Rosemary Mint Cold Process Soap Tutorial with Recipe

In doing some updates on MommaMuse, I realized I didn’t have a dedicated post for my Rosemary Mint Soap recipe. It is included on my Crock Pot Soap Making Tutorial, but it’s such a good soap, it deserves a post all to its self… Instead of just sharing the recipe, I ended up with a Tutorial on how to make cold process soap.


Gather your ingredients and additives:

Rosemary Mint Handmade Soap
4 pounds
– 38 ounces olive oil (59.38%)
– 14.4 ounces palm kernel oil (22.5%)
– 11.6 ounces palm oil (18.13%)
– 8.7 ounces sodium hydroxide (5% discount)
– 17.5 ounces distilled water
– 3 ounces rosemary mint blend essential oils
– 2 teabags of Organic Peppermint tea

This soap makes a 4 pound batch. That may be a bit large, or too small, for your needs, so the percentage is included to help you downsize (or up-size, as the case may be).

If you follow the link for the Crock Pot Soap tutorial, you’ll find step-by-step instructions, including pictures, on how to make it with your crock pot. One thing I really like about the crock pot is that it produces a sort of translucent soap.. it’s a very lovely soap. But, you may prefer the cold process of soap making.

This process may be used for any soap recipe. Read through the directions before starting, to familiarize yourself with the process.

1. Measure your solid oils and melt them over low heat.
Melt your measured oils for soap recipe

2. a. While your oils are melting over low heat, measure you liquid (in this recipe, distilled water) in a dedicated lye mixture container – this is something you will not use for anything but your lye mixture.

2. b. Measure you lye, and add your lye TO your water. note: Always add the lye TO the water to avoid sudden splash-up. This will heat up pretty hot.. so set it aside to cool.. or you could put it outside (if it’s cool/cold) or in the fridge (Be sure you container is labeled clearly so no one uses it, and be careful in moving it around so as not to spill it).. so, your lye mixture is mixed and cooling.

2. c. You could use extra tea bags to make a tea with the distilled water. Steep the teabags, as you would when making tea. Allow the tea to cool. Make sure you use more water than is called for for the recipe, so when the wet tea bags are removed, you’ve got enough water left to make the lye mixture. Cool, or chill, measure and then follow steps above for the lye mixture.

3. Measure out your extra ingredients. Set aside.
– In one bowl measure your fragrance or essential oils.
– In another bowl, open the tea bags, so the teas are loose.
Measuring Soap ingredients

4. Make sure your soap mold is clean, lined and ready to use. My first soap mold was an old cigar box. I then made myself a flat, square wooden mold. I lined each of these with freezer paper, or wax paper. Once I started making soaps for sale, my husband made me wooden molds that produced nice soap logs. One short end was able to screw on and off, for easy log-removal. I used high temperature quilting mylar (found in the quilt section of your local fabric shop – make sure to get high temperature), cut to fit all four sides and the bottom.
Soap Mold

5. Once your solid oils are melted, add your olive oil. This will help bring down the temperature of you melted oils. You want your melted oils to be close to room temperature when you add your lye mixture. I found room temperature (or the slightly cooler) was best when combining your lye mixture to your oils.

When the temps are warmer it seems to speed up ‘trace’ (when the mixtures thickens), causing the combined lye mixture and oils to thicken up faster. This could be a problem if you are adding colorants, or other additives, when you need a few extra minutes to get things mixed well.

6. Add your lye mixture to the oils, and with your handy-dandy stick blender and begin mixing and blending. Mix and blend, mix and blend.
Blending lye and oil mixture for soap making tutorial.

7. When you see a light trace.. this will be like a “trail” that is left when you move the stick blender through the soap mix. It will take a few seconds to melt away on its own.
Reaching Trace - soap making tutorial

Trace has been reached.. now it’s time to add your fragrance or essential oils and your loose tea. Blend it in well and get ready to pour it into the prepared mold.

