Made up of only organic ingredients such as coconut oil and palm oil, organic soaps are a great way to smooth and heal the skin naturally. While you can easily purchase organic soaps, with just a little preparation to get the tools and ingredients you need, you can learn how to make your own organic soap at home. The process requires patience and even a little experimentation to get the right proportions of the additive ingredients. Learning and mastering the basics of soap production will allow you to diversify to create other unique organic varieties.
2.14 oz bleach (60 g) (sodium hydroxide)
4.5 fluid ounces (130 ml) of distilled water
12 fluid ounces (350 ml) of olive oil
1.5 fluid ounces (44 ml) of castor oil
2.5 fluid ounces (74 mL) of melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon (15 ml) of an essential oil in your favorite perfume
Makes 4 bars of soap
Part 1 of 3:
Creation of bleach and oil solutions
Use a kitchen scale to correctly measure your ingredients. Having a precise measurement of the ingredients is essential to prepare the soap successfully. If some of the ingredients are measured incorrectly, the oblique ratio may be significant enough to prevent the soap from solidifying or hardening properly.
If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you can buy one in the kitchen section or household items in a local department store or you can order one online through the main retailers.
Containers, utensils, molds or jugs used to measure or prepare soap should not be used to work with food. Contamination caused by bleach would not be safe for consumption.
Wear protective clothing when working with bleach. Bleach is caustic and you want to avoid wearing it or bringing it close to your skin. To protect your skin while working with bleach, wear long sleeves, gloves and goggles. Avoid breathing fumes by working near an open window or circulating a fan.
If you have breathing problems or are concerned about breathing bleach vapors while working with it, wear a respirator. You can buy one in your local hardware store or online with major retailers.
Pour 130 ml of distilled water into a stainless steel jug. Use a thick and durable plastic jug if you don’t have one made of stainless steel. Avoid using aluminum, as the bleach will react negatively to the element.
Add 60 g of food bleach to the pitcher with water. Slowly pour in the lye to prevent it from falling into the water. Use a silicone spatula to mix the water as you pour the lye. Continue stirring the mixture to dissolve the lye.
Always add bleach to the water. Pouring water directly onto the lye prematurely starts the chemical reaction and heats the lye.
Allow the bleach solution to cool for 30-40 minutes. Be careful when handling or transporting the bleach solution. The natural chemical reaction of the lye with water will create a warm solution.
When mixed with water, the lye can reach temperatures of up to 200 ° F (93 ° C). Even after being allowed to cool, the solution will still be considerably warm, around 100–110 ° F (38–43 ° C).
Heat the coconut oil in a double boiler to melt the solidified parts. Stir the coconut oil over low heat to avoid bubbles or burns. Once all the solidified remains of the oil have melted, remove them from the heat.
A similar product to coconut oil is babassu oil, which is a vegetable oil that comes from the babassu palm tree in South America. Use equal amounts of this oil if you are allergic to coconut oil or if you want to try something different.
Mix the oils in a second stainless steel jar to prepare the soap mixture. Add 12 fluid ounces (350 ml) of olive oil, 1.5 fluid ounces (44 ml) of castor oil and 2.5 fluid ounces (74 ml) of melted coconut oil. Castor oil soaps the bar of soap when used, olive oil softens and conditions the skin and coconut oil helps to harden the soap.
Coconut oil will be hot, so be careful when mixing it with other oils.
Mixthe soap paste
Add the bleach solution to the jar with the oils to prepare the soap mixture. Pour the mixture slowly to avoid spilling it. Be careful not to burn yourself as both bleach and oils are hot.
The temperature of the oils and the bleach solution should be around 38–43 ° C (100–110 ° F). Use a stainless steel thermometer to check it before mixing the two solutions. If the oil temperature is lower, heat it in the double boiler until the temperature is the same.
