1pairsafety gloves (rubber/heat-resistant)optional but highly recommended
1pairgogglesoptional but highly recommended
mouldssilicone is best, but rubber/wood would do as well
1stainless steel pot with lid
1thermometera kitchen or candy one
wax paperfor lining the trays (if you’re using wooden moulds)
hand blenderoptional, but saves you a lot of time
rubber spatula or spoonfor mixing
blanket, plastic wrap or cardboardfor covering the soaps
Weigh all the ingredients beforehand and prepare the moulds. If you don’t have silicone moulds, make sure to line your moulds with wax paper or lubricate.
Add the lye gradually to the cool water in a heat-resistant glass bowl, mixing well without splashing it. Stir with a rubber spoon or spatula until the mixture dissolves properly. Let it cool to about 90-115 degrees F. Never add water into lye otherwise it’ll cause a volcano reaction. Make sure you have on your safety gear (gloves, goggles, long sleeves – better safe than sorry!) and try not to directly breathe in any fumes. This is best done outside, or open the windows. Also keep the kids and pets away.
While that’s cooling, mix the coconut oil and olive oil together in a stainless steel pot over the stove. Gently heat to about 90-115 degrees F. You need to have the oils and lye-water in that same range of temperature, differing only by 10-20 degrees, at most.
Carefully add the lye-water to the pot of oils and use a hand blender to mix continuously for about 15 minutes, or until you’ve reached trace (a thin pudding-like consistency).
You can now add in the essential oil. The smell usually fades away during the process of drying, so add about 30 drops of Lavender oil for a lasting scent.
Pour the mixture into the moulds (be cautious not to get it on your skin as the mixture is still caustic) and cover with cardboard, a blanket, plastic wrap, or anything that will keep it warm. Leave it to set for 1-2 days at room temperature.
The soap bars will still be soft after a few days so be gentle when taking them out of the mould or cutting. Wrap each one in plastic wrap and leave to dry for 6-8 weeks, for best results. And don’t forget to turn them over once in a while.
If you plan to change or substitute any of the oils included here or in any other recipe, make sure to use a lye calculator to work out the amount of lye needed for saponification, since that varies with each oil. Thisone’s a good choice.
We strongly advise the use of safety gear (gloves, goggles, long sleeves – better safe than sorry!) and working outside, or in a well ventilated area. Keep children and pets well away.