8. Pour gently, so as not to splash up, the soap into the mold.
Soap poured into soap mold

9. Set aside to finish the saponification (this is what the chemical process of the lye mixture and the oils go through in order to “change” and make soap) process. Some people like to “insulate” their soap while it goes through this process. To do this, you can wrap it in a towel or blanket. I would put a folded towel on the rack (or table or shelf) and then lay a piece of saran wrap across the top of the soap and then put another folded towel on top. This helps contain the heat of the soap. OR, if you mold fits in your oven, you can turn your oven on low heat (about 175 degrees) and let it sit in there over night.

10. Now, you’ve got a sink full of dirty dishes. What I like to do it rinse the bowl with the fragrance oil and set aside. Leave the dirty pot you mixed your soap in until the next day. If you wash it right after making your soap, it will be greasy / oily feeling and won’t wash well. If you leave it until the next day, it will have hardened up, and when you wash it, you won’t have to add any soap to wash it, because it’ll be lined with soap! Add some hot water, and see how well it bubbles. Mmm.. and it smells good too. 😉

11. It’s 24 hours later, give or take, and you’re ready to unmold your soap. Yay! Gently remove the soap from the mold.
Handmade soap log

12. Slice and allow to cure… 3 or 4 months is good, if you can wait that long. Your soap will harden up and shrink some, as the remaining liquid is evaporated from the soap. If you can’t wait long, give it a week or so before you use it. It won’t be as good as it will be in a few months, but it will work.
handmade soap log and cut soaps

This soap is not suitable for your face or ‘tender parts’. It makes a wonderful wake-me-up morning soap, but do be careful where you use it. Or in a soap tray for hand washing. It’s great for after cooking and gardening.

If you are looking for a soap for your face (and all over parts), try Nana’s Lavender Goat Milk Soap Recipe, or it’s Vegan alternative Nana’s Vegan Lavender Soap recipe.



Soap Making Recipes FAQ

I’ve gotten many great questions on the comments to some of my soap recipes. I thought I’d add some of the most important ones into one FAQ for ease of accessibility.

Q: Can I substitute one oil for a different one?

A: Yes, absolutely. But, be aware that certain oils behave differently, or have different properties, and it may not turn out to exactly what you want. I won’t pat myself on the back and say that my recipe is the best. 😉 But I will highly recommend that if you switch one oil out for another, you do a test batch to determine if the end result will meet your expectations.





Remember – if you substitute one oil for another, in a soap recipe, you MUST run the recipe back through a lye calculator – This is not optional. This is absolute, you HAVE to do this, to ensure you are mixing the right amount of lye / water to your oils. If you don’t, it could mean a soap that won’t harden, at the least, and at worst, a soap that may actually burn someones skin, or worse.

Here’s more information on Oil Properties for your Soap, Lotion or bath / body oils.

Q: Megan asks: “What about substituting coconut oil for PKO? It’s a lot easier for me to find.”

A: You can use coconut oil, but you don’t really want to use more than 15 or 20% – even at 20% it can be drying. Regardless, whatever you do to substitute, make sure you run the recipe back through a lye calculator. Each oil is different and requires a different amount of lye to make soap – soap that won’t burn 😉 or end up too soft.

Q: Jami aks: “Can you use this recipe follow a crock pot hot process?”

A: Sure – all of my recipes can be used to make crock pot / hot process soap. Just follow the Instructions for Crock Pot Hot Process Soap using the ingredients from this recipe. It’s super simple… and you know when it’s done, it’s good to use – though, letting it cure a few weeks to even a few months will allow it harden quite a bit more.

Jami tried it and had this to say:
“I made this recipe using the crock pot method on this site and it turned out wonderfully! I didn’t have lavender powder so I just added lavender flowers and it looks great. I tested the recipe and it lathers so nice and feels so good. And my hands are nicely cleaned! Thanks for the wonderful instructions and recipe!”

I just want to make a note about using lavender flowers. If you use lavender flowers IN the soap, when the soap cures, those once pretty little flowers can turn out looking rather like … erm… mouse poop.. so I’d suggest making your soap and then sprinkling springs of lavender across the top, or even tying small bunches of lavender flowers sprigs to the soap.

Q: Dayna asks: “Could rose eo and rose powder be substituted for the lavender and still be safe for the face?”

