Soaps and Cleansers

Please research the safety of whatever you may be doing. It is especially important when making cold processed soap because of the lye involved.
The number one safety precaution is:
If you need a reason for doing this please read Rose Mary's post about her experiences.
Do It Yourself Soap
Only three ingredients are required to make soap:

  • Fat - Animal or vegetable
  • A base - Some kind of lye
  • Water - soft water

Granny used fat drippings from bacon and the meat she cooked but vegetable oils such as olive oil, canola oil, even shortening will also produce soap.

Granny used caustic potash as her lye. She obtained it by leaching water through wood ashes. Today the lye of choice is Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH or caustic soda) Water was usually collected rain water. Clean soft water is needed. Distilled or filtered water should be used.

Now, the soap that grannie made wasn't always the best quality. Sometimes it would eat your skin right off. And other times it was very greasy and would go rancid. That wasn't granny's fault. She didn't have the knowledge, tecniques, and equipment we have at our disposal today.

Granny's problem was that the a specific amount of lye is required for each different kind fat or oil. Too much lye and you have very harsh soap. Too little and you have soap that still contains a goodly amount of fat and may to rancid. Today scientists have found how much lye is required to saponify (make it soap) each type of fat. This is known as the SAP value. Once this value is know the amount of lye required for the fats to be used can be calculated. A calculator for finding the amount of lye you will need can be found at Majestic Mountain Sage Or you can calculate it yourself from the sap values given on the SAP page.

OK, now for the procedure.

  1. Find the weight of each of the fats you plan to use.
  2. Calculate the amount of lye required for each fat.
  3. Take the total weight of the fats to be used and divide by 3. This is the amount of water you will need.
  4. Make a solution of the water and total lye required. Be sure to read the safety precautions for lye.
  5. While your lye is cooling (it will heat up when poured into water to over 200 degrees F so be careful) warm your fats to about 100'F. This temperature is not set in stone. Some people like it hotter and some like it cooler.
  6. When the lye has cooled to about 100'F and the fats are at about 100'F, slowly pour the lye/water into the fats while stirring. A bit of heat is needed to get the reaction going.
  7. Stir until a drop from a spoon sits on top of the soap for a short time before blending in with the rest of the mixture. This is known as tracing. You need to stir until the soap traces to keep the fats and water from separating. Now is the time to add any fragrances, colorants, essential oils, herbs, etc. that you desire, unless you plan to add them in a rebatch.
  8. Pour the raw soap (it is soap, just very harsh soap and can burn if you get it on the skin) into your mold.
  9. If the weather is cool, insulate with blankets to towels to hold the heat of the reaction in. The reaction itself will generate enough heat to keep it going unless it has to fight against cold surrounding air. Depending on the fats you used you should have hard soap in anywhere from 24 to 48 hours.
  10. Remove the soap from the mold and cut it into bars.
  11. The soap at this stage is usable but contains so much water that it wouldn't very last long. Allow the bars to cure in a cool dry place for about 3 weeks. Some blends of oils produce soaps that may take longer.

Now you know the basics of making soap. Experiment with blends, additivies,temperatures, etc. to get the consistency, look and fragrance that you desire.

Many soapers like to add an extra bit of oil that is not accounted for in the lye calculation at trace (about 5%-10% of the fats) believing that it makes a milder soap.
Linda Coffin

Soap Bar

Hot Process Soap

After the lye is added, you continue heating on a very gentle heat until tiny (and I mean really tiny, like soap lather) 'champagne bubbles' start to form in the pot, and keep stirring gently all the time (but NOT fast - that's a sure way to get caustic splashes everywhere!).

This takes about 20 mins after trace. You actually save time, though, in that you don't have to wait for your lye and/or oils to cool - soon as the fats are melted and the lye is dissolved, you can pour lye, just be aware that these are hotter than usual, eh, and be prepared for it to race through trace to separation (curds, with oil on top) in seconds flat.

After you get those champagne bubbles, you can turn off the heat and go do something else for 10 mins or so - but keep an eye on the pot, as I've had batches expand ::lots:: and even try to climb out of the pot - seriously! If your batch expands too much, simply stir it down - the stirring adds some cooler air into the mix.

The process is wonderful to watch - and after the first 10 mins or so it starts smelling *really* good of clean, pure soap!

After 10 mins or so, check your batch, add some gentle heat if the champagne bubbles have ceased, keep stirring gently, until the champagne bubbles are back. estimate this takes 5-10 mins. Then turn off the heat leave it for another 10 mins.... keep repeating these steps until you get something that looks like old vaseline, and a few drops of watery stuff at the base of the pan. This last stage happens quite suddenly, going from curds and oil and bubbles to this smooth almost silky looking finished soap. Then it's ready for colouring and fragrancing (although I explained in another post about my own inexperience with the correct temperatures to fragrance after the soap is finished, eh!)

Melanie Dunstan 11/17/98

Soap Recipes

Sweet Gingered Orange

I forgot to list the amount of lye for this recipe when I submitted it! I use 9 oz. of sodium hydroxide (6%). Sweet Gingered Orange FO: 4 ml Sweet Orange EO 4 ml Vanilla FO .5 ml Pomegranite Orange FO .5 ml Ginger FO .5 ml Amber FO This is the basic formula, then upped the amounts from here. Thanks, Rachel Browning Southern Scents Soapworks


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Sweet Gingered Orange Soap

Use Mandarin Orange Spice herbal tea to make 24 oz. strong tea.

