Needless to say, City Boy's father's prophecy was fulfilled.
Lye is caustic; make sure if you handle it to be wearing gloves so as not to burn yourself.
I line my mold with freezer paper, shiny side up. This allows the soap to be removed easier.
I needed 36 oz of water. For fun, I added the color to the water first. I added a liquid color called brilliant blue along with a powdered violet.
Pouring in the lye; note the reaction of the color. Blue rarely stays blue in soap, it almost always turns to a purple shade once the lye hits it.
Pouring the lye water into pre-measured (and melted) oils.
Some of the oils I use are solid at room temp, such as coconut and palm. They need to be melted down first. You can see by this pic that there's still a chunk not melted. That's why I'm hand stirring at this point; lye water is hot and will finish melting the oils.
A girl's best friend is her stick blender!
With oils melted, I begin using the stick blender. Notice how it's beginning to thicken up?
The soap is getting opaque looking, but still not at 'trace'. I add a bit more powdered color for good measure :)
This is what 'trace' looks like; whatever you're stirring with will leave a trace behind it as you're stirring.
Once at a light trace, I add my fragrance oil. Some fragrance oils will cause your soap to accelerate trace, or even sieze, so it's best to test new FO's in small batches.
Now it's time to pour into the mold. This fragrance accelerates trace a bit, leaving me with a rather chunky look. That's okay...embrace the difference!
Unless you've used honey or milk, you'll need to insulate your soap. I put down freezer paper, then cover with a couple of towels. You then set your soap out of the way and leave it for 24 hours.
The most important thing you'll learn (aside from how much lye to use) is how to clean up. This is raw soap...very oily and still caustic if you touch it. If you make soap, you're hereby granted a 24 hour break from doing the dishes. Tomorrow this will be soap; it will wash right out with no problem.
Now....the soap must sit overnight and you must wait until tomorrow to see the finsihed product! BTW...this is the soap that Laura and Rosmeary have won :)