Simple, Basic Soap Recipe Base

handmadesoapbar

I have been meaning to list a simple handmade soap base recipe, but without using Palm oil. Say No To Palm Oil
Any of my recipes can be edited to suit the needs of the crafter. Just always remember to run it back through a lye calculator whenever you make any changes to the oils or size of the batch.

I loved experimenting with different oils, but my two favorite recipes were just so simple. No special label appeal with shea or cocoa butters.. just a basic, creamy good soap.

A 3 base oil Soap recipe

Olive Oil, Coconut Oil and Palm Kernel Oil

1 pound

70%  Olive Oil                11.2 ounces
15% Coconut Oil             2.4 ounces
15% Palm Kernel Oil     2.4 ounces

5% superfat – Lye           2.2 ounces

4 pounds

70% Olive Oil                44.8 ounces
15% Coconut Oil               9.6 ounces
15% Palm Kernel Oil       9.6 ounces

5% superfat – Lye            8.99 ounces

…………
For even more basic, Olive Oil and Palm Kernel Oil

Olive Oil and Palm Kernel Oil

1 pound

80% Olive Oil                          12.8 ounces
20% Palm Kernel Oil             3.2 ounces

5% superfat – Lye                   2.16 ounces

4 pounds

80% Olive Oil                               51.2 ounces
20% Palm Kernel Oil                12.8 ounces

5% superfat – Lye                       8.65 ounces

 

Either of these basic recipes will be a good base for a plain bar of soap, or to add additives and fragrances or essential oils.

You can use either of these bases for just about any recipe on MommaMuse – you can change your liquid (distilled water, teas, milks (read up on using goat milk before trying), cucumber, use your imagination), your fragrances or essential oils, colorants, additives (powders, clays, teas).





How much Liquid should I add?

To figure your liquid, you want 2.2 times the lye amount.  Lye X 2.2 = Liquid in ounces

 

What does ‘superfat’ mean?

When you make soap, the oil molecules bind with the lye molecules.  To make a gentle soap, you want to have a little bit more oil molecules than you do lye.. But at the same time,  not too much more – or you’ll have a soft oily mess of nothing.

 

Cold Process or Hot Process Soap?

Some people have their favorites, I like both ways of making soap.  I have tutorials on how I do each, but mine aren’t the only way to make soap.. there are other variations.  For Cold Process, read Rosemary Mint Cold Process Soap Tutorial with Recipe. For Hot Process, my favorite way is in the crock pot. I recommend getting a crock pot you can use specifically for soap making (check thrift stores, garage sales or ask friends – someone is bound to have one they never use). Instructions for Making Crock Pot Handmade Soap – a ‘how to’ with pictures.
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. Don’t just double your recipe, run it through the calculator again. and again. and again.
– Remember your safety and for those around your soap making area. Label items appropriately, wear appropriate safety gear.




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.




How To Make Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

(This recipe is for Liquid Laundry Soap. Here’s a Powdered Laundry Soap Tutorial.)

Have you ever wondered how easy it would be to make your own homemade liquid laundry soap? This recipe is not only easy, the cost is less than a few dollars per batch and each batch makes enough for 110 loads of laundry.


This liquid laundry soap works Great for High Efficiency washers as it’s not a super sudsy soap.

The ingredients you’ll need should be available at your local grocery stores or maybe big box stores.

1 cup – 20 Mule Team Borax
1/2 cup – Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 bar of ivory soap (I used my own handmade soap and part of a bar of castile)
Large clean bucket enough to hold 3 gallons of water easily – I used a 5 gallon bucket we acquired from a fast food restaurant – it used to be filled with bags of pickles.. we got it free.
Water
Essential Oil or Fragrance Oil (optional)
– 1/8 ounce to 1 ounce

The ingredients are simple enough. Should only cost maybe $10 if you are purchasing the boxes for the first time. The two boxes of powders will last you through several batches (or use to make powdered laundry soap, or even liquid hand soap).

First, shave your bar of soap using a peeler. I used 1/3 bar of castile and a 1/2 bar of handmade soap

Once your soap is in small pieces, place a pot on the stove big enough to hold 5 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil. When it begins to boil, lower heat to simmer and put the soap in the water. I covered with a lid and let it sit.

While your soap is melting, add 3 gallons of hot water to your bucket. For ease, I used a 2 qt pitcher to fill it.

To the hot water, add 1 cup of Borax and 1/2 cup of Washing Soda. Stir with long handled spoon until dissolved.

