Okay, so the lye is cooling, the solid oils are melting on low heat and the remaining oils are measured. The molds are lined so at this point, I measured my essential oils. I chose not to use as much as most recipes call for due to our family's sensitivities to smells. This will also save me money because essential oils are not cheap. Most of the ones I used are available in the health food stores and they are organic as well. I used a mixture of Peppermint, Lemon and Eucalyptus oils and they each cost just under $10 an ounce. This resulted in a great refreshing smell that will be nice this winter when everyone gets all snuffy and stopped up.
Once the solid oils melt, I added the other oils and took a temp reading. About 140 degrees. This oil mixture also has to get down to about 100-110 degrees. Since the lye was still at around 160, I filled the sink and added ice and it started cooling at about the same rate as the oils. I stirred the lye from time to time to keep it constant and I gently stirred the oils to get it to cool down faster.
When both temps were in the 100-110 range, I poured the lye mixture into the oils as I gently stirred with a spatula. Then I started mixing with the hand mixer and boy did it incorporate everything quickly. I used the mixer for about a minute, then turned it off and used the mixer to stir by hand for a quick bit. This process takes up to 15 minutes, although mine took less time. You want to make sure and mix a bit and hand stir a bit. This keeps the mixer from burning out, helps keep bubbles out of the mix and also helps identify true trace.
Trace happens when the lye and oils are mixed perfectly for soap making. The surface of the mix will get a satiny and smooth appearance and the mix will leave a pattern on the top when it drips from the spatula. You'll also notice how it coats your utensils. Like a thin pudding. Technical stuff here.
At this point you'll need to incorporate any essential oils into the mix and immediately pour into the mold(s).
Now it is time to put your soap to bed and let it work it's magic - saponification. Oooo - big word. It just means the oils and lye chemically react and turns into soap.
For bedtime, cover the mold with a piece of cardboard and wrap the whole thing in a nice warm blankie or big towels. Night night little soap concoction. Let it sleep for 3-5 days.
Come back tomorrow for the exciting reveal. You'll pee yourself!