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Coffee Soap

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

My kitchen coffee soap is one of my first soaps I created decades ago and is still one of my most used soaps in our house. I usually make them as bars, but when I discovered this cool coffee bean shaped mould, I knew they would be perfect for my coffee soaps.

The reason I’m such a huge fan of this soap is that it’s perfect for in the kitchen. It contains a whole lot of coffee. Like a WHOLE LOT. Why? Because coffee is a deodoriser, which means it gets rid of yucky smells – like fish, garlic, onion, and cheese. I learned about coffee when I was training to be an aromatherapist and we’d use coffee to clear our noses between sniffing essential oils. I also found out that coffee is used in the perfume industry for the same reason as well as wine tasters/sniffers do the same. So coffee is the number one ingredient in this soap. The soap contains freshly brewed coffee as well as the coffee grounds. I’ve left them in the soap to give it a bit of a scrubby texture. To compliment the coffee and boost its properties, I’ve added a special blend of essential oils: orange, lemongrass, cinnamon, thyme and clove. This is a blend that cleanses, deodorised and has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties – just what you need in a kitchen soap!

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

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

ONE: Boil some water in a kettle, and then weigh out the right amount of water in a heat proof jug. Add one heaped tablespoon of ground coffee and set it aside to cool down.

Once the coffee has cooled down to room temperature, add the caustic soda. The lye solution will go yucky with a very yucky smell, but don’t worry about it. It’s only temporary and you won’t smell it in your finished soap.

Stir in 2 teaspoons of sodium lactate, which will help harden the soap quicker and make it easier to unmould. I found this essential, because the first time I tried it without the sodium lactate using this mould, I couldn’t unmould it for weeks. Set the lye solution aside to cool down.

TWO: Next, weigh out the coconut oil and shea butter in a microwaveable jug or bowl, and heat in the microwave until the oils have melted. Then add the other liquid oils and give everything a quick stir.

THREE: Let the oils cool for a bit and then add the essential oil blend. The reason we’re adding it before the lye is because the clove and cinnamon essential oils tend to accelerate the saponification process and makes your soap go thick fast, so to prevent this, we’re diluting the essential oils in the oil first.

FOUR: From this point on, you’ll have to work fast because of the acceleration. Once your lye solution has cooled down to room temperature, add the lye to the oils. Stick blend briefly for about 3-5 seconds, and then use a whisk to stir until the oil/lye mixture has emulsified and there are no more oil streaks visible. (Note I had to switch stick blenders during making these, because the first one decided it was time for retirement. RIP my faithful stick blender). The important thing here is to not over mix and not let it go too thick to pour!

FIVE: Once you’ve reached thin trace, quickly pour the soap into the individual cavities of the mould. As you can see in the picture below, my soap is already starting to thicken.

SIX: Leave the soaps to cure for a couple of days before unmoulding. They should be nice and firm, otherwise you’ll leave dents in the soaps where you tried to push them out. If you look carefully in the picture below, you’ll see that some of the soaps have dents in them, because I didn’t wait long enough!

The soaps will need a further 6-8 weeks to cure before they are ready for use. Because it’s a soap that you’ll use frequently in the kitchen and is likely to dry out only infrequently, a longer curing time is definitely recommended. So try and cure them as long as you can before using or selling them.

Coffee 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

  • 175 g olive oil
  • 125 g coconut oil
  • 50 g shea butter
  • 50 g avocado oil
  • 75 g canola oil
  • 25 castor oil
  • 69 g caustic soda
  • 140 g water
  • 1 teaspoon of sodium lactate
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of ground coffee beans
  • 15 ml sweet orange essential oil
  • 8 ml lemongrass essential oil
  • 3 ml cinnamon essential oil
  • 2 ml clove essential oil
  • 2 ml thyme essential oil

