Read directions for recipe to make sure you have the required ingredients and gear.
Use safety gloves and goggles or eyeglasses.
Weigh the required amount of water (distilled is best) into one of the pitchers. To do this place an empty pitcher on the scale and set to zero. Now measure the amount of water.
Using the same method as above weigh the lye needed in the second pitcher.
Carefully pour the lye into the pitcher containing the water. You must avoid splashing-this is the most dangerous step! Never add the water to the lye.
Stir solution gently with a wooden spoon until dissolved. Make sure you have sufficient ventilation. Resist the temptation to lean over the pitcher to get a good look. You do not want to breathe anywhere near this container.
While the lye is cooling, melt the fats. The temperature of both must eventually be brought to 100 degrees simultaneously. If the lye solution cools too much, put the pitcher in a pan or bowl of hot water.
Double-check the temperatures of the lye and fat solutions to be sure they are 100-110 degrees (equal temperature is desired).
While stirring the fats, pour the lye solution into the melted fat/oil in a thin stream. Stir continuously to ensure the lye mixes into the fat.
Continue stirring in a carefully manner to avoid splashing. The mixture should start thickening. You will eventually see “trailings” or lines on the surface. This could take 20 minutes to an hour, usually closer to one hour. Be careful using hand mixers as they can speed things up too much.
Pour this liquid soap into your large plastic container mold. Put the lid on and wrap with the towel.
Put the wrapped mold in a warm place and allow to set for 48 hours.
After 48 hours, unwrap the mold. The soap should still be warm. If the surface is still very soft leave lid off for a day. When it is as firm it is ready to be removed from the mold.
Remove soap from mold. To do this, first pull the plastic mold away from the soap on all sides. Then, turn the mold over onto the needle point screen or plastic. If it doesn’t fall out of the mold, push down on the upside down mold and it should pop out. You should have a nice clean block of soap ready to be cut into bars.
First, score the surface where the cuts will be made. Then, warm the knife to be used in water. Dry the knife and cut the block into bars of soap.
The hand cut bars still need to cure. They will become lighter in weight and slightly smaller. Place them on the plastic needlepoint screen for about three weeks.
After one to two weeks, depending on the type of basic soap, you can try making milled soap!