Select your oils and weigh them and melt/heat as required. Ensure
the solid fats/oils are completely melted as they will not saponify.
Choose the temperature you want to work with in your soap recipe.
Common temperatures for soap making range from 100 degrees F to 150
degrees F. Once the desired temperature is reached, add the lye/water
mixture to the fat/oil mixture.
Stir until mixture reaches trace stage. This could take from 15 minutes
or more. If tracing takes longer than 15 minutes, you don't need to
stir continually. It's important to stir continually and evenly for
the first 15 minutes. After that take a break and stir for 5 minutes
every 10 to 15 minute intervals until traced.
You'll notice the mixture will change and become thicker as you continue
stirring. You must continue stirring until your mixture has reached
the "trace" stage. The trace stage is recognized by either
a) taking your spatula and drawing a line in the soap - if the mark
remains for a few seconds - your soap has traced; or b) take a small
dollop and drop in back on top of the mixture (- if it remains on
the surface for a few seconds before sinking back down - your soap
mixture once traced, will have the consistency of runny honey, thin
pudding or cooked custard.
Once your soap has traced you can either add your optional ingredients
(herbs, colours, fragrance or essential oils, etc.) or just pour it
plain into your prepared, greased soap mold.
Place plastic wrap over top of the soap to provide an air barrier
and wrap it with a towel or small blanket to keep it insulated and
warm for the next 24 hours. After 24-48 hours, unwrap your soap and
ensure it has cooled to room temperature and it's firm. Wearing protective
gloves remove the soap from the mold by scoring the edges with a thin
knife and placing mold upside down tapping gently or pressing down
on the back of the mold. If you're having difficulty removing soap
from mold you may try placing the soap and mold in the freezer for
a few hours.
7) After removing soap from mold, slice your soap into desired width.
Place the bars of sliced soap on a wooden or plastic rack in a warm,
dry, well-ventilated, dark place and allow your soap to cure for a
minimum of 3-4 weeks or longer