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Professional Lavender Soap Recipe

(Revised, January  2008)
Long-lasting quality bar soap.

Here is  an actual recipe we  sometimes use for  soap sold  on this website. Many hundreds of pounds of fine soap has been made with this recipe - to the great applause of our customers. This is a nice soap - and relatively easy to make.

A course in soap making is beyond the scope of this soap recipe. It is assumed that you already know the basics of soap-making and have assembled the necessary utensils to make soap (pots, whisk,  a long handled spoon or two, thermometer, ladle,  plastic gloves, safety glasses, an accurate food scale..) If you need more information on the basics of soap making - try Elaine White's website and fine book.

The Ingredients:

For a batch of soap of 100 ounces (in weight) in oil, the following is a breakdown of the oils used in the soap (you can make half this batch... one quarter this batch.. etc. Just get your calculator out and divide each component  of the recipe accordingly):

All amounts shown are weights.

Basic Oil Components

  • 40 ounces of olive oil*

  • 31 ounces of coconut oil*

  • 29 ounces of palm oil*

  • 100 ounces - total oil*

Plus:

  • 30 ounces of distilled (or rain) water

and...

14.00  to 14.78 ounces of  Sodium Hydroxide (Lye). 14.0  ounces of Lye is the minimum you should use. 14.0 ounces of Lye results in a 5% "superfatted" soap and would be a "dry skin" formula.  14.78 ounces of Lye is the maximum amount you should use. Using 14.78 ounces of Lye would be a "Normal/Oily Skin" formula. In practice - the Soap Maker at Mission Peak Soap usually takes the midpoint between these 2 values - that would be 14.39 ounces of lye.

Fragrance:  4 & 1/4 tablespoons (yes, tablespoons) of Lavender Essential Oil (lavendula dentata and/or Lavendin) and 2 Tablespoons of Rosemary Essential Oil.

Dry Herb: Your choice. 2 level  tablespoons of finely ground dried Rosemary adds a nice touch. Lavender buds are a little scratchy...

The Process...

Put on your rubber gloves and eye protection. Have rinse water handy for Lye that may come in contact with you. Better yet - keep a mild vinegar solution handy to counteract any spilled Lye. Work in a well ventilated area.

  1. Get your molds ready. Lay them all out. Professional molds are nice. Small dixie cups work OK and make nice little round soaps that look like cupcakes.. Any other kind of plastic tray molds (Tupperware) work fine also. A casserole dish lined with plastic wrap is also nice (don't forget the plastic wrap!). Figure that a full batch of soap as outlined above (100 ounces of oil, 14 ounces of Lye and 30 ounces of Water) is about 150 fluid ounces. Read the containers you plan to pour the soap into. If they say "6 fluid ounces" - you're going to need at least 25 of them to hold all of your soap. Have extras handy. Get them ready.

  2. Pre-measure your dried Rosemary and Essential Oils and set aside. Some essential oils melt plastic. You might want to use a steel measuring cup for the essential oils.

  3. Stir the Lye into the (cold) Water. Set aside. Stir occasionally. Use distilled (or rain) water. Don't breath the fumes from the lye mixture.

  4. Warm olive, coconut and palm oils in a large pot. Keep the temperature at about 120 degrees.

When Lye has cooled to 130 degrees:

  1. Combine oils and Lye/Water mixtures when both are between 125 to 130 degrees. Stir with whisk for 1 minute. Add the dried herb. Stir for another minute.

  2. Continue stirring occasionally until mixture starts to thicken - about 30 minutes. You can use a stick blender - for a couple of bursts. However, this oil mixture thickens fairly well without a lot of excess agitation. Add essential oils (warm essential oils if possible). Stir well one last time.

  3. Pour thickened mixture into molds. Use a ladle if necessary. Don't touch the soap with your hands. Use spatula to clean out pot. (note: If you are pouring into small molds, you'll want to start pouring before the mixture is so thick it's not pourable. For a single, larger mold, you can let the emulsion thicken somewhat further.)

That's it!

Leave  soap in the molds for 3 days undisturbed in a warm place covered with cardboard and a towel. Then, for soap in small molds, place soap  overnight in freezer. Pop frozen soap from molds onto white paper towels. Let dry in warm, dry place for 30 days before using. If you have used a larger mold lined with plastic wrap - you won't need to freeze the soap to get it out of the mold. Just turn it upside down over a cutting board, peel off plastic wrap and cut into usable sized pieces. Place the pieces on white paper towels and let dry for 30 days.

This recipe makes a wonderful, long-lasting, fragrant (but not over-powering) soap suitable for bathing and hand-washing.

*We sell  a pre-blended mixture of the oils shown above, ready for soapmaking. If you're new to soapmaking, a pre-blended  container of oils will save you a lot of time and money over ordering the materials individually, and blending them precisely together.  We guarantee our blended oils will make a nice bar of soap when used properly. Buy pre-blended oils.

Good Luck!

Happy Soap Making!

 

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2011 Mission Peak Soap Products

37266 Niles Blvd.    Fremont, CA 94536
p. 510.795.1326     fax 510.788.6063

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