Directions

  1. Bring some water to boil and weigh out 140 grams into a heatproof jug or bowl. Stir in one heaped tablespoon of (freshly) ground coffee beans, and set aside to cool down to room temperature.
  2. Add the caustic soda to the now cold coffee  and stir until the caustic soda has completely dissolved.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of sodium lactate to the coffee/lye solution and set aside to cool down.
  4. Weigh out the coconut oil and shea butter and melt in the microwave or on the stove top until completely melted.
  5. Add the olive, avocado, canola and castor oils to the melted coconut oil and shea butter.
  6. And then, add the essential oils to the oils and give everything a good stir.
  7. Check if the coffee/lye solution has cooled down to room temperature, and making sure you are still wearing protective gear, carefully pour the lye to the oils and, using a stick blender, mix until emulsified and at thin trace. Careful, the essential oils can accelerate the soap process!
  8. Pour the soap carefully into the cavities of the mould.
  9. Leave the soap to cure a couple of days before unmoulding. You want the soap to be very firm and hard, so that you don’t leave any dents in the soap when unmoulding. The individual soaps will need to cure for at least a further 6-8 weeks until ready for use.

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Frappucino Soap

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 1 hr
Yields: 1200 g soap or approximately 10-12 bars

I love my coffee! Even when it’s hot and muggy in summer, I like to drink coffee, preferably ice cold and with cream on top. In my opinion, one of the yummiest inventions is the creation of the frappucino! What would we do without them?

One of the problems with making coffee and chocolate scented soaps is that most of the coffee and chocolate fragrances discolour your soap brown. To avoid this, I added titanium dioxide to the cream of the soap. The soap also contains coffee grounds, which gives it a bit of an exfoliating effect, but not too much, just enough for using it daily in the shower.

The fragrances I’m using here are Chocolate Fudge and Fresh Coffee from Candlescience, which you can purchase from Pure Nature. The mica is Antique Bronze from Mica Your World. And the paper straws I purchased from AliExpress.

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

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

ONE: Prepare your lye as usual and leave it to cool down to room temperature. I always place my lye in the sink, for safety reasons.

I’ve added 2 teaspoons of sodium lactate to my lye solution. Sodium lactate is a natural additive derived from the fermentation of natural sugars, and it helps to make the soap harder allowing to unmould it quicker.

TWO: Weigh out the coconut oil and cocoa butter in a microwaveable jug or bowl, and heat in the microwave until the oils have melted. Then add the liquid oils to the now melted coconut oil and cocoa butter.

THREE: Add the fragrance. I’m using coffee fragrance to which I’ve added a little chocolate fragrance.

FOUR: 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.

FIVE: Use a whisk or stick blender to mix the oils and lye to thin trace.

SIX: Separate roughly 1 1/2 cups of soap into a separate container. This will be your ‘cream’ on top.

And separate another cup of soap for the uncoloured soap in the swirl.

SEVEN: Add the brown mica to the remaining soap in the pot.

EIGHT: Separate another 2/3 cup of soap and add the coffee grounds. Give it a good stir to get rid of all the clumps.

I’m using the content of one of the Nespresso pods, which is roughly a little more than a teaspoon.

You should now have two cups of soap, one uncoloured and one with the coffee grounds, and the brown coloured soap in the main pot. You should also have the ‘cream’ part separated in another container.

NINE: To do an ITPS (in-the-pot swirl), pour the colours into three spots in your soap, as shown in the image. Make sure you pour them from a height so that the colour reaches the bottom. I poured each colour twice in each spot.

Then take your spatula, and move the spatula in a circle through the soap once or twice, but no more. The more you move it, the more you will blend the colours together. If you want more distinction between your colours only go round once. I did two circles in my soap, one smaller and one bigger circle.

TEN: Pour the swirled soap into your mould.

ELEVEN: Add the titanium dioxide to the soap in the separate container. I added it straight in powder form, but it’s better if you mix it with a little water before adding, to avoid white specks in your soap. Use your stick blender to mix it to a thick trace.

TWELVE: Use a teaspoon to plop the soap on top. I did three lines and then two more lines on top of the other three, to create this whipped cream appearance.

Cut the straws into roughly 2-3 inches and then stick them diagonally into the soap.

