Posted on Leave a comment

Northern lights soap

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 1 1/2 hrs
Yields: 1200 g soap or 10 bars

Northern Lights

One thing I do miss from living in Europe is the dark, cold, clear winter nights. I was never lucky enough to be far enough up north to see the northern lights, the one time I did go was in summer, but I can imagine what an astonishing sight it must be.

This soap uses a variety of colourants to recreate the Northern Lights. I’m using activated charcoal for the black background, blue and yellow soap pigments for the green and blue light, and blue glow in the dark pigment for the light glow. And the soap really does glow in the dark with a beautiful blue glow! The glow in the dark pigments from Pure Nature are classed as skin-safe and are as such safe to use in soaps, and work both in melt and pour soap bases as well as cold process soap making. The soap mold I’m using for this soap is the silicon loaf mold with wooden support box available from Pure Nature.

The colour technique I’m using in this soap is a simple layering technique, where you scoop the coloured soap alternating into the mold in a random fashion.

If you have never made cold-process soap before, I strongly suggest you check out the basic cold process soap tutorial first.

Before starting, please read the safety and precautions post, especially since this tutorial requires the handling of caustic soda!

img_5645

COLOUR PREPARATION

Prepare the blue and yellow granulated soap pigments as outlined here. I like having my three main colours (red, yellow, blue) already pre-mixed and I keep them in the fridge for storage, so that when I need them, they’re already prepared and ready for use.

In a small container, mix 1 teaspoon of blue glow in the dark pigment with 1 teaspoon of water.

Set the colours, glow in the dark mixture and the activated charcoal aside, ready for use later.

img_5646

ONE: To prepare the lye, first measure out the water in a heat proof Pyrex jug. Then, in a separate container (I use a little plastic cup for this), weigh out the caustic soda. Make sure you are wearing protective goggles and gloves. Carefully, add the caustic soda to the water (NEVER THE OTHER WAY ROUND!), and avoiding any splashes, stir until the lye water is clear. Add two teaspoons of sodium lactate, which will help harden the soap and set aside to cool.

img_5648

TWO: In a separate large Pyrex jug or pot, weigh out the coconut oil, and heat in the microwave on high for 1 minute or until it has completely melted.

img_5649

THREE: Weigh out the olive oil, rice bran oil and castor oil to the now-liquid coconut oil , and give it a quick stir. Set aside until the lye has cooled down to room temperature. You will want to make sure that you are soaping at no more than 30 degrees, so that you can slow down the thickening of the soap while you are putting the soap together.

img_5650

FOUR: Make sure you are still wearing your goggles and gloves. Once the lye has cooled down to room temperature, carefully add it to the oils and then using a stick blender, pulse and stir until the oil/lye mixture has emulsified (does not separate).

img_5651

FIVE: Add the fragrance and using a stick blender, give it another quick pulse to mix the fragrance into the soap, but make sure you keep the soap at light trace (fluid consistency). Because we’re doing colour work, you want to prevent the soap from thickening too soon.

The fragrance I’m using is called Garden Mint from Candlescience Fragrances. It’s a beautiful fresh, clear fragrance but with a rounded, slightly floral base to it. I think it matches Northern Lights perfectly! 30 ml (1 oz) of fragrance is sufficient for this soap, because mints can quickly become too overpowering, and I wanted a subtle fragrance in this soap.

SIX: Next, pour about 1 cup each into three different containers (I’m using my small Pyrex jugs for this), leaving approximately 3 cups in the main soap pot.

To the main pot with about 3 cups of soap in it, add 1 tablespoon of activated charcoal and 1 tablespoon of water, and give it a good stir until the charcoal and water is well incorporated into the soap. The reason we also add a tablespoon of water to this soap is to off-set the extra water the other 3 parts will have added to it, and prevent an unequal water balance in the soap. This will help avoid glycerin rivers.

