- 7 years ago
- Wedding: October 2013
Gosh, thanks everyone! For those interested, here is my recipe:
40 oz. Olive Oil
10 oz. Water
5 oz. lye (You MUST get the pure stuff. Don’t buy anything that looks blue. I found this at my local Town & Country Hardware store. The big-box stores didn’t have it. It should be whitish and crystallized, not liquid. You can also order it online.)
1 oz. scent (if used. I use only essential oils, not fragrance oils. It does up the cost per bar significantly, though.)
Mix the lye INTO the water. Always add the lye! If you try to pour the water over the lye you’ll get a horrible chemical reaction and could wind up burning yourself. So always add the crystals into the larger amount of water. Wear gloves and splash goggles for this part – I do it outside.
The reaction will cause the mixture to heat up – wait until the water and lye solution reaches about 100 degrees F.
On the stovetop in a “soap only” pot, heat the olive oil until it reaches 100 degrees F. (This should be done slowly. Use a candy thermometer for best results!)
Pour the lye mixture into the olive oil mixture on the stove, (the heat can be turned off now.)
Mix first with a spoon, then with a stick blender. Alternate back and forth – 3-5 pulses with the stick/handheld blender, then 30 seconds or so of spoon stirring. (I use a wooden spoon.) You are trying to get the mixture to a pudding-like consistency, but you don’t want it to happen to fast. Once it looks like thick pudding, pour it into your mould. (I use a 3″ PVC pipe for cylindrical bars. I sawed my 3-foot pipe in half to make the pouring easier.) I used a cap on one end and cover the other with a cloth. Then I put it in my closet and let it cool slowly.
After 2-4 days, I put the mould in the freezer (or outside if it’s winter.) After 2 hours or so the soap pops right out with a gentle tap. DO NOT try to grease the pipe with olive oil before you pour the mixture in – it will be impossible to get out later.
Cut the soap into the size you wish, then let it sit and cure for another 4-8 weeks. (I’ve used it after 4, but it really does get better with “age” – more creamy and gentle.)
You can use just about anything for a mould – wooden boxes and PVC pipes are just popular ones. Wooden boxes are often lined with wax paper.
Hope you guys enjoy!