Soap Manufacturing Process
Homemade Bar Soap Manufacturing Process
Many of us take for granted everything that goes on during the soap manufacturing process. For consumers, the toughest part of purchasing a bar of soap is deciding which brand or type to choose, but sometimes don’t you just wish that you could get a particular color, shape, or scent of soap? Creating your own soap may seem like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be! The most popular form of soap manufacturing process is the cold process, and with the right instructions you could be on your way to making your very own custom soaps!
Before you can gather the necessary tools, you will need a recipe. The recipe will tell you how much you need of each ingredient. The recipe that we will concentrate on is a basic recipe using coconut oil as the base ingredient. It is a small recipe that will yield around four or five standard bars of soap, which is probably the safest bet for a newbie to the soap-making world. (Bear in mind that the ingredients aren’t always cheap, so it’s better to make mistakes with a small batch rather than ruin an entire bulk mix!)
After you have successfully completed this recipe, you can try out others until you find the soap recipe that you like best.
Coconut Oil Soap Ingredients:
16 ounces of coconut oil
6 ounces of distilled water
2 ounces of lye
0.7 ounces of fragrance oil of your choice
Of course there are also a few pieces of equipment that you will need before you can make your soap. You will need a heat-safe container, measuring utensils such as a scale and measuring cups, two thermometers, a metal spoon, a sharp knife, a large pot or slow cooker, 5 individual bar moulds or one large log mould, rubber gloves, and goggles.
Soap Manufacturing Process
The first step in making soap is creating the lye solution. Lye is one of the most hazardous chemicals around and requires the utmost care when handling, so make sure you use your goggles and gloves to protect yourself. Take your heat-safe container, distilled water, lye, and metal spoon outside, or at least into an area with plenty of ventilation. Lye produces a strong smell and is very harmful if inhaled. If you have any children or pets, make sure that they are not present while you mix this solution. Pour the water into the heat-safe container. Put your spoon into the water and prepare to stir as your slowly pour the lye into the water. Always pour the lye into the water, and not the other way around! Stir the mixture constantly until the lye dissolves completely. Do not break in stirring! The reaction caused by adding the lye to the water will cause the mixture to become over 200 degrees Fahrenheit—hence the need for a heat-safe container.
Set the lye in a safe place and secure one of your thermometers in the solution. Now it’s time to prepare the base of your soap. Put the coconut oil into the pot or slow cooker and melt it until it becomes a liquid. You can now add your fragrance oil to the pot. Turn off the heat and insert the thermometer into the liquid. Both the coconut oil base and the lye should cool to about 110 degrees F before you can mix them. Once they reach this temperature, remove the thermometers and grab a mixing spoon. Now you need to pour the lye solution into the coconut oil liquid. You must always add the lye solution to the base. As you pour, stir vigorously and constantly to ensure that the lye evenly distributes throughout the oil. When the mixture resembles a thin pudding, the mixture is complete. This can sometimes take up to an hour to happen, so you might consider investing in a cheap hand mixer for the task!
Now it’s time to pour the soap mixture into the mould(s). Keep the moulds in an area where they can sit undisturbed for at least five days. After five days, you can remove the soap from the mould but it must be allowed to sit in a safe place for an additional six weeks in order to completely cure, otherwise it will fall to bits when it gets wet!