9 oz. of sodium hydroxide (6%)
18.7 oz. coconut oil
18.7 oz. olive oil
12.5 oz. palm oil
14 oz. sunflower oil

Mix lye, herbal tea at 110/100 degree.
At trace, add:
1 Tbsp. dried orange peel,ground, mixed with
2 Tbsp. Paprika-infused sunflower oil
1 capsule beta carotene for color
Scent with Sweet Gingered Orange FO

Sweet Gingered Orange FO:
4 ml Sweet Orange EO
4 ml Vanilla FO
.5 ml Pomegranite Orange FO
.5 ml Ginger FO
.5 ml Amber FO
This is the basic formula, then upped the amounts from here.

Rachel Browning, Southern Scents Soapworks 2/9/03

Calendula Soap
24 oz olive oil (infused with calendula)
14 oz coconut oil
10 oz palm oil

18 oz water
6.8 oz lye
1 Tbsp each sugar and salt dissolved in lye water

at trace add:
1 Tbsp. Castor oil
3 Tbsp calendula petals
1oz calendula oil
scent (if desired)

fats/oils temp 95-100 degrees
water/lye temp 95-100 degrees

Great soap, mild with lots of lather.I leave mine unscented, but a good citrus blend would be great...

Rhonda 3/11/99

Lemon Thai Jasmine
20 fluid ounces of Herbal Tea Jasmine(Double Stregth
16 fluid ounces of Sweet Almond Oil
1.5 fluid ounces of Castor Oil
14 fluid ounces of Coconut Oil
21 fluid ounces of Olive Oil
2 soild ounces of Cococa Butter
7.61 ounces of Red Devil Lye
2.5 Tablespoons Dried Lemongrass
2.5 Tablespoons Jasmine Tea
Make the Herbal Tea twice as strong
6.5 teaspoons of EO or FO of your choice
Makes a 5% superfated soap

Basic Soapmaking Instructions

While wearing safety goggles and neoprene gloves, combine solid lye and liquid, stir well. Set aside and allow to cool (100º to 125º F). This is best done outside while you are standing upwind.

Combine oils and heat gently. Once the fats and oils are melted allow the temperature to drop to 100º F to 125º F. Combine lye solution and melted oils. Be careful not to splash while combining the mixtures. Stir until the mixture traces. If tracing takes more than 15 minutes, which it often does, stir for the first 15 minutes, then stir for 5 minutes at 15 minute intervals. Tracing looks like a slightly thickened custard, not instant pudding but a cooked custard. It will support a drop, or your stir marks for several seconds. Once tracing occurs...Pour raw soap into your prepared molds. After a few days the soap can be turned out of the mold. If the soap is very soft, allow it to cure for a few days to firm the outside. Cut soap into bars and set the bars out to cure and dry. This will allow the bar to firm and finish saponification. Place the bars on something that will allow them to breathe.

Allow soap to cure for 2 to 3 weeks, or until the pH of the soap is in the range of 7.0 to 9.0. Soap which has a pH of less than 7.0 often has large amounts of excess fat which can go rancid.
Joannine Herriott 3/10/99

Water Sprite's Soap
16 oz. canola oil
8 ox. coconut oil
4 oz. olive oil
4 oz. sunflower oil
4 oz. lye
12 fl. water

Melt oils together til warm. Add lye to cold water. Add lye/water and oils together when both are warm to touch on the outside of containers. Stir until trace, add color and fragrsance. Pour into molds.
Lelana Buckwalter 11/11/98

Soap Bar

Serious Skin Pampering Soap
Serious Skin Pampering Soap

16 oz. avocado oil
8 oz. olive oil (not pomace)
8 oz palm oil
6 oz coconut oil
2 oz cocoa butter
2 oz shea butter
1 oz emu oil
EOs of choice
16 oz water
5.75 oz flake lye

Follow usual CP soap-making procedures: melt oils (except for emu oil and EOs) in LARGE non-aluminum pot, mix lye with water in large stainless steel bowl, using part ice cubes for the 16-oz of water and in well-ventilated area; don't walk off and leave it alone at this point. When fats are just melted (NOT hot) and lye is cool enough to hold hand on outside of bowl, pour lye solution carefully into oils and stir. Keep on LOW heat, stirring frequently but not vigorously (don't splash). You may pour when you first reach trace (after adding emu oil and EOs,) but I kept it heating for awhile. Once it begins bubbling like cooking candy, pull it off the heat, add EOs and emu oil, stir well and pour into molds. It cures faster with the extra cooking.

I used tea tree oil in this batch, and then made three smaller batches out of it: sandalwood/patchouli, lavender/rosemary & lavender/peppermint.

Goatsmilk would make this even more luxurious--I just didn't have any when I was making this.
Rachel I. Edwards 11/18/98

Soap Bar

Buttermilk and Jojoba Soap
Sunflower oil250g
Olive oil 250g
Canola oil500g
eo of choice30ml
Jojoba oil50ml

Mix eo into kaolin powder
Dissolve NaOH in Buttermilk (straight from the fridge)
Heat oils to lukewarm
Stir till light trace, add Jojoba oil
Add Kaolin and eo mixture
Pour into mold
Ingrid 5/27/98

Soap Bar

Granny's Soap
NaOH 127g
Water 360g

Sunflower oil 250g
Olive oil 750g

Kaolin powder 15ml
Castor oil 50ml
( I leave this one without fragrance, for sensitive skins)
Ingrid 5/27/98

