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.




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.




The No ‘Poo (no shampoo) Decision and Recipes

A couple of years ago, I came across a couple of posts about the “no ‘poo” method of washing hair. It sounded like something I’d do, but at the time, life was really heavy on me… But just a few months ago, I came across those few posts again. I did a few more searches and made a mental note to pick up a couple of containers and my own jug of Apple Cider Vinegar the next time I went to the store.

Since you are here, reading, you’ve likely already decided you have some interest in this method, so I’m not going to go into all the gritty details of why this method is good, or better. We know we’re surrounded in life with chemicals, shampoo and conditioner are no different. Read on for the basics.

No ‘Poo is just a way of cleaning your hair without the harmful chemicals found in most shampoos and conditioners. It’s cheap.. er, frugal and easy, so set aside your bottles of shampoo and conditioner (really, you can always go back to it, should this no shampoo method not work for you – don’t sweat it and don’t pitch the bottles yet.) and gather up a few simple ingredients. Here are a few things you will want.




Ingredients for the No ‘Poo, no shampoo method of washing your hair:

One or Two containers that are easy to mix, easy to pour. You may dedicate a specific bottle (or two), or you might just want to use a large cup.

You’ll want a spoon or scoop of some sort – I just use an old spoon, like the small spoon that would come in silverware set. I think I’ll switch to a tea-spoon for the longer handle (but keeping the smaller scoop of the spoon).

A box of Baking Soda. You could put this in a pretty jar, or just leave it…. eh..

A jug of Apple Cider Vinegar (if you are collecting articles about this method, you’ll frequently seen this as ACV)

There’s your basics. Easy peas-y.

Long Hair
This is not a picture of the no 'poo method, just long hair.

I use two rubber maid bottles. I rinse them after each use, so my next shower, I can use either bottle for whichever step. Sometimes, I just use one bottle. It’s no big deal.

Before my shower, while the bathroom are water are heating up, I put about 2 rounded teaspoons (not an exact, just “about”) into one container. In the shower, I fill it with about 2 or 2 1/2 cups of water – give a shake.

I have found I prefer to put this solution on my head before I wet my hair. This way I get most on my roots, rather than on the hair length since it can be drying. Turning my head this way and that, I get it on all my scalp, rubbing it gently with my fingertips (not my nails). Rub gently, don’t scrub.

I leave this on while I rinse the bottle. I use about the same amount of ACV as I do Baking Soda, but I just “splash” it into the bottle or cup, then add about 2 or 2 1/2 cups of water. This, I pour over all my hair as it acts as a conditioner, but importantly, it balances the ph of your hair and scalp – so don’t skip this.

The Apple Cider Vinegar does have a light smell while your hair is still wet, but once dry, you don’t smell it. This is all well and good, but I do smell it if I get hot and sweaty… and I don’t like it. I love vinegar in salads and on sandwiches, it definitely has its place in household cleaning and laundry, but I swear, the only thing that comes to mind when I smell it, is coloring Easter eggs… and really, just gross. But, I found a way to combat this negative side effect…


Instead of using plain water to add to your vinegar rinse, I made a strong tea. My plan is to keep tea bags I’ve used for making pitcher of iced tea, and throw them in a gallon jug of water. Over time, they’ll steep. You could also do this with different herbs (lavender quickly comes to mind) and essential oils. One drawback to essentials oils, however, is they are an oil – they don’t mix with water – so you’ll need to make sure you shake your mixture well before using. Then use this water with your splash of ACV and you don’t smell the vinegar (little, if at all) even while it’s wet.

I’ve been using this method for a couple of months now and not only do I like how it makes my hair feel, I am enjoying it.

Just a few notes to add. If you have been reading articles, you’ll know you may have an adjustment period for your hair since it’s use to having to over-produce oils to help moisturize your hair (shampoos and conditioners (certain ones) strip your hair of its natural oils, while others coat it with a barrier that keeps it from getting moisturized naturally. You really don’t need to wash your hair every day, so gradually lengthen the time between washes. I typically wash my hair every five to six days, and it really is good up until that last day – when it feels dirty, but still doesn’t look it.

