Lavender Soap by Connie Cockrell
The kitchen isn’t just for making breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don’t know about you, but a lot of crafts get done in my kitchen. Not long ago I showed you how to make butter. Here is another craft that is fairly easy to do at home and the result is great for gift giving. Hoo! Anyone thinking about Christmas?
So, here’s how you do it.
Some hardware and ingredients for making soap
2 quart glass measuring cup
1 quart glass measuring cup
2 cup glass measuring cup
2 silicone muffin sheets (optional. 2 4X8 inch bread pans, lined with parchment)
1 cookie sheet
2 wire racks
1 large stainless steel spoon to still lye and water mixture
4 quart stainless steel pot
Rubber Gloves and Eye Protection
40 ounces olive oil (not extra virgin)
10 ounces of coconut oil
16 ounces of warm water (from the tap is fine)
6.9 ounces of lye
1.5 to 2.2 ounces of essential oil, any scent (optional)
1/4 cup of crushed flower petals, chopped herb, whatever matches with your essential oil
Things move quickly when you’re assembling this so make sure you have all of the ingredients measured out, open and ready to add to the pot. Use glass and stainless steel so there won’t be any adverse reactions. Aluminum is not suitable for the measuring cups or pot.
Place the 4 qt. pot on the stove.
Olive Oil and Coconut Oil Melting
Add the olive oil and coconut oil. Heat on low for about 3 minutes, just enough to warm the olive oil so it melts the coconut oil. (Note: you can substitute rose oil or other oils for some of the olive/coconut oil mix.)
Lye and water and protection
Stir the lye and water mix
In the meantime put on the rubber gloves and eye protection. Wear an apron as well if you think you might splash. Lye is a caustic ingredient and will fizz up violently when you add it to the warm water. Keep your face away from the measuring cup. The lye and the lye water will burn your skin. Add the lye to the warm water. It gets very hot! Stir to dissolve. If you don’t stir, it will turn into a solid lump at the bottom of the measuring cup.
Stir lye water into warm oil
Turn off the oil if you haven’t already done so. Make sure the coconut oil is melted. Add the lye water and stir to combine with the same spoon you used for mixing the lye and water together. You can see in the pictures that I used a wooden spoon. I only use this spoon, with Lye written on it, for soap making. Since wood is porous and lye is poisonous, I keep it stored away from my cooking utensils.
Stir oil and lye mix
Use the stick blender
Soap is thick and creamy
Using the stick blender, mix the contents of the pot until the soap mixture is creamy looking. If you don’t have a stick blender you must stir vigorously for a long time until the soap is creamy looking. This can take half an hour or longer.
Lavender essential oil
Stir in flowers and essential oil
If you’re using essential oil and flower petals/herbs, put them in now and give the soap a final stir. Making plain soap is perfectly acceptable. I use half a recipe of soap every other time I make soap, to have plain, unscented soap to use for making shampoo.
Pouring soap into the muffin cups
I pour the soap from the pot into the 2 quart measuring cup and then pour into the individual muffin cups that are on the cookie sheet. I still end up spilling but it’s easier than pouring out of the pot or dipping. You use the method you think best. Note: you can substitute the bread pans, lined with parchment, 2 inch ends over the top of the sides and ends of the pan, for the muffin cups. Pour half of the soap into each bread pan.
Set the cookie sheet aside for at least 24 hours for the soap to begin to harden. You may have to let it sit for several days. If it’s too soft you end up scooping the soap out of the cups and trying to reform them. That’s what happened in my final picture. The soap is still good, just not very pretty.
Curing the soap
Once you take the soap out of the muffin cups let sit on a wire rack for 4 – 6 weeks. It takes that long for the soap to “cure”. Then you can put it in plastic bags and use for hand washing, showers, whatever you want. Note: to remove from bread pans. Lift the ends of the parchment paper up and out of the pan onto a cutting board. If it doesn’t lift, run a thin knife around the edges of the pan between the pan and the parchment to loosen. Then cut the “soap loaf” into 2 inch thick slices to make bars. Let cure the same as the soap from the muffin cups.
I don’t use color in my soap because I’m looking for a natural product. However, if you’d like you lavender soap to be a lavender color, go ahead and use food grade coloring. I am guessing but I’d think a paste type food color would blend the best. Go ahead and experiment!
Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your garden or favorite craft recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.
My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Thrillers, Mysteries and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.