Have you ever thought, boy I sure would like to make a luxurious bar of soap but thought all that measuring and mixing was too much aggravation. Well here is the smart, short and easy version that anyone can do with easy to find everyday ingredients. This is a “no weigh” recipe, so you don’t even need a scale to make a fantastic bar of soap.
First, purchase one can of lye, it will come in a 12 ounce container from your local hardware store. Call around to make sure they have one in stock that is 100% lye. Add your can of lye to; two and three quarter cups of distilled water in a Pyrex measuring cup. Please wear long sleeves and goggles for this part as the lye will heat up the water to almost two hundred degrees. Make sure your workspace is well ventilated. Stir until the lye has completely dissolved into the water. Set this cup aside. We need this to cool down as we mix our oils.
Next take 14 fluid ounces of coconut oil, now available at most superstores or your neighborhood health food store. If your coconut oil is solid it will melt easily in the microwave for measuring purposes. Some jars of coconut come in the 14 ounce size, this would be perfect for our recipe. Put this in a large stainless steel pot and then add two 3 lb cans of vegetable shortening. This must be melted over a very low flame and taken off the flame before completely melting. It will continue to melt as it sits. Use a wisk to stir the cooling pot until all on the chunks have been dissolved. Now add one cup of olive oil. I usually put the olive oil in the fridge over night so as I add it to the melted oil mix it cools down the other oils quickly.
The trick here is to get the oils as cool as you can so you don’t have use a thermometer. If you can put your finger into the oil and it feels luke warm you can add the water and lye mix even if it is still hot as the oils will compensate and cool down the whole mix. If it is still too warm ,you must wait for it to cool down. Luke warm to your fingers touch is the guide. If you have a thermometer anywhere less than one hundred degrees will work.
Pour the water and lye solution into the melted oils and begin stirring. When the mix gets to the consistency of applesauce add 3 tablespoons of your favorite essential oil for fragrance. Now you are ready to pour your soap into a mold. Have ready a sturdy cardboard box that you have lined with a plastic garbage bag. Pour your soap mix into the box and let it sit for a half an hour. Then cover it with old towels to help it retain heat as it starts the saponification process. After 48 hours take it out of the mold and cut to desired size. These bars need three weeks to finish curing. You will then have beautiful handmade luxurious bars of soap for personal use or to give as gifts or even to sell. And you have made these with everyday ingredients most of us have readily available to us.
Jeffrey Dorrian is the soap guy. Really, that is my website handmade soap. He has been making premium olive oil soap for the past five years and now has customers in all fifty states. “This is a true inexpensive luxury anyone can enjoy.” Thesoapguy.com