INSTRUCTIONS FOR COLD PROCESS SOAP-
BASE RECIPE I
This is an easy,
mild olive oil soap, good for beginners.
Recipe: (Makes 8 lbs.)
24 oz. olive oil
24 oz. coconut oil
38 oz. vegetable shortening (Crisco)
12 oz. lye
32 oz. distilled water
3-4 oz. any essential or fragrance oil
Scale that weighs in pounds and
Large one-gal. stainless steel or enamel pot (use this exclusively for
Two plastic pitchers, 2-3 qt. size
Hand stick blender (optional, but makes tracing much easier)
Plastic measuring cup 2-3 cup size
Two wooden or plastic spoons (one for the lye and one for the oils.
exclusively for soap-making)
Two kitchen thermometers (one for the lye and one for the oils - must read
over 100 degrees)
Clear plastic container with snap-on lid 8" x 11" x 3"
deep, or wooden soap mold
lined with freezer paper
Large piece of cardboard the size of the wooden mold - used as a
Freezer paper or plastic garbage bags
Be sure to allow for the weight of the containers. Lye
(Sodium Hydroxide NaOH)
ingredients should be weighed.
Begin by putting on your goggles and rubber gloves and weigh out 12
ozs. of lye into one of the plastic containers. Weigh out 32 oz of distilled water into the other container.
Slowly and in a steady stream pour the lye into the water, stirring
until dissolved. Do this in a well ventilated area and try not to
splash. Let the
lye/water mixture sit until the temperature reaches between 100-125
degrees (unless otherwise stated by the recipe you are using). This may take several hours, but if you're in a hurry you
can place the container in a cold water bath to bring down the
In the meantime,
get your oils ready by weighing out 24 oz. of coconut oil and 38 oz. of
vegetable shortening and placing them into your pot. Heat them up
just until they melt and then remove from heat and add the 24 ozs. of
olive oil. Stir to incorporate and put one of the thermometers
into the pot to check the temperature. The oils will also have to
be between 100-125 degrees (unless otherwise stated by the recipe you
are using). Both the lye/water mixture and the oils
will have to be at the same temperature before incorporating them.
additives. Start with just 3-4 ozs. of essential oil or a combination
of essential oils (blend). *Note- (some essential oil scents are
stronger, so use less, some are lighter and you may add more depending
on your preference). Also, measure 1/4 cup of any dried herbs or flowers
(optional). Its best to start simple for your first batch.
You can also add 1-3 tablespoons of pigment (optional) for
coloring, pre-disperse in a little liquid glycerin.
Line the mold container that you're using with a piece of freezer paper
for easy release. If you are using our wooden soap mold, line it with
How to line a soap mold.
temperature of the lye and oils. When they reach between 100-125°, its time to "make soap." Slowly pour the
lye/water mixture into the oils, stirring continuously. You may
continue to stir using a spoon or switch to the stick
blender. Stir or blend in all the lye and you will begin to see
the mixture thicken. Just as the mixture thickens to the point
where you see tracks or "trace" in the soap, add essential oils
and any dried ingredients or colorants. (For swirling color, remove about 2 cups of the mixture and
add the colorant to the 2 cups. Then add that back into the mold and
swirl). Continue to
stir or blend until you see designs on the top of the soap (this is
known as tracing and can happen in 10-20 minutes depending on the
temperature of your mixture). Quickly add the mixture to the mold.
Cover with the lid. *Note* if the soap mixture does not fill the
mold to the top, place a piece of freezer paper on top of the soap and then
put the lid or a piece of cardboard on the container. This will
prevent soda ash. Wrap in blankets and place in an
undisturbed area for 18 hrs. Remove the blankets and lid and
leave the soap air in the mold for another few hrs.
You should have a nice hard
block of fresh soap which you can now remove from the mold. Let
the block of soap sit for a day to firm up or slice
into bars or chunks immediately. Then place bars in an open box or drying rack for 2 weeks
or longer. Don't allow the bars to touch one another. The soap should be cured completely after 2 weeks, but
the longer it cures, the milder and harder it will be.
offer many helpful books on the subject of cold-process
soap-making. Good instruction and preparation is the key to
being successful with your first batch. Good Luck, and
Sodium Hydroxide can be
purchased online at:
View free soapmaking video
or schedule a
private soapmaking class!