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Yeah, we’re finally here! I’m going to show you how to make soap today, how exciting! Well, lets get to it – and don’t miss the detailed photos of each step of the process toward the end of this post.
If this is the first time you’re making cold process soap I suggest you read up on lye safety here and make sure you check out the full list of equipment and materials you’ll need here. A great part of this process for beginners is that you don’t even have to spend money on a mold- we will be using an empty Pringles can.
Hope you enjoy making these simple beautiful round soaps as much as I have 🙂
About the recipe
When it comes to soap recipes the possibilities are endless depending on the oils/fats you want to use and how much of each one. My goal for this tutorial was to choose as few different oils as possible and they had to be on the cheap side as well. I also didn’t want to use animal fats or palm oil. The result is a simple recipe that packs a pretty punch when it comes to skin loving properties.
About Lemongrass Essential Oil (EO) in soap
I chose Lemongrass EO for this beginner’s tutorial because it’s very forgiving. You can’t go wrong with lemongrass: the scent stays strong (which can be an issue with other EOs), it’s easy to work with, it has a bright, fresh, citrusy scent, and as a bonus it gives your soap this nice yellow, buttery color.
Let’s get started:
- Pomace (olive oil): 6.4 Oz. (181g/ 40%)
- Coconut oil: 5.3 Oz. (150g/ 33%)
- Shea butter: 3.2 Oz. (91g/ 20%)
- Castor oil: 1.1 Oz. (32g/ 7%)
- Distilled water: 4.5 Oz. (127g)
- Lye: 2.2 Oz. (63g)
- Lemongrass essential oil: 18g
- Prepare your work area: cover your work surface with old newspaper or freezer paper
- Gather all your equipment: gloves, goggles, containers or pots, freezer paper, Pringles can, tape, scale, stick blender, thermometer, oils/ butter, essential oil, lye, distilled water, spatula, plastic spoon, thick towel, cling wrap, small glass container
- Make sure all your equipment is nice and clean
Prep your mold:
- Cut out a piece of freezer paper about 7 x 9 Inches
- Cut the bottom of the can of so that the remainder measures about 7 Inches tall
- Firmly tape the cap on (you don’t want any soap batter seeping out at the bottom)
- Line the can with freezer paper – the plastic side facing inward
- Put on your gloves and goggles, make sure you’re wearing long sleeves
- Ensure that you’ll be undisturbed for the next 30 min
- Crack a window
Preparing your lye solution:
- Measure out your lye into a small plastic container
- In a bigger container measure out the distilled water
- Slowly while constantly stirring pour the lye into the water. Never, never the other way around! There will be fumes while you’re doing this. As much as possible hold your breath, if you have to inhale turn your head to the side. Work swiftly and set your lye to the side when it is completely dissolved.
Melting the oils:
- In a small saucepan or microwave proof container measure out the coconut oil and shea butter. Sometimes the coconut oil needs to be heated a little in order to get it out of the container.
- Melt the coconut oil and shea butter over low heat or on 20 second bursts in the microwave until fully liquid
- Add Pomace (olive oil) and castor oil
Now comes the juggling part. You want to have your oils and lye solution both at about 110 Degrees Fahrenheit and ideally not more than 10 degrees from each other when you pour. This means that you might have to heat your oils slightly after a while.
Let’s make soap:
- Measure out the essential oil into a small glass container and pour it into your melted oils
- Slowly pour the lye solution down the shaft of your stick blender. This will reduce any air bubbles being trapped in your soap. Gently tap your stick blender to further release any air.
- Carefully turn on your stick blender, blend your 20 seconds and check consistency of your batter. We’re aiming for a pudding consistency (see picture below).
- Once you see the soap batter leaving traces on top of the surface you’re done stick blending
- Give it a good stir with your spatula
- Carefully pour the soap batter into your prepared mold
- Scrape all the soap of your bowl and give the mold some small taps to release any air bubbles
- Seal the top of the mold with cling wrap
- Cover with a heavy towel and let rest for 36-48 hours
Unmolding your soap:
- Peel of the tape and take of the cap
- Slowly push the soap out of the can
- Lay your soap on a flat surface. Holding a knife with both hands, shifting your weight evenly perpendicular to your soap, push down as straight and evenly as possible.
Tada! Your first bar of soap!
Let your bars sit for 4 weeks before using or gifting. Choose a place that’s away from direct sunlight and humidity. Make sure air can get to your soaps evenly, a wire rack works best I find.
Until next time. Happy Tinkering!