Soap Bar

Honey 'N Oats Soap
NaOH 140g
Water 360g

Olive oil 400g
Sunflower oil 400g
Coconut oil 200g

Oats, finely ground 90g
Honey 40g
Castor oil 50g
Sweet Orange eo in 15ml Kaolin powder
Ingrid 5/27/98

Soap Bar

All Purpose Basic Soap Recipe
Water 360g
NaOH 122g

Sunflower oil 250g
Olive oil 250g
Canola oil 500g

eo/fo of choice in 15ml Kaolin powder
Castor oil 50g
Ingrid 5/27/98

Soap Bar

Basic Soap Recipe for Rebatching
8 oz lard
8 oz soybean oil (generic veg. oil from the grocery store)
2.25 oz lye
8 oz water
(All measurements by weight)
I rebatched it into sage gardeners soap, and a rosewater and glycerine soap by shredding it (8 oz each batch) and adding 6 oz water, cooking down and adding 2 tablespoons sage for one batch, and using rosewater instead of plain water, and adding 1.5 tablespoons glycerin, 10 drops rose oil, 1 drop red food coloring for the next batch. Each batch filled 1-1/2 frozen juice concentrate cans and made just the right amount to give as a gift (in my opinion)
Peggy 10/6/98

Soap Bar

Variations for Soap Recipes
- Replace water with your favourite beer, for BEER soap.
- Replace water with pureed, cold, fresh cucumber for CUCUMBER soap
- Replace water with favourite herbal tea (make a very strong tea!)
- Calendula petals. . . add half a loosely packed cup to the olive oil, and let it 'marinate' for a week before using.
Ingrid 5/27/98

Soap Bar

Rosemary Scrubby Soap
14 oz Coconut oil
14 oz Palm oil
7 oz Olive oil
7 oz Avocado oil
7 oz Jojoba oil

19 oz distilled water
6.7 oz NaOH

Add at trace:
2 tsp Rosemary Oil
2 tsp Tea Tree Oil
4 tsp Lemongrass Oil
1/4 cup powdered rosemary
Copyright © Lynx Rufus

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Gardener's Soap

4 cup pyrex meaure (for measuring oils)
1 quart pyrex bowl (for mixing lye and water)
4 quart pyrex bowl or plastic paint bucket (with handle removed) for melting oils
Scale (to weigh oils)
Plastic stirring spoon/spatula
Microwave (or do on stove top)
Mould of choice that will accomodate 4 pounds of oils (2 rubber maid short rectangular drawer liners should work)

6oz Apricot Kernal oil (Health food store)
3oz bees wax (Soap Saloon in Sacramento)
10oz coconut oil (health food store)
22 Olive oil (grocery)
10oz Crisco (grocery)

7oz Red Devil Lye (grocery)
18 oz water (infused with chamomile tea bags) --ie make a strong chamomile tea and then weigh out 18oz

6 Tbsp coarse ground cornmeal (may use fine ground pumice if prefers more scrubbies)
2 tsp Ground Cardamom
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 oz Grapefruit EO
1/8 oz Cinnamon leaf EO
1/8 cup warm honey

Instructions: Coat inside of moulds with vaseline. Grate or chop up bees wax and weigh . Slowly add the lye to the water stirring quickly and carefully (wear gloves, goggles, etc) until it is completely dissolved (2-3 minutes) Melt solid oils together with bees wax in the microwave or in a double boiler on stove top. Check temperatures of oils and lye mixture... when they are both around 100-110 deg (which means you may have to put your bowl of lye mixture into a sink of ice water to cool down, and/or re-warm your oils until they match pretty close) slowly pour the lye solution into the melted oils while stirring quickly ... continue stirring until you reach a very light trace. At light trace take a small amount of the "soap", about 1 cup, and mix warm honey and EOs thoroughly into it... stir this quickly back into the main bowl of soap and blend in completely. Then remove another 1-2 cups of the "soap" and mix in the spices and cornmeal into it thoroughly and then quickly mix back into the main bowl of soap. continue stirring until completely blended and you have a medium trace (kinda like a creamy soup texture) Pour into mould of choice (I used individual moulds) and let sit for 10 minutes to firm up.. then cover top of moulds with plastic wrap so that it lays on top of the soap. Wrap soap moulds in towels and put in a pre-warmed oven (100 deg) which has been turned off before putting the soaps in... Cover again with another layer (i use a woven mattress cover) and leave undisturbed for 24 hours. Turn soap out of mould and cut into desired sizes and leave to cure in a warm, airy place for 3-4 weeks. Function: Helps get the dirt from the garden off your hands.

Huckleberry 11/11/98

Soap Bar

That Interesting Soap
26 oz each lard and olive oil (the cheap kind that is greenish)
6-1/2 oz lye
20 oz water
Make a basic ordinary CP soap
When the soap traces add:
2 lemons that have been run through the blender (I sliced them first) until realy finely chopped up.

This stuff solidified in 24 hours. The lemon peel turned orange within 10 minutes of adding, and now (48 hours later) is a very interesting orangy-red.

Peggy Dodd 11/5/98

Soap Bar

Big Batch of Soap
6.025 lb. olive oil
5 lb. tallow
2.5 lb. coconut oil
0.5 lb. almond oil
0.2 lb. cocoa butter
85 fl. oz. water
1.95 lb. lye (sodium hydroxide)

Combine oils with lye at 100 degrees.
Time to trace: about 5 minutes.
Expecially good and extremely mild after 24 hours.
Pat Storkey

Soap Bar

Quick Soap
4 lb. grease
1 can lye
1/3 cup borax
2 quarts rain water

The grease may remain cold. Pour the lye over the fat and stir with a wooden stick or spoon until dissolved. Then stir in the borax. Add rain water a little at a time, stirring constantly. Stirring improves the soap.

