We won’t lie, this is a big step to decide that you are going to make cold process soap at home. But it also a brave step and we have to support you on this journey as it is not that hard it seems first. That is why we share with you our recipe including some useful tips and information. Let’s get started!
Items you’ll be needed!
- Rubber Gloves
- Plastic Safety Goggles
- Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
- Distilled Water
- Digital Scale
- Stick Blender (emulsifying blender)
- Stainless Steel Stock Pot or Bowl
- Extra small plastic containers to mix colors in(like butter or yogurt containers)
- Long handled plastic spoon or spatula
- 2-quart plastic pitcher (dishwasher safe so you know it withstands heat)
- A kitchen thermometer
- Freezer Paper to line molds and to protect work surface from lye spills.
- Molds: You can use any shape or size plastic, wooden, or silicone container. Show boxes, yogurt containers, plastic or silicone cake pans, etc.
- Paper towels for small spills
- Bottle of Vinegar in case of lye or raw soap coming in contact with the skin
- Your choice of oils to be soaped
- Your choice of fragrance for soap (Body Safe Only!)
- Your choice of body safe color for soap
Please note that never use any equipment for food prep once soap has been made in it. As clean as you think it may be, it will still gather solvent and other chemicals into the wall linings and become toxic if ingested.
Also, it is very important not to use ever a tin or an aluminum equipment of any kind, lye reacts with it in a violent manner.
Bastille Soap Recipe
Bastille Olive Oil Soap-2 Pound Batch
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil (76 Degree Melt Point)
- Castor Oil
- Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
- Distilled Water
In Percentages for Advanced Soapers
- 75% Olive Oil
- 20% Coconut Oil
- 5% Castor Oil
In Ounces & Grams for Beginning Soapers
- 24 oz Olive Oil (680 grams)
- 6.4 oz Coconut Oil (181.5 grams)
- 1.6 oz Castor Oil (45.4 grams)
- 12.16 oz Water (345 grams)
Let’s dive into it!
It’s important to prep your area with the equipment and items that we listed above.. You don`t want to have to stop halfway through and run to go get something!
Preparing Your Lye Mixture
You should be mixing your lye solution in a very well ventilated area. No kids or pets anywhere nearby! Lye is very caustic and will create fumes that should not be inhaled as they can burn the tissue of your lungs. Also if it gets splashed on you, it can cause a nasty burn on the skin.
So keep a bottle of vinegar with you when mixing your lye just in case; it will neutralize the lye and stop the burning process immediately.
Also, you should NEVER pour water into your lye, it will cause a violent reaction; always pour lye into your liquid and stir slowly to incorporate together. Keep stirring until its all dissolved. It will begin heating up immediately and get very hot. This is normal. Make sure not to breathe in any fumes during this process. Once dissolved let lye cool down. You can test the temperature occasionally. It should reach a comfortable 100 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. While your prepared lye is cooling you can begin to prepare your oils.
Preparing Your Oils
- Weigh out each of your oils according to the recipe you have.
- Add your hard oils or butter to your stainless steel pot and slowly melt on low heat. Do not heat on high as this will cause your oils to burn.
- Slowly add your other oils to this to bring them all up to the same temperature.
- Now set aside and let them cool to about the same temperature as your lye; general rule of thumb is they should be at least 5-10 degrees of each other.
- Once both lye and oils have reached their proper temperatures, bring both over to your prepared work area.
- Now weigh out the amount of fragrance oil in a separate container or measuring glass and set aside in your prepared work area.
- Get your molds ready. If using a box or wooden mold, line it with your freezer paper.
- If using any colors add them to your smaller containers now to be ready for soap to be poured into them.
You’re doing good so let’s move on to the next step!
- Using your long-handled spoon or spatula, slowly pour your lye mixture into your oils, stirring at the same time. You will see an immediate reaction as the lye starts to bond with the oils and it becomes white or cream colored.
- Set aside your now empty lye container in a safe spot.
- Using your stick blender, gently immerse into the soap batter and begin to blend. All oils should be completely turned to that creamy white and have a thin pudding-like consistency.
- Slowly blend in your fragrance oils until completely incorporated.
- If coloring, now add to your separated bowl with the colors in them and quickly blend. Try to not over blend as this will make the soap very thick and it becomes difficult to pour into your molds.
- Now pour your soap batter into your prepared mold.
- Now cover your soap molds with newspaper or plastic wrap and set them somewhere they won’t be disturbed!
- Now depending on your recipe, this needs to sit for 24-48 hours. You can test it by lightly touching it with a gloved finger (it’s still caustic at this point) to see if it easily leaves a dent in the soap. If it doesn’t, you’re ready to unmold your soap!
- Take out very gently and unmold as it will still be somewhat soft and can be dented. Unmold on your freezer paper as it will leave a bit of a mess still at this point. Now slice the soap into your desired sizes. If left too long to cut it will become too brittle and flake away.
- Now set in a cool ventilated area to dry and cure anywhere of 2-6 weeks depending on your recipe.