Vegan Soap Recipe No. 2

During this time of uncertainty, I have found myself falling back upon activities and projects that brought me happiness in the past.  One particular task that seems to always give me a sense of peace is soap-making.  There is something about the slow process, the circular motion of mixing, and the smells of oils wafting throughout the kitchen that puts my mind at ease.

What I look forward to most is that hopefully by the time this batch of soap is cured, we will be out of the quarantine and basking in the summer sunlight with our friends and family members.

This go-round I decided to try throwing a new fat into the mix…shea butter.  I love the smooth, creamy texture the shea butter gave to this soap and I cannot wait to see how it feels on the skin! I also wanted to try to bring some summer love to this batch, so I sprinkled some dried calendula pedals (from last year’s garden) onto the top of the soap before curing.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and I look forward to sharing more at-home projects with you throughout this strange time in our world’s history.  Be safe and be well, friends.

Vegan Soap Recipe No. 2

5 cups distilled water

12 oz lye

10 cups organic unrefined coconut oil

2 cups //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=makofahom-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B07S9H5BYG&asins=B07S9H5BYG&linkId=fd80223b29de721b03c43d397b4e75a5&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff” data-wplink-url-error=”true”>organic shea butter

Essential oils of your choosing (if desired)

Brazilian clay of your choosing (if desired) (I used yellow Brazilian clay in this particular batch.)

*Before you get started, please know that making soap with lye can be very dangerous.  You MUST be sure you are wearing proper gloves and eyewear at all times, and you must be in a well ventilated room!  

Step 1:  In a large stainless steel bowl, carefully stir the lye into the distilled water.  Stir continuously until all the lye is dissolved.  (This mixture can rise in temperature to almost 200 degrees, so again, proceed with caution.)  Allow the lye-water mixture to cool to 75 degrees.  This can often take several hours.

Step 2:  Warm the coconut oil and shea butter in a stock pot until it becomes liquid.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool to 80-85 degrees.

Step 3:  In a very slow and steady stream, carefully add the coconut oil and shea butter to the lye-water mixture while stirring constantly.

Step 4:  Once all the coconut oil and shea butter has been added, I use an immersion blender to get the soap to reach trace phase (the consistency of a thick honey).

Optional Step:  If adding essential oils, blend the oils in at this time.  And if adding clay for coloring your soap:  mix a tablespoon of clay with .25-.50 mL of your chosen essential oil.  Partially mix the clay into the soap mixture so it streaks.

Step 5:  Pour mixture into soap molds.  Cover with plastic.  I then place lots of old beach towels on top of the plastic wrap to help insulate the soap.

Step 6:  Allow your soap to remain insulted for 3-4 days.  Then remove the soap from the molds, cut the soap (if necessary), and place on a cooling rack.

Step 7:  Allow your soap to cure on the cooling rack for at least 2 months before using.

Vegan Soap Recipe

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Friends, I am so very excited to share with you my vegan soap recipe today!  It is a recipe I have been experimenting with for several months now, and at this point I am very happy with the way the soap is turning out.  I also worked with Brazilian clay this go round, and I am thrilled with those results as well.

This soap recipe has been a gradual evolutionary project for me.  When I began making soap many years ago, I used a melt-and-pour base to which I added essential oils, herbs, and other fun things.  I then moved on to making my own cold-pressed soap using a combination of lard and coconut oil.  My struggle with making this type of soap was that at times when I did not have access to lard from a pig in which I knew the farmers that raised it, I was using lard purchased from the grocery store.  I had a hard time with this because I am so careful to consume (and feed my family) foods in which I feel confident in its raising/growing, and here I was, making soap that would go be lathered onto the largest organ of our bodies (our skin!) and I didn’t know where it came from.  I started to seek an alternative for our family during those months when we did not have access to local lard, and this is the result of those efforts.  I hope you enjoy!

Vegan Soap Recipe

5 cups distilled water

12 oz lye

12 cups organic unrefined coconut oil

Essential oils of your choosing (if desired)

Brazilian clay of your choosing (if desired)

*Before you get started, please know that making soap with lye can be very dangerous.  You MUST be sure you are wearing proper gloves and eyewear at all times, and you must be in a well ventilated room!  (I never, ever make soap when my children are awake.  It is not worth the risk of having them underfoot in any way.  I normally make soap very late at night after my household is asleep.  I open all of the windows in the kitchen, turn on all of our ceiling fans, and then begin.) 

Step 1:  In a large stainless steel bowl, carefully stir the lye into the distilled water.  Stir continuously until all the lye is dissolved.  (This mixture can rise in temperature to almost 200 degrees, so again, proceed with caution.)  Allow the lye-water mixture to cool to 75 degrees.  This can often take several hours.

Step 2:  Warm the coconut oil in a stock pot until it becomes liquid.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool to 80-85 degrees.

