eBio

Before you start making the soap please weight the ingredients using the SoapCalc site.

Manufacturing natural soap – “the Cold” method:

1. It is very important to weight the ingredients with high accuracy. Too little soda makes excess fat. Too much soda makes the soap irritating and breakable. The usual fat excess is of 4 to 8 %, in general 5 – 7 %. SoapCalc has a predefined value of 5%.
2. Caustic soda must be gradually dissolved in water and never vice versa. This is an exothermic process and the resulting solution will heat by producing toxic steams that can be damaging to you and those around you. It is highly recommended to use gloves and to be in an opened room when you start making the soap, on the balcony, in the garden or on the porch. Add the soda spoon after spoon and constantly stir it.
3. Heat the oils, creams and measure the temperature. Both the oil and the soda have to have almost the same temperature, around 37-43 degrees Celsius.
4. When they have the same temperature, add the caustic soda solution previously made on the oil and mix it with a blender until it has the consistency of pudding.  Add the essential oils, plants, brans, salt, flowers, fruit peels (as you wish, you can use all these ingredients or only some of them) and mix them into the composition.
5. Put the soap in a plastic container, wood covered with paper (wood corrodes), silicon – never metal! – papered preferably with waxed paper or with a plastic bag (optional, but is better to use the waxed paper) and cover it with a plastic foil. Then cover again the content with a blanket or a sheet and leave it like that for 24 to 48 while the saponification process continues. This means that the soap continues to heat itself for a few hours.
6. After 24-48 hours you can cut the soap. Then put the pieces on a cardboard with some space between them and leave them to dry for at least 3 weeks before you start using them. It is also recommended to use a PH indicator paper. The optimal and safe PH value for the soap is between 7 and 10.

Lavender

Image by elminium

The most beautiful soap I have made is the “Shea and lavender” soap. It has a smooth but powerful lavender smell and I used acacia flowers infusion to make it (the acacia flowers from my area have an amazing smell). I picked some flowers and made an infusion.  I drank some of it and some I put in the soap because acacia flowers have calming properties.

Also contains:
– shea butter – hydration and protection
– coconut butter – delays the appearance of wrinkles and keeps the skin’s firmness
– ricin oil – hydration and foaming properties
– olive oil (pomace oil) – it slows down the aging process
– it has antibacterial, antiseptic, and healing properties thanks to the gentian violet

Homemade soap naturally contains a lot of glycerin made through the saponification process of the vegetable oils. Glycerin has emollient and humectant properties and it is the best known moisturizer.

Article translated from http://www.ebio.eu/blog/

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