To one of the remaining containers or jugs with 1 cup of soap, add 1 teaspoon of blue soap pigment solution. To the other container, add approximately 3/4 yellow soap pigment solution and 1/2 teaspoon blue soap pigment solution. And to the last container, add the pre-mixed glow in the dark and water mixture. Give all three containers a good stir to blend in the colour.

img_5656

SEVEN: You should now have 4 colours, approximately

  • 3 cups of black soap
  • 1 cup of blue soap
  • 1 cup of green soap
  • 1 cup of glow in the dark soap

EIGHT: First, pour or scoop a layer of black soap into your soap mold and then start putting your soap together, by alternately scooping the different coloured soap into your mold. Layer the colours both over each other and next to each other, in a random fashion, making sure you buffer sufficient black soaps between the coloured layers. Keep scooping until you have used up all the soap.

img_5660

NINE: Drizzle the last few bits of soap over the surface, and then using a chop stick swirl the surface of the soap. Spritz with 99% isopropyl alcohol to prevent soda ash from forming on the surface. Place the soap somewhere warm and dry, but out of direct sunlight, to cure. I like using the hot water cupboard to cure my soap, which is the driest spot in our house. But when the weather warms up in summer and becomes terribly humid (especially January and February), I move my soaps into our hallway with a dehumidifier right next to them. Even cold process soaps can sweat in extreme humid weather!

TEN: After 2 or 3 days, check if the soap has hardened and isn’t sticky and soft anymore. Carefully unmold, and leave to dry out for another couple of days before cutting it into bars. The bars of soap will need a further 8 weeks to cure before they are ready for use.

Northern lights

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print
Before starting, make sure you wear protective goggles and gloves and work in a well-ventilated area, free from any distractions!

Ingredients

  • 500g olive oil
  • 250g coconut oil
  • 200g rice bran oil
  • 50g castor oil
  • 136g caustic soda
  • 250 ml water
  • 2 teaspoons sodium lactate
  • 30 ml garden mint fragrance from Candlescience Fragrances
  • 1 tablespoon activated charcoal
  • blue and yellow granulated soap pigment
  • 1 teaspoon blue glow in the dark soap pigment

Directions

COLOUR PREPARATION

Prepare the blue and yellow granulated soap pigments as outlined here. Mix 1 teaspoon of blue glow in the dark pigment with 1 teaspoon of water. Set colours and activated charcoal aside, ready for use later.

  1. Measure out 250 ml of water into a heat proof Pyrex jug. Weigh out the caustic soda and carefully add it to the water, avoiding any splashes. Gently stir until all the caustic soda has dissolved and the lye water is clear.
  2. Add 2 teaspoon of sodium lactate to the lye water. Set the lye aside to cool down.
  3. In a large heat proof Pyrex jug or pot, weigh out the coconut oil. Heat in microwave (if Pyrex jug) or stove (if pot) until all the oil has completely melted.
  4. Add the olive oil, rice bran oil and castor oil to the now-liquid coconut oil, and give it a quick stir.
  5. Once the lye has cooled down to room temperature, and making sure you are still wearing protective goggles and gloves, carefully add the lye to the oils.
  6. Using a stick blender, pulse and stir until the oil/lye mixture has emulsified.
  7. Add the fragrance and give it another quick pulse with the stick blender to mix in the fragrance. Make sure the soap remains fairly fluid (at thin trace)!
  8. Pour approximately 1 cup of soap into three separate containers, leaving roughly 3 cups of soap in the main pot. You should have 4 containers with soap in total!
  9. To the main pot with 3 cups of soap, add 1 tablespoon of activated charcoal and 1 tablespoon of water and stir well to incorporate the charcoal evenly into the soap.
  10. To the three containers containing 1 cup of soap each, add colourants as follows, and stir each pot until the colour is evenly distributed throughout the soap:
    1. 1 teaspoon of blue pigment solution
    2. 3/4 teaspoon of yellow and 1/2 teaspoon of blue pigment solution
    3. all of the prepared glow in the dark mixture
  11. Pour or scoop a layer of black soap into the soap mold.
  12. Then alternating colours, scoop the soap into the mold, layering them over each other and next to each other in random fashion, until all the soap has been used up.
  13. Drizzle the last remaining soap on the surface, and using a chopstick swirl the surface of the soap, and spritz with 99% isopropyl alcohol.
  14. Leave the soap to cure for several days.
  15. After 2-3 days, check if the soap is firm enough to unmold. Remove from mold and leave to dry for another couple of days, before cutting into bars. The bars will need further curing for about 8 weeks until ready for use.

