Finally, I’ll now be able to share with you the step by step procedure in making an herbal soap. This is just the basic procedure though. You can always experiment on different combinations of extract, fragrance and colorant, but for a start, the recommended combination to follow is: 25 grams extract and 5 grams fragrance with the standard raw materials of herbal soap. Please remember that the extract determines mainly the type and purpose of the herbal soap; and for commercial purposes, it is ideal to use the fragrance and colorant that is compatible with the extract used.
Here are the basic steps to follow in herbal soap making:
- 590g refined coconut oil
- 360g lye solution
- 7g coco diethanol amine (CDEA)
- 8g sodium silicate
- 28g extract
- 5g fragrance
- 2g sodium benzoate (preservative)
- Q.S. (quality sufficient or quality standard) oil-soluble colorant
- mixing bowls or containers
- mixer, either electrical or manual
- polyethylene sheet
- table cutter or portable cutter
- weighing scale or beam balance
- spatula or scraper
- calypso plastic for packaging
- Add the desired amount of oil-soluble colorant to the refined coconut oil. Set aside.
- Mix sodium benzoate in extract and set aside.
- Obtain 360g lye solution from previously prepared stock solution.
- Add the lye solution to the dyed refined coconut oil and stir continuously until slightly thick and opaque in appearance. This means that the mixture shows sign of "tracing" which refers to the consistency or thickness of the soap.
- Add all the additives one by one in the soap mixture, starting from CDEA, sodium silicate, extract with sodium benzoate and fragrance. Stir until all the ingredients are blended.
- Pour the soap mixture in the molder with polyethylene sheet. The sheet prevents the soap from sticking to the sides of the molder.
- Allow the soap mixture to cool and harden. It will take about 4 to 6 hours for the soap to harden.
- Turn the molder upside down to remove the soap.
- Scrape the exposed portion of the hardened soap using a spatula or scraper to remove the excess particles formed by the moisture in soap.
- Allow the soap to stay at room temperature for 2 hours to stabilize the soap. This period is called "curing" of the soap.
- Cut the soap into desired sizes approximately weighing 100g each using a table cutter or portable cutter.
- Clean the edges of the cut soap.
- Pack the soap. Always remember that an attractive packaging adds to the marketability of the soap.
Please not that with the above formulation, you can produce 1.0kg of herbal bath soap or 10 pieces of 100g. soap.
It is also important to remember that it is best to use the soap seven days after curing or aging.