Step 3:  In a very slow and steady stream, carefully add the coconut oil to the lye-water mixture while stirring constantly.  (I often have my husband help with this process.  I slowly stir the lye-water mixture while my husband ladles in the coconut oil.)

Step 4:  Once all the coconut oil has been added, I use an immersion blender to get the soap to reach trace phase (the consistency of a thick honey).

Optional Step:  If adding essential oils, blend the oils in at this time.  And if adding clay for coloring your soap:  mix a tablespoon of clay with .25-.50 mL of your chosen essential oil.  Partially mix the clay into the soap mixture so it streaks.

Step 5:  Pour mixture into soap molds.  Cover with plastic.  I then place lots of old beach towels on top of the plastic wrap to help insulate the soap.

Step 6:  Allow your soap to remain insulted for 3-4 days.  Then remove the soap from the molds, cut the soap (if necessary), and place on a cooling rack.

Step 7:  Allow your soap to cure on the cooling rack for at least 2 months before using.

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The Real Deal

While at “the fair” last weekend, I was lucky enough to watch a hands-on soap making demonstration conducted by Mary Jane Toth, author of Goats Produce Too.  Ms. Toth was a wonder to watch, for she made soapmaking so approachable.  For the first time, I felt that I could make real soap, and venture beyond my melt-and-pour roots.  (Some of my favorite melt-and-pour soap recipes are: eczema-friendly soap, shave soap,  anti-bacterial soap, and lavender rosemary soap.)

So, late one evening last week, I poured myself a glass of red wine (one must always be prepared for this type of new adventure I dare say), set out my lard, coconut oil and lye, and started this new journey towards homemade soap.  This was the real deal, and once those lye crystals hit the water, there was no turning back.

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Now I’m just praying the soap saponifies properly and cures as it should.  The waiting process on this type of soap is much different than that of melt-and-pour, so we shall see.  Fingers crossed 🙂

Eczema-Friendly Soap

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A member of our family has been struggling with eczema for a very long time, so I began researching natural remedies for this ailment.  In my research, I found that coconut-based products help to moisturize the dry skin of eczema, and many essential oils are found to relief many of eczema’s symptoms.  Now please remember, I am by no means a medical professional, but this soap (which has only been in use a few days now), seems to be helping to give some relief.

Eczema-Friendly Soap 

2 pounds Melt and Pour Soap Base (I use this Goat’s Milk Soap Base.)

1/4 cup organic coconut oil

2 teaspoons fresh chopped lavender

2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary

5 drops cedarwood essential oil

10 drops patchouli essential oil

5 drops clary sage essential oil

5 drops tea tree essential oil

10 drops lavender essential oil

5 drops rosemary essential oil

a shallow pot or saucepan

a glass bowl

wooden spoon

soap molds (You can purchase these at your local craft store or here.)

Fill the pot or saucepan half full with water.  Bring to a simmer.  Place the glass bowl in the pot of water to create a double boiler of sorts.  Place the melt and pour soap base in the glass bowl, along with the coconut oil.  Stir the base and coconut oil with a wooden spoon until it melts.  Remove the bowl from the heat and mix in the fresh herbs.  Then add the essential oils and stir.  Allow the mixture to cool just slightly (enough to thicken the mixture just a bit).  Pour into your molds.  Allow to rest until completely cool.  Remove the soap from the molds.  Enjoy!

So Fresh and So Clean

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Amid the hustle and hustle of the past few weeks, I ran to the linen closet to grab a bar of soap and some lotion and found the shelves that normally house these items to be completely bare.  So, we spent much of our St. Patrick’s Day afternoon making some new soap, lotion and deodorant.

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I used my favorite lotion recipe from this amazing book, but instead using olive oil as I normally do, I used a cold-pressed organic grape seed oil.  It ended up making a much lighter lotion, which I really like.

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A friend of mine steered me towards this great homemade deodorant recipe, and after wearing it in a multitude of situations, I have found it to work wonderfully!  In fact, I would even venture to say it works better than my organic store-bought deodorant.

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And last but not least on our to-do list: soap.  I created this recipe after researching those essential oils known for their anti-bacterial properties.  I hope you enjoy this soap as much as we do!

Making of a Home’s Anti-Bacterial Soap

2 pounds Melt and Pour Soap Base (I use this Goat’s Milk Soap Base.)

1/2 cup palm oil

4 eye droppers of Vitamin E oil

20 drops clove essential oil

20 drops lemon essential oil

10 drops rosemary essential oil

8 drops eucalyptus essential oil

5 drops cinnamon essential oil

5 drops tea tree essential oil

a shallow pot or saucepan

a glass bowl

wooden spoon

soap molds (You can purchase these at your local craft store or here.)