This amount makes nine pounds of soap.
Lori 9/9/98

Soap Bar

Joz Bars
.5 oz Cocoa Butter
32 oz Coconut oil
64 oz olive oil
32 oz palm oil
3 oz lanolin
32 oz lard
61 oz water
21.92 - 22.64 oz lye per the calculator

Temps were 100 - 125.
The bar is creamy white, nice lather. It doesn't leave that silky feel that I have grown to like so much. But my DH likes the lack of it (does that makes sense?)
Susy Parker Goins

Soap Bar

Seaweed Soap
6oz Coconut oil
1oz Grapeseed oil
34oz Olive oil

15oz less 2Tbl water
5.49oz Lye

Make Soap as usual...

Soaked 2 sheets nori (green Seaweed used to make sushi) in 2 tlb of the water added 1 Tlb grapeseed oil to that...added this @ trace with 1oz combined apple and cinnamon Fo...poured into 3" PCV pipe... 24 hours later unmolded and sliced...have the most beautifull green flecked soap... great lather...smells wonderfull...was thinking it would be great with pear scent.

Soap Bar

Aloe Seaweed Soap
12 fluid oz. aloe juice
4.3 oz. by weight lye

Oils by weight:

16 oz. Olive oil
8 oz. Palm oil

4 oz. Coconut oil
4 oz. Avocado oil

1 teaspoon kelp powder
4 Spirulina tablets

2 Tablespoon Aloe Vera fragrance oil

Wearing protective eyewear and gloves, add lye to chilled aloe juice in a well-ventilated place. It is easy to do this in a 1-quart pyrex cup. Stir well and set aside. Mix oils in 2 -quart pyrex cup. Microwave about 2 minutes until melted. (This can be done in an enamel or stainless steel pan on top of the stove). By now, lye mixture should have cleared. Slowly add it to the oil mixture, stirring with a stainless steel wisk. Stir with wisk (may use stick blender) until the saponification of the soap reaches a light trace. Add kelp, spirulina tablets (empty capsules), and stir. Add fragrance oil. Pour into individual molds or a large rubbermaid drawer organizer.
Sharon Satterfield 11/11/98

Soap Bar

Brown Sugar Transparent Soap
from FRAGRANCE: How to make Natural Soaps, Scents and Sundries (page 143) copyright 1975 Beverly Plummer


2 ounces lye
1 cup distilled water
2 ounces brown sugar
4 ounces 80 proof vodka
4 ounces glycerin
10 ounces shortening/lard
6 ounces coconut oil
several drops of Bergamont essential oil
More vodka to make it transparent at rebatching stage

Dissolve lye in water. Dissolve sugar in vodka. When completely dissolved, add glycerin and stir until well mixed. Add this mixture to the lye/water and cool to 90 degrees. Melt fats and oils and cool to 95 degrees When everything is at correct temperatures, add lye mixture to fats mixture and stir until soap mixture traces. Pour into molds and cover with a soap "blanket" (to keep it from cooling too fast.) After 2-3 days unmold and begin to cure it. Your soap at this stage will probably be opaque, creamy off-white, and very soft. One week after unmolding the soap, grate or crumble the bars into a pan and add about 11/2 cups of vodka to melt it. As it melts, it turns a beautiful clear brown color. Don't stir too much and if you see any little opaque soap bars remove them with a spoon. Heat it almost to a boil (the alcohol will burn off), repour it into the mold, let set 2 days. Unmold, let cure another 2 weeks.
Contributed by LvScottys 5/26/98

Soap Bar

Goat Milk Balsam Soap

4 oz. coconut oil
3 oz. lard
3 oz. tallow
2 oz. olive oil
1 oz. hazelnut oil
1 oz. almond oil
1 oz. beeswax
.5 oz. jojoba oil
.5 oz. cocoa butter
1/4 tsp. balsam Peru

1/2 tbsp. borax
1/2 tsp. glycerin
1/4 tsp. white sugar

6.5 oz. canned goat milk (undiluted)
2.3 oz. lye

2 tbsp. sandalwood FO
1 tbsp. vanilla FO

Combine all oils and balsam. Warm oils to 110 degrees. The balsam will create flecks in the oils. Mix together glycerin, sugar, and borax. Set aside. Put goat milk on ice. (very important). VERY SLOWLY add lye to goat milk, stirring constantly. Adding lye too quickly will make the milk heat up too fast and will burn the milk. Keep milk around 100 degrees as you add the lye. Adding the lye will make the milk heat up, so, keep it on ice and add the lye in VERY small increments. Don't let the milk get below 80 degrees, otherwise it will start to saponify. Once all lye is dissolved, add lye/milk to oils. This recipe traces very quickly, so be prepared.

Add the glycerin mixture. Stir well. At very light trace, add fragrance oils. Pour into molds. DO NOT COVER. This recipe needs to breathe as it sets up to allow the excess moisture to escape, otherwise, you'll have slimy soap. Remove from molds after about 12 hours. Let cure 6 weeks.

Utensils Needed:
Eye protection
Plastic or stainless steel mixing bowls
Rubber spatulas
Hand held mixer, or blender
Measuring spoons
Scale Dieters or kitchen
Soap Molds or Plastic shoe box

Prep Time:
About an hour.