A: The simple answer is yes, absolutely. Rose is good for the skin, even the face. However, your bank account may disagree. Rose eo can be very costly; and you’ll need about 1/2 ounce per pound of soap. Rose powder would be great, as well as rose clay (this will give it a lovely color too). I get rose water to use in my facial creams, but I’m not sure the lovely, soft scent would come through in the soap. You could compromise and use rose powder, rose clay, rose water, rose buds / flowers, and then use some rose fragrance oil rather than essential oi – unless, of course, you aren’t concerned with the cost factor.


In regards to Substitutions:
In general, fragrances, essential oils, powders, clays, or spices (primarily used as natural colorants), micas, teas, etc, generally don’t change the outcome of the basic soap recipe.. But there could be some changes…

For instance, my Nana’s Lavender Soap recipe calls for lavender powder. The powder, even though it’s very fine does make a fine exfoliating soap. If you wanted to make this soap for a baby, leave out the powder, and it will be a soft, creamy, use-it-on-the-most-delicate-skin soap.

Q: Pam says: “Thanks for sharing so many different recipes. I’ve started making my own lotion and love the variety I can produce just by altering the ingredients with something I like. Keep up the good work!”

A: No, that wasn’t a question, but I wanted to put it out there and respond to it. I love that Pam is altering ingredients and creating a product that works for her.

I always try to view a recipe as a guideline – and I encourage others to do so too. If you don’t want to use a specific oil, or it’s not readily available to you, find one that is, with similar properties and make a small test batch to see if it produces something more suited to your needs.




Soap Making – Lye Calculator List


Soap cannot be made without the use of sodium hydroxide. Lye (sodium hydroxide) is mixed with fats to create soap. But, you need to know how much of each to make a really good bar. Here are a list of soap / lye calculators.

Soap Calculator by weight / percentage – enter recipes by either weight OR percent, up to 9 oils.

MMS
FNWL Creator
Soap Naturally Calculator
Brambelberry Lye Calc
North Country Mercantile Calculator
Lye Calculator
Cranberry Lane
Suds and Scents
TLC Soaps
Pine Meadows
Herbal Soaps by RJ
Soap Recipe Calculator – On a website in frames..
Rainbow Meadow Soap Calc
Soap Nuts
Soap Crafters
Snowdrift Farms

For Purchase:
SoapMaker – a downloadable program for your computer. Download a free trial. Free recipe creation and management as well as inventory control.

Learn to calculate your lye amounts by hand:
Oregon trail Soaps Files
Soap Bubbles Saponification Page
Miller Soap Worksheet

Because of these calculators, we are able to make soaps that are gentle on our skin, have creamy, bubbley lather and smell and look lovely.

See Momma Muse’s Handmade Soap Recipes

All About Soap Making: Basic Soap Making

by Gary Everson

Many areas of misunderstanding exist with regard to soap making. I am often asked “do I have to use lye?” “just how dangerous is lye?” and “will soap making save me money?” “can I really make soap and sell it for a profit?” these and many more questions arrive in my inbox on a daily basis, making it clear to me the extent of misinformation that exists where soap making is concerned.

There are really only two soap making techniques, cold process and hot process. Other techniques referred to as melt and pour and rebatching, are not actually soap making at all, instead they involve melting previously made soaps back to liquid form, then adding fragrance and color, maybe some herbs and grains and then allowing to set again.


True Soap Making involves the chemical reaction which takes place when fats and/or oils are mixed with an alkali such as Sodium Hydroxide, also known as Lye, or Caustic Soda. It’s as simple as that really, but more complex than you can imagine.

Aside from the basic fact that a strong alkali in solution will cause a chemical reaction known as saponification when mixed with fats, the exact nature of the resulting soap is dependent upon the type of fat used, the amount of lye, the curing time and a host of other factors all of which combine to make soap making a truly interesting and rewarding craft. I call it a craft because it requires skill and practice, I would prefer not to recall the number of soap batches I made when I was starting out that had to be thrown into the trash. Its important to remember that sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right, but once you’ve got the process down, homemade soap making is easy and fun. It is a never-ending source of joy because there is always more to learn.

