Make Castile Soap At Home with Grocery Store Ingredients
Before you go into the nitty gritty of how to make castile soap – you would need to know what is the castile soap first of all. Castile soap is the name of the soap made out of olive oil. It is possible for you to make castile soap at home with extremely within-your-reach ingredients. You only should be careful that you understand what it involves and then apply your full attention to the recipe and follow it step by step without any deviation or improvisation. Any changes and alteration to the main recipe can wait for a late time, when you are more familiar with the process.
Castile soap is a good way to start soap making because it is very simple to make. It needs only three major ingredients and these are lye, olive oil (lowest grade) and tap water. For best results you may like to add lavender oil and cocoa butter. The proportions of these ingredients are very important:
You will need to take a large enameled vessel which can contain all the above mentioned ingredients. Use a large and heavy wooden spoon for mixing. You will also need a glass container for mixing the lye. Slowly mix the lye with the water. Caution: caution this leaves out very caustic vapors as well as lots of heat. Be careful that you wear heavy duty rubber gloves and apron for protection and the room is well ventilated. Mix the lye until it is completely dissolved.
As the lye is kept aside to cool, take the fat and the olive oil and start heating it gently to 98 degrees. Measure the heat with a meat thermometer and maintain it as much as possible. When the lye and the fat mix are at about the same temperature (i.e. 98 degrees) take the lye and slowly pout it over the fat mix. Be careful not to splash as this could cause bad burns. Stir continuously for about one hour – you will know when to stop when your spoon would leave traces when dragged on the surface of the mixture.
Now that the saponification has been initiated successfully, all you would need to do is keep the pot heated sufficiently so that the chemical reaction set off would continue until the lye is totally absorbed into the rest of the mixture. This is a real secret of making great soap. This would mean that you would need t maintain the pot at about 120 degrees for about 5-6 hours – even more if you are not sure that everything has been absorbed.
Now, you could add the scented oil and the extra fat or cocoa butter. The cocoa butter would have to be melted so you could pour it in. Mix well and then put the soft and warm mixture into the molds, cover it with a lid and keep it warm (you could use blankets to maintain the temperature). The soap should cool down very slowly for best results.
Once you are satisfied with the way it looks and its size, you would need to let it set and dry for minimum 30 days before using.
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