Cheryl Bonner 11/11/98

Soap Bar

Mechanic's Hand Cleanser
Grind up a bar or two of your soap...

1 c. borax
1-2 t. pure turpentine
1 t. sweet orange EO
1 c. ground soap

With very clean hands, work the turpentine and EO into the borax until there are no lumps left, then work into the soap. Keep it in a wide-mouthed jar or tin that's easy for him to open when his hands are greasy, and which you won't mind getting black on the outside. Don't forget to put a nail brush and pumice stone out with the hand cleanser.
Shucky 8-) +

Soap Bar

Egg Soap
4oz coconut oil
24oz olive oil
4oz Safflower oil (used this because I had some if you use something else recalculate your lye)
12oz water -2oz
4.21oz lye
Mix and beat
4 egg yolks
2oz aloe
1oz safflower oil from my orignal 4oz
Made soap as usual but at light trace pour about 1/4 of lye/oils into the beaten egg mixture (I use stick blender) then incorporated it back into the oil/lye mixture... beat some more... added scent (sunflower) pour into could do without aloe too I would imagine...I bought it to make something else it didnt work out so I wanted to use it up :) really like this one lathers well and nice hard bar... mild...and beautifull color!

Soap Bar

Lavender Flower Bubble Bath
1 bunch fresh lavender flowers
16 oz. unscented bubble bath or unscented shampoo
5 drops lavender oil

Collect your lavender, place lavender flowers face down in a bottle,(I use a quart size canning jar)so the stems are at the top, pour unscented bubble bath or shampoo over the lavender flowers, add 5 drops lavender oil and now close the lid and shake. Let the mixture set on the windowsile in the sun for about 2 weeks, shaking every day, then strain and bottle. You will have a natural color to your bubble bath and a very nice scent of lavender.
Lisa B. 6/20/98

Soap Bar

Soap Balls and Bubble Bath
4 cups of soap flakes
1 cup water, divided in two
1/2 tsp. food coloring
mixing bowl
measuring cups and spoons
large spoon
cookie sheet
1/2 cup shampoo

1. Measure the soap flakes and put them in the mixing bowl.
2. Add food coloring to the soap.
3. Add small amounts of water. Stir until the soap pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It will form a ball. The mixture should be thick, not sticky.
4. Roll small amounts of the soap mixture into balls. Use your hands to do this.
5. Place the finished soap balls on a foil-covered cookie sheet.
6. Allow the soap balls to dry for a week.
7. Combine 6 teaspoons of baby oil, 1/2 cup shampoo, and 1/2 cup water in a container.
8. Put a lid on the container and shake it.
9. Write Directions: on a note to go with the bubble bath. It should read "Add a few tablespoons of bubble bath to warm bath water."
10. Put the bubble bath together with some soap balls in a gift basket.
Mark & Tammy Gargano

Soap Bar

Old Fashioned New England Style Soap Balls
What you need:
Mixing bowl
Sharp knife
Stirring spoon

Shavings, scrapings, or other small soap pieces
Warm water

1. Place the scraps of soap in a bowl. Break up any large pieces or shave them down with a knife.
2.Sprinkle warm water over the scraps and stir until all the pieces are moistened. Allow ten minutes or so for the soap to soften.
3. Grab a fistful of the moistened scraps and squeeze them together to form a ball. Do be careful to squeeze out any air pockets, or the ball may fall apart once it has dried. Repeat to make as many balls as possible.
4. Place the soap balls in a warm dry area and allow them to dry for two weeks or more. Once every few days, squeeze each soap ball in order to maintain its round shape as it dries.
Norma Coney
Contributed by Linda Coffin

Soap Bar

New Fangled Soap Balls
Technique #1
When it comes time to pour a batch of "rebatched" soap into molds, you'll often find that there's not quite enough soap to fill the very last mold. Use that remaining portion (or an entire soap recipe if you like) to make New-Fangled Soap Balls by shaping the slightly cooled leftover soap into balls. To decorate the balls, roll them in a handful or two of grated soap before setting them aside to dry.

Technique #2
These soap balls are truly old-fashioned in appearance. Just follow your "rebatch" soap recipe, but rather than using individual molds, pour the soap into a large mold instead. Freeze the soap until it is solid enough to be removed from the mold, then cut the soap into blocks. Grate each block or shave it into small pieces with a knife and allow the pieces to dry for up to one week in a shallow container. These bits of soap can still be quite moist. To make the balls, follow the instructions for making Old-Fashioned New England Style Soap Balls.
Norma Coney
Contributed by Linda Coffin

Soap Bar

Basic Vegetable Soap
5 c. 4 oz. olive oil
2 c. 1 oz. coconut oil
3 c. vegetable shortening (Crisco)
10 3/4 oz. lye
4 c. water

TEMPS: 95-98

4 1/2 tsp. of essential oils at trace
Rita Richards

Soap Bar

Cucumber Loofah Soap
3 oz. Unscented white soap
2 tsp. Powdered loofah
15 drops cucumber perfume oil
1 T. Aloe Vera gel
1 drop green food coloring
Purchased soap mold: (or empty, clean tuna can or milk carton)

Shred the soap in a food processor and set aside. Boil ½ cup of water over low heat and stir in the shredded soap. Continue stirring until the mixture becomes a sticky mass, approximately four minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the aloe Vera gel, the perfume oil and the coloring until well blended. Spoon the mixture into a mold and let set for six hours or until hardened. Wrap finished soaps in cellophane
Kelly Reno

Soap Bar

Heartfelt Creations Liquid Soap
4 ounces olive oil
4 ounces coconut oil
4 ounces safflower oil
4 ounces sunflower oil
3.15 ounces KOH (potassium hydroxide)
12 ounces water
Heat oils to 115 - 120. Mix lye into water, stirring until lye is dissolved. When lye water reaches 115 - 120 mix into oils. Stir either by hand or with a hand blender.

