ABOUT THIS SOAP RECIPE
This is a very simple, basic, cold-process soap recipe, and has just three main ingredients. When it comes to beginner soap making recipes, this one is perfect for the beginner who is just trying out soap-making for the first time.
Actually, I have found this simple soap recipe to be one of my favorites. It produces a nice, hard bar of soap with a fantastic lather. It is great for sensitive skin, and you can use it just as it is, or you can add essential oils and color to it.
USE OF AFFILIATE LINKS
You will find affiliate links throughout this soap recipe. These are product suggestions that I use myself in the soap making process, and if you click the links and make a purchase, I receive a very small commission paid to me by Amazon, at no cost to you. There are never any hidden costs to you in this and I appreciate your support!
SUPPLIES NEEDED FOR THIS RECIPE
- Digital scale
- Eye protection
- Face mask
- Rubber gloves
- Candy thermometer
- 2 Large measuring cups
- Mixing bowl
- Soap molds
- Old towels or blankets for insulating
- Hand mixer – not essential, but very helpful
Please note that the supplies you use in soap making should be used ONLY in soap making and not for any other cooking or activities. Lye is a caustic substance that can linger on surfaces even after washing. You don’t want it to possibly get into your other foods or beverages.
One of the reasons I love this simple cold process soap recipe is because it has only three ingredients.
7 oz Purified water
4.4 oz Pure lye
2 lbs Lard
1 Gallon white vinegar
Before you begin the soap making process, protect yourself. You will be working with a caustic substance that can severely burn your skin, and can be very dangerous if inhaled. You must wear protective eyewear, a face mask, rubber gloves and long sleeves.
Please, DO NOT attempt to make cold-process lye soap with children around. It’s just a really bad idea and accidents happen. Curious kids can easily get under foot and be harmed.
In the event that anyone does get splashed with lye solution, that’s why you need a gallon of vinegar handy. Vinegar neutralizes the acid of lye. You should immediately pour vinegar on skin if it comes into contact with lye. You will also use vinegar to clean up any spills on countertops, etc.
Now that you’re suited up, it’s time to make some soap!
First, using your digital scale, measure out the proper weight of the water you need.
Next, reset your scale to zero using the “TARE” function, and very gently sprinkle in the correct amount of lye flakes into the water.
Do this VERY slowly and carefully, as it can bubble up and explode if done too fast. Until you learn the way lye and water react with each other, it is best that you do all things slowly and with caution. Gently stir until the lye flakes dissolve into the water.
The lye and water solution will get VERY HOT and produce a gas vapor that is extremely dangerous to breathe in… so don’t. This is why it’s best to wear a mask and make your soap in a well-ventilated area.
In a separate measuring cup, measure out the necessary amount of lard. The lard will be solid at room temperature, and you want it liquid. I achieve this by microwaving the lard until it is a liquid oil rather than a solid.
Use your candy thermometer to monitor the temperature of your liquids. They will be very hot, 200 degrees or more sometimes. Your goal is to slowly let the liquids cool, until they both reach around 100-115 degrees.
At that time, you should pour your lye mixture into your oil mixture. Mix slowly and well, until you reach trace.
Trace is when you stir the mixture and it leaves a trail behind it, like pudding. It’s not super thick, but it is starting to thicken up a bit.
You can mix by hand if you have strong arms and a lot of free time, but I prefer to use an electric hand mixer. This reduces your mixing time greatly.
Once trace is achieved, it’s time to pour into molds. This would also be the time when I add my fragrance and color if I’m using any, but this is a basic recipe without those extras.
After adding the soap mixture to your molds, you should insulate it with the old towels. The soap will re-heat up to a very hot temperature again and, in essence, will bake for 1-2 days. It will very slowly cool down again. Insulating the soap lets it heat up and cool slowly, so it can go through a full gel process. It produces a higher quality soap with more even color and texture when it goes through this full process.
Using silicone molds allows the finished soap to pop out of the molds very easily after it has cooled for a day or two.
Once you have removed the soap from the molds, it needs to cure. If you have used a loaf mold, you’ll need to cut the soap into pieces first. Once the soap is in individual bar sizes, it should be stacked and stored in a cool dark place where each bar can have airflow around it. It should sit and cure for two weeks before using.
This is a very basic recipe, but there are so many ways to add personality to soaps.
You can add fragrance oils and essential oils to create a pleasant-smelling soap or even medicinal qualities. You can add herbs and botanicals for color and texture. You can add color using natural herbs and spices, or mica powders. You can add swirls, or designs on top. You can use fun-shaped molds.
Once you have a few simple batches under your belt, I highly recommend experimenting with these fun options to create a unique soap just right for you.