Always wearing gloves and safety glasses.
All measurements of lye, water, oil and anything you put in the soap are exact and weighed to make sure every single bit of every molecule? of lye is matched up with the proper amount of oil so you don't get a "lye heavy" soap. I use a lye calculator on-line.
I mix lye with water (OUTSIDE) and let it sit (I normally add coconut milk to the lye water right before I mix it with the oils)
I have a chart of oils and their properties ...like which ones make lather, which ones make a hard bar, which are conditioning, etc. I use olive, coconut, palm, shea, cocoa butter, sweet almond, apricot kernel, jojoba, kukui nut, macadamia nut, avocado...all different kinds of oils for different recipes. Some of the oils are solid and have to be melted and blended with the liquid oils.
Then I get the lye mixture to about the same temperature as the oils (around 120 degrees depending on my recipe-I have 2 big thermometers one for the oil and one for the lye water) and pour the lye mix into the oils and stir and stir and stir. At the very end I add things like jojoba, honey, essential oils, oatmeal, calendula petals and pour it into the molds, cover and insulate it with a blanket overnight and cut into bars about 24 hrs. later. The bars need to cure at least 4 weeks I normally let them go longer.
My house smells soooo good when I make soap. Hummm maybe that's what I'm getting ready to do ? Amoung about 1000 other things.
It really is pretty easy once you get the hang of it.