Where are you with this no ‘poo method? Have you just come across it, and are researching, or have you been doing it for awhile? I’d love to hear your experiences, and even additives to the recipe(s).




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

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.

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.




Instructions for Making Crock Pot Handmade Soap

Crock Pot Soap Making

Making soap in a crock pot is an easy way to use the “hot process” method. This method of soap making is also referred to as crock pot hot process, or in short, cphp.

This how-to tutorial outlines my steps for making crock pot soap and assumes you are familiar with the soap making process.

Start with a good recipe (Soap Recipes). I prefer recipes that have a higher amount of liquid oil to solids. One of my favorite recipes is very simple: 60% Olive Oil, 20% Palm Kernel Oil, 20% Palm Oil. Run it through a lye calculator to determine the amount of lye and [distilled] water needed. I do not discount my water when making hot process. One of my favorite recipes is at the end of these instructions, with more here: Soap Recipes – or use the search.

Detailed Photos, check my flick set: Crockpot Soap




I use a 6 1/2 quart crock pot. A 4 pound batch of soaps fits perfectly. It fills the crock pot about half full – giving room in the case of it bubbling up, but not too little an amount that it could burn.

First, measure cold water and set aside.

Then measure the lye into a separate container. Slowly pour the lye into the pitcher of cold water. Stir until dissolved. Set aside in a safe place.

Once I have my lye mixture set aside, I measure my solid oils. These can be put into the crock pot to be melted. But, it takes longer this way, so I generally put them into the microwave for a couple minutes until melted and then pour into the crock pot.

At this point, my crock pot is on low.

Mixing the Soap

I recommend using a good rubber spatula to scrape the bowl – no sense leaving any good oils behind.

Next, I measure my olive oil – and/or any other liquid oils I happen to be using – and pour this into the crock pot.

Get out your handy-dandy stick-blender and using low speed, slowly pour the lye mixture into the melted oils. Gently move the stick-blender around, up, down, around, ensuring a nice even blend. If you don’t have a stick-blender, a stainless steel wire whisk works great too – just requires a little more arm power, and of course, will take longer.

Once it has reached ‘trace’, I put the lid on the crock pot and turn the heat setting up to high. However, the first few times I made crock pot soap, I left it on low until I was confident in how it worked (both the soap AND my crock pot).

Now while it is cooking, I ready my mold, measure out any fragrance oils or essential oils and any additives I plan to use.

Cooked

After about 15 or 20 minutes, I take the lid off and, using a potato masher, mash the soap around. It has a look of a vaseline texture; glossy, slick. It will have a waxy feel if you rub a piece of it between gloved fingers.

Add your additives, colorants, herbs, etc and mix well using the potato masher. Once that is blended fairly well, add your fragrance and mix again.

It is done! At this point, it’s really soap. It only needs to be put into your mold. I do this in large spoonfuls, pounding my mold on the counter every few scoops to ensure it packs into the mold tightly. Once I have it all in the mold, I put a baggie on my hand and flatten the top – making sure to “squish” it into the corners really well.

Now is a good time to wash all the dishes. And you don’t even need to add any soap! You should see some lovely lather from the soap you’ve just made.

I let this sit over-night. The next morning, I unmold and slice into bars to air out for a week or so. Once each bar has had time to harden, I bevel each one and it’s ready for use, or sale.



Rosemary Mint is my favorite crock pot soap recipe:
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

If you want a smaller or larger batch, just run the ingredients through a soap / lye calculator to ensure your lye to liquid ratio is correct – Don’t take chances on this, you don’t want soap that won’t set up, or worse, soap that burns.

handmade soap

A search of MommaMuse will provide other soap making recipes which may be used for cold process soap, hot process soap, or crock pot soap. Soap Recipes

Note: Sodium Hydroxide is highly caustic and should be handled carefully and knowledgeably. It is the soapmakers responsibility to research safety procedures for soapmaking.

Detailed Photos, check my flick set: Crockpot Soap