Add the melted soap water to the bucket and stir well. If you want to add any fragrance, add it now. Since I make soap, I have tons of fragrances around. I used one called Eucalyptus Thymes – I got from a place called Sweet Cakes (their eucalyptus is the best clean smell – not like medicinal eucalyptus). Or add essential oils. If you plan to make your soaps regularly and want it fragrances, I’d suggest finding a good soap/candle supply company (maybe one local to you?) and order it – it’s Much cheaper to order your essential oils and fragrances rather than purchase from the health food store or craft store.

How much Essential Oils or Fragrance oils:
I would say it’s up to you.. but somewhere between 1/4 ounce to a full ounce.. completely depending on your sensitivity, preferences and the scent. Remember, some scents are stronger than others and adjust accordingly.  You need less essential oils than fragrance oils.




Cover the bucket and set aside for 24 hours. Your soap may be watery or gel up in areas, may be slightly lumpy in areas. This is normal and nothing to worry about. Make sure to smoosh up the clumps when you add it to the washer. If you have smaller containers to put your in, it may be easier to handle – I have old detergent bottles and filled mine with my “new” soap. My soap is very watery – but very soapy.

This makes over 110 loads of liquid laundry soap – and you only need to use about a 1/2 cup.

Banning the Sale of Used Childrens Clothes and Toys


I’ve seen noticing a huge effort almost panic, around the net regarding the sale of used children’s clothing, toys, books. Of course this would hugely impact so many families it’s almost inconceivable!

Our country is in such mess financially, I cannot even begin to fathom the likelyhood of this bill passing as it is currently written. While I can certainly understand families across the country feeling a panic, I almost think it’s silly to fall into all the hype about it. While I think it’s important to sign petitions, write congressmen, etc, I also think it’s important to not inundate them with more hysteria – look around before you panic, read a bit, get informed…

My understanding is this is not going to effect the resalers, but manufacturers and importers. Now, how this effects handmade products just yet, I’m not sure…

Here is a list of related articles

And here is a link to the actual CPSIA or more directly this CPSC Clarification

Ah… and the ever handy snopes inspection.

What’s Up, Some Comments and Link Love

I have been slightly out of commission the past week and a half. Mostly due to health – Crohn’s Disease commonly causes depression, so between feeling pretty crummy and dealing with a lack of energy, I was barely doing anything internet related.

My husband is on his “required” 30 leave from work, so I’m happy to have him home, to say the least! And Easter was fun, though pretty cold… I saw where others woke up to snow – egads.. I’ll pass on the winter weather – I’m so ready to start seeing an increase in temperature.

I’ve been making some rounds this morning and trying to post some comments, but blogger seems to be having issues with their comments..

To Entrecard Favorites – thanks for all the link love! And for the raffle win. I received your credits the other day and couldn’t figure out just why, ha! Now I see. Great idea and again, much thanks. 🙂

Barrs By The Bay used (in part) my crockpot soap tutorial to make a batch of hydrangea scented soap in her crockpot. I don’t think it matters what soap making method you use, it’s fun to make!

Ok.. so.. I’m back and I have more to post… but work calls.

Four Foods on Friday

A food meme from Fun, Crafts and Recipes.. visit her site and join the meme.

#1. What’s your favorite potato chip?

I’m not really picky about my pototo chips.. I usually get Mike Sells and Pringles – I think Mike Sells is a semi local chip.. I know they don’t have them in the SE.

#2. Do you use butter, margarine, both or neither?

I use both.. it depends on what I’m cooking. I also like to use oil.. and one of these days I plan to make my own margarine with real butter and olive oil. As an aside, I like Rice Bran oil to cook with too… very nice… right up there with OO. And I use both, depending on what I have on hand, for soapmaking.

#3. What’s your favorite mixed alcoholic (or virgin) drink?

I’m not much of a drinker, but I do like Seagrams wine coolers .. Cherry Fizz is my favorite.. but I like Wild Berries, Daiquiri and Passionate Kiss…

#4. What’s your favorite vegetable and how do you prepare it?

I like so many veggies it’s hard to say.. I like asparagus, chopped and cooked with lots of butter and salt… acorn squash baked with butter, salt and bacon cooked on top… zucchini and yellow squash chopped and steamed (to super softness) with butter and salt… ahhh.. see the butter and salt theme, huh.. lol.

