January 21, 2013

Project: Homemade Soap

Homemade Soap
Research about soap making is one of my projects during my college days in Industrial Chemistry. However, I never got a chance to make my own soap.  Last weekend, I finally got a chance to make my home made soap.

Just prepare the following materials: Water (1/2 cup) , lye or caustic soda (40 grams), palm oil and coconut oil (100 ml each). Coconut oil and palm oil are available in the market as cooking oil. You may also use other oils like olive or sunflower oil. To give variations, I tried to make guava-tanglad (lemon grass) –malunggay soap.

Here’s what I did:
Instead of using plain water, I made decoction of the three herbal plants. Just put in a pot 20 leaves of guava, 3 stalks of tanglad, 1 full glass of malunggay leaves. Let it reach the rolling boil state then simmer it using the lowest possible heat for about 15-20 minutes. Let it cool at room temperature. If you can, use ice bath in cooling the decoction. Do not remove in ice bath then add lye and stir well.

Add all the oils in the lye mixture slowly. You can also add essential oils for added fragrance. Stir vigorously until no more trace of oil is observed. If you have stick blender use it because it takes hours to stir it using your hands.

Pour the resulting mixture to molds. Let it there for 3 days. Remove the soap in the mold and let it sit for 4 to 6 weeks to finish the saponification process. By these weeks, possible excess moisture is being liberated. Havign high moisture in the soap will make it easier to dissolve.

Use distilled water because using tap water might be hard to undergo saponification process because tap water might contain dissolved minerals that will react with other ingredients.

1. Suit up in safety goggles, gloves and long sleeves.
2. Work in a well-ventilated area.
3. Do not breathe the fumes after mixing lye to water.
4. Do not mix water to lye for it might create violent reaction which might result to injury.

Will make update after the curing process.