Lye soap can be transparent too. To achieve that you need to reduce the lye to about 1% and add a lot of essential oils to the mixture. Since transparent soap means making a glycerin-rich soap, you need to include glycerin, alcohol and sugar solution in your recipe. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to make transparent lye soap with fewer and effective soapmaking supplies.
Steps to make transparent lye soap: This soap recipe has been prepared by Sussane’s Crafty Corner and uses a variety of ingredients like essential oils, alcohol, lye, water and other usual soapmaking stuff.
1. Ingredients required: This soap recipe uses olive oil, lye, coconut oil, glycerin, alcohol and sugar solution. You can add the ingredients in the following ratios: 50% olive oil, 31% coconut oil, 15% castor oil, 3.5% stearic acid, 1% discount lye and 97% alcohol at 35% of the amount of oils. Glycerin can be added at 15% and sugar at 28% of the amount of oils. To start with, put a small glass into the refrigerator and allow it to chill. This would help in determining the quality of soap later.
2. Mix oils with lye: Prepare the lye solution and mix oils with lye using a stick blender. When the blending forms a thick, pudding-like consistency, add stearic acid to the blend. You would sense an instant pudding formation in the mixture.
3. Hot processing of soap: Now that the soap has traced, it has to be cooked. You can use a double-boiler or crock-pot for the purpose. Check if the soap zaps. If it doesn’t add a bit of oils and cook again.
4. Soap will be ready: Your soap will be almost formed within a few minutes, thanks to the effect of olive oil, stick blender and stearic acid. If you don’t know whether it is formed or not, read more about tracing and apply the indications to your soap.
5. Add alcohol: A transparent lye soap is different from ordinary lye soap, in that it demands use of additives like alcohol and glycerin. When the soap is done, remove it from heat and add alcohol (just half of it) and glycerin to the mixture.
6. Cover the container: Alcohol is required for glycerin soap formation. To prevent alcohol from evaporating, use it to cover over your container. You can just tightly close the lid and cover the container with a towel. Never do this alcohol mixing near a stove as it cause an explosion.
7. Heat again: Once you are done with cooling the alcohol mixture. Heat again in another pot. If you are using a double boiler, don’t heat to high temperatures and let the water in the lower pot splash.
8. Use stick blender to dissolve: Use a stick blender to dissolve the formed soap. Cover the pot if you are not stirring. This will also prevent the alcohol from evaporating. Blend and cook for about 15 to 30 minutes.
9. Add remaining alcohol: Add the remaining alcohol at this stage, say at about 10 minutes of heating. After adding alcohol, don’t stir and allow the mixture to cool. You will not create foam when you do not stir and this would cool the soap sooner.
10. Add sugar solution: Add sugar solution to your soap and stir a bit. Ensure that your sugar solution is of the right proportion.
11. Do the soap test: Remember the glass you kept in the refrigerator? Take it out and place it upside down. Pour a drop from the mixture and notice how it forms over the glass. When the soap drop turns solid you can clearly see if your soap is clear or cloudy.
12. Cool down the soap: If the test shows a clear soap, go ahead and cool down the soap. If not, add more alcohol and glycerin and cook longer and do the soap test again.
13. Heat again next day: Once your soap has cooled overnight, heat again next day. No need to add any additives, just heat. This will remove the excess water from the soap. It is water which gives soap its cloudy nature. You can remove it by heating.
14. Add fragrances: You can also use the heating time to add fragrances or colorants to your lye soap. However, be careful not to use much to spoil or cloud the soap.
15. Pour into molds and cure: Use thin plastic molds as wooden molds tend to insulate. Cure for about two weeks. After the drying time, your soap will be clear and transparent – the kind of lye soap that is very soft on the skin.