Soft & Silky Handmade Lotion Recipe

This is one of my favorite lotions, moisturizing without leaving an oily feel on the skin.

Oil Phase:
9 oz sweet almond oil
3 oz jojoba oil
6 oz grapeseed oil
1 oz wheatgerm oil
2.5 oz stearic acid (used to thicken lotion)
2.5 oz ewax (thickens lotions; allows water and oil to blend)
3 oz shea butter

Water Phase:
44 oz distilled water
.6 oz citric acid (used to soften water)
1.8 oz glycerin
2 oz hydrolized wheat protein
1 oz rose hydrosol*
1 oz lavender hydrosol*

.8 oz fragrance (optional)
.7 optiphen (preservative)

* hydrosols are option, if unavailable, just up your water amount.


Separated Steps:
1. Combine all oil phase ingredients, except shea butter in a pan or microwave safe bowl. Heat over low on stove or in microwave until ewax is melted. Once melted, remove from heat, add shea butter and allow to melt.
2. Combine water phase ingredients, heating over low heat until citric acid is disolved.
3. Combine oil and water ingredients and mix with mixer on low until cool.
4. Add fragrance and preservative, blending until well incorporated.
5. Pour into sterilized containers

I combine my steps to speed the process, with no ill effects. Here’s how I do it now:
1. Combine all ingredients, except fragrance and preservative.
2. Heat until melted.
3. Blend in a mixer (I have a kitchen aid that works awesomely for lotion making).
4. Once fairly cool to the touch (think “luke-warm”), I add my fragrance oil and preservative.
5. Continue mixing to ensure the last ingredients are well incorporated.
6. Pour into sterilized containers.

Lotion Percentages will provide percentage information, to allow you to make your own lotion recipe. Or experiment with the ingredients in this recipe – each oil you substitute may result in a different feel to the end product. I’d suggest making a smaller batch while you experiment.

Nana’s Vegan Lavender Soap Recipe

This lavender soap recipe was created for vegan friends and family. It contains no animal bi-products, and is gentle and soothing to sensitive skin. [Updated recipes at bottom of post to include no palm or pko and another for just a castile.]

If you’re not vegan, you can try Nana’s Lavender Goat Milk Soap, a creamy soap that is also gentle on all skin types.

Lavender essential oil has been known to be soothing to dry, itchy skin; calms the mind and eases stress. Lavender eo has been used to treat various skin disorders because of it’s antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, such as acne, wrinkles, and psoriasis. Adding lavender oil to chamomile helps eczema.

I used a few different base recipes, but my all-time favorite was a very simple one.


2 pounds

24 oz. Olive Oil (75)
8 oz. Palm Kernel Oil (25%)

4.38 oz. Lye (6% superfat)
8.8 oz. lavender tea *

1.5 oz. lavender essential oil
2 TBSP lavender powder

* This is your liquid and it determined by your lye amount x 2.

[See bottom of post for information regarding PKO not being considered Vegan – and an alternate, simple recipe.]

To make lavender tea, heat water amount (plus extra a little extra) to boiling. Pour over lavender buds and let infuse for 10 minutes or more. I usually do this the night before and leave to infuse the whole time. Once done, filter out the lavender buds and chill the tea.

When the tea is sufficiently chilled, add your lye (remember, add your lye TO the tea, not the other way around). I put my lye mixture container into a bowl a cold water to cool – (sometimes adding ice, depending on how quickly I’m wanting to get things going).

Once mixed and set to cooling, put aside (in a safe place!).

Measure your Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) and melt (not hot, just melted) – I have used a microwave in the past to do this, just make sure your container is microwave safe. If you are able, a stove top works well.

While your PKO is melting, measure your lavender essential oil and lavender powder into separate containers (I always use glass for my essential and fragrance oils).

Have your mold clean, lined and at the ready.

When your PKO is melted, add the olive oil. Feeling the side of the pot, it should not be hot. I prefer working with all the ingredients at a luke-warm temperature. It allows for more time.


Now, your lye mixture should be cooler to the touch and your oils cooler to the touch… again, think “luke warm”.

Have your stick blender (immersion blender) at hand and ready. Slowly add your lye mixture to your oils (note: always add the lye TO the oil). Blending while you pour…

Bring your soap mixture to trace (trace is when your spoon or blender leaves a trail and takes a minute to disappear back into the mixture). Once trace has been reached, add your lavender powder, mixing, then your essential oil, mixing..