Posted on Leave a comment

Sparkly Christmas MP soaps

Difficulty: Beginners
Time:
1 hr
Yields: 9 small soaps

img_5445

Checking out the melt and pour starter kit from Pure Nature, I learned two things: one, they’re a great way to get you and/or your kids into soap making, because it contains everything you need and it’s actually a lot cheaper to buy the kit than the ingredients separately; and two, they contain these clamshell soap molds that act both as a mold and packaging at the same time. How handy is that? You pour the soap, let it cool down and harden, close the lid, and the soap is ready and packaged. The kit contains a whole block of white melt and pour soap base, fragrance and 9 of these clamshell molds.

img_5435

The sparkly Christmas soaps are a great starter project if you have a Pure Nature Melt and Pour Soap starter kit, but want do something a little bit more creative. In addition to the white melt and pour base and the fragrance that comes with the kit, you will also need clear melt and pour soap base, glitter, and a little chocolate mold of something Christmas themed. These you can get at $2 dollar shops, Spotlight, Look Sharp or the Warehouse.

Of course, you can make these soaps even if you don’t have the starter kit. In that case you will need 9 clamshell soap molds, in addition to the above ingredients (see full list of ingredients below).

PREPARATION: Cut up enough white melt and pour soap base to make 9 little soap embeds. Place them into a heat proof Pyrex jug and heat in the microwave in 20 second bursts until the soap has completely melted. Make sure you don’t bring the soap to boiling point. Pour the soap into the Christmas themed mold and spritz with some 99% isopropyl alcohol to get rid of the bubbles on the surface. Let the soap embeds harden and cool down completely before carefully removing them. Set aside for later use.

img_5437

ONE: Cut up 5-6 rows clear melt and pour soap base into small cubes and add to a heat proof Pyrex jug. Heat on high in the microwave in 20 second bursts, until the soap has melted.

img_5438

TWO: Add 1 teaspoon of fragrance and 1/4 teaspoon of glitter, and stir well.

Great Christmas fragrances to use are: Holly, Mistletoe, and Christmas Trees. Children  (and adults) love the Gingerbread fragrance. You can use essential oils for a natural option. Christmas blends usually include a combination of orange, pine, cinnamon, or peppermint essential oils.

img_5439

THREE: Pour the soap into mold, filling it up to about 2/3 of the mold. Carefully place an embed (bottom up!) in the centre and push it down, so that the soap covers it.

img_5440

FOUR: Spritz the surface with isopropyl alcohol to get rid of the bubbles.

Repeat with the other 8 molds.

Leave the soaps to firm up, so that you can pour the second layer. They ideal time to pour is when the soap is firm enough to support the next layer, without the hot, liquid soap pushing through the previous layer, but not completely solid.

img_5442

FIVE: Cut 2-3 rows of white melt and pour soap base, and again heat in microwave until melted.

img_5441

SIX: Check if the previous layer is solid enough by giving it a gentle push with the finger. If it gives way, but feels solid otherwise, it should be ok. Give the surface another quick spritz with alcohol, and then using a spoon, carefully ladle the melted white soap over the clear soap. Only fill the mold up to the ridge, otherwise you won’t be able to close the lid on it!

SEVEN: Let the soap cool down completely and harden before carefully putting the lids on. If you close the lids too soon, condensation will form inside the lids, which are a breeding ground for bacteria and mould!