You may find that this soap takes longer to trace than a bar soap recipe. You can leave this soap and come back to it, stir a few minutes and then leave it again. Even after you think you have reached trace, come back and stir. Do not be alarmed by what may look like separation...this is normal. Just stir everything back together. After you have achieved trace, cover the bowl loosely and allow to sit for approximately two weeks. You can check it during this time...if there is any separation, go ahead and stir it back together.

After two weeks you are ready to thin down the soap for putting into squeeze bottles or pumps.

Put soap in top of double boiler and cover with lid. Add water to bottom of double boiler and bring to a simmer DO NOT boil this may cause the glycerine to separate out of your soap.

The amount of water that needs to be incorporated is different for everyone. After your soap has melted start stirring in gel water (gel water can be made by boiling distilled water with something like oakmoss, psyllium, tapioca, etc.) or plain distilled water. Bring the consistency THINNER than you want the finished product to be. This soap will thicken some and if you don't thin it enough it won't dispense from a pump bottle.

Remember to keep notes on how much water you have added to aid with future batches. You may separate this batch however you like to play with different amounts of water to find the consistency that you like.

After you have the soap at the desired consistency add any eo's or fo's that you would like. Let the soap sit for 1-2 weeks and enjoy!!!

NOTE: Herbal water can easily be used to thin the soap during the second stage. Choose herbs that are beneficial to the skin or that you enjoy the scent of...or a combination of both. Play with it, have fun with it...just try it!!!
(c) 1997 Heartfelt Creations All rights reserved

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KOH Recipes

KOH Recipes

Tina's recipe
4 oz each of coconut, olive, soybean, and canola.
16 fluid oz. water
3.15 oz KOH

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Heidi's Recipe
Beginner' Liquid Soap
4 oz. coconut
8 oz. Olive
4 oz. Soybean
12 fluid oz. water
3.15 KOH
I did not know what Temps to use, so I used 90 degrees. Mix lye water with fats and stir and stir and stir and stir some more. I used my hand blender off and on. When you can leave the mixture alone for 5 minutes and have no separation then you know you have stirred enough. The trace is different that regular soap. It is much thicker, like custard. Once blended leave the soap solution in a container with a lid and leave for two weeks to cure. After 2 wks. stir in water to achieve the consistancy you want and add scents, etc. Voila---liquid soap.
I did not follow the original instructions to a tee on this last 6 gallons. I have it divided into separate batches and because of the separation that I experienced on the first two batches when I mixed and added FO's and water I decided to mix them after the first 5 days. I also added 24 oz. of water to the original recipes instead of the 12 and 16 they called for. It was still very thick at trace. Today (5 days later) I added 2 oz. of FO's, colorants (from Lori) and kept adding water (distilled) until it was thick and creamy. It has been 12 hours and I see no separation of any kind, the colors are lovely. To one batch I added orange and clove eo's and 1 tsp. of apple pie spice powder and it is holding up well. One batch got Linda's BayRum, one Nantucket Briar, and Summerberry, another Nantucket Briar (can you tell I love this scent?) and I left the last one plain.
JanNell Taylor

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Shaving Soap Recipe
Make as per usual CP soap instructions.
8 oz coconut oil
10 oz olive oil
10 oz palm oil
2 oz avocado oil
2 tsp bentonite clay
4.29 oz lye (5% discount)
14 oz water (or strong chamomile tea)
2 tsp Bay Rum
Sharon Whitaker" 3/22/99

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Shaving Soap Recipe
21 oz coconut oil
3 oz. castor oil
36 oz veggie shortening
24 oz olive oil
2.5 oz cinnamon eo
.25 oz clove eo
40,000 I. U. Betacrotene
12 ounces of lye
34 ounces of water
Elaya Tsosie, Ph.D.

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Shaving Soap Recipe
21 ounces coconut oil
3 ounces castor oil
36 ounces vegetable shortening
3 ounces wheatgerm oil
24 ounces olive oil
2.5 ounces cassia E. O. (cinnamon)
.25 ounces clove E. O.
.75 ounces sweet orange E. O.
40,000 I. U. Betacarotene

12 ounces Lye
34 ounces water
(This was posted by Jeff)
Kathy The Petal Pusher

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Shaving Soap
8 oz. coconut oil
10 oz. olive oil
10 oz. palm oil
2 oz. Avocado Oil
2 T bentonite Clay
4.4 oz. lye
2 cups dandelion tea
2T FO Bay Rum
(I keep the printed recipes of all the soap I make in a manilla envelope.
Like all my recipes, they have drippings of the products all over them, and I realized as I typed this, that the papers has a very recognizable smell of Bay Rum-I wonder why????)
Wendy Evensen

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Emma's Shaving Soap
9 oz Coconut Oil
11 oz Olive Oil (I used pomace)
11 oz Palm Oil
5 oz Castor Oil
1 oz Beeswax

4.63 oz Lye
12.8 oz Water

At trace:
Add 1 T castor oil About a T bentonite. Add scent (I think I used a combination of sandalwood FO with a touch of eucalyptus, cloves, and cassia EOs). Cassia is used in older recipes to stimulate the whiskers and make for better shaving, but I didn't include very much because it can be an irritant.

