Making your soap at home is a way to save money and make sure you are using an entirely natural product because it is made with your own hands. Here is the recipe for making soap with the cold and hot methods.
Learning to make soap on your own frightens many because there is a fear that the procedure is too complicated or who knows what tools are needed. In reality, with a bit of commitment and patience, we can all succeed, giving a unique satisfaction.
There are two processes for making soap. One is called “hot” and the other “cold”. They don’t differ much, although the cold one is perhaps more accessible for first-time users. We will make the soap with olive oil, or the classic Marseille soap, which you can use for the bathroom, or as a base to make household cleaning detergents.
The three ingredients needed to prepare the soap and tools
Incredible but true. To prepare the soap, you need only three essential ingredients. That is to say:
- Organic extra virgin olive oil
- sodium hydroxide
- Demineralized water
The proportions change according to the method used, but you only need oil, demineralized water (the one for the iron is fine) and caustic soda (it is easy to find in any hardware store). However, cutting soda implies the need to take the necessary precautions. Firstly, keep it out of the reach of children and animals as it is a corrosive and burning material. And then it is necessary to avoid direct contact with eyes, skin and mucous membranes, using protections such as
- Rubber gloves
- Plastic protective glasses
- Mask to avoid inhalation
Furthermore, all the utensils used to prepare the soap must not be used subsequently for anything else. You should buy a “set” specifically for this purpose so as not to risk it. You need:
- Immersion blender
- large glass container (at least 2 litres capacity)
- Metal pot
- Wooden spoon
- Kitchen thermometer
- Silicone or wooden moulds
- Electronic balance
Once the soap is ready to use, there will be no more traces of caustic soda, nor will it leave any odours. But before the ripening time (which we will see shortly), handle everything with due precautions.
The cold method
For the cold method, the quantities needed are:
- 1 kg of oil (if using olive oil)
- 128 grams of caustic soda
- 300 grams of water
Put the oil in the pan and heat it over low heat until it reaches 60 ° (check with the thermometer).
Pour the demineralized water into the glass container and then slowly add the caustic soda (never do the opposite !!). Better does this in a ventilated place, to not accidentally inhale the vapors of soda. Mix well with a wooden spoon and check the temperature of the water, which will tend to rise up to 90 °.
Once the water has cooled to 45-50 ° (better if you leave the container outside in the air during the cooling phase), pour it into the pot with the oil, also at a temperature of 45 °. Mix well until you get a single homogeneous mixture. And then pour back into the glass container, and blend with the immersion blender. Be careful because the blender could overheat. Every now and then it is better to turn it off for a few seconds and then resume.
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