The difference between cream soap and other handmade soaps is that in this process I use both NaOH and KOH for my lyes. KOH makes liquid soap. NaOH makes solid bars. Mix them both together in certain percentages and you get a cream soap!
Another difference is that I add stearic acid to the recipe. Hard bars and liquid soap do contain stearic, because a lot of vegetable oils contain stearic naturally anyway. My cream soaps contain a high percentage, which makes it a wonderful shave cream too. I also add pure glycerin to the base oils and butters and cook it with the soap.
What you did not see is that I have premixed my lyes with my water, and I also melted my stearic, oils and added my glycerin to my oils. In this picture I have added the lye mixture to my oils in my crock pot.
The stearic acid in the recipe will make the batch think that it should separate. I will keep blending it until I get a smooth texture.
Its starting to mix together now, but still needs more blending.
This is what we call trace, a stage where I don’t have to worry about my mix separating again.
Frm this honey texture it will turn into a hard taffy texture.
At this point the soap has reached the taffy stage I wanted you to see. Now I can leave it alone and go do other things while this cooks for awhile.
The soap has now been cooking for over 2 hours. It is starting to soften up and clear up.
30 minutes later:
The soap is now done.
I test the soap at this point with a pH tester or I take a touch of it on my finger and touch it to my tongue. if it tastes sweet like glycerin, then its ready to go. If I get a zap that feels like touching a battery to my tongue, then I cook it for a bit longer.
At this point I supercream the soap
with a little stearic and a little glycerin. I cook it for 15 more minutes and turn off my crock pot and let it sit for a few days.
2 days later my soap has turned from hard to soft and whippy.
I can whip it with a simple spoon, but I put it in my 35 year old Kitchenaid mixer that I scored at a second hand store for $35! And I whip the soap in small amounts till the entire batch is whipped.
The finished product feels so nice, and just a little bit creates such wonderful bubbles.
Looks so creamy! This soap naturally glistens.
Once everything is is whipped up I put the soap in my buckets
for what is called “rotting.” Rotting is a period where the soap cures and gets better with age.
Just as I cure my liquid soap by “sequestering” and my hard bars by putting them on the soap rack for 4-6 weeks, cream soap needs the same treatment.