What to bring: Oil.
Soap is made by chemically reacting lye with oil. The oil you choose will determine the characteristics of your soap. Some common oils:
- Coconut Oil. This oil is essential for a hard bar of soap. But using too much will make the soap harsh on your hands. 20% of your total weight is good. Buy this at a Halel food store.
- Olive Oil. Makes a soft, very gentle soap. 100% olive oil soap is known as “Castille”. It doesn’t lather very well, and could get very soft in the soap dish, especially if it’s sitting in a bit of water. Don’t bother with “Extra Virgin”… it doesn’t provide any benefit for soap.
- Lard: 100% lard actually makes a decent bar of soap. (even without coconut oil) This is probably what your grandma used.
- Tallow: pretty much the same as Lard.
- Canola Oil: Yes, this works too.
- Shortening (Crisco): DON’T bring this.
- Pretty much any pure vegetable oil will work, as long as we can find a “SAP” value for itIn total, you’ll probably want about 500g of oil for the size of batch we’ll make.
- Stick Blender. Bring a stick blender. The cheaper the better. You _can_ make soap without it, but it makes the process so much easier.
- Protective clothing. We will be working with Lye, which is very nasty on your skin or eyes, or clothing for that matter. Dress accordingly.
- Plastic containers. We will each need a few plastic containers for mixing and weighing. A large Becel tub and a couple of 750ml yogurt containers should do. Also, you’ll need a lower, flat container to store the soap while it cures.
- Essential oils, if you want your soap to smell nice. Colours, too. Note that the hobby-store scents and colours are intended for “remelt” not actually making soap. Some work, some don’t.
- Liquid Vitamin E capsules. Vitamin E is good for your skin. It also acts as a preservative. (Yes, soap can go bad.)
Lye will be provided.
You can RSVP via our Facebook event which can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/techworks/events/. If you don’t use Facebook, or if you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. This workshop is open to the public and there is no fee to attend. Please RSVP as soon as possible – there are limited spots & materials available.