If you decide to unmold the soaps, make sure you wrap them up! Glycerin soaps are prone to ‘sweating’ – collecting moisture on the surface.

img_5433

Sparkly Christmas soaps

  • Difficulty: beginners
  • Print

Ingredients

  • melt and pour soap kit from Pure Nature
  • clear melt and pour soap base
  • glitter
  • Christmas themed chocolate mold or ice cube mold
  • 99% isopropyl alcohol

OR

  • white melt and pour soap base
  • clear melt and pour soap base
  • fragrance
  • glitter
  • 9 clamshell soap molds
  • Christmas themed chocolate mold or ice cube mold
  • 99% isopropyl alcohol

Directions

Prepare the embeds: Cut up enough white melt and pour soap base and heat in the microwave in 20 second bursts until melted. Pour into the chocolate mold, spritz with 99% isopropyl alcohol and let the embeds cool down and harden completely before removing.

  1. Cut 5-6 rows of clear melt and pour soap base into small cubes and place in a heat proof Pyrex jug.
  2. Heat the soap base in the microwave on high in 20 second bursts until melted.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of fragrance and 1/4 teaspoon of glitter and stir well.
  4. Pour into the mold until about 2/3 filled.
  5. Carefully push an embed (bottom up!) into the soap, so that the soap covers it.
  6. Spritz with 99% isopropyl alcohol to get rid of the bubbles.
  7. Repeat with the other 8 molds.
  8. Leave to firm up so that it can support the next layer, but hasn’t solidified completely yet.
  9. Cut up 2-3 rows of white melt and pour soap base, and again heat in microwave until melted.
  10. Before pouring, spritz the surface of the clear soap with alcohol again, and then using a spoon, carefully ladle the white soap over the clear soap. Don’t fill past the ridge in the mold.
  11. Spritz the surface again with alcohol to get rid of the bubbles.
  12. Fill the other 8 molds.
  13. Leave the soap to cool down and harden completely before closing the lid.
  14. Add a little label and your soap is finished!

Posted on Leave a comment

Snow soap

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 1 hr
Yields: 1200 g soap or 10 bars

img_5044

Snow is a pure white soap with a special blend of pine, litsea cubeba and spearmint essential oils, which captures the fresh, crisp fragrance of a snow blanketed pine forest. The recipe uses only natural ingredients, is palm-free and vegan. The perfect soap gift for the environmentally and health conscious friend!

The mold I used for this tutorial is the silicon loaf mold with the wooden support box. The essential oils and other soap ingredients are all available from Pure Nature.

If you have never made cold-process soap before, I strongly suggest you check out the basic cold process soap tutorial first.

Before starting, please read the safety and precautions post, especially since this tutorial requires the handling of caustic soda!

img_2479

ONE: To prepare the lye, first measure out the water in a heat proof Pyrex jug. Next, in a separate container (I use a little plastic cup for this), weigh out the caustic soda. Make sure you are wearing protective goggles and gloves. Carefully, add the caustic soda to the water (NEVER THE OTHER WAY ROUND!), and avoiding any splashes, stir until the lye water is clear. Add two teaspoons of sodium lactate, which will help harden the soap and set aside to cool.

img_5008

TWO: In a separate large Pyrex jug, weigh out the coconut oil. Heat in the microwave on high for 1 minute, and then stir until the coconut oil has completely melted.

img_5009

THREE: Weigh out the olive oil and castor oil to the now-liquid coconut oil, and give the oils another quick stir.

img_5010

FOUR: Make sure you are still wearing your goggles and gloves. Once the lye has cooled down to room temperature, carefully add it to the oils and then using a stick blender, pulse and stir until the oil/lye mixture has emulsified (does not separate).

