This is my "Rebatch Soap Base." If you hurt yourself making this, it is not my fault... don't get me wrong; I do love you, but please follow the instructions very carefully. Why use Shortening? Because it's CHEAP and it provides a good medium for learning the process of soap-making.
This tutorial was designed to teach the soap-making process. It is also used for a 'Rebatching Base.' You'll see it used as a "Rebatch Base" in my other tutorials: Sexy Cinnamon Soap, and Orange Zest Soap.
Glass Scientific Vessel (or Jar)
Oven Safe Pan
3/4 cup of Lye
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
3 pounds of Shortening
BIG TIME NOTE OF POTENTIAL DANGER, PAIN, DISFIGUREMENT, AILMENT, IMPAIRMENT, and/or TERRIBLE-NESS:
Lye is extremely CAUSTIC! It can cause severe chemical burns. If this is your first time using Lye, treat it as if it is radioactive... be respectful of this substance. ALWAYS keep a jug of Vinegar handy, as it chemically deactivates Lye. Use an expeditious amount of Vinegar if ever the "Lye Water" spills on the floor, you, or a kid...
ATTENTION!: If splashed with a LARGE amount of "Lye Water," pour water (a lot of running water) over the area, then apply Vinegar.
ATTENTION!: When splashed by a tiny amount of "Lye Water," it starts as a subtle itch; if your hands, arms, or face start itching; dowse immediately in Vinegar. If "Lye Water" is spilled on the floor Do Not Mop It Up Or Dilute It With Water. First... DEACTIVATE it with Vinegar, let it sit for a few minutes; this converts the Lye and Vinegar into harmless salt water, then mop it up.
If you have a scale, measure the Lye by weight (220 G). If not; VERY CAREFULLY measure out 3/4 cup and triple check it. Using your funnel, pour 3/4 cup of Crystallized Lye into your vessel, or jar. Use Gloves.They're Neat. Measure out 1 1/2 (330 Grams) cups of water (it's best to use distilled water, but purified or filtered water will do) and pour into your vessel.
Using a funnel, pour the Lye into the water vessel. Again, lye is Caustic. Don't allow Lye any opportunities to burn you.
During the initial chemical reaction between the Lye and water there will be fumes. I find these fumes disconcerting.. Don't let the fumes near your eyes (wear GOGGLES), nor allow yourself to inhale them. Place the "Lye Water" under the ventilation fan of your stove for a few minutes, when the water turns clear, it will stop 'fuming.' You will need to either agitate the water or stir it to keep chunks of lye from adhering to the base of the vessel.
Melt the Shortening (with glee swimming in your heart) at a Medium-High heat, and add 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil. The Olive Oil hardens the final soap product, it's very important; without it you will have a soft soap that will disintegrate quickly in water. When the Shortening is 3/4 melted; turn the heat off and remove from the burner. Check the Shortening for temperature with your candy thermometer, it should be close to 100-120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Check the "Lye Water" for temp, it should be around 175 degrees Fahrenheit. We will need to cool it down. Plug your sink and turn on the cold water, toss in a couple trays of ice cubes, then gently place the vessel of "Lye Water" in the ice bath. Make sure the level of ice water is on the same level as the "Lye Water."
When both "Lye Water" and melted Shortening are 97-100 degrees Fahrenheit, mix frabjously with a Stick Blender. "Shortening Soap" traces quickly. When it reaches "Trace" it becomes a somewhat thick pudding substance.
After "Trace" place the magical sludge into whatsoever mold you desire (Note: this does not include ANYTHING made of Aluminum or Cast Iron). This soap will "Set Up" quickly; you can usually cut it into bars within 3-4 hours. After cutting into bars, you must allow the soap to cure for 1-3 weeks before using.