Fill the pot or saucepan half full with water.  Bring to a simmer.  Place the glass bowl in the pot of water to create a double boiler of sorts.  Place the melt and pour soap base, palm oil and the vitamin E oil in the glass bowl.  Stir with a wooden spoon until it melts.  Remove the bowl from the heat and add the essential oils and stir.  Allow the mixture to cool slightly (enough to thicken the mixture just a bit).  Pour into your molds.  Allow to rest until completely cool.  Remove the soap from the molds.  Allow the soaps to cure for about two weeks before you use them.

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Homemade Shave Oil and Shave Soap

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When you peek at the back of a shaving cream can, you may notice a longer list of ingredients than the processed food in the grocery store.  Almost all of the ingredients are unpronounceable, and really a bit scary when you think of what impact those ingredients have on our bodies once they are absorbed into our skin.

My husband has been searching for a good shave soap for years now and he continued to come up empty handed.  He has very sensitive skin and couldn’t seem to locate anything that worked, didn’t contain a ton of chemicals, and didn’t irritate his skin.

So, like many other things in our life, we decided to try our hand at making our own.  My hubby has been extremely happy with how these products turned out, and he uses them on a daily basis, confident in the fact that toxins are not leaching into his system, and he does’t have to worry about skin irritation issues.

Sandalwood, Cedarwood & Bay Shave Oil

(Apply a small amount of this Shave Oil prior to shaving.  Follow with Shave Soap.)

1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil

1 cup castor oil

10 drops sandalwood essential oil

10 drop cedarwood essential oil

5 drops bay essential oil

4 oz. amber bottles with lids (I bought mine here.)

medium-sized bowl

metal spoon

funnel

Mix the olive oil and caster oil in a medium bowl.  Then, slowly mix in the three essential oils.  Using a funnel, pour the shave oil into the amber bottles.  Cap.  Enjoy.

Sandalwood, Cedarwood & Bay Shave Soap

(Place a bar of this soap in the bottom of a large mug.  Thoroughly wet a shave brush and then vigorously rub it over the bar of shave soap.  Lather the soap on your face and you are ready to begin shaving.)

1 pound Melt and Pour Soap Base (I use this Goat’s Milk Soap Base.)

2 teaspoons bentonite clay (I purchase mine from this local natural food store, but you can get it here.)

10 drops sandalwood essential oil

10 drops cedarwood essential oil

5 drops bay essential oil

a shallow pot or saucepan

a glass bowl

wooden spoon

soap molds (You can purchase these at your local craft store or here.)

Fill the pot or saucepan half full with water.  Bring to a simmer.  Place the glass bowl in the pot of water to create a double boiler of sorts.  Place the melt and pour soap base in the glass bowl.  Stir the base with a wooden spoon until it melts.  Remove the bowl from the heat and quickly mix in the clay.  Then add the three essential oils and stir.  Allow the mixture to cool just slightly (enough to thicken the mixture just a bit).  Pour into your molds.  Allow to rest until completely cool.  Remove the soap from the molds.  Enjoy.

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Good Clean Fun

This week opened with warm weather, but a whole lot of rain.  In order to keep ourselves entertained during these deluge-filled days, my youngest and I decided it was time to restore our soap supply.  It was time for some good clean fun.  It was time for soap making.

In the past, I have relied upon soap recipes from books, but this time I ventured into unknown territory and made up a few concoctions of my own.  Now with that said, let me be clear in stating that I have not yet made the move to making my own soap base from lye.  I hope to one day get to that point, but for now I still use a wonderful goat’s-milk base from this soap-making supply company.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we have.  Enjoy!

Lavender Rosemary Soap

2 lbs 10 oz goat’s milk soap base

3/4 cup palm oil

1/4 cup beeswax pellets

Melt these ingredients down in a double boiler.  (I use an old glass bowl nested in a pan of hot water.)  Once the mixture is melted, remove from heat.  Add 3 eye droppers of vitamin E oil, 25 drops of rosemary essential oil, and 40 drops of lavender essential oil. Mix.  Continue to mix and allow the mixture to cool down slightly.  (I have found this helps to keep the palm oil from separating during the molding and cooling process.)  Then pour the mixture into soap molds and allow to cool.  Once cool, remove from molds (and cut if needed).  Let the soap cure on a drying rack for two weeks before use.

Orange Chai Spice Soap

2 lbs 10 oz goat’s milk soap base

3/4 cup palm oil

1/4 cup beeswax pellets

Melt these ingredients down in a double boiler.  (I use an old glass bowl nested in a pan of hot water.)  Once the mixture is melted, remove from heat.  Add 3 eye droppers of vitamin E oil, 40 drops of sweet orange essential oil, and the contents of 8 chai tea bags. Mix.  Continue to mix and allow the mixture to cool down slightly.  (I have found this helps to keep the palm oil from separating during the molding and cooling process.)  Then pour the mixture into soap molds and allow to cool.  Once cool, remove from molds (and cut if needed).  Let the soap cure on a drying rack for two weeks before use.