FIVE: Mix 2 teaspoons of titanium dioxide with the same amount of water, and add it to the soap. Stir it in well.

img_5013

SIX: Add the essential oils and keep stick blending the soap mixture until it has thickened to a medium trace.

img_5015

SEVEN: Using a star shaped cookie cutter, imprint star shapes onto the surface of the soap. Just push it in lightly and lift it out again. Because of the medium consistency, the imprint will leave slight star shaped ridges in the soap.

img_5016

EIGHT: Give the surface of the soap a spray with 99% isopropyl alcohol, this will avoid soap ash from forming on the surface. Leave the soap to harden in the mold for a couple of days.

img_5017

NINE: After 2 or 3 days, check if the soap has hardened and isn’t sticky and soft anymore. Carefully unmold, and leave to dry out for another couple of days before cutting it into bars. The bars of soap will need a further 8 weeks to cure before they are ready for use.

img_5018

Snow soap

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print
Before starting, make sure you wear protective goggles and gloves and work in a well-ventilated area, free from any distractions!

Ingredients

  • 650g olive oil
  • 300g coconut oil
  • 50g castor oil
  • 141g caustic soda
  • 2 teaspoons sodium lactate
  • 2 teaspoons titanium dioxide
  • 20 ml pine essential oil
  • 15 ml litsea cubeba essential oil
  • 5 ml spearmint essential oil

Directions

  1. Measure out 280 ml of water into a heat proof Pyrex jug. Weigh out 141 g of caustic soda and carefully add it to the water, avoiding any splashes. Gently stir until all the caustic soda has dissolved and the lye water is clear.
  2. Add 2 teaspoon of sodium lactate to the lye water. Set the lye aside to cool down.
  3. In a large heat proof Pyrex jug, weigh out the coconut oil. Heat in microwave for 1 minute on high, and then stir until the coconut oil has fully melted.
  4. Add the olive oil and castor oil to the now-liquid coconut oil and give it another  quick stir.
  5. Once the lye has cooled down to room temperature, and making sure you are still wearing protective goggles and gloves, carefully add the lye to the oils.
  6. Using a stick blender, pulse and stir until the oil/lye mixture has emulsified.
  7. Mix 2 teaspoons of titanium dioxide with 2 teaspoons of water, and stir it into the emulsion.
  8. Add the essential oils and keep stick blending until the soap mixture has thickened to a medium trace.
  9. Pour the soap into the mold and with a star shaped cookie cutter, imprint stars onto the surface of the soap. Give the surface a quick spray with isopropyl alcohol.
  10. Leave to harden in the mold for a couple of days.
  11. After 2-3 days, check if the soap is firm enough to unmold. Remove from mold and leave to dry for another couple of days, before cutting into bars. The bars will need further curing for about 8 weeks until ready for use.

Posted on Leave a comment

Jolly soaps

Difficulty: Beginners
Time:
1 hr
Yields: 4 bars of soap

img_4839-1

With this soap, I wanted to catch a bit of the fun and silliness there is at Christmas. Think silly Christmas hats, Secret Santa and Bad Santa (something I only found out about this year!), terrible jokes and a bit of fun and cheer. Christmas is all about getting together and enjoying each other’s company. My favourite is always the Christmas crackers, and even though the jokes are starting to get old, we still all read them out loud and put on the silly hats.

These Jolly Soaps are quick and easy to make and the perfect Secret Santa or Bad Santa gift. Or get the kids to make them as Teacher’s Gifts. You only need white and clear melt and pour soap base, green and red food colouring, and Holly Berry fragrance. As a mold, you can either use the small square mold from Pure Nature, or you can use a small plastic container of similar size.

img_4810

ONE: Cut the clear melt and pour soap base into small cubes and add to a heat proof Pyrex jug. Heat on high in the microwave in 20 second bursts, until the soap has melted. Try to avoid the soap from reaching boiling point!

TWO: Add 1/2 teaspoon of fragrance and stir well.

THREE: Pour half of the melted soap base into a separate container.

img_4820

FOUR: Add 2-3 drops of green food colouring to one container and 2-3 drops of red food colouring to the other container, and  give both a good stir.

If you choose to use a different fragrance, make sure they are safe to use on skin. This is particular important when using candle fragrances. Not all candle fragrances are suitable for use in body care products and soap. So don’t forget to read the safety data of the fragrances you intend to use, or check back with the supplier.

FIVE: Pour the two colours into two small containers and let them cool down and harden.

