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Soap Making Recipes

I have tried and can speak well of the following 3 soap recipes. The Castile recipe makes about 3 pounds of soap. The other 2 recipes make 2 pounds. I've cut them into 8 - 4ounce bars and had a small amount left over.

This page is not intended as an authority but rather presents 3 tried and proven soap recipes to get you started. These are not complex soap recipe but the results are promising and a perfectly good place to start.

I've made them using both the cold and hot process methods and they work both ways.

I've experimented with using a few scents. Lavender, cinnamon, and mint essential oils. I've also used paprika and chocolate powder as colouring.

To add the paprika, Cinnamon, and cocoa powder to the soap, soak it first in some of the oil in your recipe then add it at soft trace.

I am sensitive to most perfumes so I tend to be timid about splashing on the scents. If you want to smell good, don't be shy. Keep good notes and have fun. Many people suggest using Crayola crayons to colour soap. I have not done this but I'm sure some colours work very well.

The Miller Soap pages are a fabulous resource for recipes and information. Check it out.

Castile Soap

Castile soaps are made with all or predominantly olive oil and Lye. Most recipe will add coconut oil to improve the mix. Castile soaps by themselves tend to be soft so that's one reason there are often other oils. It is not important to use extra virgin because the lye is very harsh and burns off the extra virgin nice bits anyway. The extra virgin oil leaves a bit of a greeny tinge too so use the cheapest pure olive oil and it will work just fine.

For soapmaking instructions see my soap making page.

This recipe makes about 3 pounds of soap.

This recipe needs to sit for a while after cutting the bars. That will allow the soap to firm up some. I have made both hot and cold process and the bar is still quite soft. The hot process has sat for 3 weeks now and is just hard enough to use. I`ve used it as shampoo and it is nice. Not very sudsy but still works well.

All Vegetable with Good Suds

Add .6 ounces of a nice oil after soft trace to superfat the soap, if you want.

This makes a nice bar that feels good and sudsy, this soap is not hugely hard.

Reliable Harder All Vegetable Soap

This produces one pound of a nice bar soap that is quite hard.

Designing Your Own Recipes

Design your own recipes using the Soap Spreadsheet. It's a Spreadsheet that allows you to plug in the fats you want to use and it calculates how much lye you need. When you open it you should allow Macros.Different fats need different amounts of lye. It is important to NEVER add extra lye. You can add extra fat to superfat your soap and make it less drying. In fact you should add a small amount of extra fat just to insure all the lye is used up. This is referred to lye discount.

Adding Colour, Scent and Other Things

I you want to add colour and scents it should be done at the trace stage before you pour your soap in a mold, for the cold process. If you are using the hot process and plan to go on and cook your soap after the trace stage, then you need to wait till your soap has cooked and gelled, then cooled enough not to evaporate your scents out. When the soap is cool enough to handle but not cold that it has solidified then you can mix in your extras.

Books and supplies about Soapmaking

emails: Christine

This article is provided for information and entertainment only. I am not an expert on soap making, just someone who has successfully done it several times.