There are many different types of soap that you can make easily at home but by far the olive oil soap is the most popular. It has healing and soothing properties that go back hundreds of years. With most things there are variations of the recipe. Hopefully the one I about to give you will save you that job of having to look for the best. This recipe makes large quantities of high quality soap.
One of the ingredients used in all soap recipes is lye also known as caustic soda. This can be dangerous and it is recommended to wear gloves, goggles and a breathing mask.
Making your own soap takes a long time to mix to get to a stage called ‘trace’. This process can be speeded up by using an electric hand whisk and should take about 10 minutes. Trace is the most common word used in soap making and is the point of no return where the oils and/or fats have successfully mixed with your lye solution. You know you have reached trace is when your mixture looks a bit like cake batter and starts to thicken.It will leave a trail when drizzled on the surface of your mixture.
Ingredients for your basic olive oil soap
1 x 18oz can lye
5 cups distilled water
20 cups olive oil
1 x heat proof container
1 x spatula
1 x plastic container with lid
Pour the water into your heatproof container. Slowly add the lye. Important LYE TO WATER not the other way round. Stir carefully until the lye has dissolved. Leave to one side to cool.
Pour the olive oil into a large mixing pot and put on the heat and warm to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit then remove.
Pour the lye mixture into the warm oil stirring all the time. Continue stirring until the mixture becomes smooth and has reached trace. This is when you can start using your electric whisk in short bursts until the mixture goes cloudy and a thicker almost pudding like consistency.
Pour your mix into your mould and put on the lid. Cover with a towel or blanket and leave to cool.
Once completely cool take out of mould and cut into desired size pieces. Leave to cure for a minimum of 4 weeks before use. This allows any excess water to evaporate and make the soap harder.
After 4 weeks your soap is ready for use so go and enjoy!