For those who are looking to try cold process soap making at home, we’ve a basic cold process soap recipe (click here to read about Cold Process Soap) here today for you to try out!
What you’ll need:
- 200g of Refined Coconut Oil
- 450g of Pomace Olive Oil
- 350g of Refined Palm Oil
- 147g of Sodium Hydroxide *Be extremely careful when handling!
- 325g of Distilled Water or Reverse Osmosis Water
- Silicone Mold 👉 You can DIYed your own soap molds, but this Soap Loaf with a Plastic Cover is perfect for beginners+this recipe!
- Weighing Scale
- Stainless Steel Whisk 👉 You can also use a Mechanical Hand Turning Whisk or an immersion blender to speed up the stirring process, but be careful with the immersion blender as the soap batter might seize and can no longer be stirred!
- Stainless Steel Bowl x 2
- Disposable Chopstick
- Silicone Spatula
- Paper Cup
- Nitrile/Latex Gloves
- Face Mask
- Safety Glasses
*Note: Any equipment used for soap making can only be used for such purposes. Don’t reuse the equipment for other purposes.
Sodium Hydroxide is also known as caustic soda and it is a highly alkaline (thus, very corrosive) compound. The mixture of sodium hydroxide with a liquid is known as ‘lye’.
In cold process soap making, sodium hydroxide is added to the water in order to dilute it. The mixing of sodium hydroxide with water results in a reaction that causes the mixture to heat up to about 100°C and fumes to appear. Never add water to sodium hydroxide.
When making cold process soap (and any other time you’re handling lye), wear protective safety gear (safety glasses, gloves, face mask, long sleeves and long pants). Ensure there is good ventilation and there is low humidity in the room. The bowl you’re using to mix lye in is made of stainless steel. Other metals can cause reactions with the lye. If you’re using glass, ensure that it is sturdy and heat-resistant.
Should you come in accidental contact with lye, immediately wash the area with water.
Instructions (for 1+kg worth of soap)
- Wear your safety gear as mentioned in ‘Lye Safety’.
- Place a large stainless steel bowl on a kitchen scale and weigh 200g of refined coconut oil, 450g of pomace olive oil and 350g of refined palm oil. Set aside.
- Preparing the lye solution:
a) Using a kitchen scale, weigh 325g of Distilled Water/Reverse Osmosis Water and freeze it. You can use ice cube molds or a small Ziploc bag for this purpose.
b) Place the frozen Distilled Water/Reverse Osmosis Water in a stainless steel bowl.
c) Using the kitchen scale again, weigh 147g of Sodium Hydroxide in a paper cup.
d) Gently and gradually pour the Sodium Hydroxide into the stainless steel bowl with the frozen Distilled Water/Reverse Osmosis Water. Using a disposable chopstick, stir and ensure that the Sodium Hydroxide has melted between each pour.
e) Ensure that the sodium hydroxide has dissolved entirely.
- Pour the lye solution into the oils.
- Gently stir the mixture using a stainless steel whisk. Do not whisk it as though baking.
- Once the oils and lye solution have blended, increase the stirring speed. After a while, a light trace will form.
*Note: You can use mica powders or natural colorants like clays and activated charcoal powder to color the soap. Plant powders like beetroot powder and matcha may change colour during the saponification process, though.
For 1kg of soap batter, you can add up to 4 teaspoons of powdered colorants once you have achieved light trace.
- Pour the soap batter into your mold and firmly tap the bottom of the mold on the table. This is to release any air bubbles.
- Place the mold in a large box and lightly close the top. Leave it aside at a cool, dark and not-humid place for 2 days.
- After 2 days, remove the soap from the mold and cut it into bars using a soap cutter or a non-serrated knife. Allow the bars to cure at a cool, dark and not-humid spot for 4-6 weeks. While it cures, the water in the soap will evaporate, resulting in a firmer and longer-lasting bar.
Note: These in-process pictures were taken during our cold process soap workshop with Looloo Soap at Think at Dua. If you’d like to have a more in-depth and guided start to your cold process soap making, do check out our monthly cold process soap workshops here!
Want to know more about making your own soaps at home? Check out these posts of ours!
For Cold Process Soap
👉 Get to Know: Cold Process Soap
👉 5 Common Cold Process Soap Mistakes and How to Avoid or Fix Them
👉 Cure in Candle Making VS Cure in Soap Making
👉 Testing Every Craftiviti Fragrance Oil for Acceleration in Cold Process Soap
👉 4 Ways to Reduce Fragrance Oil Acceleration in Cold Process Soap
Some Recipes for Cold Process Soap
👉 Cold Process Dish Soap Using Premium Extra Red Palm Oil