How to make a stearic candle from soap?

What is stearin and how to make a stearin candle from soap? To answer these questions, let's remember why soap washes. For this, its molecules have a special structure: a "head" and a long "tail", and the "head" tends to water, and the "tail", on the contrary, repels from the water...

What is stearin and how to make a stearin candle from soap?

The hydrophobic tail is long hydrocarbon chains. One of them - the so-called stearin - can be obtained by taking laundry soap as a basis.

Use a knife to cut a piece of laundry soap off a shelf and place it in a clean tin can. Pour in water so that it covers the shavings with excess and place the mixture in a water bath. Stir the contents of the saucepan from time to time with a wooden stick to quickly dissolve the soap in the water. When this finally happens, remove the vessel from the heat (not with your bare hand) and pour the vinegar into it. Under the action of acid, a thick white mass will emerge from the solution and float to the surface. This is stearin - a translucent mixture of several substances, mainly stearic C17H35COOH and palmitic C15H31COOH acids.

From stearin, as is known from fiction, candles are made. Rather, they did it before, because now most of the candles are not stearic, but paraffin - the paraffin obtained from oil is cheaper and more affordable. But, since we have stearin at our disposal, we will make a candle from it!

When the jar is completely cool, scoop up the stearin from the surface with a spoon and transfer it to a clean bowl. Rinse the stearin two or three times with water and wrap it in a clean white cloth or filter paper to absorb excess moisture. When the stearin is completely dry, let's start with a candle.

Here is perhaps the simplest technique: dip a thick twisted thread, for example, from a wick for a kerosene stove, repeatedly in slightly heated melted stearin, each time allowing the stearin to harden on the wick. Do this until a candle of sufficient thickness grows on the wick. This is a good way, albeit somewhat tedious; in any case, in ancient times, candles were often prepared this way.

There is a simpler way: immediately coat the wick with stearin heated to softening (you can even just cook it, not yet cooled down). But in this case, the wick will be less impregnated with the melting mass and the candle will not turn out very good, although it will burn.

For beautiful, curly candles, the manufacturing methods are not easy. And first of all, you need to make a form - wood, plaster, metal. In this case, it is also advisable to first soak the wick with one or two layers of stearin; then it is fixed in the mold so that it passes exactly in the middle. It is desirable that the wick be slightly taut. And after that, hot stearin is poured into the mold.

By the way, in this way you can make candles from paraffin, that is, in fact, from purchased candles, melting them and giving them the shape that you like.

Having received a candle from soap, let's carry out the experiment in the opposite direction: prepare soap from a candle. Only not from paraffin, it is impossible to make soap from it at all, because paraffin molecules have no "heads". But if you are sure that the candle is stearic, then you can safely prepare laundry soap from it. Natural beeswax is also good.

Heat a few pieces of stearin candle in a water bath, hot enough, but not brought to a boil. When the stearin is completely melted, add a concentrated solution of washing (soda ash) to it. The resulting white viscous mass is soap. Hold it for a few more minutes in a water bath, and then, putting on a mitten or wrapping a towel around your hand so as not to burn yourself, pour the still hot mass into some form - at least into a matchbox. When the soap has set, remove it from the box.

Making sure that it is soap and that it washes will not be difficult. But please don't use it to wash your hands - we don't know how pure the ingredients were.