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Soap dough (vegan, palm-free)

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 1 hr
Yields: 800 g soap

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There’s nothing special about soap dough, you can use any soap as soap dough. There is no secret ingredient or special technique. The trick is to NOT cure the soap, so that it stays soft. In other words, the soap doesn’t dry out and harden. However, not all soap recipes are the same, and a good soap dough is one that is soft, smooth, pliable, and not sticky. Sorcery soap has a book with 20 awesome soap dough recipes, including tallow recipes, vegan recipes, palm free recipes, and lots more. The recipe I’m giving you here is one that I use in my soap making classes, and I’ve tweaked it a little bit to make it even better.  It is vegan, and palm-free like all my recipes here!

In addition, I’ll show you a handy method to make several colours at once, without the hassle of lots of washing up to do! I’m lazy and hate washing up 😉

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For this batch, I’m using the new mica colours 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!

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ONE: To prepare the lye, first measure out the water in a heat proof container or 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, then, carefully, add the caustic soda to the water (NEVER THE OTHER WAY ROUND!), and avoiding any splashes, stir until the lye water is clear. Set aside to cool.

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TWO: In a separate large Pyrex jug or pot, weigh out the coconut oil and cocoa butter. Either heat in the microwave (if using a Pyrex jug) or on the stove (if using a pot), until the oil and butter have completely melted.

You’ll notice the recipe contains a high percentage of coconut oil and cocoa butter. This allows the soap to thicken to the right dough consistency, without having to cure it. I found that if I used too many liquid oils, the soap would be too soft to work with.

THREE: Weigh out the olive oil and castor oil to the now-liquid coconut oil and cocoa butter. Add the titanium dioxide and give the oils a good stir to disperse the titanium dioxide through the oils. Then, let the oils cool down to room temperature. This part is important. The oils need to be lower than 30 C or else you risk the soap gelling, and you want to avoid that.

The reason for adding the titanium dioxide is to make the base colour whiter, which will make the other colours brighter and more intense.

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FOUR: Now you have two options, you can either use cups or containers to mix your colours in, or what I like to do, is add the soap and the colours to zip lock bags and mix it in there. In either case, prepare your cups or your ziplock bags and have your mica colours ready (I’m adding them straight to the soap without mixing them with oil first). The recipe will make for 8 colours of about 100 g each, so you need 8 cups or 8 sandwich sized ziplock bags.

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

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SIX: Now add about 100 g of soap to each cup or ziplock bag. Don’t worry, the ziplock bags will stay put. It’s not as difficult to pour into them as it may seem. Also if you are planning on doubling the batch, make sure you use bigger ziplock bags. If you fill them too full, you risk them popping leaks when you squish them later.

SEVEN: Next add the colour to each cup or ziplock bag, and zip them up. I used 1/2 teaspoon of mica for each. It sounds a lot, but you’ll need that amount to make sure you have rich colours and not pastels. It isn’t enough colour to stain your wash cloth or hands, but could give the lather a slight tinge. However, soap dough is usually used to decorate other soaps, so the little bits of soap dough on your soap won’t have an impact on the overall soap.

Then using your hands, and sitting comfortably in front of your TV with your favourite sitcom, squish and squash the little bags to mix the colour into the soap. I did some yesterday, while waiting for my son at his trampolining course. And that did get me some curious looks and questions from the other parents! Btw great way to promote your business at the same time too!

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If you are using cups, mix the colour thoroughly into the soap and then either use plastic wrap to cover each cup airtight, or pour it into a ziplock bag. (See now you have to use ziplock bags anyway!)

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EIGHT: Leave the little bags or cups in a cool area overnight. Check the consistency the next day. It should be ready to use but will probably still be a little sticky. You can use cornflour to dust the dough to stop it sticking as you work with it, or you can leave it for about a week in your ziplock bag or an airtight container. By then the stickiness should be gone.

To work with your dough, remove as much as you need. Knead it to soften it up. Dust the tools and the surface you’re working on with cornflour to prevent the dough sticking to it. A trick I learned from a cake decorator is to add a little cornflour in a muslin bag or cloth and tie it up, and use that as a little dust stamp. To stick dough bits together, use a little water to wet the surface and that will make it stick again.

Once you’ve finished your masterpiece, you might want to spritz it with water or lightly brush it with a wetted soft paint brush, to give it shine and get rid of the powdery look.

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You can store the soap dough in your ziplock bags or an airtight container for several months or more. I’m still using some dough from last Christmas, which was more than eight months ago!

Once you added the soap dough decorations to your soap, the soap will start to harden and firm quickly.

