Soapmaking is a great addition to your DIY skincare skills. You can create many different great types, just by simply changing your oil options, giving soap texture with different additives and playing with clays and teas for colouring the soap.
We LOVE the addition of unrefined shea butter in soaps. Unrefined Shea Butter has the most unsaponifiables in all vegetable oils, and creates a creamy, luxurious and nourishing bar of soap. We like to use it anywhere between 5% and 50% of the recipe. It adds in the hardness of the bar as well.
I would like to point out that you can not make soap without lye! Soap is a chemical reaction between an alkali (lye) and fats/oils.
What Do You Need To Make Soap:
This page contains the basic instruction of how to make soap. If you would like a more guided instruction, please feel free to book one of our soapmaking workshops here.
Alternatively: Feel free to purchase more detailed intructions with photos.
Safety Gear: You need to wear these whenever you handle lye.
- Digital Scale
- Stick Blender
- Stainless Steel Pot
- Plastic Bucket or jugs (heat proof)
Mold - silicone or wooden, or cardboard box etc.
- Liner - if using a wooden or box mold. You can use wax paper or plastic.
- Mixing utensils, like spoons, wooden spoons
Basic or Luxury Soapmix
- Sodium Hydroxide
- Distilled Water
- Additives (essential or fragrance oils, colourants, teas, clays etc
Following are your basic step-by-step cold process soapmaking instructions for how to make cold process soap from scratch.
- Begin by preparing your soap mold so that it is ready when your soap is ready to be mixed and poured. Cut out a piece of cardboard so you can use it as a cover for your mold
- Weigh out your distilled water and your sodium hydroxide into 2 separate non aluminium containers (Plastic Jug or stainless steel)
- Make your lye solution. Let it cool down to 35 degrees Celsius.
- Melt your Basic or Luxury soapmix in a pot of hot water before weighing 900g out into a stainless steel container. Heat to 35 degrees celcius.
- When the temperature of the both the lye solution and oils reaches 35 degrees Celsius or less, it is time to mix them.
- Gently pour the lye solution into your oils and mix.
- Mix with your stick blender until you reach "trace".
- Add your additives and stickblend gently until medium trace.
- Pour your soap into the mould. Cover, wrap with a towel and put away for 24 hours.
- After 24 - 48 hours the soap is ready to cut. Unmold and cut it into bars with a sharp knife, the bigger the better.
- Let your soap cure for 4 weeks (minimum) before you can use it. The curing period is essential. Although soap is safe to use within the first week of being made, as there is no more lye remaining in the soap, it is not the best to use at that stage. Curing it allows the soap to loose excess water and the longer it cures the gentler it becomes. The pH drop and you end up with a beautifully mild and hard soap.
- Repeat all the above, and now you are hooked!