Chemistry in the Kitchen! How to make soap

Making soap at home is easy and a lot of fun!

I have been making soap for years and it is a wonderful, mild, moisturising product – and you can make it too! – especially as we are all washing our hands a lot these days!

Hand made soap

This recipe is designed for the kitchen cabinet – it needs just 3 ingredients:

  • 2 oils – light olive oil and coconut nut oil –  both easy to find in your supermarket
  • Caustic soda  –  find this at a good hardware store.

The materials and equipment are probably already in your kitchen cupboard:

  • Apron
  • Washing up gloves
  • Eye protection
  • A bottle of vinegar
  • Digital scales
  • Stainless steel saucepan
  • 2 plastic jugs – 500ml minimum
  • small glass
  • stainless steel spoons
  • A plastic spatula
  • Stick blender
  • Plastic box with lid

A note of caution

Caustic soda will corrode many materials so it is important to make sure that your utensils and equipment are either plastic and stainless steel.

For your safety wear an apron, gloves and eye protection.

 

The recipe

  • 500g light olive oil
  • 300g solid coconut oil
  • 117g caustic soda (sodium hydroxide)
  • 250ml cold water

Please watch the video that will take you step-by-step through the process. It is ‘a must watch’ before you start!

If you have enjoyed the video and would like to learn more about soap making you can join my online course here:

Chemistry in the Kitchen £15.00

Topics covered are:

  • Saponification – the chemistry of soap
  • Choosing oils and fats
  • Essential oils
  • Colouring soap
  • Make a Palm Christie soap
  • Design your own soap recipe and how to use lye calculators
  • Labelling and packaging

The course includes downloadable information pages and worksheets.

 

Textured skin for large sculptures

I have only made the Contemplative Figures figures with natural, undyed fibres applied straight onto the form, unlike the Dancers that have a separately made decorative skin

I am playing with ideas for a colourful, textured skin for the larger figures.

Something like this perhaps?

 

Hmmm – an add-on for the Contemplative Figure course I think!