Does your household tend to run through liquid soap quickly? Store-bought liquid soap can be expensive, especially if you go for soap made with natural ingredients. Why pay $4.00 – $7.00 a bottle when you can make your own at home? Read on for instructions on how to make liquid soap from a bar of soap or from scratch.
Gather ingredients. In order to get liquid soap to transform and form bubbles, you need the right mix of oils and a chemical called potassium hydroxide, also known as lye. This recipe yields six quarts of soap. You can get these ingredients at health stores, craft stores or online: 11 oz. potassium hydroxide flakes, 33 oz. distilled water, 24 oz. coconut oil, 10 oz. olive oil, 10 oz. castor oil, 3 oz. jojoba oil.
Get the right equipment. When you work with lye, you need to wear safety gear and set up your work area properly. Plan to work in a well-ventilated room with good lighting so you can see what you’re doing. You’ll need the following supplies: A crock pot, Plastic or glass measuring bowls, Kitchen scale, Stick blender, Gloves and protective goggles.
Heat the oils. Weigh the oils and place them in the crock pot on low heat. Make sure you add the exact amount specified for each oil; adding more or less will throw off the recipe.
Make the lye solution. Put on your protective gear and make sure the window is open. Weigh the distilled water in a large bowl. Weigh the lye in a separate bowl, then add it to the water. Stir it constantly as you pour it in. Make sure you add the lye to the water, and not the other way around! Adding water to lye causes a dangerous reaction.
Add the lye solution to the oils. Pour the solution into the crockpot slowly, making sure none splashes back onto your skin. Use the stick blender to blend the lye with the oils to make sure they get thoroughly combined. As you blend the liquids, the mixture will begin to thicken. Continue stirring until it reaches trace, which happens when the mixture gets thick enough that you can run a spoon through it and see the line in its wake. The mixture will continue to thicken into a paste.
Cook the paste. Continue cooking the mixture on low for about six hours, checking it every 30 minutes to break it up with a spoon. The paste is finished cooking when you can dissolve one ounce of paste in two ounces of boiling water and it comes out clear, rather than milky. If your test comes out milky, keep cooking.
Dilute the paste. You should have about a pound of paste after it’s finished cooking; weight it just to make sure, then put it back in the crock pot. Add 33 oz. of distilled water to the paste to dilute it. It may take a few hours for the paste to get completely dissolved into the water.
Add fragrance and color. Use your favorite essential oil and a natural food coloring to add a special scent and color to your soap once it has been diluted.
Store the soap. Pour the soap into jars you can seal, since you’ll have a lot more than you can use at one time. Pour the soap you want to use into a soap bottle with a pump dispenser.