Homemade Soap Making - Beginner's Mistakes and Help
When the directions mention two thermometer's and a soap cutter, you better have them. I say this because I had neither one.
I made the mistake of adding my sodium hydroxide and water solution to my oil while they were both still to hot. Using a hand blender sped up the cold soap process. I had to pour the soap into my mold earlier than I should have.
Upon all the rushing of pouring my mixture into my mold. I forgot to add my essential oil and herb. I can not express my thoughts when I finally got my soap mixture poured into the molds and turned around only to see my essential oil and herbs sitting on the counter.
Finally after watching a video on YouTube showing how to fix soap problems, my homemade soap turned out fine.
I was proud of my small amount of homemade soap. Making homemade soap is something I always wanted to do and the trouble I went through while making my first batch was worth every mistake and effort to correct the mistakes. I recommend this hobby to anyone and the rewards are great by just knowing it's your own finished creation.
My second batch of homemade soap went great after my experience with my first batch. My soap hardened and was ready to cut. I did not have a soap cutter. I ordered a simple soap cutter which took longer for delivery. My soap was hard to cut even with the soap cutter because I waited to long to cut the soap.
The bars were not equal in size, but I gave some of this soap to others and ask for them to let me know how or if the soap helped their skin. This help me know how many people could use soap with the essential oil and herbs I used in soap. Four did not reply but eighteen loved it.
Below are some things I recommend for beginner soap makers to think about before jumping into the project. I am willing to admit my beginners mistakes to hopefully help others that are wanting to learn how to make homemade soap.
What you need to start making cold process soap:
Safety glasses and gloves
Soap cutter that works well with the molds you have.
Wax paper or freezer paper.
One large stainless steel pot to mix the ingredients. You can melt your solid soap oils in this, then add the liquid soap oils. And finally adding the sodium hydroxide and water solution to the oils.
Two or more glass or plastic containers for your water and lye solution and liquid soap making oils. Measuring container work well.
Two thermometer's made for soap making.
Stick blender or plastic spoon.
One plastic spatula.
Kitchen scale that weighs out grams and ounces.
Protection for your counter top and your clothing.
Old blankets or towels to insulate the soap 24 hours.
You may need more spoons and measuring containers if you are adding color, essential oils or herbs. Just lay you ingredients out on your work area and supply each ingredient its own container.
Soap oils and butters you intend to use for your recipe.
Herbs and any essential oils or colors you intend to use for recipe.
My tips for beginner soap makers:
Never in hale the sodium hydroxide solution.
Wear your protection.
Use containers with lids for safety.
Have plenty of time to finish your soap making project.
Always use a soap calculator before using any soap recipe.
Reread the instructions.
Temperatures for the sodium hydroxide and oil for cold process soap are 95 - 100 degree Fahrenheit.
Always pour your dry sodium hydroxide into your water. Pouring slowly while stirring with a spoon non stop until blended.
Always pour your sodium hydroxide and water solution into your oils.
Be aware that using a stick blender speeds up the soap making process. So be aware also of your thin trace.
Always have two thermometer's. One for your oils and the other for your sodium hydroxide solution.
When using a small mold you can use a large knife to cut the soap bars. When using a large slab mold spend the extra money to get the proper soap cutter for the type of mold you are using, it's worth it.
Cut your soap as soon as it becomes solid, usually around 24 hours. Waiting to long to cut your homemade soap makes the cutting process more difficult and results could be damages soap bars.
When ordering kits online, notice if the sodium hydroxide comes with the kit or if you have to buy it else where.
When ordering soap making supplies always check the shipping cost.
All in all I had fun and I love my homemade lavender soap.