THIRTEEN: Leave the soap to cure for a day or two before unmoulding. Then let it sit for another day before cutting the soap into bars. I used a thin filleting knife to cut this soap 12 bars. The bars will need another 6-8 weeks of curing.

The soap smells absolutely delicious. Very much coffee with a hint of chocolate. Just how I like my frappucino!

Frappucino 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
  • 300 g coconut oil
  • 100 g cocoa butter
  • 150 g rice bran oil
  • 50 castor oil
  • 141 g caustic soda
  • 280 g water
  • 2 teaspoons of sodium lactate
  • 25 ml coffee fragrance
  • 5 ml chocolate fragrance
  • 1/4 tsp titanium dioxide
  • 1/2 tsp brown mica
  • 1 tsp coffee grounds
  • 10 paper straws

Directions

  1. Measure out the caustic soda and the water. Then add the caustic soda to the water  (not the other way round!) and stir until the caustic soda has completely dissolved.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of sodium lactate to the lye solution and set aside to cool down.
  3. Weigh out the coconut oil and cocoa butter and melt in the microwave or on the stove top until completely melted.
  4. Add the olive, rice bran and castor oils to the now liquid coconut oil and cocoa butter.
  5. Then, add 25 ml of coffee fragrance and 5 ml of chocolate fragrance to the oils and give everything a good stir.
  6. Check if the lye has cooled down to room temperature, and making sure you are still wearing protective gear, carefully pour the lye to the oils and, using a whisk or stick blender, mix until emulsified (thin trace).
  7. Pour about 1 1/2 cups of soap into a separate jug. This will be the ‘cream’.
  8. Separate another cup of soap into a different cup or container.
  9. To the remaining soap, add 1/2 teaspoon of brown mica and give it a quick mix with the stick blender.
  10. Fill another cup with the brown soap, and add to it 1 teaspoon of coffee grounds. Mix well.
  11. You should now have one container with soap for the cream.
  12. You should also have one cup of uncoloured soap, one cup of brown coloured soap with coffee grounds, and the main pot should contain the brown soap.
  13. To do an ITPS (in-the-pot-swirl): In three spots, like a triangle, pour the uncoloured and coffee-grounds soap into the brown soap in the main container. Do this twice, and each time pour into the same three spots.
  14. Stick the spatula into the soap and move it around in a circle through the soap. Do this only once or twice.
  15. Then pour the soap into the mould.
  16. To create the cream: Mix the titanium dioxide with a little water and add it to the remaining soap in the other jug or container. Use your stick blender to mix it until a thick trace.
  17. Plop the soap onto the surface of the swirled soap with a teaspoon.
  18. Cut the straws into 2-3 inches length, and stick them into the soap diagonally.
  19. Leave the soap to cure a couple of days before unmoulding, and then let it stand for another few days before cutting into bars. The soap bars will need to cure for a further 6-8 weeks until ready for use.

 

 

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Coffee scrub

Difficulty: Beginners
Time: 30 mins
Yields: 3 pots (120 ml each)

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Last Christmas I was given a little pot of coffee scrub and I totally loved it. Body scrubs are exfoliants for the skin, which remove dead skin cells through polishing, leaving the skin looking and feeling soft and smooth. The mechanical exfoliation (as opposed to chemical exfoliation, see further below) also increases circulation and blood flow to the skin, which has an boosting effect on skin cell renewal and rejuvenation.

Coffee grounds have become a popular additive in body scrubs lately, and not without reason. Coffee, or actually the caffeine in the coffee, is said to boost fat metabolism and tighten the skin, and the use of caffeine in skin care is not new, and there are many products containing caffeine, such as cellulite creams, anti-acing creams etc.

Me being me, I had to check out the ingredients in my coffee scrub and saw that it only had coffee, salt, oils and fragrance in it. Actually quite simple and very surprisingly very natural. And easy to make yourself, I thought. However, I did make some changes to what I think is an even better version of the standard DIY coffee scrub that you can find on the web.

