Prep 384 hrs
Cook 15 mins
This soap is very mild and gentle since it is made from vegetable products. Recipe posted by request. This is from the book: Natural Beauty At Home by Janice Cox.
- Heat the olive oil on low flame to approximately 80-85 F.
- Dissolve the lye in the water.
- Cool to about 70-75 F.
- Pour the lye solution in a thin, steady stream, into the oil with slow, even stirring.
- You shouldn't be heating the mixture at this time.
- Continue stirring until a thick, honeylike texture is obtained.
- This will take 10-20 minutes.
- Note: If the soap mixture does not become thick within 30 minutes, and there is a greasy layer on top, it may be too warm.
- If this happens, set the container in cool water and keep stirring from the sides and the bottom.
- Contrastingly, if the mixture is lumpy, it may be too cold.
- If this happens, set it in a pan of warm water and stir until the lumps disappear.
- Pour the thickened soap mixture into your molds.
- Keep warm for a minium of 24 hours.
- This allows the saponification process to take place slowly and will prevent the mixture from separating.
- You can wrap your soap molds in an old blanket.
- When the soap is set, remove it from the molds and cut it into bars.
- Allow the soap to age for atleast 2 weeks in a dry place.
- Note: If the soap is crumbly or has streaks of grease, it may be reclaimed as follows: Cut the soap into fine pieces.
- Add 2 cups of water and dissolve over low flame.
- Stir occasionally.
- When the lumps have disappeared, increase the heat and boil until the soap appears thick.
- Pour soap in molds and continue as explained above.
This was also my first soapmaking experience. After reading Raynem's review I did some research, and I changed the proportions when I made this recipe... use 3 cups of olive oil and 1 cup of water with the 1/2 cup of lye granules. It was soft for 4 days or more, and was ready to use in about 3 weeks. It turned out great and is a gentle moisturizing soap, but doesn't lather a lot. To get more lather next time, I will substitute coconut oil for 3/4 cup of the olive oil. Good luck!
The lye water should be poured into the warm oil when both are at 80-100 degrees F. The mixture may be stirred with a hand mixer, but be sure to use caution so that there are no splashes. This is a very caustic mixture. If the mixture comes out too brittle, you can grate it for laundry. If the mixture comes out too soft, it can be used as a liquid soap for laundry or for hands. Be certain to wait at least three weeks before using it on your body to insure that it is not still caustic.
One ***important*** note- *never* add water to lye, always add the lye to the water! OPtherwise, a nasty splatter can result. To get the right amount of lye for a recipe, always use a lye calculator. There are many on the Web.