Handmade soap allows you to control what goes into your soap, so that you can get clean while keeping nasty chemicals out of the environment and away from your skin. Today I’ll share a simple yet favorite recipe from Addicted to Soap— just follow the step-by-step directions for make your own all natural handmade soap at home!
Soap #1: Basic Olive Oil (castile soap) handmade soap recipe.
Bars made using just olive oil should be left in the mold for at least 48 hours. They will need at least 4 to 6 weeks to cure. You can add fragrance to this soap if you wish. Using an online fragrance calculator, select your fragrance and calculate for cold process soap and determine how much to use. For this recipe I don’t use any scent, because I love the smell of pure olive oil (castile soap) handmade soap!
- 32ounces olive oil
- 4.05 ounces sodium hydroxide (NaOH) Lye
- 10.05 ounces distilled water
1. Measure the olive oil into a container, then pour it into a metal pot. Place the metal pot on the stove and turn the heat to warm. Insert a thermometer into the oil.
2. Goggles and gloves on!
3. Measure the water into a heat-safe glass container. Measure the lye crystals into a separate small glass container. Slowly add the lye crystals to the water, stirring with your spatula as you do so. Do not inhale above this container—there will be fumes that can take your breath away! This mixture will heat up quickly. Insert a thermometer into the mixture.
4. Monitor the temperatures of the two containers. Basically, you are heating up the oil while the lye cools down. You want both to reach 110°F. While you waiting for this to happen now is a good time to line you mold with freezer paper, so you can pour your soap when it’s ready.
5. When both the oil and the lye mixture are at 110°F, and within 10°F of each other pour the lye mixture into the container with the oil. Blend until the mixture reaches medium trace (it will be like thick gravy, and drizzled trails will stay on the top).
6. Pour into your lined mold, and cover the top with a lid or a sheet of freezer paper to protect it from debris or dust. Also you can insulate your soap with fresh clean towels or blankets, so it can go through it’s normal gel phase.
7. Since this is pure Olive Oil ( castile soap) handmade soap, let it sit at least 48 hours so it’s hard enough to remove form your mold.
8. Unmold 48 hours after pouring into the mold. Cut into bars and place on well vented trays to cure. Curing usually is 4-6 weeks.
Makes 10, 4 oz bars
Mixing lye with a liquid causes an exothermic chemical reaction. This means that lye will heat up any liquid to which it’s added. A room-temperature liquid can heat up above 200°F with the addition of lye.
Always add the lye crystals to whatever you’re using as your liquid. Never add liquid to your lye crystals! Adding liquid to the lye will cause a volcanic reaction—the surest way to get burned. This is a major no-no in soap making!
Always store your lye container tightly closed in a cool, dry place out of the way of animals and small children.
Saponification (the chemical reaction in the soap-making process) uses up the lye, so that there is no lye left in the finished soap. You need to leave your soap to cure in order to make sure all the lye has reacted, and that you have a sturdy finished bar of soap.
It is a good idea to reserve a few tools for soap making, such as an immersion blender, and any containers you use for lye and mixing your soap. You don’t want to contaminate food with lye or fragrance oils (despite how tasty they may smell!).
–recipe by Magdoline from Addicted to Soap