Some scrubs contain salt and some sugar. I decided to go with sugar for this scrub, because sugar crystals are generally more gentle on the skin than salt, and I wanted to make a gentle scrub that I could use every time I shower. As an exfoliant, sugar also has the added benefit of containing glycol acid, also knowns as AHA in cosmetic and skin care, which removes dead skin cells by dissolving the ‘glue’ holding them (chemical exfoliation) and leaving your skin look radiant and rejuvenated. AHA is very popular in facial skin care. And lastly, sugar is also natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture to the skin, unlike salt, which detoxifies and leaves your skin feeling dry and dehydrated.

I also added liquid soap to the scrub, because when I used the other scrub, it left my skin a little too greasy for my taste and I ended up washing my skin with soap afterwards. The idea for this scrub is that it’s an all-in-one: scrub, wash and moisturise. There’s only a little bit of liquid soap in the scrub, just enough to remove the excess oil and still leave your skin well-moisturised.

Just a heads up: this is coffee, so you do need to rinse down the walls of your shower afterwards!

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ONE: Measure out the sugar, coffee and coconut oil into a bowl and, using a spoon, mix everything together.

TWO: Add one tablespoon of liquid soap, I’m using liquid castile soap, to the mix, and give it another good stir.

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THREE: The coffee scrub I was given had this faint coconut scent to it, which I really loved, so I tested out some of the coconut fragrances I had, and found that the Island Coconut fragrance from Candlescience was a perfect match to the full-bodied coffee aroma. I only added 1 teaspoon, because I wanted to compliment the coffee and not overpower it with coconut fragrance.

If you want a completely natural coffee scrub, you can either leave out the coconut fragrance, or add an essential oil. I can imagine sweet orange or cinnamon would go well with coffee!

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THREE: After one final stir, scoop the scrub into your pots. There should be enough to fill three 120 ml pots.

To use: scoop a little of the scrub in your hands and rub in circular motions over wet skin. Wash off.

Coffee body scrub

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

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coffee grounds
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon liquid castile soap
  • optional: 1 teaspoon island coconut fragrance from Candlescience
  • 3x 120ml pots

Directions

  1. Measure out the sugar, coffee grounds and coconut oil into a bowl. If the coconut oil is solid, melt it first in the microwave for about 10 seconds.
  2. Use a spoon to mix everything together.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of liquid castile soap and stir.
  4. Optional: add 1 teaspoon of island coconut fragrance and give it all a final good stir.
  5. Scoop the scrub into the pots and voila!

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Coffee soap

Difficulty: intermediate
Time: 1 hour
Yields: Approximately 1200 g soap (10 bars)

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Here in New Zealand, we drink our coffee as a flat white, which is one shot espresso with steamed milk. I tried to recreate our beloved flat white in this soap using Espresso Fragrance and coffee grounds, and layering and swirling the soap to give it the appearance of pouring the steamed milk into the coffee.

Most coffee fragrances will turn your soap brown due to the vanillin component in the fragrance. The fragrance I’m using in this soap is the Fresh Coffee fragrance from Candlescience, available from Pure Nature, which discolours to a caramel colour. To prevent the whole soap becoming one colour, there are three different layers in this soap:

Layer 1: unscented, which will remain creamy white
Layer 2: scented, which will turn caramel
Layer 3: scented with added coffee grounds, which will be slightly darker than layer 2

This kind of layering technique is a particular useful method for fragrances that cause discolouration and when you want to keep part of the soap white. However, be aware that the fragrance ‘travels’ through the soap and the lines between the scented and unscented layers will become more diffuse over time as the fragrance moves into the unscented layer. Even so, it will never become the same darker colour as the scented layer.

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!

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ONE: To prepare your lye, add 250ml water in a small pyrex or other heat proof glass jug, and weigh out the caustic soda in a separate small container. Then, carefully, add the caustic soda to the water and gently stir until all the caustic soda has dissolved. Set aside.

