his might just be my absolute favorite recipe we’ve shared to date! Making your own soap is actually quite simple, and doesn’t take much time at all! Yes, it will seem daunting, as many new recipes do…it’s why it took me so long to do it myself! But our whole family has been using this soap for 8 months now and we’ve never looked back! It foams up beautifully and leaves your skin feeling soft and moisturized from the coconut oil.
Making soap can seem like a feat, but with a few kitchen tools, some coconut oil and essential oils you’ll never buy commercial shampoo again.
- Crock pot – for “heat processing” soap
- Stick blender – for thickening soap
- Digital scale – to measure ingredients
- Large glass bowl – for mixing water and lye
- Small glass bowls – for measuring ingredients
- Rubber Gloves – for safety!
- Large plastic/stainless spoon
Once you have your supplies ready, grab the following ingredients and you’re ready to go!
33 oz. Coconut Oil
12.54 oz. Water
5.44 oz. Lye
50 drops Essential Oils* (optional)
To Make: Please use precautions when using lye as it can burn if it comes into contact with skin. You also want to avoid breathing the vapors created when mixing with water. It’s best to mix water and lye outside, with adequate ventilation, and wear protective gear.
Step 1: Using digital scale, weigh out all ingredients. If you’ve never used a digital scale before, you can place a bowl on the scale and hit “tare” to bring the weight back to zero. This will help you get an accurate measurement of your ingredients.
Step 2: Turn on crockpot to low and add coconut oil. Allow to melt completely.
Step 3: Measure your water into a large glass bowl and take outside for step 4.
Step 4: Put on rubber gloves and be sure you’re not down-wind from your bowl. Carefully, and slowly, pour your lye into the bowl of water and stir with the large spoon. This will form a chemical reaction and your mixture will get hot. Continue stirring until the water/lye becomes clear and let sit for 5-10 minutes to cool slightly. (Be sure to set it out of reach of children and pets!)
Step 5: Carefully pour water/lye into crockpot, stirring gently with spoon to combine.
Step 6: Using your stick blender (also called an immersion blender), being careful not to splatter, blend the oil/water/lye mixture on low until it forms a light pudding consistency (called “trace”).
Step 7: Cover your crockpot and cook on low for 45 minutes.
Step 8: Check to see if any oil remains in the center of your soap. If you still see pools of oil, continue cooking for 10-15 more minutes. If not, your soap now resembles translucent mashed potatoes and you can proceed to step 9*.
Step 9: Add in essential oils of choice. Quantity will vary based on oil strength and scent preference. I suggest starting with 25-30 drops (total) of your oil, stir to combine then do a “sniff test” to see if it’s enough.
Step 10: Spoon soap into molds to cool. Silicone molds can make this step fun, and the finished product “more professional”, but using a loaf pan and some parchment paper liner can do the trick as well.
Step 11: If using a loaf pan, allow to cool in the mold for 2-3 hours and then check for “firmness”. This cooling time will vary based on the temperature of your home. It’s important to remove soap from the mold before it’s set, as it will then be too firm to cut. You’re looking for soap that’s “set”, but not too hard. Slice into nice sized bars and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Your soap can be used as soon as it’s cooled completely, or you can allow it to “cure” for two weeks. This is purely preferential and I can’t say I notice a huge difference.
* Once you’ve made soap a few times, you’ll recognize the consistency of soap that has a proper pH. For safety (and peace of mind) you can buy pH strips and test your soap after step 8. Your pH reading should be between 7-10. If it’s higher than 10, it needs to cook longer.
** We confidently use this soap on our kiddos as many “tear free” soaps and shampoos contain harmful ingredients. Avoid soap from coming into contact with eyes as essential oils may cause irritation.
- Soap making tips courtesy of Soap Making Essentials