Making soaps, especially laundry soaps, requires a little patience and some basic knowledge in soap making. All soaps are basically foaming salts which are the result of mixing animal fat or vegetable oil with an alkali like lye. A soap is the combination of fat, lye and water. When you make a laundry soap, you mix only the same ingredients. It is just that you create a basic soap and then transform it into a laundry variety by adding a few extra ingredients.
Basic soap making: As mentioned earlier, start with basic soap making. Get ready all your ingredients: 64 oz beef tallow, 24 oz distilled water and 8.5 oz lye. Get all your equipments ready. You would definitely need the following: large stainless steel pot, two heavy plastic pitchers, goggles and gloves, blender, thermometer, soap molds and saran wrap.
1. Start with tallow: Melt the beef tallow you have in the stainless steel pot. Remember to render the tallow before including it in the soap recipe. Half-done or improperly-done tallow would taste bad or go rancid quickly. So, keep your tallow fresh and perfect for soap making. Since tallow has a high smoke point, you need to boil it well to melt it.
2. Work with lye and water: Measure water in one of your pitchers. It is better to use cold, distilled water as cold water would reduce the heat of the lye solution. Once the lye is measured and ready in another pitcher, slowly pour the lye into water. Do this only after wearing goggles and gloves. Better to keep this mixing out of your house as lye, when split, can damage your home walls and floor. It is always recommended to use neoprene gloves. Stir the lye water until it is clear and all lye crystals have dissolved into the water.
3. Pour lye into tallow: Once the lye solution is ready, pour this mixture into melted tallow. Mix it with a blender till it reaches trace stage. You can know more on how to identify trace formation in this blog.
4. Pour soap mixture into molds: After trace formation, pour the soap mixture into molds and cover them with saran wrap. Let the molds sit for about 24 hours. Later, extract the bars from the molds and allow them to dry in a well-ventilated area. Do not use heat for this as we have cold-pressed the soap.
Transforming basic soap into laundry soap: Laundry soap has greater cleansing effect than ordinary soap. It is much stronger and hence can be harmful to the human skin. You can make laundry soap from basic soap. To do this, you may need few ingredients like 4 oz of basic soap, gallons of water, half cup of borax, fragrance oil (as much as you need), and large storage container.
5. Make soap pieces: Laundry soap starts with basic soap. Chop the prepared soap into pieces and put them into the water in the pot. Start heating the pot in order to melt the soap pieces.
6. Boil and stir: Keep boiling. Stir the mixture well in order to let the soap dissolve completely into water. Laundry soap should be made harder, hence water has to be added to it. Once the soap is dissolved, add borax and fragrance oil (if you like) to the mixture.
7. Keep in storage container: Pour the mixture into the storage container and allow it to cool. When cooled, the mixture will solidify into gel. Your laundry soap will be ready once you get the gel like substance. You can now use it extensively for all kinds of cloth washing. You can use an appropriate amount of gel, say about half a cup with every load of wash.