Everything should be mixed well, now pour into your mold. I do not insulate my soap, I put it on a shelf for about 24 hours before I unmold and cut. Once cut, I leave on a shelf for another 24 hours before I bevel edges.

Give it a couple weeks before using, though a good month would be best as the soap will harden up nicely over time.





UPDATE

In a recent comment, Lisa informs me that PKO, palm kernel oil, is not considered vegan.  I am unable find any information to support that it is not vegan – however there is a lot of information regarding palm oil and the destruction from it’s harvesting.  I have, on the other hand, found sites where people do consider PKO vegan.  Whether you consider it vegan or not, the choice to use it is up to the soap maker.

I prefer really simple recipes – it’s not only easier on the pocket book, but it’s easier to make – and then I can add my extra goodies to spice it up.  Here is a recipe using coconut instead of PKO – coconut is derived from the Coconut Palm (not the same plant that palm or pko come from).

2 pounds – No PKO

25.5 oz. Olive Oil (~80%)
6.5 oz. Coconut Oil (~20%)

4.37 oz. Lye (6% superfat)
8.8 oz. lavender tea *

1.5 oz. lavender essential oil
2 TBSP lavender powder

* This is your liquid and it determined by your lye amount x 2.

….

If you want a true Castile Soap, use only Olive Oil:

2 pounds Castile Soap

32 oz. Olive Oil (100%)

4.07 oz. Lye (6% superfat)

8.2 oz. lavender tea *

1.5 oz. lavender essential oil
2 TBSP lavender powder

* This is your liquid and it determined by your lye amount x 2.

Castile takes longer to cure, but makes a very hard, long lasting bar of soap.

Enjoy!

 

Nana’s Lavender Goatmilk Soap Recipe

This was one of my favorites, and one that always flew off my shelf – I just couldn’t keep it in stock!

This is a lovely, creamy soap that is gentle on all skin types – from baby skin to problem skin such as eczema and psoriasis. If you’d rather try a vegan recipe, try Nana’s Vegan Lavender Soap Recipe – it’s a perfect alternative, no less wonder and gentle.

Lavender essential oil has been known to be soothing to dry, itchy skin; calms the mind and eases stress. Lavender eo has been used to treat various skin disorders because of it’s antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, such as acne, wrinkles, and psoriasis. Adding lavender oil to chamomile helps eczema.

I used a few different base recipes, but my all-time favorite was a very simple one. Momma Muse has several lavender soap recipes – many are, or can be made, vegan friendly.


2 pounds

24 oz. Olive Oil (75)
8 oz. Palm Kernel Oil (25%)

4.38 oz. Lye (6% superfat)
8.8 oz. goat milk *

1.5 oz. lavender essential oil
2 TBSP lavender powder

* This is your lye amount x 2.

Freeze the goat milk in the container used for your lye mixture. Once frozen, very slowly add your lye. Stirring, and slowly adding – this helps prevent the milk from getting hot too fast. I also put my container in a bowl with ice to keep the goat milk and lye mixture as cool as possible.

Once mixed and set to cooling, put aside (in a safe place!).

Measure your Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) and melt (not hot, just melted) – I have used a microwave in the past to do this, just make sure your container is microwave safe. If you are able, a stove top works well.

lavender

While your PKO is melting, measure your lavender essential oil and lavender powder into separate containers (I always use glass for my essential and fragrance oils).

Have your mold clean, lined and at the ready.

When your PKO is melted, add the olive oil. Feeling the side of the pot, it should not be hot. A little warm is fine, but generally a the cooler the temperature the better when mixing a goat milk soap (actually, I prefer working with cool temps all the time – more time to mix).


Now, your lye mixture should be cooler to the touch and your oils cooler to the touch… think “luke-warm”.

Have your stick blender (immersion blender) at hand and ready. Slowly add your lye mixture to your oils (note: always add the lye TO the oil). Blending while you pour…

Bring your soap mixture to trace (trace is when your spoon or blender leaves a trail and takes a minute to disappear back into the mixture). Once trace has been reached, add your lavender powder, mixing, then your essential oil, mixing..

Everything should be mixed well, now pour into your mold. I do not insulate my soap, I put it on a shelf for about 24 hours before I unmold and cut. Once cut, I leave on a shelf for another 24 hours before I bevel edges.

Give it a couple weeks before using, though a good month would be best as the soap will harden up nicely over time.





Photo Credit: By kidclaude on flickr

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