Stir the solution with a stainless steel spoon to combine the ingredients. Any stainless steel spoon will work well, but it will be easier to mix the mixture if the spoon has a long handle. Continue to mix the mixture gently for about 30 seconds. This will give the bleach and oils a chance to mix before mixing them further.
If you don’t have a stainless steel spoon or one with a long enough handle, use an immersion blender in the off position to gently mix the ingredients.
Add special clay, sugar, flower or herb minerals to color your soap. Choose an ingredient that changes the appearance of soap based on your favorite color. As it is, the olive oil used to make the soap will give it a yellow or cream color after it has been hardened. If you like or don’t care about that color, don’t add other ingredients.
Add a pinch of cosmetic clays to change the color of the soap to pink, green or white.
Use a couple of drops of milk, brown sugar or honey to give the soap a warm caramel color.
For more vibrant colors, use the petals or leaves of your favorite flowers or herbs. For example, the alcakanet root will give the soap a purple hue and the spinach leaves will make the soap green.
Mix the solution for 1 minute with a dip or blender. Immerse the part of the blade of the immersion blender in the mixture before turning it on; otherwise, the immersion blender will throw the solution out of the jar. Slowly rotate the hand blender around the base of the jar to mix the solution.
If there are multiple speed settings for your hand blender, please do so with the lowest setting. Quickly pressing the solution creates unnecessary air bubbles in the soap mixture.
If you don’t have a stick blender or bar, you can buy one in a local store or online.
Alternate between stirring and stirring the dough to thicken it. Use the immersion blender in the off position to mix the dough. The passage between the spoon and the immersion blender can cause the dough to drip or overturn. Continue this process for about 10-15 minutes.
For soap production, the thick mass of soap is called a “trace”. This means that the dough is thick enough to drip a little on the surface of the dough and make it stay on the surface. When a soap reaches this consistency, it no longer needs to be mixed and is ready to be poured into the mold.
Add essential oils to the trace soap mixture to give it the desired scent. Start by adding 1 american spoon (15 ml) of oil and mix it in the dough with a stainless steel spoon. Essential oils will have a stronger smell if added to the dough than when the dough is seasoned. So if the aroma isn’t strong in the dough, add more in small increments until you can smell it.
Some common essential oils to add are vanilla, almond, lavender, lemongrass, geranium or mint.
Part 3 of 3:
Mold and cure soap
Pour the dough into a 10 cm (4 inch) silicone soap mold to shape it. Use a mold that will create 4 rectangular soap bars. A standard mold will have an approximate length and a width of 4 by 4 inches (10 by 10 cm) and a height of 3 inches (7.6 cm). You can find one of these molds in a local craft shop or online with the major retailers.
Consider buying a silicone mold with a fun motif or design to further personalize your homemade soap. You can also use a separate bread pan and cut the soap into individual bars later.
Avoid using muffin trays or baking trays because the soap mix could ruin the baking trays and soap.
Cover the pan full of freezer paper and a towel to catch the heat. Leave the soap covered for at least 24 hours, but check it periodically to make sure it doesn’t overheat or break. If it develops cracks, leave it covered, but move it to a cooler place like a dark closet or a cold basement.
Use freezer paper over standard wax paper, as the freezer paper is thicker and the wax paper may melt with the warmth of the soap mass. You can also use parchment paper.
Discover the mold and leave it stationary for the next 2-3 days. Check the soap at least once a day to make sure it hardens properly and hasn’t been disturbed. You will notice that the consistency of the soap mixture will gradually change to a gelatinous state over the 3 days. On the third day, it should look solid enough if you touch it with your finger.
Remove the soap bars from the silicone mold to cure them. Place the bars in an area away from direct sunlight and leave them alone for at least 6-8 weeks. The air will dry and completely harden the soap. After that time, the soap is ready for use and fun!
Soaps that use a higher ratio of water and olive oil will only need to cure for 4-6 weeks.
If you used a silicone mold, use a knife to carefully cut the bar of soap into 4 bars of equal size before curing them.