I had a lot of fun doing the giveaway a week or so ago and plan on doing another one as soon as I can! I also have some new soaps to list on my etsy shop: http://www.GrammaVedoraSoapCo.etsy.com
Now, I have a recipe I have used in the past that I love that I was going to post. This is a pretty basic cold process recipe and anyone familiar with this technique won’t have any problems with it I’m sure! Please don’t try this recipe if you are unfamiliar with the cold process technique of making handcrafted soap or if you are unfamiliar with working with sodium hydroxide (lye).
Lemongrass Poppy Seed
Olive oil 11 oz
coconut oil 6 oz
palm oil 6 oz (I use palm oil from a sustainable supplier)
sunflower oil 5 oz
castor oil 1 oz
beeswax .7 oz
set for a 5% superfat
sodium hydroxide (lye) 4.0 oz
distilled water 9.8 oz
lemongrass essential oil 1.5 oz
Remember to double check the amount of sodium hydroxide needed using a soap calculator. ( I like this one http://www.brambleberry.com/Pages/Lye-Calculator.aspx )
Step 1: Make sure you are wearing gloves, long-sleeves, and eye protection. I measure out my lye using a kitchen scale set to oz. Then in a separate container, I measure out my water using oz as well (weight not volume measurements are more accurate and the best to use when making soap). Adding the lye to the water causes an exothermic reaction (it gets hot fast!) so to keep temperatures down, keep the water chilled in the fridge prior to using it. So, after measuring the water and lye, carefully add the lye to the water, stirring continuously. A noxious vapor is created and it is great to do this under the vent in the kitchen. If you can’t use the stove’s vent, open some windows or doors to ventilate the space. Carefully stir the mixture until all of the lye has dissolved into the water and the water is clear. Store in a safe place until oils have been mixed.
Step 2: Using a separate bowl, prepare the oils and beeswax. I start with the solid oils like the coconut oil, palm oil, and the beeswax. I put the solids in microwave safe bowl and carefully melt them in 30sec to 45 sec bursts in the microwave, stirring between each burst. Eventually everything will mix (the beeswax will melt last). Then add the remaining oils to the bowl being as accurate as you can in the measurements.
Step 3: Once all the oils are well mixed, check the temps on the oil and lye water mixtures. I like my solutions to be between 110 to 120 degrees F. Usually no more than that and when I work with milk, I like the temps even lower. If the temps are still too high you can wait til they cool on the counter, or put them in the fridge (make sure lye water is well marked and labelled as poison so no one mistakes it as a drinkable product).
Step 4: When the desired temperatures are reached, carefully add the lye water to the oils. At this point, I use a hand mixer to blend the mixtures together and encourage saponification (the process from which soap is made!). I blend until the mixture reaches trace (the raw soap leaves light trails on the top) then I add my essential oil. I love the smell of lemongrass essential oil! So bright, citrusy and lemony! I add around 1.5 oz of the essential oil since that amount works for me. If you like a stronger smell, make a little more, it you like less, use less! I blend the oil in with the hand mixer to make sure it’s fully incorporated.
Step 5: Add the poppy seeds! I usually add about 2 tablespoons to my raw soap, but once again, this is up to the soapmaker! If you want more exfoliation, add more seeds and vise versa.
Step 6: Place into mold. I used a freezer paper lined wooden mold for my soaps usually. Silicone loaf molds, and individual molds could also work. My mold measures about 8″ x 2.5″x 3.5″. I pour the soap into the lined mold and scrape all of the soap I can out of the bowl using a spatula reserved only for soap making. Once all of the raw soap is in the mold, I tap the mold several times on the countertop to remove any bubbles that may have formed.
Step 7: I sprinkle some poppy seeds on top of the loaf for a decorative element. I also give the top a quick spritz with 91% rubbing alcohol to prevent soda ash formation or you could use a layer of plastic wrap on top. I then cover the top with cardboard and wrap the entire mold in a towel to encourage the soap to go into the gel phase. This is not necessary. If you do not want your soap to enter gel phase, leave it unwrapped. You could even put it in a refrigerator overnight.
Step 8: Leave soap in mold for about 24 hours. Remove and then cut to desired size. Find a good location to let the soap then cure for 4-6 weeks.
There! A soap recipe! This recipe smells great and is nice and bubbly. My kids like it too. Hope you enjoy the soap and don’t forget to double check all soap recipes on line with a soap calculator to make sure the lye amounts are correct.