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.

IMG_1138

The Gift of Homemade

The season of gift-giving is upon us, and this year we have decided to take a different approach to our most-loved holiday.  We hope to create many of our gifts with our very own hands, thus giving our friends and family something truly from deep within our hearts.  Here is a bit of what is in the works right now…

Soapmaking

There were many things my husband and I use to do sans children, and one of those is make our own soap.  We loved everything about the entire process:  finding the recipes, making the soap while sipping wine and watching reruns of Friends on our computer, and giving the finished soaps as gifts to our family and friends.

Needless to say once we had kids, our soap making and wine sipping days quickly came to a halt.  But now that the little ones are getting bigger, we have brought it back!  We picked up our oldie but good book, Natural Soapmaking by Marie Browning, gathered a few needed supplies from Brambleberry.com and we were good to go.

Now I must be clear that we have not ventured into the true soap making realm of making our own lye, although we would like to make that jump in the near future. Instead, we start with a natural soap base that we purchase through Brambleberry and go from there.

The process is so fun and even the tiniest of the family is asking Mommy, “When do I get to make my orange and cinnamon soap.”  I love it 🙂