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TWO: Weigh out the coconut oil and cocoa butter in a large, heat proof Pyrex jug, and heat it in the microwave until they have melted. Weigh out and add the liquid oils.

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THREE: Make sure you are still wearing protective goggles and gloves. Then, when the lye and oils have cooled down to room temperature, add the lye to the oils and give it a good stir with a whisk until the soap mixture has emulsified. Don’t use a stick blender, because we don’t want the soap mixture to become too thick to work with and the fragrance that will be added later will slightly accelerate (thicken) the soap additionally.

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FOUR: Separate approximately a quarter, around 250-300 ml, of the soap mixture into a separate container or jug. This portion will remain unscented, so that it will stay white.

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FIVE: To the remaining soap, add the fragrance and give it another good stir.

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SIX: Again, separate around 250-300 ml of soap into a second container. Because this portion has been scented, it will turn a caramel colour.

You should have about half of the soap left in the jug, around 500 ml. Don’t worry if it’s a bit more or less.

SEVEN: Add the coffee grounds to the remaining soap mixture and give it a good stir.  I used one teaspoon of unused coffee grounds. This portion of the soap will be the darkest colour due to the coffee grounds. If you wish for an even more darker colour, soak the coffee grounds in one teaspoon of water before adding it to the soap. The water will turn a dark brown from the coffee, which will colour the soap.

You should now have three portions in three different jugs/containers: two smaller portions, one unscented and one scented, and a bigger portion (about half of the soap mixture), which is scented and contains coffee grounds.

EIGHT: To assemble the soap, pour the layers on top of each other, adding more of the scented, coffee grounds portion, and only one layer of white soap in the middle of the soap. Leave about a third of the white soap to use later.

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NINE: This part it optional, but I like the broken, discontinued layer effect it created in the soap. Using a hanger tool, move it up and down along the length of the soap several times.

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TEN: Once you have swirled the soap, spoon the remainder of the white, unscented soap on top, and with the spatula or spoon, fluff the soap a bit to create peaks of soap. Sprinkle some coffee grounds over the top. I had wet hands, so my coffee grounds got a little wet and clumped together when I tried to sprinkle it over the soap.

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ELEVEN: Leave the soap to harden for a few days before unmolding and cutting it into bars. Cure the bars for another 6-8 weeks before using.

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Flat white 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
  • 250 g coconut oil
  • 200 g rice bran oil
  • 100 g cocoa butter
  • 50 g castor oil
  • 137 g caustic soda
  • 250 ml water
  • 40 ml Fresh Coffee fragrance
  • 1 teaspoon ground coffee

Directions

  1. Prepare your lye: carefully add the caustic soda to the water and stir gently until all the caustic soda has dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Weigh out the coconut oil and cocoa butter in a heat proof pyrex jug and heat in the microwave until completely melted.
  3. Weigh out and add the liquid oils to the melted coconut oil and cocoa butter. Set aside.
  4. When both the lye and oils have cooled down to room temperature, and making sure you are still wearing protective goggles and gloves, add the lye carefully to the oils, avoiding any splashes.
  5. Using only a whisk, stir the lye/oil mixture until it has emulsified.
  6. Separate around 250 ml of the soap mixture in a separate container.
  7. Add the fragrance to the remaining soap and give it a good stir.
  8. Separate around 250 ml of the scented soap mixture into a second container.
  9. To the remaining soap, which should be around 500 ml, add 1 teaspoon of coffee grounds and stir. You should now have 3 portions of soap in 3 separate jugs/containers: 1 unscented, 2 scented, 3 scented and with coffee grounds.
  10. Layer the soap into the soap mold, using more of the scented, coffee grounds portion and leaving around 1/3 of the unscented soap for later use.
  11. Optional: use a hanger tool to break up the layers by moving it up and down along the length of the soap several times.
  12. Scoop the remainder of the white, unscented soap on top and fluff it up to create peaks. Sprinkle some coffee grounds over the top.
  13. Leave to harden for several days before unmolding and cutting into bars. Let the bars cure for another 6-8 weeks before using.