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Soap dough

  • 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

  • 240 g olive oil
  • 200 g coconut oil
  • 120 g cocoa butter
  • 40 g castor oil
  • 80 g caustic soda
  • 180 g water
  • 1/2 t titanium dioxide
  • 8 different mica colours

Directions

  1. Add 180 g of water to a heat proof jug or container. 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. In a large heat proof Pyrex jug or pot, weigh out the coconut oil and cocoa butter. Heat in microwave (if Pyrex jug) or stove (if pot) until all the oil and butter have melted.
  3. Add the olive oil and castor oil to the now-liquid coconut oil and cocoa butter.
  4. Add 1/2 teaspoon titanium dioxide to the oils and give it a good stir. Set aside to cool down.
  5. In the meantime, prepare your ziplock bags. You will need 8 and make sure they’re all open.
  6. Once the lye and the oils have cooled down to room temperature, and making sure you are still wearing protective goggles and gloves, carefully add the lye to the oils.
  7. Using a stick blender, pulse and stir until the oil/lye mixture has emulsified to a thin trace.
  8. Pour approximately 100 g of soap into each bag.
  9. Add 1/2 teaspoon of mica to each bag and zip the bag shut, removing as much of the air as possible.
  10. With your hands, gently squish and squash the bags until the colour is thoroughly mixed into the soap.
  11. Set the bags of soap in a cool area overnight to set. They can be used immediately, though it’s better to leave them for a week before using.
  12. Keep the dough stored in the ziplock bags or an airtight container to keep the soap soft and pliable. You can store the dough for at least several months.

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Lavender and ylang ylang soap

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

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Aromatherapy is usually not associated with soaps, but rather with massage oils and diffusers, to maximise the olfactory effects of the essential oils on both the body and the mind. However, when we use soap in the shower, the steam also enhances the fragrance and envelopes our senses in the fragrance of the soap. The olfactory system, or sense of smell, is a complex, largely passive system, but which can have a powerful effect on the mind. Smells induce memories and feelings in us, and can even change our moods and perception, and bodily responses. For example, think of chocolate and the smell of chocolate. Most likely it will bring up thoughts of eating chocolate. You might feel warm and fuzzy. Maybe you can even smell and taste it in your mind and you might even start to salivate in your mouth. Now think of smelling something disgusting. I’ll leave it up to you what you want to think of. The most common reaction would probably be nausea and you might unconsciously even wrinkle your nose in disgust. These two examples show how powerful the sense of smell can be, and we were only thinking of the smells. Now imagine if we were actually smelling them!

So it makes sense that the fragrance of the soap and shampoo you use in your morning shower will have an effect on your mood and on how you start off your day. Remember this the next time you shower!

With this in mind, I  wanted to create a soap, which focuses on the properties rather than just the fragrance of the essential oils. For this soap, I chose a simple blend of lavender and ylang ylang essential oils. Ylang ylang, which has a delicate floral scent, is said to lift the spirit and induce feelings of joy and happiness. In aromatherapy, it is often used to treat depression and anxiety. Lavender compliments the uplifting effect of ylang ylang by adding calmness and serenity to the blend. The result of the combination is a stunningly beautiful and comforting fragrance.

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 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.

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TWO: In a separate large Pyrex jug or pot, weigh out the coconut oil and shea butter. Either heat in the microwave (if using a Pyrex jug) or on the stove (if using a pot), until the oil and butter has completely melted.

I love using shea butter in my shower soaps because it helps to condition and balance the skin. It’s a great additive for any skin type, especially sensitive and ageing skin.

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THREE: Weigh out the olive oil, rice bran oil and castor oil to the now-liquid coconut oil and shea butter, and give it a quick stir.

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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).

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FIVE: Add your essential oils and give it a quick whisk.

SIX: Keep mixing with your stick blender or whisk until the soap has thickened to a medium trace. Then pour it in your soap mold and sprinkle some lavender flowers and rose petals over the surface.

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SEVEN: Let the soap sit in the mold for several days. 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 6-8 weeks to cure before they are ready for use.

Lavender and ylang ylang 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

  • 550g olive oil
  • 250g coconut oil
  • 100g rice bran oil
  • 50g shea butter
  • 50g castor oil
  • 137g caustic soda
  • 270 ml water
  • 2 teaspoons sodium lactate
  • 20 ml lavender essential oil
  • 20 ml ylang ylang essential oil

Directions

  1. Measure out 270 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 and shea butter. Heat in microwave (if Pyrex jug) or stove (if pot) until all the oil and butter has melted.
  4. Add the olive oil, rice bran oil and castor oil to the now-liquid coconut oil and shea butter, and give it all 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 essential oils and keep stick blending until the soap mixture has thickened to a medium trace.
  8. Pour the soap into the mold and sprinkle some lavender flowers and rose petals over the surface. Leave to harden for several days.
  9. 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 6-8 weeks until ready for use.

