getting to trace
Thanks to a friend, I was able to make soap this weekend. Two things you'll really want to buy or borrow to make soap-an immersion blender and a kitchen scale. The scale is a necessity-recipes are listed by weight, not volume. The blender isn't a necessity, but unless you want to stir by hand until soap reaches trace (which could take an hour!), you'll want this. It takes less than 10 minutes to reach trace.
There are a ton of recipes online, and if you want to make your own, you HAVE to run it through a lye calculator. This makes sure there won't be any active lye in your soap to burn your skin.
I didn't bother taking steps of the whole process, because there are a ton of sites with tutorials on them.
My recipe was a mix of mostly olive oil, coconut oil, and vegetable shortening (because I ended up not having as much coconut oil as I thought). I added some cocoa butter, honey, and fragrance after cooking it. It was originally going to be frankincense and myrrh, but I forgot I needed to melt the cocoa butter and that cooked off the fragrance, so instead these are plum spice.
Hot process is so easy. The soap will be ready to use as soon as it is cooled, although the longer you let it sit (with air flow around the bars), the harder and more cured it will be. It's not as fine or pretty as cold process, but not having to let it sit for six weeks or longer before use is better for me.
These will be nice to have on hand for holiday gifts. Who doesn't like a nice scented bar of homemade soap?
In the mold cooling off