I get asked a lot about how soap is made and it only takes about 30 seconds of me talking about saturated fat ratios and experimental lye to water temp testing before your eyes have glazed. (Btw, I have been able to pull off a 163 degree lye solution and a 98 degree oil mixture with a beautiful 126 degree pour temp. Perfect gel without insulation, in silicone, every single time.)
So! This is how I make soap! Yay!
First we measure raw vegetable butters and oils into magical, totally scientific ratios. Different oils will produce different star features of the soap.
Lye*. It’s scary as heck. It is going to force our oil/butter combination into submission resulting in a transformation of epic proportions. Distilled water is going to ask the lye to tone it down a notch. (No lye is left in the remaining soap once cure is complete, it is merely the vehicle for saponification, the magic that makes soap.)
When the warm lye solution hits the organic solution non-literal sparks fly. It’s like they are tongue kissing and a new form emerges. Confident and thick. Oh sweet beautiful, Trace. This is when I add the fragrance or essential oil. Since I work at such high combination temps this entire process takes about 4 minutes. No room to fuck anything up, at all.
Thanks to making our stretch goal, I was able to upgrade my 10 yr old wooden molds to reusable silicone. Plastic coated paper will never be purchased again which saves money and reduces waste. Thank you.
After about 10 hours I unmold the freshly born soap, slice and put into storage for an 8 to 12 week cure. Why do I cure my soap for so long? Soap from scratch, like my Organic Artisan Soap, ages like a fine wine. The scent gets richer, the ingredients have better harmony and the water we used to tame the lye evaporates. I find that my bars start to really peak when they have evaporated no less than 1 full ounce of water, and they keep on getting better. Typically, that takes 8 to 12 weeks depending on the time of year.
And finally it is wrapped up all sexy when ordered and sent to you. Each batch is limited to only eight bars. I like to make a whole bunch of individual batches verses a million of the same thing over and over. If you don’t see your favorite formula, just shoot me the fragrance and batch number and I will make one up, no problem. You will see it on the site in about 8-12 weeks. I may already have it curing. It never hurts to ask! 🙂
If you are genuinely interested in learning how to make soap using traditional, olden day methods, I encourage you to learn all you can from reliable sources. Soap requires lye and lye will kick your ass. Here, the Fight Club burn scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfDVLsBXYcM
Or you can just keep purchasing from me, because you already know it’s the best and I’m the toughest.
Have an awesome batch idea? Let me know in the comments below!