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Chamomile soap for sensitive skin

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

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Sensitive skins need extra care and won’t tolerate harsh detergents, fragrances and chemicals. And although there has been a trend towards natural skin care, many companies still use ingredients that are linked to skin irritation, dermatitis and allergic reaction. The two most common additives are SLS (sodium laurel sulfate) and SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) derived from coconut. They’re both surfactants, know to irritate skin, however, the latter is marketed as being natural, and you’ll find it in many of your ‘natural’ products.

“The whole “coconut-derived” or “from coconut oil” or whatever verbiage you see on the label is a marketing gimmick to make you believe that somehow the ingredient is more natural.”

https://www.bewell.com/blog/sodium-lauryl-sulfate-from-coconut-is-it-safer/

When you make your own soap, you control the ingredients and what goes into the soap. In this soap, I have used only natural ingredients and it is probably one of the mildest soaps I have ever made, with a pH close to 7.5 (neutral pH is 7), due to the high super fatting content and the blend of mild and nourishing oils, such as olive oil, sunflower oil, Shea butter and jojoba oil.

It also contains chamomile and calendula. Both are well-known to have skin healing, soothing and calming properties, and by using both an oil infusion and essential oils, I have tried to maximise these benefits in the soap.

Although I don’t advise to use soap on infants under 12 months, this soap is mild enough to use on toddlers and those with sensitive skin prone to allergic reactions.

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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!

To make this soap, I first had to infuse my oil with the goodness of chamomile and calendula to reap the maximum benefits of these skin healing flowers. I filled a jar with dried chamomile flowers and calendula flowers (not just the petals) and topped it up with sunflower oil, which is full of skin nourishing vitamins, especially vitamin E. I left the jar to infuse for about a month on my window sill, using the natural warmth of the summer sun to provide the heat.

If you have never infused oils before, here’s a handy guide to infusing oils, or alternatively you can buy calendula infused oil and chamomile infused oil from Pure Nature.

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ONE: Prepare your lye. Make sure you are wearing protective gear to protect your eyes and skin from any splashes! Measure out your water in a small heat proof jug or beaker. In a separate small beaker or container, weigh out the caustic soda. Then, carefully pour the caustic soda into the water, while stirring constantly until all the caustic soda has dissolved and the liquid is clear. Add 2 teaspoons of sodium lactate. This is a natural additive, which will help to harden the soap.

 

TWO: In a separate large Pyrex jug or pot, weigh out the coconut oil and shea butter. Either heat in the microwave (if using a Pyrex jug) or on the stove (if using a pot), until the oil and butter has completely melted.

I’ve added shea butter to the recipe because it is known to be anti-inflammatory and helps to soothe and balance the skin. Great for sensitive skin!

Once your oils are melted, add the olive oil, castor oil, and last, your infused sunflower oil. You want to add the infused oil last, when the oil/butter mixture is not too hot to preserve all the goodness in the infused oil.

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THREE: Make sure you are still wearing your protective goggles and gloves for this next part. 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).

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FOUR: Add the chamomile essential oil and keep mixing with the stick blender until the soap mixture has thickened to a medium trace.

There are basically two main types of chamomile essential oil used in aromatherapy, the clear coloured Roman chamomile liquid and the blue coloured German chamomile liquid. Both are soothing, calming and healing, but whereas the Roman chamomile works mainly on the psychological, the German chamomile does the same for the physical. German chamomile soothes, heals and calms the skin and upset tummies, whereas the Roman chamomile soothes and calms the stressed mind. However, because the mind and body are undoubtedly interlinked, many physical illnesses can be traced back to psychological problems, such as stress, and vice versa. Physical illnesses have an effect on the mind. So usually I like to use Roman chamomile essential oils, which is calming on both body and mind, and use the German chamomile for exclusive skin related problems, such as nappy rash.

In this soap I used a Roman chamomile essential oil dilution in jojoba oil to boost the properties of the already infused oil in the soap, rather than using a pure essential oil, since chamomile essential oils are very expensive. Alternatively, if you do want to use pure essential oil, you only need about 1 ml because of its potency.

 

FIVE: Pour or scoop the soap into your mold. You can either use a loaf mold or one with cavities. The recipe yields approximately 1200 g of soap which will fill a regular loaf mold or make for about 10 round soaps of 120 g each.

Sprinkle some chamomile and/or calendula flowers on the top.

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SIX: Keep the soap in the mold for a few days to harden. Carefully unmold and let the soaps cure for a further 10-12 weeks. Because of the higher than usual amount of soft oils, the soaps need a longer curing time to harden completely. As with all soaps, the longer the curing time the better the soap!

