Making Soap With Chemistry!!




1 Teacher Note

Introduction: Making Soap With Chemistry!!

In this Indestructible Instructable I will teach you to make soap!!!

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Step 1: Setting the Stage

The first thing you will need to do is gather your materials and set up your lab area. The materials you will need are:


In this experiment you are using hazards chemicals do not let the solution come in contact with you skin or eyes. Until saponification has happened.

  • Hot plate
  • Thermometer
  • 6M Solution of Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH)
  • ph Strips
  • Stir Rod
  • 1000 ml beaker
  • Scale (grams)
  • Shorting
  • Computer
  • Ingredient (Look up and go through list of ingredients and pick one.)
  • Stir Rod
  • Goggles
  • Gloves (plastic)

Step 2: Calculations

Before starting you experiment you will need to calculate the amount of each ingredient you will need to add to your solution. Go to the website I mentioned early, On this site you can enter what different ingredients you used and how much of each you would like to use. Then it will tell you how much NaOH(Sodium Hydroxide) you will need to add.

Step 3: Working Your Experiment

After prepping the station, you will want to start a double boil. Start up your hot plate and place your beaker on the hot plate. You will then want to add your ingredient you want you soap to mainly consist of. My group and I used olive oil. Once you have started your hot plate pay close attention to the temp that it reaches a temperature of 49 degrees Celsius but does not exceed 54 degrees. It is important that as you start your hot plate that you keep a close eye on the temperature because if you go over the mark for the experiment, it will screw up the entire experiment. After your ingredient has had time to liquefy, add your shorting. As the solution heats up the saponifiction process is japanning. You will want to stir as this happens until the solution has become thick.

Step 4: End of the Process

After the solution has thickened, cover the top of the beaker and keep on a low heat. Keep track of time and check the solution every 5 minutes to check if the solution is ready to be pulled of the hot plate. After 25-40 minutes it should be thick enough that the entire surface is somewhat bubbly and the around the edge it has collapsed. If this has not happen yet continue waiting until this has happen. When this does happen turn off the heat and pull the beaker off, please use hot pads to grab the beaker, so you do not burn your hands. If you plan to add scents this is the time to add them, Things you could use for this are lavender or cinnamon. Then next you will want to put your solution into molds and with haste. Once in the molds, make sure the molds are cover to keep from your soap spilling. After about 24 hours our soap should be harden and ready to use but if you wait a few more days it will be more in tact and less easy to break or fall apart.

Step 5: Cleaning Up

Cleaning up is a very important step. It is very important that you clean your area, wipe down the area you used for this experiment to bring the risk or you or another person coming in contact with the chemicals you used. You will want to thoroughly clean out the beaker or container you used for this experiment for the same reasons for cleaning your station.

Step 6: Discussion

When picking what ingredient you would want to use for your base, it is important to review what oils or fats(fatty acids) will produce the best outcome. For instance if you used Linoleic Acid you have properties such as conditioning and/or have a silky feel to it. It is also possible to put additional ingredients to your mix. In the stage where I discussed the Calculations you will need to make for this experiment. There you can add more ingredients and how much of that ingredient you want to take up the soap. The saponification value how many milligrams of potassium hydroxide are needed to saponify a gram of fat. It mostly depends on the kind of fatty aid within a certain fat. It is also very important that you do not use to much sodium hydroxide, because it become to basic and become harmful to you. Soap can not be made without lye. Though diffident types of lye make different properties for your soap. If you used commercial lye you will produce a hard soap where as if you use lye made from a wood ash it would produce a softer soap. In this process the triglyceride is treated with a strong base which releases the fatty acid and glycerol. In the world there are molecules called microbes, these are everywhere in the world from your phone to the toilet handle. Some are harmful and some are harmless but both stick to the oils in your hands. The chemicals in the soap combined with the rubbing of the soap back and forth remove the microbes. Saponification is the process of making soap from fats and lye. The chemical reaction between any fat and sodium hydroxide is a saponification reaction. A process where triglycerides react with sodium hydroxide to make glycerol and a fatty acid(soap). When using a sodium hydroxide, it creates a hard soap. A pH level is the measurement of a solution to see if a solution is more acidity or basic. The more basic something is the more dangerous for you it is, where acidity is the other way around.

Step 7: Reflection

I found that the soap my group and I produced is really great. It hold together very strongly and works like a charm. The only difference I can see between the soap we made and the soap made commercially is shape and scent, so in the long run I believe our soap is pretty great. Using different amounts of our ingredients changed our soaps strength. What I mean by strength is how well our soap held together where I saw other groups that used more ingredients then the shorting had less strong soaps.

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    4 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Thank you for all this info for 90% KOH (Potassium hydroxide) I would need 9 g of Lye per 100g of soap. Here some data with Hydrogenated Palm Oil near 100%.


    3 years ago

    This would be fun to do. I tried it with a hotplate but when I went over 54 degrees C it completley changed the structure of the soap. Lye sapoons they take a month or so to be neutralized.


    Reply 3 years ago

    You can drastically shorten this time by cooking the soap at 80-90c for 1-2+ hours. When I make soap I use a crock pot or similar to finish the soap, then pour from there into a form. The soap is ready to use within 24 hours, and will have dried out and hardened properly in under a week (typically). My recipe looks a little like dirty petroleum jelly when its done cooking and still hot, but normal soap once fully cooled.

    In soaper terms its called the oven process. The downside being it tends to damage/boil off the highly volatile oils that are used in scent.


    3 years ago

    Great instructable!