Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Making soap

Re-edited info from Do-It-Yourself/Soap on WikiBooks.

Making soap


  • Any sort of animal or vegetable fat.
  • Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH), also known as lye.
  • Glass beaker and stirring rod.
  • Bunsen burner or other means of heating solution.
  • Mold for making soap bars (any flexible plastic container).
  • Vinegar, just in case.
  • Gloves, labcoat and appropriate eyewear should be worn when handling the Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH).
  • You should do this in a well-ventilated area, preferably in a fume hood or outdoors.
  • Wash with vinegar if you get some on your skin (have some vinegar handy before starting the experiment) - DO NOT wash with water!.
  • Mixing lye with water results in a chemical reaction that creates extreme heat - hence, washing lye off your hands (for example) with water will only initiate that reaction on your hand, resulting in chemical burn.

What to do

  1. Place 16 oz. of any fat, such as oil or butter in a beaker.
  2. In another container add 2.1 oz. (59.5 g) of Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) to 6 oz. (170g) of water (do not add water to Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) - it will splatter) stir to dissolve and let cool to 110 F.
  3. Melt fat under low heat to 110°F (49°C) and add the Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) solution while stirring until the base has completely reacted with the fat (about 20 to 30 minutes)
  4. Pour the mixture into molds.
  5. Let this cool and sit for a day or two. Let the soap cakes cure for three weeks before using.

Additional Soapmaking References

Last modified on 5 July 2012, at 14:40