Chamomile 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

  • 450g olive oil
  • 200g coconut oil
  • 100g shea butter
  • 200g calendula and chamomile infused sunflower oil
  • 50g castor oil
  • 130g caustic soda
  • 250 ml water
  • 2 teaspoons sodium lactate
  • 50 ml Roman chamomile in jojoba oil 3% dilution
  • dried chamomile flowers

Directions

  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 and shea butter. Heat in microwave (if Pyrex jug) or stove (if pot) until all the oil and butter has melted.
  4. Add the olive oil and castor oil to the now-liquid coconut oil and shea butter, and give it all a quick stir.
  5. Add the infused oil and give it another quick stir.
  6. 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.
  7. Using a stick blender, pulse and stir until the oil/lye mixture has emulsified.
  8. Add the chamomile essential oil and keep stick blending until the soap mixture has thickened to a medium trace.
  9. Pour the soap into the mold and sprinkle some dried chamomile flowers on top.
  10. Leave the soap to harden for several 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 10-12 weeks until ready for use.

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Roses soap

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

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I love a good rose fragrance. I’d prefer the real thing, but pure rose essential oil is one of the most expensive oils there is, and to be honest, it would be a total waste to put it in a soap. Did you know that it takes about 20000 rose petals to produce 1 ml of rose oil! That’s when fragrances become a really good alternative.

The Rose fragrance I’m using in this soap is from Candlescience, available from Pure Nature, which has a beautiful rose aroma, with hints of geranium and violet. Unfortunately, it is also known to accelerate in cold process soap. And because of that, I was told it was unsuitable for cold process. But those of you who know me, know that I can never stay away from a challenge and, when you tell me that something isn’t possible, I have to go and prove you wrong. Working with accelerating fragrances isn’t impossible, but it is challenging.

Tips for working with accelerating fragrances:

 

  • Use slow moving oils such as olive oil, and stay away from butters and solid oils
  • Soap at low temperatures, no warmer than room temperature
  • Add your fragrance to the oils before adding the lye
  • Don’t add a water discount to your lye – less water means higher temperature, which increases acceleration
  • Stick to a simple soap design and avoid colour work

Instead of playing with colour, I decided to decorate the top instead. The curls I used for decoration I made from a previous soap, one I didn’t like how it turned out. Using a simple potato peeler, I peeled off curls from a bar of soap. It’s very easy, but you have to do it before the soap has become too hard and brittle. By the way, this is also a very cool way to use up the end-bits of soaps. I’m all for zero-waste, and that includes using every last bit 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!

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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. Set aside to cool. To help it cool down quicker, I placed mine in a container of cold water in the sink.

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TWO: Weigh out and add the olive oil and castor oil into a large jug or pot. Pure olive oil soaps usually have a poor lather, and castor oil will help increase the lathering properties.

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THREE: Add the fragrance to your oils and stir well until the fragrance is thoroughly dispersed through the oils. Adding the fragrance to the oils, dilutes the fragrance, which helps slow down acceleration.

Wait until the lye has cooled down to room temperature, or maximum 25C (77F).

FOUR: Making sure you are still in protective gear (goggles and gloves), carefully pour the lye to the oils, avoiding any splashes. Then, using only a whisk, stir briskly until the soap mixture has emulsified and starts to thicken.

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FIVE: Pour the soap quickly into the mold. The soap will start setting immediately, so you’ll have to work quickly.

SIX: Stick the soap curls into the top of the soap, leaving about half of the curl above the surface. Cover the whole surface with the curls. Make sure you work quickly, because the soap will set and it will become more difficult to push the curls in if it has set too hard.

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SEVEN: Sprinkle gold bio-glitter over the curls.

EIGHT: Let the soap harden overnight. The following day, carefully unmold the soap and cut into bars. Leave the bars to cure for a further 8 weeks.

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Roses soap

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

Ingredients

  • 950 g olive oil
  • 50 g castor oil
  • 128 g caustic soda
  • 260 ml water
  • 40 ml Rose fragrance from Candlescience
  • rose coloured soap curls (optional)
  • gold bio-glitter (optional)

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 to cool.
  2. Weigh out the oils in a large jug or pot.
  3. Add the fragrance to the oils and stir to disperse the fragrance through the oils
  4. Once the lye has cooled down to room temperature, carefully add it to the oils and, using only a whisk, stir until the soap starts to thicken.
  5. Pour into mold.
  6. Optional: stick curls into the surface of the soap, leaving about half of the curl above the soap. Cover the whole surface with curls
  7. Optional: sprinkle some gold bio-glitter over the curls
  8. Let the soap set and harden overnight. Unmold and cut into bars. Leave the bars to cure for a further 8 weeks.

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Snow soap

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.