Making Natural Soaps today is vastly different from soap making in the past. No longer is it necessary to leech ashes from a wood fire to make soap. Better yet, we don't have to collect animal fat or render tallow to make soap. This time consuming process has been replaced with a vast array of wonderful natural vegetable soap oils.
Handcrafted natural soap is a luxury. Pure vegetable soap contains no detergent like commercial bath soaps. If you would like to make your own natural soap here is a beginners recipe that Lizzie Candle has used. This Natural Soap Recipe is very inexpensive and likely you will find most of the ingredients at the super market or your local health food store.
24 ounces olive oil (not extra virgin)
24 ounces coconut oil
38 ounces vegetable shortening
12 ounces sodium hydroxide (lye) Red Devil Brand-Not Draino
32 ounces spring or distilled water
Fragrance or Essential Oil
4 ounces of your favorite fragrance
dried ground herbs (optional)
You will need the following equipment.
Scale to weigh the ingredients
A one gallon stainless steel or enamel kettle, not alluminum
Glass or plastic wide mouth pitcher to hold water and lye
A two cup plastic or glass measuring cup
Stainless steel wire whisk
One accurate glass thermometer that registers between 80-100 degrees F.
Plastic shoe box for your soap mold. Spray with vegetable spray so soap will release easily.
2 towels to cover your soap
One jar of vinegar in case you splash lye on your skin. Vinegar will neutralize the lye.
You will need several hours of time to make your soap.
Keep in mind that lye is caustic. Lye causes burns to skin, and can blind the eyes so use
Put on your rubber gloves and goggles. Weigh out 12 ounces of lye (sodium hydroxide) into the two-cup measuring cup. Weigh 32 ounces (2 pounds) of cold water in glass container. Slowly add lye to water (best done outside) stirring gently. The lye will heat the water and release fumes. The fumes dissapate quickly, but turn your face away so as not to inhale the fumes. Set aside and allow the lye to cool.
Weigh out 24 ounces of coconut oil and 38 ounces of vegetable shortening into the metal kettle. Melt these oils over low heat and stir frequently. Remove from heat after the oils have melted and add the 24 ounces of olive oil.
When your lye has reached a range of 95-98 degrees and your oils are at the same temperature, add the lye in a slow steady stream to the oils. Use the metal whisk to stir the mixture. After about ten minutes you will notice a change in your mixture. This is called saponification. The mixture will appear like thin cream. This is called tracing. Tracing occurs when droplets of soap will stand up on the surface. When this happens add your fragrance and stir well. Be ready to pour natural soap in your mold.
Cover your shoe box with the two towels and set asside undisturbed for eighteen hours. The soap will go through a gel stage and a heat process. At the end of this period uncover the soap and allow to sit for another 12 hours.
If you measured accurately and followed the directions there should be no problems. But if your soap has a deep oily film on top the natural soap cannot be used because it has separated. This is dissappointing if this happens. This will occur if your measurements were not accurate.
You are now ready to unmold your natural soap. Turn the box over and allow the soap to fall on a towel or clean surface. Cut your soap into bars. Allow the natural soap to cure in a cool dry place for approximately four to six weeks before using.