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Make soap with me By Suzanne Pepin

Make soap with me Photographs and Writtings By Suzanne Pepin Book design by Suzanne Pepin April 2010


All photography copyright Š2010 by Suzanne Pepin All rights reserved


This book is dedicated to Anastassia & Marie-Eve


Introduction Technical details All photographies were taken in my home in Mexico with my Canon Rebel T1i EOS 500D, using EFS18-55mm, F/3.5-5.6IS lens. Post processing was done with Picassa3 and Adobe Photoshop Elements7 Microsoft Word document was used to put the book together with text writtened and edited Fonts used : Lucida Handwritting and Century Gothics Book format : 7’’ by 9’’, landscape Image size was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements7 at 1920 pixels (6’’), 300 resolution and JPEG option 7 medium Enhance : autosmart fix, autolevels and auto contrast


Use this site to calculate your lye, before you start your recipe

Don’t be intimated by the page and the site. Indicate the amount of fat and the kind of fat used and proceed to the next page to calculate your amount of lye and liquid. I used for this recipe : water. The % of excess fat used here for the lye : 5% or 2.31oz of lye. I use a recipe for a 20oz of a container.

This recipe is using Patchouli and Lemon as essential oil. I used beef tallow (beef fat) but you could use vegetal fat for your first soap. Experience will make you better.

‘Hot process soap in the oven’ was used for this book. They are many processes out there to use : Cold process soap, Top of the stove process, Crockpot process, Overnight process… etc… Do some search on this to determine which one you prefer. 6

Fats used in this recipe :Corn oil, coconut oil and beef fat. Over the years, I found out that a good soap made of 80% of hard fat is a wonderful soap for my skin. The addition of coconut oil is just a ‘nice to have’ ingredient. It is very expensive here in Mexico, the same applies for olive oil… so I don’t use it too often in making soap. In the USA and Canada, I get coconut oil at WalMart in the baking department, for very cheap. Oh well…


Lye : Roebic from Loew in USA, Sodium Hydroxide from Montreal (purple container) and Lye from Certified-Lye .com (links at the end of this book).

One day, I will make my own lye, like our ancestors and parents were making.


Example of cheap containers : those sold for 1.99$ at WalMart‌ For a start, I was using my Pyrex containers for making soaps. I love to get not perfect pieces of cut up soap!

For this book, I used a 20oz container that was made for me, in wood. It had to be lined before using.


Get all your ingredients and stuffs ready and handy before you start. Making soap might take you by surprise on how fast it will set before your eyes!


Fats used in this recipe :Corn oil, coconut oil and beef fat


Mix the lye with the water, wearing gloves and long sleeves (I do this outside). Powder into the water. Keep vinegar aside in case of splashing on your skin. Just rub some vinegar on your skin if this happen. Wear safety glasses or sunglass while doing this process.

Once the lye is all melt, it will be very hot, drop it in the oil and grease in the pot. The mix will melt right before your eyes.


I usually put my pot in the sink. Use your hand stick to mix it all until no lumps. Wear your safety gears.


Mix just enough until a very light thickness has started.


Put the lid on and put the pot in the oven at 185F to 200F, with the timer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the lid and give it a good stir. Do this for every 15 minutes for a total of about one hour. The time will depend on your oven, the condition of your ingredient or just the mood of the universe that day!


The mica I used for this particular recipe (mica is grounded rocks, basic ingredients for make-up, safe for the human skin)


After cooking for 30 minutes. It is getting thicker and you will see the start of a ‘gel’ looking on the side of the pot. Mix well.


Take a small spoon and remove some of the mix from the pot. Use your finger (not much, it is hot) and do the tongue test : put some on your finger and taste it on the tip of your tongue. If you get a feeling pitching, the soap is not done yet. Put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes. The tongue test will tell if the Lye inside the ‘soap to be’ has died. It is an important step if you want your soap not to burn your skin when using.


Once the soap is done, work fast here. Drop the essential oil of your choice, mixing very fast and going by your nose to measure the amount of drops. Mix in the color if using. And drop everything in your already mold. Here in the picture, because I had to take picture, the soap is already setting fast‌


Use a spoon to even the top if wanted. I just left mine as is

The soap is done. Let it cool completely, usually 4 to 5 hours before cutting it.


Picture showing washing the pot, using the left over of the soap made 10 minutes earlier. We already have soap!


Picture of the unmolded soap, about 4 hours later. Cut it in desired pieces and let each piece dry by its own. This method used will give you the gift to use the soap the day after!


Raw cut of the soap. This small recipe of 20 oz gave me 4 big beautiful purple soap bars. I could leave them like this or trim them with a knife or a mandolin.


I am presenting to you ‘Ice Land’

The soap the day after, all trimmed and ready to use.

Of course, it is like wine, the more we let it dry, the more ‘bouquet’ it will get. Up to you now.

Look on the internet, read about making soap and get ideas. Try to develop your own style. It will show your passion of your personal soap made by yourself. There is no limitation to creation and once you have experience your own soap, you will NEVER buy soap in store again… ever…


Links How to line a wood mold container : Instruction on line on how to do Hot Process Soap in the oven : This is where I have spend most of my last 4 years, always learning how to make soap at home, from this site : Distributor of Lye (Sodium Hydroxide), in Montreal, Quebec, Canada : To get lye (Sodium Hydroxide) in Hypoluxo, Florida : To get lye by mail (very expensive but they will ship) : This site is where I get my mica color for the soap : The site to calculate your ingredients before you start making your soap: My plastic mold, making 9 good size soaps : Fragrance oil :,


Happy reading :


About the Author

‘…My friends I'll say it clear. I've lived a life that's full. I traveled each and every country I've loved, I've laughed and cried. I've had my fill of moments. And now may I say it in my shy way. In this way, enjoy my Friends…’

I am Suzanne Pepin and live in Mexico. My passion for photography started in 2004 while backpacking in Italy and Greece, with my little Olympus camera. I was amazed of the end result of those pictures taken. I then realize that I had an eye for seeing different objects that others would not notice. In 2008, I received as a gift my Canon Rebel T1i and have been in love ever since with this wonderful ‘Rebel’ that have a mind of its own.



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