Soap making is an age-old skill that is currently undergoing a popular revival. Home or cottage level soap making is done by the “cold process”, however this method is not recommended for children because of the potential danger that lye poses. Soap making is a fascinating, enjoyable and creative hobby, but did you ever realize that it could actually become an excellent source of income. the beauty of soap making is its adaptability to village-sized enterprises, it represents a business that requires little space, with little cost and offers numerous possibilities.


Soap making is a great hobby and makes a wonderful gift because, let’s face it, everyone needs it. Homemade soap making is not at all a difficult process. The melt and pour process makes it even easier, although melt and pour is not soap making in its true sense, it is an easy and creative way to make your own soap. It is the easiest of all the methods and is by far the least time consuming.

The most popular soap making process today is the cold process method, where fats such as olive oil react with lye, it is the process that more advanced hobbyists and small business owners use. It is certainly a more complicated way of making your own soap than melt and pour, but can yield much more pleasing results. Cold process is a method of soap making which doesn’t utilize any external heat source. Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, is used in cold process soap making. The cold process yields no waste products of any kind.

Melt and pour soap making is an easy and creative way to make your own soap. Some soap makers prefer melt and pour because the process is easy and allows the soap maker to concentrate more on the aesthetic aspects of soap making. In its simplest form, slice off what you need, melt it, and pour it into your favorite soap molds. Learning how to make melt and pour soap is the easiest soap making method that you can learn. The joy of Melt and Pour Soap Making promotes the making of soap in the home as a fun hobby and economical craft. Learn melt and pour and cold-process soap making basics then try your hand at lotion, lip balm, salt scrubs and more. Melt and pour soap base is pre-made and purchased by the block, a natural soap base is melted and poured in individual shapes. It has become very popular in recent years. Melt and pour is not actual soap making, often called glycerin soap, it can be opaque, colored or clear. Even children, when supervised, can make soap using this method. Typical un-molding time for Melt and Pour soaps is 4 hours, after which it is ready to use. Un-molding time for cold process soaps is 24 hours or more, followed by a curing period that can take as long as four weeks.

If you are careful to shop around for the best deals and buy your ingredients in bulk wherever possible, you can create batches of soap which cost between 20 and 50 cents per bar, less than commercially available soap bars with many times better quality and a lot less than the price of other handmade soaps on the market. This provides the opportunity for a reasonable profit margin should you decide to sell your products, either simply to recoup the cost of your hobby, or to fuel the beginnings of an exciting and profitable business.





Soap making is not hard to do if you are armed with just a little bit of information. It is an age-old skill that is currently undergoing a popular revival. A fun and useful hobby, soap making is a great pastime and makes a wonderful gift because, let’s face it, everyone needs it. Cold process soap making is not recommended for children because of the potential danger that lye poses. Melt and Pour soap making is the easiest of all the methods and is by far the least time consuming. Soap making is not just for your grandmother anymore; it has become a popular hobby for many creative and artistic people.

Copyright © 2007 Gary Everson

About the author:
Want to learn All About Soap Making, but haven’t a clue where to start? Gary Everson’s FREE course will show you how, from the basic techniques with a detailed explanation of theraputic soaps, to cold process and melt and pour recipes, followed by comprehensive safety and legal information and finishing by turning it all into a business, with an extra bonus at the end.

Olive Oil Properties and Benefits


Olive Oil is a fruit oil obtained from the olive (Olea europaea), a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. It is used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps, and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps.

Olive oil is a healthful oil because of its high content of monounsaturated fat (mainly oleic acid) and polyphenols. It is also rich in anti-oxidants helping to fight free radicals which cause damage to cells. Olive oil in body care products provides nourishment to the skin, hair and nails.

Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil
Sodium Olivate (Olive Oil Soap)
– A moisturizing oil used in soaps – castile soaps are generally 100% olive oil, but there is no requirement as to what percentage must be used. Olive oil mimics the body’s own natural oils to attract and retain precious moisture to your skin. It softens skin while attracting moisture to your skin. Makes for a mild soap which keeps your skin soft, supple and younger looking.

