Any new recipe you make, whether or not it tells you how much lye to use, ALWAYS run it through the lye calculator here:??http://www.thesage.com/calcs/lyecalc2.php??Here is a simple easy recipe you can make with ingredients you get from walmart.
You will also need a postal type scale to measure ounces and pounds. I got mine for $20 from walmart. You have to measure by weight, not the liquid measurements.
4.8 oz Coconut Oil
9.6 oz Olive Oil (the cheapest one you can find – Sams Club has almost a gallon for $20)
9.6 oz Soy Shortening (Crisco or other all vegetable shortening – using a lard or beef fat based shortening changes the lye amount you???ll need to use)
3.2 oz Lye (you can get this at Ace Hardware, it is drain cleaner and it says 100% lye or sodium hydroxide)
9 oz distilled water
Weigh out your 9 oz distilled water and put into a stainless steel or glass dish (that will not be used for anything else). Now weigh out your lye in a seperate glass or stainless steel container (extremely carefully, you cannot be too safe, this stuff is caustic – it will burn you). Slowly stir the lye into the water (don???t pour the water into the lye, it could cause an eruption). I use a white hard plastic spoon from walmart (looks like a wooden spoon but it???s plastic). Put a candy or meat thermometer into the lye water until it???s temperatur is about 110 degrees, which could take an hour, more or less.
Melt your oils together, don???t let them get too hot. Let sit until they reach about 110 degrees (use a candy or meat thermometer).
When your oils and lye/water are to the right temperature, slowly pour your lye/water into your oils, stirring while doing so. Now you can either stir with your spoon, or use a stick blender (which I highly recommend). You will stir until the mixture looks like not quite done pudding, that is called trace.
Once you have reached trace, add what you want to the soap, such as oatmeal, fragrance, etc. To this amount, I???d add about 1 oz of ground oatmeal, or oat flour (which you can buy at walmart). You can buy essential oils at health food store, or online (which is cheaper), or you can buy fragrance oils online. I don???t recommend using the oils you buy for soapmaking at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, they???re just not really strong and they seem to lose their fragrance in the soap. Essential oils, as long as they are 100% essential oils mixed with no other oils are good to use and as long as they are skin safe, such as lavender is – cinnamon can burn the skin. I???d add .8 ( that???s 8/10 oz) of Essential Oil. If you use fragrance oil, use 1.1 oz. The general rule is to use about 1/2 oz essential oil per pound of soap oils used, or .7 oz fragrance oil per pound of soap oils used. You can add ground up lavender buds or other things too. If you want to make tea soap, get a bag of chamomile tea at walmart and open it up and pour into the traced soap (single serving bag). Just experiment and have fun.
You will need to work quickly once your soap has reached trace, so have all of the additives and fragrance ready before you start your soapmaking. Once you have stirred your additives in, pour into a prepared mold. You can use a variety of things for a mold, a small rubbermaid container lined with saran wrap or freezer paper, a small priority mail box lined with saran wrap or freezer paper, or a nice wooden soap mold (lined as well). Then, just set the soap aside for 24 hours. Clean your soaping bowls, etc carefully so as not to get any on your skin. Keep these things seperately, you will not want to use them to cook or serve food with anymore.
After 24 hours, remove the soap from the mold, and cut into bars! Let it cure for a few weeks to make it harder, milder and longer lasting.
Enjoy, and let us know how it turns out!
Tutorial submitted by Jamie