For a classroom experiment or a home business, simple soap-making is a good choice. Basically, here is how to make soap.
Ingredients and Tools Needed
The following ingredients are needed in simple soap-making: a 12-ounce can of lye or sodium hydroxide, 3 pounds of lard, and cold water. The following tools are needed: a 10 inches by 12 inches plastic dishpan, a 2-quart enamel or glass saucepan, good quality hand plastic gloves, a mask for the nose and mouth, and eye protection.
Simple Soap-Making Procedure
Here are steps on how to make soap: First, refrigerate overnight 3 cups of water to make sure that they are very cold. Pour this cold water into the saucepan. Cold water is vital at this point of the procedure on how to make soap.
Second, wear the gloves, mask, and eye protection. Then gradually and gently put the lye into the saucepan. Make sure to do this one bit at a time. With a plastic or wooden utensil, stir. Don’t use any metal. This is an important safety caution on how to make soap. Also, be careful not to inhale the vapor. Keep kids away from it. The concoction will become very hot. Using a sassafras branch for stirring the mixture is good for fragrance. It also lends a pesticide-like effect to ward of insects.
Third, let the mixture cool off for an hour or so. Make sure to keep it in a safe place. Expose the lard in a plastic dishpan and let it warm in room temperature.
Fourth, gradually and gently pour the lye solution over the dishpan where the lard is. As the lard melts, mix the whole thing thoroughly and continuously for 15 minutes. The mixture will become a thick mass. The continuous stirring is critical in simple soap-making. It would be better to pour the mixture into a square or rectangular plastic container.
Fifth, the following day, cut the mass into bars. The soap bars will tend to get harder as days pass. Pack them in small plastic bags or boxes. Olive oil may be used as a soap base. If this is the case, use 48 ounces of olive oil to the above mixture proportion.
Liquid soap can also be made from the above simple soap-making procedure. Get enough amount from the thick soap mass and pour over boiling water to dissolve it. Add in just enough citric acid for a balanced pH, which is 7 to 8. This prevents the liquid soap from being harmful to the skin.