I poured the soap into 3 white coffee mugs I bought from the dollar store (2/3 of the way up), then put the rest into 2 inch PVC.

I used crisco to grease the mold, and sealed it by putting waxed paper on the end and using rubber bands to make it really tight (Next time I want to try the vodka/lecithin spray from the library). I then put them upright in plastic cups & draped the whole mess (PVC & mugs) with towels to insulate them. After a day or so, I pushed them out with a glass vase I happen to have, which is almost the same size as the PVC. You could probably just get a wooden dowel from the hardware store. I slice 'em with a putty knife, and leave 'em to cure.
Emma Kolstad Antunes 9/1/98

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Wendy's Coffee Soap Recipe
18oz. Olive oil
6 oz. Crisco
9 oz. coconut oil
4.5 oz lye
12.3 oz water-to this I added 4 T instant coffee, and I used 6T used coffee grounds at trace.
Heat oils and place lye into water and stir with wooden spoon.
When both are hot to touch on outside of pan mix lye into oils and stir till trace.
Place in mold until firm.
Will remove the smell of onion and garlic from your hands.
Elaya Tsosie, Ph.D.

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Glass Soap
16 oz coconut oil
6 oz tallow
8 oz castor oil
4 oz lye
10 oz water
make soap mixing ingredients at about 100 degrees.
This sets up fast maybe 10 minutes
Next day cut up soap with the following:
10 oz 80 proof vodka
8 oz sugar
Put this into a double boiler and cook until soap melts about 10 minutesor so.
A scum will form on top--remove this
Add frangrance, color what ever and pour into molds.
Like I said their are many different ones this is one I could locate and like I said I have not tried it I am sure others will post some as well.
Elaya Tsosie, Ph.D.

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Shampoo Bar
It says using this eliminates the need for a conditioner.
Squeeze the juice of a lemon into bottle to for your finial rinse.
This soap does not wash away natural oils
24 oz coconut oil
28 oz. olive oil
24 oz. castor oil
12 oz lye
32 oz water
Lye/h20 and fats should be between 95-98.
Elaya Tsosie, Ph.D.

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Liquid Shampoo 1
Mix the following in a saucepan:
5 oz of grated basic soap
26 oz of water
1/2 tsp. of powdered pectin**
Heat above mixture until smooth and liquid.
Add 3 to six drops of the oils of your choice***
Pour into a plastic, shampoo type bottle. Keep tightly sealed
**Do not omit the powdered pectin, doing so will result in separation leaving big chunks of floating soap
***suggested oils are rosemary, chamomile, and cinnamon leaf. Pine fragrance is also nice.

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Liquid shampoo 2
Mix the following ing. in a saucepan:
5 oz of grated basic soap
26 oz of water
1/2 tsp. of powdered pectin**

Heat above mixture until smooth and liquid.
Add 3 to six drops of the oils of your choice
Ian Hunter

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Liquid shampoo 3
5 oz grated soap
26oz water
1/2 tsp pectin
1/2 tsp tea-tree eo
3/4 tsp lavender eo

Combing soap water and pectin. Melt until it is clear.
Pour it into a bottle and add eos.

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Elizabethan Wash Balls
Take cured soap, then grate it and mix with fillers such as orris root powder, fragrant waters or oils, and just enough water to stick the whole lot together. Make them into small balls and let them dry. They would have been using lard or tallow soap (or any other fat that the household had spare) so milling and rebatching would be more difficult than just grating it up.
Pat Silver

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Tony's Famous No Fail Soap
2 cans of crisco ( three pound cans)
1 can of Red Devil lye ( 12 Oz.)
2 cups of water

Take the crisco and place it into an enamel ware pan and place on stove to melt and heat.

Take the two cups of cold water and place into glass bowl only slowly add lye while stirring with a wooden spoon ( use wood only). Stir until water is clear if you can due to fumes from the lye do this outside.

When the crisco and lye are warm to the touch feel outside of pan and glass.

Pour lye into crisco while stirring. Keep stirring until you get trace.

Trace is when it thickens to a sort of cake frosting look or until you can drop some of the mix back in to itself and it leaves a trail at this point use any herbs or coloring ( shaving a crayon into it will give it color) and stir and pour into any plastic molds you have around can even use Pringles chip cans or rubbermade plastic be sure to grease the molds with crisco.

Let set 24 hours turn out and cut. Place on to newspaper and let cure for two weeks gives 24 bars of soap.

Tony does request that anyone using the above recipe send him one bar of soap you make to add to his donation box for the local women's shelter where he lives.

Tony O'Seland
HC 66-Box 100-2
Proctor, OK 74457

Daniella's Shower Gel
50 ml distilled water
25 ml Cocobetaine
20 ml Collagen tenside
5 ml Zetesol
7,5 ml Xanthan
10 drops D-Panthenol
2,5 ml citric acid
20 drops GSE
1 ml salt
Daniela Rauchfuss 3/25/99

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Foaming Watermelon Bath and Shower Gel
1/4 c. Victorian Essence foaming concentrate
1 T. Aloe Vera gel
½ tsp. Salt
20 drops watermelon perfume oil
1 drop red food coloring

Mix 3/4 cup water and the foaming concentrate together and stir gently until well blended. Add the salt and stir; the mixture will thicken immediately. Stir in the aloe Vera gel, the perfume oil and the coloring until well blended. Pour into a bottle.
Kelly Reno

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Lavender Beeswax Soap
4 oz. Unscented glycerin soap
10 drops lavender perfume oil
1 drop violet food coloring
1 tsp. Grated beeswax
Purchased soap mold: or empty, clean tuna can or milk carton

Melt the soap over low heat until liquefied. Add the grated beeswax and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add the perfume oil and the coloring. Stir until well blended. Pour the mixture into a mold and let set for three hours or until hardened.
Kelly Reno

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Oatmeal Veggie Soap
93.5 FLUID ounces of olive oil
1 12 ounce can of lye (NOT drain cleaner like draino)
32 ounces filtered, spring, or distilled water
2 cups baby oatmeal, or regular oatmeal that you have ground to a powder in a blender

Place the oil in a large container that is NOT aluminum. Stainless or plastic are best. You want something much larger than the amount of materials used so you have room to stir without splashing.

