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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.
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Fisherman’s soap

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 1 hr
Yields: 5 cubes of soap

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Did you know that aniseed oil is banned from fishing competitions in certain countries, because it is said to give an unfair advantage to those using it? Apparently, aniseed oil has a particular chemical composition which acts as a fish attractant. In New Zealand, it is banned from being used as bait scent when fresh water fishing. So what better gift could you think of giving your fishing buddy than this Fisherman’s Soap, which will even lather in seawater? Washing your hands and equipment with this aniseed and lemon scented soap will mask the human scent, perfect for sneaking up on the fish!

Only soaps that are made with 100% coconut oil will manage to lather in seawater. However, pure coconut oil soaps can be drying to your skin, to prevent this, I have calculated a 15% superfatting ratio into the recipe, meaning that 15% of the oils are not saponified (turned into soap),and thus creating a slightly milder 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. Set aside to cool.

TWO: Weigh out the coconut oil in a pyrex jug and heat in microwave on high for one minute or until melted. Set aside to cool.

 

THREE: When both the lye and oil have cooled down to room temperature, around 25C (77F), carefully pour the lye into the oil. Give the mixture a few pulses with the stick blender.

FOUR: Add the lemon and aniseed essential oils and continue stick blending until you reach trace.

 

 

FIVE: Next, add the poppy seeds and, using a whisk or spatula, stir to mix the seeds throughout the soap.

SIX: Pour the soap into the mold. I’m using a 9-cube silicon soap mold and the soap will fill 5 cavities, giving me approximately five 100 g soap cubes. Leave the soap in the mold overnight.

SEVEN: The following day, carefully unmold the soap and leave them to cure for another 4 weeks.


Fisherman’s soap

Ingredients

  • 400 g coconut oil
  • 62 g caustic soda
  • 100 ml water
  • 10 ml aniseed essential oil
  • 10 ml lemon essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

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

Instructions

  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 coconut oil in a pyrex jug and heat in the microwave on high for 1 minute or until melted. Set aside to cool.
  3. When both the lye and the coconut oil have cooled down to room temperature, approximately 25C (77F), carefully add the lye to the oil and stick blend briefly.
  4. Add the essential oils and continue stick blending until you reach trace.
  5. Add the poppy seeds and stir them through the soap.
  6. Pour the soap into the mold, and leave to cure overnight.
  7. The next day, unmold and leave to cure for a further 4 weeks.
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Lavender castile soap

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 1 hr
Yields: 500 g soap

Castile soaps are named after the Castile region in Spain, where the olive oil based soap originated. Historically, the soaps were made from olive and laurel oils, but nowadays, castile stands for soaps made with 100% olive oil. However, pure olive oil soaps have a rather poor and thin lather due to Continue reading Lavender castile soap

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Rose geranium and shea butter soap

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 1 hr
Yields: 500 g soap

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Rose Geranium Soap

Rose geranium essential oil has a lovely fresh floral fragrance with a light citrus top note. Considered to be both calming and grounding, the uplifting scent helps reduce stress and worry, and this balancing effect extends to the skin, as it helps stabilise both oily and dry skin. Adding nourishing shea butter to the soap, it creates a wonderful bar of soap that leaves your skin clean and fresh, and yet without it being too drying for your skin.

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. Stir one teaspoon of sodium lactate to make the soap harder. Set aside to cool.

TWO: Weigh out the shea butter and oils in a heat proof glass jug (i.e. Pyrex jug) and heat on high in the microwave for 1 minute or until the shea butter has fully melted. Set aside to cool.

Wait until both the oils and the lye have cooled down to room temperature, which is around 25C (77F).

THREE: Make sure you are still in protective gear (goggles and gloves), carefully pour the lye to the oils, avoiding any splashes. Give it a quick pulse with the stick blender.

FOUR: Add the rose geranium essential oil and give it a quick stir with the stick blender. Then keep alternatively pulsing (5-10 seconds) and stirring with the stick blender until you reach trace.

FIVE: Pour the soap into the mold, and then gently tap the mold on the bench a few times to get rid of any air bubbles in the soap. Scatter a few dried rose petals on the surface and then leave the soap to cure overnight or until it is hard enough to remove from the mold. Olive oil soaps tend to be a bit softer initially and take longer to harden.

SIX: Once the soap has hardened and doesn’t stick to the sides anymore, you can remove the soap from the mold. Let the soap cure for another couple of days before cutting into bars. The bars will then need at least 6-8 weeks to cure before they are ready to use.