I used my square cavity mold, but you can use a disposable cup, yoghurt bottles or a little plastic container. It doesn’t really matter what shape it is, because you’ll be cutting these up later.

img_4823

SIX: Once the two soaps have completely cooled down and hardened, unmold them, and cut them into smaller shapes. Try and vary the shapes: cubes, long, triangles, pyramid-shaped etc.

img_4824

SEVEN: Next, cut the white melt and pour soap base and place it in a heat proof Pyrex jug. Melt on high in the microwave in 20 second bursts until melted.

img_4825

EIGHT: Add 1/2 teaspoon of fragrance and give it a good stir.

img_4826

NINE: Pour about 1/3 of the white soap into the soap mold.

img_4827

TEN: Place some of the green and red shapes into the white soap, and let it stand for a few minutes to set a little.

img_4828-1

ELEVEN: Pour some more white soap and add some more shapes, and keep doing this until the soap and shapes have been used up. Between each pour, let the soap set a little. Should the white soap become too thick to pour, re-melt it in the microwave.

You can either finish off with a white layer of soap, or you can let some of the shapes stick out of the white soap for a more funkier look!

TWELVE: Let the soap cool down completely and harden before carefully unmolding. Remember, melt and pour soap bases contain a lot of glycerin and the soaps will sweat (attract moisture) in humid conditions, so they will need to be wrapped (Glad Wrap or cello bags).

PLEASE NOTE BECAUSE WE ARE USING FOOD COLOURING THE COLOURS WILL BLEED INTO THE WHITE OVER TIME. 

img_4831-1

Jolly soaps

  • Difficulty: beginners
  • Print

Ingredients

  • approx. 250 g each of white and clear melt and pour soap base
  • red and green food colouring
  • Holly Berry fragrance from Candlescience
  • 2 small containers of about 125 ml volume each
  • small square soap mold of 500 ml volume

Directions

  1. Cut the clear melt and pour soap base into small cubes and place in a heat proof Pyrex jug.
  2. Heat the soap base in the microwave on high in 20 second bursts until melted.
  3. Add 1/2 teaspoon of fragrance and stir well.
  4. Pour about half of the soap into a separate container.
  5. Add 2-3 drops of red food colouring to one container, and 2-3 drops of green food colouring to the other container, and give both soaps a good stir.
  6. Pour the soaps into 2 small containers and let cool down and harden.
  7. Unmold and cut the green and red soap into small random blocks and shapes. Set aside.
  8. Cut the white melt and pour soap base into small cubes and melt in the microwave as before (points 1 and 2).
  9. Add 1/2 teaspoon of fragrance and stir well.
  10. Pour about 1/3 of the white soap into the square soap mold.
  11. Place some of the red and green shapes into the white soap, and let set a little.
  12. Continue alternating pouring the white soap base and placing the shapes, and letting it set a little in-between each pour, until all the soap and shapes have been used up.
  13. Leave the soap to cool down and harden completely before unmolding.
  14. Package the soaps into little cello bags or glad wrap.

Posted on 2 Comments

Natural orange spice soap

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 1 hr
Yields: 1000 g soap or 10 bars

Orange spice has a warm orange scent with spicy notes of cinnamon and clove, the perfect blend for Christmas. Using only natural ingredients, this soap is palm-free, vegan, 100% natural, and if you use organic oils, you can even add organic to this list!

The orange/brown colour in this soap comes from the finely ground calendula petals and the cinnamon spice. Grinding the petals will ensure a more even tone through the soap. The longer you let the petals infuse the oils, the stronger the colour of your soap will be. If you just want orange without the brown, you can leave out the cinnamon spice. For a more intense orange, add more finely ground calendula petals. If you don’t have calendula in your garden, you can get dried organic calendula petals from Pure Nature.

The soap mold I’m using is the loaf soap mold with wooden support box from Pure Nature. It holds about 1200 g of soap.

If you have never made cold-process soap before, I strongly suggest you check out the basic cold process soap tutorial first.

Before starting, please read the safety and precautions post, especially since this tutorial requires the handling of caustic soda!