A soap made with a high percentage of olive oil produces a gentle soap, suitable for young children, or people with sensitive skin.

Olive oil helps relieve itching, stings and bites and may also help in the healing process of burns.

Olive Oil Definitions

* Extra-virgin olive oil (sometimes called EVOO) comes from the first pressing of the olives, contains no more than 0.8% acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste. There can be no refined oil in extra-virgin olive oil.
* Virgin olive oil has an acidity less than 2%, and judged to have a good taste. There can be no refined oil in virgin olive oil.
* Olive oil is a blend of virgin oil and refined oil, containing at most 1% acidity. It commonly lacks a strong flavor.
* Olive-pomace oil is a blend of refined pomace olive oil and possibly some virgin oil. It is fit for consumption, but it may not be called olive oil. Olive-pomace oil is rarely found in a grocery store; it is often used for certain kinds of cooking in restaurants.
* Lampante oil is olive oil not used for consumption; lampante comes from olive oil’s ancient use as fuel in oil-burning lamps. Lampante oil is mostly used in the industrial market.

Olive oil is a heavy oil and ranges in color from pale yellow to dark green.

Rice Bran Soap Recipe

Rice Bran Soap Recipe

– A nourishing oil and a powerful skin protectant, high in gamma-oryzanol as well as anti-oxidants, which will protect and replenish the skin. RBO is rich in phytosterols, helping to help reduce inflammation and soothe discomfort. It also contains the highest quantity of vitamin E in liquid form. Beneficial to mature, sensitive and delicate skin.

Rice Bran Oil is becoming more popular in bath and body care items due to it’s lower price, but similar properties to Olive Oil. Rice Bran has a very silky smooth feel to it’s lather in soap.


60% Rice Bran Oil
20% Palm Kernel Oil
10% Coconut Oil
10% Palm Oil

5% Sodium Hydroxide

1 Pound Soap Recipe:

9.6 oz Rice Bran Oil
3.2 oz Palm Kernel Oil
1.6 oz Coconut Oil
1.6 oz Palm Oil

2.19 oz Sodium Hydroxide

To figure water, a safe range would be to multiply the lye amount by 2.2. I usually use a range somewhere between 1.7 and 2.0 for figuring my liquid requirements. For new recipes, I recommend 2.2.

Note:
Remember to always run your recipe through a soap calculator to ensure you are using safe amounts of lye. See a list of online lye calculators.

For properties on other oils and additives to use in your soap making recipes, see
Ingredient and Oil Properties for Soap, Lotion, Serums, Bath and Body

Notes:
– Be sure to use a soap calculator specifically used to calculator amounts, particularly making sure you have the correct amount of sodium hydroxide.
– If you need to make substitutions within your recipe, be sure to recalculate, as the lye amount may change.
– Remember your safety and for those around your soap making area. Label items appropriately, wear appropriate safety gear.

Creamy Olive Oil Soap Recipe

Creamy Olive Oil Soap

80% Olive Oil
20% Palm Kernel Oil

5% Sodium Hydroxide

1 Pound Recipe:

12.8 oz Olive Oil
3.2 Palm Kernel Oil

2.18 Sodium Hydroxide

To figure water, a safe range would be to multiply the lye amount by 2.2. I usually use a range somewhere between 1.7 and 2.0 for figuring my liquid requirements. For new recipes, I recommend 2.2.

Note:
Momma Muse recommends always running your recipe through a soap calculator to ensure you are using safe amounts of lye. See a list of online lye calculators.

For properties on other oils to use in your soap making recipes, see
Ingredient and Oil Properties for Soap, Lotion, Serums, Bath and Body

Notes:
– Be sure to use a soap calculator specifically used to calculator amounts, particularly making sure you have the correct amount of sodium hydroxide.
– If you need to make substitutions within your recipe, be sure to recalculate, as the lye amount may change.
– Remember your safety and for those around your soap making area. Label items appropriately, wear appropriate safety gear.

