Soft lavender scented castille soap recipe
This soap recipe is about the easiest there is, it’s natural and smells great. You can substitute the essential oil of lavender for whichever oil takes your fancy, or even a combination of scents- it’s your choice.
Easy Soap Recipe
What you need
500g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
200ml of Spring Water
70g Caustic Soda*
20ml Pure Essential Oil of Lavender
rubber gloves – use at all times
mould- Your mould can be an old milk carton or similar carton that has been thoroughly cleaned
2 pyrex jugs
2 cooking thermometers
stainless steel mixing spoon and metal whisk
* do be very careful at all times when handeling this product and always use gloves.
What to do
Place the googles over your eyes and the rubber gloves on your hands and then weigh the ingredients.Then, pour the spring water into one of the pyrex jugs and gradually add the caustic soda to it. Stir slowly and carefully until the soda has completely dissolved. Try not to inhale the fumes. You might like to work near a hob extraction fan, or similar extractor, if you have one in the vicinity.
The water and soda solution is now called lye. This solution will become quite hot and you need to leave it to cool until the thermometer reads 35 degrees C
It’s now time to slowly heat the olive oil in the second pyrex jug to 35 degrees C. When the lye and oil are both 35 degrees C, carefully pour the lye solution into the warmed oil whilst stirring continuously until the oil has completely absorbed the lye solution. Continue to stir until the lye solution has been completely blended with the warmed oil.
Then grab your stick-blender and blend on a very low setting for 30 seconds and then stir again. Repeat this until your mixture has reached trace. Traceis when the soap has turned thick enough to have the consistency of good old British custard or créme fraiche.Now you can add the essential oil and mix it gently in. When it is well blended through, pour the solution carefully into the mould. Place the mould in a warm spot where it won’t be disturbed, out of children’s way. Cover the carton in towels and leave to go solid for 24-48 hours. Once the soap has solidified, put your rubber gloves back on, and gently peel away the carton from the soap.
Then place it on a stable surface at room temperature to harden up over the following 4 weeks. Once it is sufficiently hard, you can cut it up into squares and wrap in baking paper, followed by some pretty material and finish with a homemade tag and some ribbon or raffia.
FAQ: Why if it’s a natural soap, do we have to use lye?
All soaps are a mixture of an alkali and oil. Lye is a mixture of sodium hydroxide and water. For anything to lather up and have cleansing properties, it has to have an alkali. When an alkali is added to oils, a chemical reaction occurs ( saponification) and creates soap. If you see an ingredient listing on a shop-bought natural soap where there is no alkali substance listed, the company is being a little misleading.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Rebecca Watkins worked as a professional photo journalist and travelled the world with her husband John, before settling down as a stay at home mother to their three daughters. They have recently moved back from the French Alps to an old cottage in Devon, England. Rebecca’s days are filled with visits to the beach, animated discussions and in the best moments, happiness and creativity in her family home of five. The other moments are filled with craziness and chaos and she loves those too.