ONE: First, prepare your lye. Weigh out the caustic soda in a small container. Measure the water in a small pyrex or other heat proof glass jug. Then carefully add the caustic soda to the water and gently stir until all the caustic soda has dissolved. Optional: stir in one teaspoon of sodium lactate, a natural additive, which will make the soap harder. Set aside to cool.

While you are waiting for the lye to cool down….

TWO: Get all the other ingredients ready:

    • Grind calendula petals in a coffee grinder until you have about 1 tablespoon of finely ground calendula petals.
  • Take 5 cinnamon sticks and carefully cut them into half.

THREE: Weigh out the coconut oil in a pyrex jug and heat in microwave on high for two minutes or until melted.

FOUR: Weigh and add the sunflower oil, olive oil and castor oil.

FIVE: Add 1 tablespoon of finely ground calendula petals and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon spice. While you are waiting for the lye to cool down, it will allow the warm oils to be infused by the calendula petals.

SIX: Add the essential oil blend and give everything a good stir. Because we are using cinnamon and clove essential oils, which are known to accelerate the soaping process, adding them to the oils will dilute them and slow down the acceleration somewhat.

When the lye has cooled down to room temperature…

SEVEN: Make sure you are still in protective gear (goggles and gloves). Carefully pour the lye to the oils and whisk until the mixture has emulsified.

EIGHT: Keep stirring with the whisk until the soap mixture starts to thicken. Don’t be tempted to use a stick blender because the soap will suddenly start accelerating!

NINE: Pour the soap into the mold. Tap the mold gently on the bench a free times to get rid of any air bubbles.

TEN: Using a spoon, push the soap to one side along the whole length of the soap, so you have like an slope in the middle and a high top on one side only. Push in the cinnamon sticks in equal distances – one for each bar of soap. Sprinkle some calendula petals over the top.

ELEVEN: Leave it to cure in the mold for a few days, before carefully removing. Leave to cure for another day before cutting it into bars. The bars will need to cure for a further 8-10 weeks until they’re ready.

Natural orange spice soap

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print
Before starting, make sure you wear protective goggles and gloves and work in a well-ventilated area, free from any distractions!

Ingredients

  • 400 g olive oil
  • 200 g coconut oil
  • 120 g sunflower oil
  • 30 g castor oil
  • 104 g caustic soda
  • 200 ml water
  • 1 teaspoon sodium lactate (optional)
  • calendula petals
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground calendula petals
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon spice
  • 20 ml sweet orange essential oil
  • 5 ml cinnamon essential oil
  • 3 ml clove essential oil
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • soap loaf mold (1000ml)

Directions

    1. Prepare your lye: carefully add the caustic soda to the water and stir gently until all the caustic soda has dissolved. Optional: add one teaspoon of sodium lactate. Set aside to cool.
    1. Prepare your other ingredients:
      1. Using an electric coffee grinder, finely grind up calendula petals until you have about 1 tablespoon of powder
      2. Prepare your essential oils blend: add 20 ml sweet orange essential oil, 5 ml cinnamon essential oil, and 3 ml clove essential oil in a beaker.
      3. Carefully cut 5 cinnamon sticks in half.
    1. Weigh out the coconut oil in a pyrex jug and heat in the microwave on high for 2 minute or until melted.
    1. Weigh and add the olive oil, sunflower oil and castor oil.
  1. Add 1 tablespoon of finely ground calendula petals, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon spice and the essential oils blend you prepared earlier. Stir well.
  2. When the lye has cooled down to room temperature, carefully add the lye to the oils and using only a whisk, stir the oil/lye mixture until it has emulsified and thickened (medium to thick trace).
  3. Pour into the soap mold.
  4. Using a spoon, push the soap to the middle along the whole length of the soap.
  5. Push in the cinnamon sticks equal distance apart on the top of the soap. Sprinkle on some calendula petals.
  6. Leave to cure in the mold for a few days, before removing and cutting. The bars of soap will need another 8-10 weeks of curing.