Handmade Soap

In my attempt to limit the amount of caustic chemicals I put on, in, or near my body I have eradicated store-bought shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste from my hygienic regime. The areas I am still working on are body/hand soap, dish soap, and laundry soap. I finally got the supplies I needed to make bar soap and gave it the old college try.

I used a recipe I found on The Mommypotamus and altered it slightly, mainly due to my lye being in bead form rather than powder. The recipe calls for 4 simple ingredients: coconut oil, lye, essential oils, and water. Below is the altered recipe:

  • 12.54 oz. water
  • 32 oz. coconut oil
  • 5.6 oz. lye
  • 0.5 oz. peppermint, tea tree, and lavender essential oils
  • mint leaves

soap 1

Since this batch was my test/prototype, I didn’t take pictures or record what I did very well (typical me), but I’ll give you the quick and dirty description of what went down. When I make another batch, I will definitely be more detailed.

  1. First, I put the coconut oil in my designated soap-making pot and melted it. It is helpful later on if you let the oil reach a temperature between 120°F and 130°F. I didn’t do this and it caused the process to be a whole lot longer.
  2. Next, I dissolved the lye in the water while wearing protective gear, such as gloves and goggles (have you seen Fight Club? I don’t want that to happen to me! And I’m not talking about Dissociative Identity Disorder). The order is very important – you must always pour the lye into the water and not vice versa, otherwise it may splash all over the place. I poured in a little at a time while stirring.
  3. After the lye-water cooled for 10 minutes, I poured it into the pot with the coconut oil, which was still heating.
  4. I used my hand mixer to blend the ingredients together until I got to trace. This is the point at which the substance turns from liquid to a vaseline-type texture. If my coconut oil was hot enough, this would have taken a few minutes, but mine was taking so long that I took breaks and it ended up being an hour or so.
  5. Then, I covered the pot and let it sit on low-medium heat for 1 hour.
  6. When the hour was up I let the mixture cool then mixed in the essential oils.
  7. I poured/scooped the mixture into a small bread pan lined with parchment paper. I also pushed some mint leaves into the middle.
  8. Once the mixture hardened, I cut the the soap into slices.

soap 3

soap 2

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