Momma Muse, and Judi Cox, is in no way held liable for your soap making adventures or misadventures. Though we are happy to share your experiences, should you wish. 🙂

Basic Olive Oil Soap Recipe


I finally have a couple of alternative Basic Soap Recipes to use that do not include Palm Oil.

One of my favorite soaps, in fact, is just and Olive Oil and Palm Kernel Oil – and you can add in whatever scents and goodies you want.

Basic Palm Oil- Free Soap recipes – makes a great starter base.

 

Basic Olive Oil Soap Recipe

60% Olive Oil
15% Palm Oil
15% Palm Kernel Oil
10% Coconut Oil

5% Sodium Hydroxide

…………..
1 lb Recipe:

9.6 oz Olive Oil
2.4 oz Palm Oil
2.4 oz Palm Kernel Oil
1.6 oz Coconut Oil

2.24 oz Sodium Hydroxide

…………..
2 lb Recipe:

19.2 oz Olive Oil
4.8 oz Palm Oil
4.8 oz Palm Kernel Oil
3.2 oz Coconut Oil

4.48 oz Sodium Hydroxide

To figure water, a safe range would be to multiply the lye amount by 2.2. I usually use a range somewhere between 1.7 and 2.0 for figuring my liquid requirements. For new recipes, I recommend 2.2. In this case 4.8 x 2.2 = 10.56 oz

Note:
Always your recipe through a soap calculator to ensure you are using safe amounts of lye. See a list of online lye calculators.

For properties on other oils to use in your soap making recipes, see
Ingredient and Oil Properties for Soap, Lotion, Serums, Bath and Body

Notes:
– Be sure to use a soap calculator specifically used to calculator amounts, particularly making sure you have the correct amount of sodium hydroxide.
– If you need to make substitutions within your recipe, be sure to recalculate, as the lye amount may change.
– Remember your safety and for those around your soap making area. Label items appropriately, wear appropriate safety gear.




About Our Soaps

Our soaps are not only gentle, but cleansing, lather (creamy or full-bubbles, which may depend on your water type) and smell lovely as well as being pretty enough to display. We also choose oils which are moisturizing so you don’t leave the shower feeling as if you need to slather on a layer of lotion (though, our lotions feel pretty good, if we do say so ourselves!).

We use both fragrance oils and essentials oils and sometimes in combination with each other. We also periodically make soaps containing neither. While some people feel fragrance oils can be irritating, we’ve found that the amount we use is typically not enough to be bothersome. Of course, if it’s irritating to your skin, discontinue use.

All of our soaps are considered Vegan Friendly, even the ones with fragrance oils. Our suppliers have assured us animals play no part in the blending of oils. Periodically, we do make a soap or two which contains honey – this soap will be well labeled. (Note: our ‘Oatmeal Milk & Honey’ fragranced soap does NOT contain real honey.)

Lotion Percentages – Simple lotion making instructions


Many different oils can be combined in varying percentages to create an endless variety of lotion blends, each with their own qualities benefiting your sking in different ways.

To read about the oils we commonly use and their beneficial qualities, read Ingredient and Oil Properties for Soap, Lotion, Serums, Bath and Body.

For our basic lotion recipe, we generally follow these percentages:
74% liquids of choice
Chose liquids based on the qualities you wish to add to your lotion. Lotions can be made using distilled water, milk, hydrosols or teas.

12% oils of choice
Oils should be chosen for their qualities. To help chose, spread a little oil on your own skin. If it feels good, try it. Try one oil, or a blend of oils to create the perfect blend for your skin needs.

5% glycerin (a humectant)
5% emulsifer (blends the oils and water)
3% stearic acid (thickener)
1% fragrance of choice (optional)
Unscented, qualitity fragrance oils, essential oils, or let your hydrosols scent it naturally.

Preservative used in recommended percentage, usually .1%-1% (chose one specifically for water-based products)

Simple instructions for making lotion:
– Combine all ingredients, except fragrance and preservative, heat to melting.
– Blend with mixer or stick blender until cooled.
– At approximately 120 degrees or so, add fragrance and preservative.
– Pour into sterilized containers.

Soft & Silky Handmade Lotion Recipe provides specific ingredients and amounts.