Add the lye to the water in a plastic container and stir. It will fume and stink, so I do this outside.
Put the oatmeal in a plastic container at least a quart in size.
When the lye stops fuming, start stirring the oil and slowly add the lye mixture to it. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens a bit and you can draw trails in the surface that stay for a moment.

Scoop out some of the mixture and stir it into the oatmeal. When you have a smooth, lump free paste, add it to the soap and stir it in thoroughly. When it gets a bit thicker, but not yet pudding, it is ready to pour into molds.

The easiest mold to use is a cardboard box lined with a trash bag. Some folks use Rubbermaid draw dividers, PVC pipe, down spouts, and many other items. I have a homemade wood mold that holds about 40 pounds of soap, with collapsible sides, and also use the down spouts.

Whatever you use, grease it thoroughly with shortening before using.
After pouring the soap, cover the top with plastic and put aside for three days AT LEAST. Castile is slow to set up, so be patient. It is worth it.

When you uncover it, check for fluid pooling on the surface. If there is any, cover it and check back in two days. When the surface is dry, unmold. If the soap feels firm, cut into bars and set aside where they can get air to cure.

Within three to four weeks of the day you make it, this soap should be ready to use. It will be a hard bar with medium sudsing ability that does wonders for your hair and skin.
Pat Barrett

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Goat's Milk Soap
You can use any recipe to make milk soap - you just substite 8.5 oz of goats milk ( or buttermilk) for 6 oz of water. I use the canned evaporated goats milk all the time and it works fine I made some gms yesterday - using around 3#'s of oils - olive, coconut and palm and cocoa butter. My calculations called for 21 oz of water. What I did was use 12 oz of water and mix my lye with it. Let cool, etc. Mix my oils and lye water together. After they were well mixed but before trace, I added in my cold from the fridge canned goats milk (12 oz) . It worked very nice and turned a light cream color - not a dark tan that you can get when you mix the lye directly into the gm Hope this helps Jane

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Facial Cleanser
A soap free facial cleanser(so it is not going to foam), very effective as a make-up remover and gentle with the skin. I use it every evening to clean my face.

50 ml (milliliter) Orange flower water
25 ml Horsetail hydrolat
50 ml Neroli Hydrolat
25 ml Sage hydrolat
5 ml Glycerin
Shake well and add EOs of your choice: I used:
6 drops clary sage
8 drops lime
8 drops spearmint
3 drops sandalwood
3 drops chamomile roman
Shake before using and enjoy it! It smells delicious and leave a soft skin.
Daniela 5/9/98

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Soapwort Shampoo/Cleanser
1/4 oz. soapwort
1 pt. water
herbs of choice

Bring to boil, and let it simmer 20 minutes. Cool, strain, and add:
1 T. pure liquid castile (to enhance lather)
(1 T. coconut oil per cup for very dry, damaged hair)

Shucky 8-) +

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Soapless Facial Cleanser
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup powdered oatmeal ( I just run oatmeal through my vita-mix)
1/8 cup Turbiano (or Raw) sugar, also powdered

I mix well, and store in a rubbermaid flip-top container in my bathroom. I pour some in my hand, then add enough water to make a paste and apply to my face. I let it dry for about 10 minutes and take a warm washcloth and set on my face to loosen it before I wipe it off and splash with cold water.

For a weekly treat, I pour some of the powder in my hand, then add enough honey to make a real gooey paste and apply.
Jodilyn Tappan 5/18/98

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Fisherman Soap :)
Remove hooks from three fishermen and chop into small pieces. mix with 2 kilos of whale blubber. Add lye and stir till hot.... Add very large quantity of fragrance oil at trace. Pour into sardine tins and leave to set.
Melinda Coss 9/15/98

Old fashion Goat Milk and Oatmeal

2.5 cups olive oil
12oz lard (weight)
12oz tallow (weight)
12oz coconut oil (weight)

8.1oz lye
2.5 cups water

1 cup goat milk
1/8 to 1/4 cup oatmeal*

optional: 1 - 2 tsp of any EO, vanilla works well

Fats should be about 95 degrees and lye water about 115. Don't have to be exact, close enough is good. This takes a little while to trace, but stir non stop for at least 1/2hr, then let it rest. The trick is not to have an oil slick on the surface. Sometimes I cheat and use an old hand mixer after the first half hr. on low speed. Let the mixture rest for about 15 minutes between stirrs. Once it traces add the goat milk, oatmeal and EO if using.

* I grind up the oatmeal and add it to the goat milk - let it sit while you are making the soap. Gives the soap a smoother texture. Others like it rougher, in that case, don't grind the oatmeal and add it directly to the soap on tracing.

Jennifer Holmes 11/13/02

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