mix lye solution
Important - read the safety instructions for handling sodium hydroxide (also known as caustic soda, lye or NaOH) before mixing.
When measuring the ingredients into the jugs be sure to remember to tare or zero the scales. Taking accurate weight measurements is a safety issue and its importance cannot be overstated.
1. Weigh the water into the first jug.
2. Weigh the sodium hydroxide into the second jug and set aside.
3. Carefully pour the sodium hydroxide into the water (not the water to the sodium hydroxide) in a well ventilated area and stir gently until completely dissolved. Cover and set aside to cool (this may take several hours).
Accurately weigh the oils, place in the stainless steel pot (don't ever use aluminium as it will react with the lye) and heat slowly to 40°C. Remove from heat.
The following equipment list is the minimum you will need.
Note: All measurements are given in metric, including temperatures.
- Accurate kitchen scales
- Two kitchen thermometers (should be capable of measuring temperature range of 25°C up to 200°C)
- One 8-12 litre stainless steel pot
- Two 2 litre dishwasher proof plastic jugs with tight fitting lids
- Two long handled plastic spoons
- Two plastic spatulas
- Stainless steel or plastic ladle
- Hand held blender (optional)
- Polystyrene box (for insulating soap mixture)
- Soapmaking moulds. (see notes)
- Safety goggles
- Rubber gloves
- Full length apron