Caustic soda in soap making-4 Soap Making Steps
A reaction between fats and oils and an alkali occurs during the soap-making process. This alkali might be potassium or sodium hydroxide, and the end result is soap.
Sodium hydroxide, often known as caustic soda, is a popular chemical used in the manufacture of soap. This is a strong alkali that can be harmful if consumed or inhaled.
Mix the Lye Water
Sodium hydroxide, sometimes known as Caustic Soda, is a necessary ingredient in the production of soap. When coupled with oils and fats, this reagent, which is commonly marketed in flakes, triggers a chemical reaction that results in soap. This process is known as saponification, and it is used in the industrial procedures of many commercial soap producers.
Whether you're producing soap for personal use or for a business, you must take basic safety precautions when handling this chemical. You must be aware of its caustic qualities, in particular, and prevent exposure to this material, which can cause skin irritation and respiratory difficulties.
As a result, when working with lye, you should always wear gloves and protective glasses. Also, after handling this chemical, make sure to properly wash your hands.
You may buy a commercial-grade bottle of lye at your local grocery or build your own. If you decide to buy a bottle of lye, be sure it doesn't contain any residues of hydrated silica or other impurities, as they can cause skin sensitivities and/or other difficulties.
After you have your lye, you must prepare the soap combination. The initial step in this procedure is to combine the lye water and oils. This can be done in a 4-6 cup heat-resistant (212 degrees Fahrenheit) lye resistant container made of stainless steel, glass, or a non-melting plastic.
When both the lye water and the oils have reached about 100°F, slowly pour the lye solution into the oil mixture. This is a time-consuming operation that may require stirring with a spoon or the use of a stick blender. Once the lye water and oils have been added, stir the mixture until it reaches light trace, which is when the soap is as thick as thin cake batter and there are no oil streaks in the mix.
You can add essential oils or dyes to your soap to add color or aroma, but don't use too much. As a result, the soap may become crumbly.
Mix the Oils
The most popular way to make soap is to heat fats and oils with an alkaline solution, usually sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. The reaction of the acids in the oils with the alkali results in the formation of fatty acid and sodium salt (soap), water, and glycerine.
It is critical to utilize high-quality oil and water during the process. Water from a city tap or rain is good, however bore or groundwater should not be utilized.
Prepare your work area with rubber gloves, eye protection, and an apron before you begin. Pre-measure all of the materials, including the lye, and arrange them in the right containers. The lye must cool before being added to the oil mixture.
When the lye has cooled, blend it with the water until entirely incorporated. Pour the lye into a separate container apart from your oil mixture to avoid splashing it on yourself or your surroundings.
Then, slowly add the lye water to your oil mixture and combine with an immersion blender or in brief pulses with a stick blender. This allows the lye and oils to combine fast without splashing, which might damage your equipment.
After combining the lye and oils, you can begin adding colorants or perfumes. This can be done with a spoon or a stick blender, but you must act quickly so that the lye does not emulsify.
Continue mixing the soap until it reaches "trace" after you've finished adding the coloring or perfumes. This is the texture of thin cake batter. Depending on the recipe, it will take between 30 and 60 seconds to get there.
If you're adding colorants or perfumes, you'll want to stir the soap very gently and slowly to avoid lumps. This will also assist to prevent air bubbles from becoming caught in the soap.
When you pour your soap into the mold, it will solidify for up to 24 hours before you can remove it. You may then cut it into bars.
3. Add the Lye Water
Saponification is a chemical process that converts oils and fats into soap. This method is excellent for creating soft soap that does not dry out the skin. It can also be a creative and fun craft.
Lye, fats, oils, butters, and waxes are all required materials for making soap. You can also fragrance it with essential oils.
Lye is a corrosive chemical that can dissolve your skin and other materials. This is why it is critical to operate in a well-ventilated location, to wear gloves and goggles, and to use a respirator if you have breathing difficulties.
To begin, accurately weigh out your lye. A scale is preferable, however a liquid measuring cup can also be used. Also, make certain that the lye is fresh. Shaking the bottle and listening for clumps of stuff rattling around is an easy way to test this.
Once the lye has been weighed, it can be added to the water. Because the water will heat up quickly, you must combine it slowly. This is best done outside or in a well-ventilated space.
The lye water will begin to cool to the right soaping temperatures after mixing. When the lye water has cooled to a safe temperature, combine it with the fats and oils.
This mixture can be blended with a stick blender. You can also accomplish this by hand. Wear gloves and long sleeves since the gases might cause burns.
Then, add the oil and lye solution to your crock pot or other container in which you will make your soap. If you're using a plastic container, cover it with a lid or place it in a sink full of cold water to keep the lye from chilling too quickly.
Alternatively, you can combine the oils and caustic soda lye solution in a large glass bowl or other container into which the soap will be poured. If you use a crock pot, make sure the boiling lye water does not come into contact with the melted fats or oils.
4. Add the Oils
Including the Oils
The oils are added next in the soap production process. The oils you use will influence how quickly the soap hardens. They can also influence how solid it feels after curing.
Almost every recipe calls for an equal mix of hard (liquid) and soft oils. A high concentration of hard oils usually makes the soap stiffer and easier to unmold.
To begin, weigh your oils and then measure out the lye and water in a jug. Because the lye water is so acidic, it will react with the fatty oils, causing them to become outliers.
Once you've combined your lye and water mixture and weighed your oils, combine the two. This is when caution is required, as the interaction between the lye and water can produce unpleasant odors.
To ensure that the lye and water are at a safe temperature, use a thermometer or other heat-resistant utensil. The lye and water should be around 50 degrees Celsius, and the oils should be between 30 and 50 degrees Celsius.
After the lye and water have cooled to the correct temperatures, slowly combine them until they form a smooth paste. This is when the mixture reaches "trace" in soapmaking jargon. When the lye and oils have reached trace levels, you can begin to add your colors/fragrances and other ingredients.
You should be ready to pour your soap into the molds at this point. To ensure there are no air bubbles, tap the soap into the mold before putting it in.
After pouring the soap into the molds, allow it to cure for 24 hours before removing it from the mold. After the soap has totally hardened, cut it into bars. Many wooden loaf molds include fold-down sides or removable bottoms to help with this operation.