Today I made cold process (lye) soap. It'll be about 5 weeks before I know if it's any good. I'm hoping for lots of lather and a silky feel. I think I should have poured this batch a little sooner, time will tell. Right now I have this 12" X 19" pan wrapped in blankets allowing the soap to heat up and complete the process for the next 24 hours. I'm doing this from some info in Susan Miller Cavitch's book The Natural Soap Book.
However, the recipie I used is from Essentially Soap by Dr. Robert S. McDaniel.
Simple No-Weighing Soap
A really simple recipe with commonly available ingredients. OK, so you don't have a scale and can't wait to start making soap. Well, here's a good beginner recipe that calls for oils and other ingredients you can find in the supermarket and health food store, and everything is measured, not weighed. To add your own touch, try adding about 1/2 cup of finely ground oatmeal or some kelp powder (green, a teaspoon or two for color) from your health food or bulk food store. When I made this, I added lavendar fragrance at light trace, not Lillly of the Valley, before the soap got too thick. Simple isn't it.
Vegetable Shortening - 6 Lbs (common sizes are 3 and 6 Lb cans)
Coconut Oil - 14 Fl. Oz. (from the health food store, use the whole jar) Olive oil - 3/4 cup Lye - 12 oz can dissolved in 2-3/4 cup distilled or deionized water Fragrance Oil, Lilly of the Valley (I used lavendar) - 2 Tbs (optional)
I have quite a bit of money involved in this batch that will probably yield about 18 bars. I saw several soapmaking kits on the internet that are premeasured and contain some nice ingredients. Crabapple, Brambleberry, and Ye Olde Soap Shoppe are a couple sites with kits.