Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pure Olive Oil Soap Recipe (updated)

This is a pure castile soap.  All that means, is that olive oil is the only ingredient besides the lye which causes the saponification.  This is, by far, my favorite soap. Adding a bit of aloe vera and honey to it at trace just kind of takes it up a notch and adds to the nutrient blast your skin recieves when you use it.  I use this all over, including washing my face with it, and I use it on the babies because the soap is gentle enough for even the most senstive of skin.

Pure Olive Oil Soap Recipe
Makes 4 pounds

Lye (NaOH)- 8.15 ounces or 231.05 grams
Distilled Water- 24.32 ounces or 689.46 grams

Olive Oil, pomace grade-  64 ounces or 1814.37 grams
Do not heat up the oils.  Once the lye solution reaches 85 degrees to 90 degrees, add the lye solution to room temperature oil.  Mix until you hit trace, this will take much longer than most oils.  But don't worry- EVENTUALLY it will hit trace.

Add 1 to 1.5 ounces of essential oil to scent if desired.  This will take longer to set than most other soaps because of its purity.  It will also be much softer than any other soap even after it cures, but it is really great for people that really need something VERY sensitive. 

Variations- Take out 1/2 cup of water prior to adding the lye.  At trace, add 1/2 cup of aloe vera juice and mix throughouly. 

Also, try adding honey at trace.  No more than 2 TBS per pound.  Whatever extra you put into the soap at trace, take out in water when making the lye solution.  So, if you put in 1/2 cup of aloe vera, take out 1/2 cup of water.  If you add in 4 TBS of honey, take out 4 TBS of water before adding the lye. 

Do not add these things into the lye solution.  The heat from the lye will destroy the nutrient value and you won't get quite the results you would by adding it later.  Just add it the same time you add the essential oil. 
Let cure.  This length of time varies a lot.  It will take less time, the cooler the olive oil was (without being cold) when you added the lye solution.  It is done when you can put your tongue to the soap and do not experience any tingly feelings.  I would give it AT LEAST four days before you try this.  Once, the tingly feelings are gone, the pH is balanced in your soap and it is ready to use. 

Cut the bars as soon as the soap is hard enough to get it out of the molds without any great effort or smooshing of the soap.  Plastic molds (while very cute) don't work very well for pure oil soaps because they stick to the sides of the molds.  You CAN use them, but it takes a lot of work to get them out successfully.  I would actually recommend using a wooden box mold for castile soaps. 

I personally have found that any essential oil works great with this recipe.  My favorite to use is Tea Tree oil though. 

Smart Soapmaking- Anne Watson
The Soapmaker's Companion- Susan Cavitch 

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