Now that we've got all the basic ingrediants down
Who's ready to make soap? I am! I am! First thing that we need to discuss, is SAFETY FIRST! When working with Lye, you need to wear gloves. Lye is caustic, and can give chemical burns. I would also recommend wearing long-sleeves, and goggles. If you happen to wear glasses like me, perfect! You are already wearing eye-protection. Oh, it can't be that bad, if I'm careful, I won't get burned. Yes, that is exactly what I thought. For a while I didn't use gloves, or roll my sleeves down, and I got burned for it. Not ER-bad burns, just little dots of skin where lye got splashed. Got you gloves on? Sleeves rolled-down, and glasses/goggles on? Great! Let's start!
First step, is to make or find a recipe. There are many wonderful recipes out there, and if you like to experiment, you can always make one yourself here. Here's a really nice place for recipes. Recipe Link
I know you hear all these terms 'Stearic acid' 'Lauric acid' 'Oleic acid' and the like. I didn't really know about it myself until I read this post. It explains it better than I could.
The Actual Soap-Making
Ready for the real soap-making? First weigh all your oils, and place them in a stainless steel pan. Heat on low, till you hit about 100 degrees. Set aside. Weigh milk and lye, and place frozen/slushy-like milk in a metal or glass bowl, and sprinkle your lye over top. Stir until dissolved, and check with thermometer. The lye and oil blend should be within 10 degrees of each other.