Safety: Please refer to the instructions for the 100% extra virgin olive oil recipe in Soapy Conversations. Just remember: Wear gloves and eye protection. Make sure there are no small children or pets around your work area. Always pour the lye into the water and not the other way around!!
Hand & Body Soap Recipe (Cold Process)Ingredients
- 300g of coconut oil – to produce good lather
- 400g olive oil – which makes a hard and mild bar
- 300g other liquid oil – like almond oil, grapeseed, sunflower, soybean oil or safflower oil
- 143g lye – also called 100% sodium hydroxide
- 330g cool water – use distilled or purified
- Cover your work area with newspaper. Put your gloves and other protective wear on. Measure your water into a jug. Have a stainless steel or wooden spoon ready. Measure your lye, making sure you have exactly 143g . Slowly pour the lye into the water, stirring as you go. Stand back while you stir to avoid the fumes. When the water starts to clear, you can allow it to sit and cool while you move to the next step. Hint: Mix your lye and water under the exhaust fan in your kitchen.
- Weigh your oils and remember to reset or tare your scale before each weigh. Check the temperature of your oils – they should be about 37 degrees C. Cool your lye to about 37-38 degrees C. This is critical for soap making. Too low and it’ll come together quickly, but be coarse and crumbly.
- When both the lye and oils are at the right temperature, pour the oils into a mixing bowl. Slowly add the lye, stirring until it’s all mixed. Stir by hand for a full 5 minutes. It’s very important to get as much of the lye in contact with as much of the soap as possible. After about 5 minutes, you can keep stirring or you can use an immersion blender. The soap mixture will lighten in color and become thick. When it looks like vanilla pudding it’s at “trace” and you’re good to go. See pics of trace in the blog on 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil soap.
- Add your herbs, essential oils or other additions at this point. Stir thoroughly to combine. Pour the mixture into mould(s) and cover with plastic wrap. Set in an old towel and wrap it up. This will keep the residual heat in and start the saponification process.
- After 24 hours, check your soap. If it’s still warm or soft, allow it to sit another 12-24 hours. When it’s cold and firm, turn it out onto a piece of parchment paper or baking rack. If using a loaf pan as your mold, cut into bars at this point. Allow soap to cure for 6 weeks or so. Be sure to turn it over once a week to expose all the sides to air (which is not necessary if using a baking rack).
- When your soap is fully cured, wrap it in wax paper or keep it in an airtight container. Hand made soap creates its own glycerin, which is an humectant, pulling moisture from the air. It should be wrapped to keep it from getting dirty.
I like to immediately wash out my Lye water jug or container and then fill it 1/4 of the way with clean water and a little Apple Cider Vinegar. As I finish with each utensil, I pop it into the jug and let it sit. I don't like to leave my bowls etc. to sit as I don't have any other bowls or equipment, so I like to wash it immediately in hot sudsy water. Just keep wearing your gloves as you really haven't finished making your soap until clean up is finished :)
If you are not making anymore soap for a few days, then letting your bowl sit is great as it turns to soap and you don't need to use detergent. Be sure to place it where children and other inquisitive adults can't touch the lye laden soap.
Once I made some coconut and cocoa cupcake soaps late at night and then went to bed. These soaps really looked like edible cupcakes...firstly they were cupcake shaped and finished off with a cocoa frosting, they were sitting on my kitchen bench on a baking rack. My hubby was out playing tennis and so did not see me making the soap. Just before I fell asleep I thought about how realistic the soaps looked, so I jumped out of bed, wrote a big bold note, "This is soap and not cupcakes!" and left it on the bench near the soaps. The next morning Hubby said that he walked in, saw the cakes and was just about to take one when he noticed the note! I laughed but was very thankful that he did not actually take a bite...it would have been a nasty shock!!
With thanks to http://www.diynatural.com/how-to-make-soap-2/
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