Rose Geranium and Shea Butter Soap

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

Ingredients

  • 325 g olive oil
  • 50 g shea butter
  • 25 g castor oil
  • 51 g caustic soda
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 teaspoon sodium lactate
  • 20 ml rose geranium essential oil
  • dried rose petals

Directions

  1. repare your lye: carefully add the caustic soda to the water and stir gently until all the caustic soda has dissolved. Add one teaspoon of sodium lactate. Set aside to cool.
  2. Weigh out the shea butter and oils in a large heat proof glass jug and microwave on high for 1 minute or until the shea butter has fully melted. Set aside to cool.
  3. Once both the oils and the lye have cooled down to room temperature, carefully add the lye to the oils, without splashing, and give it a quick pulse with the stick blender.
  4. Add the rose geranium essential oil, and keep alternatively pulsing and stirring with the stick blender until trace.
  5. Pour the soap into the mold, and gently tap the mold on the bench a few times to get rid of any air bubbles in the soap. Scatter a few rose petals on the surface and then leave to cure overnight or until hard enough to remove from the mold.
  6. Once the soap is hard enough, remove the soap from the mold and let it cure for another couple of days before cutting into bars. The bars will need another 6-8 weeks to cure before they are ready.

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Honey, oats and milk soap

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 1 hr
Yields: 6 round soaps

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This is one of my favourite natural soap recipes and despite not adding any fragrance, the soap smells deliciously like porridge, which isn’t surprising as the soap is made of the same ingredients: milk, oats and honey. The milk will add creaminess to your soap. The oats are for the exfoliating effect. And the honey is for fragrance and colour, as well as being a humectant, which means it adds moisture to the bar. The honey also improves the lather, giving this soap a wonderful creamy, smooth lather.

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. Stir one teaspoon of sodium lactate to make the soap harder. Set aside to cool.

TWO: While you are waiting for the lye to cool down, prepare your other ingredients. You will need one tablespoon of milk powder (you can use either cow’s milk or goat’s milk powder), one tablespoon of honey (I used a manuka honey blend), and one to two tablespoons of rolled oats, depending on how exfoliating you would like your soap to be.

THREE: Next it is time to prepare the oils. Weigh out the coconut oil in a pyrex jug and heat in microwave on high for one minute or until melted.

FOUR: Add the honey to the warm coconut oil and give it a bit of a stir. I like adding the honey to the warm oil, so that it will soften up and become a bit easier to work with.

FIVE: Add the remaining oils to the coconut oil and honey mixture, and wait for the lye to cool down to room temperature.

SIX: Make sure you are still in protective gear (goggles and gloves), carefully pour the lye to the oils, avoiding any splashes. Give it a quick pulse with the stick blender.

SEVEN: Add the milk powder and keep stick blending to mix the powder and the honey thoroughly into the soap mixture.

EIGHT: Add the rolled oats and either stir with a whisk, if you wish the rolled oats to remain in size for a scrubby effect, or stick blend to cut the rolled oats into smaller sizes for a light exfoliating effect.

NINE: The soap can get a bit thick if you leave it too long, so either pour or scoop the soap into your soap molds. As you can see, my soap thickened quite significantly, while I was taking pictures, so I’m really having to pay it down with the spatula. I’m using a mold with small rounds, but you could also use a muffin tray or loaf mold.

TEN: Leave to cure in the mold overnight. The honey in the soap can cause the soap to overheat, so don’t insulate and keep an eye on it. The next day, unmold and leave the soaps to cure for a further 6-8 weeks before using.

Honey, Oats and Milk 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

  • 150 g olive oil
  • 130 g rice bran oil
  • 100 g coconut oil
  • 20 g castor oil
  • 55 g caustic soda
  • 120 ml water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon milk powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons rolled oats

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. While you wait for the lye to cool, prepare your other ingredients, so that you’ll have them ready when needed.
  3. Weigh out the coconut oil in a pyrex jug and heat in the microwave on high for 1 minute or until melted.
  4. Add the honey to the warm coconut oil and stir briefly (it won’t completely melt).
  5. Add the remaining oils to the coconut oil and honey mixture.
  6. When the lye has cooled down to room temperature, carefully add it to the oils and stick blend briefly.
  7. Add the milk powder and continue to blend with the stick blender to mix the milk powder and honey into the soap.
  8. Add the rolled oats and either stir with a whisk for a more scrubby effect or stick blend if you wish for a finer exfoliation.
  9. Pour or scoop the soap into your soap mold and leave to cure overnight.
  10. The following day, carefully unmold the soap and leave to cure for another 6-8 weeks.