Recently I graduated from the Young Saponification Institute (South Jordan campus.) That’s where I learned of vodka and yogurt. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, you’ll need to go to Lowes.

Normally I don’t recommend Lowes. That’s because Real Men Shop At the Home Depot. The problem is that Lowes sells Lye and the Home Depot doesn’t. We’re going to need Lye for this. Here is a full ingredient list. Oh, we’re making homemade soap:

  1. Olive Oil (cheapest stuff you can find. look for Pure, not virgin)
  2. Lye (a.k.a. Sodium Hydroxide, a.k.a. Drain Cleaner)
  3. Lard (find this at Walmart in the Mexican aisle)
  4. Water (well, ice water)
  5. Coconut Oil

Okay. Time to suit up. You’ll need an apron and goggles. Lye is dangerous stuff and demands your respect. Next, find a digital scale with a tare button. Now locate a wooden spoon, some plasticy baking paper (Don’t use aluminum foil with lye. Lye eats aluminum foil.),  and some Tupperware containers with lids. Hit up the Internet and order a bin of “soap dye.” Race down to Foothill Village and buy some soap fragrance.

OKAY. Now you’re ready.

Remember A&W Root Beer. That’s your mnemonic device to help you remember that your pour Acids (or bases) into Water, and NOT Water into an Acid (or base.) A&W. Got it? Good.

Okay, so start some water boiling on the stove. Then get two metal bowls. In the first bowl measure out (on your digital scale) the olive oil, lard and coconut oil according to this chart (in grams):


Next, place that bowl full of oils and lard onto the boiling water pan on the oven (double-boiler style) until the concoction all melts together. While that is melting, in the other bowl add ice and a bit of water until it weighs enough (again, per the chart.) Next, place some plasticy paper on the scale and measure out the Lye. (be wary wary careful.) When you combine the lye to the water (REMEMBER A&W!), it will get rather hot.

Then, add the lye-water to the oils– watch out for splashes. Neutralize them with an acid like vinegar.  Get out a hand blender and blend for 15 minutes until “trace.” Trace is when you can move a wooden spoon in the mixture and see the, um, trace of it. Add the fragrance and the coloring once traits happens. FYI: the lie will eventually eat the wooden spoon.

In case you’re wondering, there are two types of soap making. Cold and hard press. Cold takes longer (weeks longer.) Hot means you throw the stuff into your oven at 180° overnight.

Back to the soap dye: take a teeny bit of water and a teeny bit of in a very teeny bit of soap guy. And at that to the soap mixture. It will get darker over time. And for the fragrance/essential oil: add about a quarter vial of perfume to quarter batch of soap.

Okay. now you’re ready to pour it all into mold. Keep it warm for a few hours. Then let it set for a few weeks. To test to see if it’s ready, lick it. If it zings like a 9v battery, it isn’t ready. Seriously.

That’s all folks. Easy peasy. Why haven’t you made soap already?!?


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