Homemade Castile Soap | Hot Process Castile Soap | Easy Soap for Beginners
Making soap has always been a passion of mine. I love making cold process soaps because they are easy to work with, but hot process has its advantages as well. With hot process soaps, you do not have to wait for the soap to cure for a few weeks; you can use it as soon as it is hard. I also love how rustic hot process soap looks. Since this is the first real, hand made, soap I am sharing here, I decided we should start off easy with a simple Homemade Castile Soap Recipe.
Homemade Castile soap is great for a number of reasons. While it does not give off a rich, thick lather, it has a high level of glycerin. Glycerin is great for moisturizing the skin, and is gentle on the skin. Because it is a gentle soap, it is great for children and pets. You can melt it down to make liquid hand soap, body wash, face wash and laundry soap.
Why You Need Lye or Soap
Before we get into the making of the soap, there are a few things I would like to cover, especially if you are new to making soap. The first thing is the Sodium Hydroxide, or Lye. Lye is an essential ingredient to making soap. It is a caustic substance, and you can burn yourself if the lye, or lye water makes contact with your skin. But, if you take the right safety precautions, there should be nothing to worry about.
When you make soap, the process includes a fat, or oil and combining it with lye. During the mixing process a chemical reaction occurs that we refer to as Saponification. The Lye is an acid, while the oil is a base, when mixed they create a chemical reaction, which neutralizes the mixture and creates soap and glycerin. Once the soap is cured, there is no longer any traces of lye.
Hot Process Versus Cold Process Soap
Both hot process and cold process use the same ingredients, but each has its own advantages and disadvantages. With hot process, you add heat from an outside source, essentially cooking the soap. Because of this, you do not have to wait for the soap to cure, and you can use the soap as soon as it is hardened. The batter is thicker, which makes swirling it or making designs more difficult.
With cold process you do not add an outside heat source. This leaves the batter thinner and a little easier to work with. So, if you want to make layered or swirled soaps, cold process is more ideal. Since the soap is not cooked, you do want to wait 4-6 weeks for it to cure before you use it. This time allows the Ph balance to equal out.
No matter if you are making hot process, or cold process, safety is always a concern. Here are few safety points to keep in mind:
- Wear protective gloves and eye protection,
- Work in a well-ventilated area, when lye is mixed with water it does release harmful fumes.
- Always add the lye to the liquid; NEVER pour the lye into the liquid.
When measuring out ingredients, it is important to always weigh your ingredients. By measuring by weight, rather than volume, you get a more precise measurement. This will help to ensure that your soap turns out and hardens.
This is a Homemade Castile Soap Recipe. When it comes to soap recipes, you cannot substitute oils and butters for another. Each oil has a different saponification rate, so will require different amounts of lye.
Distilled water is used because Lye can sometimes react to minerals in tap water. I always recommend using Distilled water when making soap.