Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
This is a lovely insect-repellent soap that will keep the bugs at bay. Soapmaking is an enjoyable and rewarding hobby. Try it! Make sure you take safety precautions, lye is poisonous!
- 12 ounces vegetable shortening
- 12 ounces coconut oil
- 8 ounces olive oil
- 11 ounces distilled water or 11 ounces mineral water
- 5 ounces lye (sodium hydroxide, caustic soda)
- 1 tablespoon lavender oil
- 2 teaspoons citronella essential oils (if you don't have citronella, lemon grass is equally effective)
- Grease a square or oblong mold.
- Place the fat and base oils in a stainless steel or enamel pot over a low heat.
- Pour the water into a heavy glass or plastic bowl or pitcher.
- Wearing rubber gloves and eye protection, add the sodium hydroxide (caustic soda/lye) to the water and stir until dissolved.
- When the oils have melted, remove them from heat.
- Place one candy thermometer in the oils and one in the caustic solution.
- When both thermometers reach an equal temperature between 120*F.
- (49*C.) and 140*F (60*C.), pour the caustic solution into the oil.
- Stir occasionallly until the mixture reaches trace.
- This should take about 60 minutes.
- Add the essential oils and stir well.
- Pour immediately into the mold and cover with a towel or blanket.
- Leave to set for 24 hours or until the soap reaches a solid consistency.
- Wearing rubber gloves, remove the soap from the mold and cut into bars.
- Cover the soap and leave to cure for four weeks before use.
- Note#1: You may add dried lavender buds that have been ground up to your soap at trace.
- Use about 2 tbls.
- (30g) per lb (454g) soap.
- Note#2: For extra protection, put one part glycerine and four parts water into a spray bottle and add a few drops to these essential oils.
- If you don't have glycerine on hand, use straight vodka as a base instead. If you don't have citonella, lemon grass is equally effective.
A lovely soap, it took me about 1 1/2 hour to get a trace. I nkow these times can vary. I never made a soap that released so easy from the mold but unfortunately when cutting it into bars the sides crumbled. After the curing time I made them look neater just using a vegetable peeler. The scraps of soap I used and rebatched. I used lemon grass essential oil to fragrance the soap.