Here is my simple palm oil free soap recipe that you can follow to make your own soap at home.
The ingredients that you will need are listed below. You are quite likely to have the first two ingredients in your kitchen cupboard but if not you can easily buy them with your weekly shop.
You can purchase shea butter from Just A Soap or through online beauty shops on Amazon or eBay.
For the water element of my recipe or indeed any soap recipe please don’t use tap water. Tap water is treated with chemicals which may affect how your soap turns out plus you don’t really want ingredients like aluminium and chlorine in your soap. Always use filtered or bottled water.
You can buy sodium hydroxide (NaOH) from a pharmacy or a lab supplier.
400g Olive Oil
240g Coconut Oil
160g Shea Butter
Sodium Hydroxide 112g
You can choose to keep it simple and make a fragrance-free neutral colour soap. Alternatively, if you are a lavender fan like me you can add 10ml of lavender essential oil for a wonderful relaxing lather.
Soap Making Method
Always wear appropriate clothing when you are making soap including an apron, rubber gloves, protective mask and safety goggles.
- Measure out your coconut oil and shea butter into a stainless steel pot and melt very gently on a low heat. After a few minutes remove the pot from the hob and let the residual heat melt the remaining small chunks of oil completely.
- In a separate container (a plastic jug or another pot) measure out your olive oil.
- Prepare your sodium hydroxide (lye solution) in a well-ventilated area (or outside) and wear a protective mask, goggles and gloves. Measure out your water into a plastic bucket then measure out the sodium hydroxide into a separate container. Add the sodium hydroxide to the water (never the other way round). Stir in well with a stainless serving spoon until dissolved and leave the bucket in a safe area to cool.
- Measure your essential oil.
- Next add the liquid oils to the melted oils and check the temperature of the combined oils. The optimum temperature to combine the oils with the lye mixture is when both are between 900F and 1100F.
- When oils and lye have both reached the correct temperature range slowly pour the lye solution into the oil stirring all the time.
- Use a hand blender to bring the mixture to the trace stage. This is when it starts to thicken and resemble custard. It is called trace as you should be able to drizzle some of the soap mixture onto the surface and it will leave a visible trace.
- Stop blending and stir in your essential oil if you are including a fragrance.
- Pour the mixture into your chosen mould (silicone loaf moulds are ideal) or you can use cupcake cases.
- After 36 hours carefully remove the soap from your mould and cut into bars. If you have used paper cases you don’t need to do this.
It’s important to let your soaps cure fully for at least 4 weeks to ensure that they are fully saponified before you can use them. The hardest part of soap making is waiting to use it!
To download my FREE Top Ten Soap Making Oils Guide click here.
If you would like to join me on one of my soap making courses click here.