I’ve been such a bad blogger this past week! I’ve still got to email a few people about this collaboration, but will get around to it when I get back to England tomorrow. Been mega busy as I’ve been away for the past few days and fly back tomorrow. One more thing before we get into the post, I would love for you to follow me on Bloglovin 🙂 as I am hoping to reach 200 someday, although I am a long way off yet! Anyway, today I’m writing another post with the help of my mum. It’s true what they say – Mum’s do know best! I will start with a little story behind this one… A few years ago, my Mum and my Auntie both got into soap making and since then they have never looked back. My Dad has horrific skin, very dry, flaky, red and sore. His head is like a snowstorm sometimes and even using expensive anti-dandruff shampoo like Philip Kingsley didn’t help much. One day he must have decided to use the soap my Mum had made on his head and it helped. Anyway, now he no longer uses shower gel or shampoo – just bars and bars of my Mum’s soap! I use the tea tree soap to wash my make-up brushes and keep on of the scented versions for my hands. In the shower I also have a bar with seeds in it since it makes a great pre-shave exfoliator for the legs. Oh it also makes a great alternative to shaving foam, so really is a multi tasker. We all love it. Since we all love it, we figured we should share the recipe with you all 🙂
First up you will need to gather together a few bits of kitchen equipment. Most of these are non specialist, but Mum likes to keep pans etc for soap making (purely because she has loads as she inherited a lot of kitchen equipment when my Granny moved into a care home). If you only have 1 set of pans though, you can rinse them out, its just like filling them with fairy liquid really! Oh I would also recommend wearing an apron too and possibly some rubber gloves.
2 x Pans – 1 small to medium and 1 large
1 set of kitchen scales to measure your ingredients
Spatula or spoon for stirring – silicone is good so stuff doesn’t stick to it
Set of wire racks – like what you use for cake cooling
Blender or whisk – Mum used to use a whisk, but a blender is soo much easier
Silicone moulds – These are dirt cheap and can be bought in many bargain stores. You even get seasonal ones like hearts, snowmen etc for individual soap. Alternatively you can use a square or rectangular brownie/loaf tin and make a big soap cake to be sliced up
2x thermometers. You can get these in most hardware stores for around £5 each. You could actually get away with just 1 thermometer, but 2 is easier
You also need a big towel or blanket to wrap the soap in at the end
340g of cold water (needs to be clean, but that goes without saying right? If you live somewhere with hard water, filtering it might help)
125g of sodium hydroxide, otherwise known as caustic soda. Yeah this sounds a bit weird, but it is pretty common in a lot of soaps and once it is no longer in it’s alkali form it is totally fine for the skin
454g olive oil
284g of coconut oil (hard variety – looks like lard)
170g palm oil (hard variety – looks like butter)
20ml of pure essential oil
pigment if you wish to make coloured soap
any seeds eg poppy seeds or lavender etc you wish to add. We use 1tsp of poppy seeds per batch
1. Measure 340g of water into the jug and add in 125g of caustic soda. Add the caustic soda in slowly and stir until dissolved. You may want to wear gloves and goggles for this in case of spillage. Also beware that this is an exothermic reaction, so the solution will get hot. While you do this, be careful not to breathe in the vapour, cos it catches your throat. It’s no worse than stinky hair dye.
2. Place a thermometer in the solution and place to one side. You can place this in cold water later to assist the cooling. Be careful not to spill any of the solution or get any extra water in the solution.
3. Measure out 170g of palm oil and 284g of coconut oil and add to the smaller of the two pans. Gently melt this on the cooker, being careful not to overheat. When melted, it will just look like oil…
4. Measure out 454g of olive oil while the palm and coconut melt and add this to the larger pan.
5. Add the melted palm and coconut oil into the larger pan with the olive oil and stir. Add the thermometer to this pan.
6. Monitor the temperatures of the oil mix and caustic solution. When they reach the same temperature, mix the two together.
7. If you only have 1 thermometer, you need to make sure you wash it when moving between solutions. You will probably need to gently warm the oil and cool the caustic solution until they reach the same temperature.
8. When mixing ensure the solutions are between 25 and 55 deg C. We mixed at around 40deg C.
9. Thoroughly mix the solutions together. It will turn a creamy white colour. The soap will thicken and leave a ‘trail’ or an indentation when touched with the spoon.
10. Add in your fragrance and seeds. We used 10ml of patchoulli oil and 10ml of lime oil and 1 tsp of poppy seeds. This makes a lovely morning shower soap!
11. Pour into the moulds! You need to work swiftly. I made two little cupcake soaps and mum made a big soap in a brownie pan which can be sliced up into bars. You can make any shape you like really. Silicone cake tins are available in so many shapes and sizes now for so cheap.
12. Place the moulds on a hard surface – a tray or chopping board works wells, or even some stiff cardboard.
13. Wrap them up using a towel or a blanket. Mum also bought this pink silicone mat which stops the towel touching the soap. Yu could substitute this for anything really.
14. Leave the soap somewhere warm for 24 hours to set.
15. Remove the soap from the mould and leave for 2-4 weeks to set. Over this time is will harden gradually. You can cut the soap after the 24 hour setting time, but it is still quite soft, so best to do it after it is fully hardened. The soaps should be placed on a wire rack to fully harden. We usually put them under the bed or the sofa, out of the way.
16. After the 2-4 weeks are over, all that is left is to enjoy the soaps! Yay. You get so many cute little bags and paper nowadays, that you can wrap them up and give them as gifts. Ebay offer some cheap organza bags and primark do cheap facecloths. This makes a great little christmas gift for family and friends.
Where to Buy the Ingredients
Most of the items mentioned above are kitchen staples or found in any hardware store.
Some of the more specialist ingredients can be bought from places such as the soap kitchen and I have listed a rough cost below. This will hopefully give you some idea of how affordable this actually is.
Essential Oils – Vary in Price from £1.00 per 5ml to £16.40 per 5ml (buying larger bottles means larger savings, but you can always buy a few smaller bottles to see what they smell like) These are also cruelty free 🙂
We used 10ml of lime oil – £1.45 for a 10ml bottle or £5.20 if you wish to have organic lime oil (100ml bottle of non organic is £7.20)
10ml of patchoulli oil – £3.75 for a 10ml bottle or if you wish to have organic it is £5.70 per 10ml (100ml bottle of non organic is £18.70)
284g of coconut oil – sold in bags of 500g minimum for £3.08 or £5.32 for organic, meaning our 284g costs approximately £1.70 (again bigger bags mean bigger savings)
170 g of palm oil – sold in bags of 500g for £2.45 or £2.65 for organic, meaning our 170g costs approximately £1
454g of olive oil – You can buy this from the soap website, but we picked this one up in Aldi for around £2, meaning our half bottle was around £1
Poppy seeds – Since we hardly used any, I will say these cost 50p, even though it aint that much. You get these in the supermarket for a few quid a bag. They are tasty on bread
The caustic soda cost £1.60 for the 500g tub, so our 125g would be 40p
Total cost of soap (approx) – £10
Wow! I didn’t realise it was so cheap! I mean from Lush you would probably get 3 bars for that price? This way you can get a whole cake! I am now going to look into getting myself some other bits and bobs to make my own scrubs and bombs too. I’ve made my own toners in the past, and loved it. Really enjoying making my own stuff.
Are you tempted to make your own beauty products? Have you ever made anything yourself and thought this is so much more economical than shop bought?
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