July 3rd, 2009


Soap Recipes

Shell and Soap

Beginner’s Soap
Coconut Cream Soap
Creamy Castile Soap
Sandalwood Soap
Transparent Honey Soap

I know next to nothing about making soaps, but the idea of including the subject on Coconut Recipe Island intrigued me, so I got to looking for information.

One thing I discovered is an ideal coconut oil to use in soap recipes, Soaper’s Delight Organic Coconut Oil.  You can purchase a gallon of it here.  The cost of using this product rather than food-grade coconut oil is substantially less.  And I understand that it creates a rich lather with snowy white bubbles, and is the only soap known to lather in salt water. (Ideal for tropical bathing!)

So – I found an excellent website on soap-making: EAudrey. Please visit her site for detailed Basic Soap Instructions.  And here is one of her fabulous recipes. . . .

Coconut Cream Soap

44 ounces *tallow
30 ounces coconut oil
30 ounces blended vegetable oil or olive oil
14 ounces lye
41 ounces cold water

Follow Basic Soap instructions on EAudrey’s site.

This soap has a nice creamy lather due to the coconut oil. It should be milled when moist.

* The better your tallow, the better your soap. Try to use the best fats possible. Using regular fat trimmings can be done but results in a lower quality soap. The grocery store is a great source to find beef suet for tallow. If all this seems too much…you can buy rendered tallow from food supply companies.
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Beginner’s Soap

For more terrific information on soap-making, visit Country Farm Lifestyles. Following are their recipes for Beginner’s Soap, as well as three others.

Here you will be using small quantities to start off with, so if you mess it up it’s no big deal. Remember, that for your soap to be successful you have to measure your ingredients accurately, make sure that both the temperatures of the lye water and the oils are at 95°F when you mix them together, and that the soap has been sufficiently mixed together so that it has reached the ‘trace’ stage. When the spoon is dragged through the soap mixture and it leaves an indentation for a few seconds, your mixture has began to turn to soap. This can take from 10 minutes to an hour of mixing.

6 oz coconut oil
6 oz olive oil
5 oz vegetable shortening
2.6 oz lye
1 cup water (8 fluid ounces)

Using your safety glasses, and gloves, carefully combine the lye and water in a glass jar. It will heat up fast, so be careful.

Stir until dissolved and then place the lye in a sink full of ice and water to get it to cool to 95°F.

Melt the vegetable shortening in a stainless steel pot over a low heat. Add the coconut oil and the olive oil. Mix well and heat to 95°F.

Make sure that both the lye water and the oils are at 95°F. Now add together carefully, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to trace.

Pour into molds and leave for 24 hours. Release from molds, cut into bars and leave on a wire rack for 3 – 4 weeks to harden. This recipe makes about 5 bars.

Variation: Add 2 tablespoons of oatmeal after the soap has reached the ‘trace’ stage. Mix thoroughly and then pour into molds as usual.
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Creamy Castile Soap

Castile soaps are so called, because the main oil that is used in these soap recipes is olive oil.

16 oz water
6 oz lye
16 oz olive oil
8 oz coconut oil
17 1/2 oz shortening

Not forgetting your safety glasses and gloves, mix the water and the lye in a large glass bowl or stainless steel pot. The water mixture will get very hot, so take care.

Heat the oils and the shortening over a low heat, stirring often. Heat to about 95°F. This will take about 30 – 40 minutes.

Check the temperature of both the lye water and the oil mixture as both should reach about 95°F at the same time. If one is hotter than the other, place in a sink of cold water to get the temperature down to match the other.

Once the temperatures are even then add the lye to the oils, stirring constantly.

From 10 minutes to an hour of stirring, the mixture should begin to ‘trace’. This means that when a spoon is dragged through the mixture, an indentation is left behind for a few seconds. If you do not stir your soap to the point of tracing, then when the soap is poured it will separate into levels of lye and oils, and your soap will not be successful. Once tracing has been reached this is the time to add any herbs, plants or essential oils to your soap, if desired.

Pour your soap into suitable plastic molds, cover with lids and wrap in a heavy blanket for 24 hours.

Once the soaps have hardened they should leave the the molds very easily. If you have trouble, in the future you can use a thin coating of Vaseline on your mold to help with the un-molding process.

You can cut your soap into smaller bars at this stage and leave on a wire rack for 3 – 4 weeks to air dry and harden.
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Transparent Honey Soap

500 ml distilled water
175 g caustic soda
1.1 kg tallow or fat
50 g honey
225 g coconut oil
2 tablespoons sugar “burnt” so that it caramelises for the colouring.

Follow the same soap making process below for the Hard Laundry Soap Recipe, adding the honey and coconut oil to the tallow as it melts.

Variations on the above soap recipe:
Add a few drops of perfumed oil to the soap just before you pour it out.

Add half a cup of powdered milk to the recipe just before you pour it out for a very smooth, rich, moisturising soap.

Add half a cup of honey just before you pour it out for a rich, clean soap

Add chamomile or parsley tea, or tea made of calendula petals and hot water instead of water in the recipe – these are all soothing herbs which make a mild soap.

Replace part of the oil with avocado or almond oil for a very rich moisturising soap.
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Sandalwood Soap

2 oz Sandalwood essential oil
1/2 oz Sandalwood powder
14 oz tepid water
6 oz lye
18 oz coconut oil
6 oz palm oil
12 oz olive oil
4 oz wheat germ oil

Combine the Sandalwood oil and powder together and set aside.

Blend the water and lye together carefully. Set aside and cool to 95°F.

Gently heat the coconut oil and palm oil together over a low heat. Add the olive oil and the wheat germ oil and then heat to 95°F.

Once the temperatures are the same, mix the lye water into the oils.

Stir the mixture until it reaches the ‘trace’ stage. Now add the Sandalwood mixture. Stir thoroughly and put into suitable molds.

Leave the soap to set and solidify for about 24 hours. Release the soap from the molds, cut into bars and place on a wire rack to air dry for 3 – 4 weeks.
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