Okay all you soap makers, here’s a special little gem of a recipe just for you! Get ready, this one has a few extra preps and steps, so if you’re a soap making rookie- this may not be the recipe to start your journey with (check out one of our many melt and pour recipes to ease your way into the process- you’ll be pro-status in no time!).
If you’re up for the challenge, just be sure to follow the steps, take extra safety precautions, and you’ll be just fine! Since we’ve got our work cut out for us today, I’ll skip my usual chatty context and get right down to business!
~Lavender Coconut Milk Cold Process Soap~
What you’ll need:
4 oz. Olive Oil
2.5 oz. Coconut Oil
1.5 oz. Palm Oil
1.25 oz. Lye (AKA Sodium Hydroxide)
2.5 oz. Lavender Infused Water
1 oz. Half-n-Half
1/2 fl. oz. Coconut Milk Lavender Fragrance oil
1/2 tsp. Matte Lavender Oxide Pigment Powder
Lavender Tray Soap Mold (SO adorable!)
-To make the lavender infused water for this recipe, soak dried lavender buds (about 1/4 cup) in 2.5 oz. of distilled water. Let the buds sit in the water for at least 1 hour, preferably 2-3 if you have the time. Strain out the buds before adding the water to your soap mix.
-To prepare the coloring, mix 1/2 tsp. of the pigment powder with 1 oz. of carrier oil. You can do this in a cup and stir to blend, or in a plastic baggie using your fingers to squish the ingredients together until blended. When you’re ready to add color to your soap mix (you’ll do this at trace), simply add by drops until your desired color is achieved.
-Safety!! This is important (especially if you’re a rookie) because the lye gets very hot and burns are NO fun. Wear gloves, use goggles, work carefully with caution at all times- don’t rush.
-Gather your supplies. You’ll need a kitchen scale, a double boiler (or two pots, one filled with a few inches of water that the second pot will sit on top of), some plastic container that you aren?t particularly attached to (because after this, they’ll be for soap use only), some wooden spoons, a cooking or candy thermometer, and an immersion stick blender.
1. Put of your safety gear.
2. With the infused water in a plastic container, slowly add your measured lye into the water (NEVER EVER the other way around!! No good will come from the volcanic eruption you’ll get if you do this the opposite way!). Stir the lye and the water with a wooden spoon until dissolved. Once the mixture has completely dissolved, carefully add in the half-n-half and stir. Set the mixture aside to cool. In the kitchen you should probably turn on the stove top exhaust fan and let the mixture cool under it to minimize the fumes. NEVER breathe over the mixture (Burns in the nose? No thanks?).
3. Time to weigh and melt the oils. You can melt them all together in your double boiler (or stacked pots) once each has been measured on the scale. Melt over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon.
4. Once the lye mixture has cooled to at least 120 degrees F, you can add the mixture to your melted oils. You want the oils to be about the same temperature as the lye mixture, so be sure to check temps with a cooking or candy thermometer before starting. When pouring the lye into the oil, blend with your stick blender as you slowly pour.
5. Continue stirring with the stick blender on low. As the lye and oils begins to incorporate, you can switch the blender to high. Stir well, moving the blender all over the bottom of the pot and up through the soap mixture to ensure even blending.
6. Once you’ve reached trace (the mixture will look like custard. If you’re unsure what trace is, be sure to read up on it before starting this project- it’s an important word to know!) you can blend in the additives: pigment and fragrance oil. Be sure to continue blending with your stick blender while adding additional ingredient to the mix. This will ensure even distribution of the fragrance and color. When adding the pigment, mix a few drops at a time until you reach the color you desire.
7. Once all components of the soap are thoroughly incorporated, you’re ready to pour! Carefully and slowly pour the soap mixture into your molds. Tap (pick up an inch from the countertop and drop) the mold a few times to release any air bubbles.
8. At your preference, you can either leave the soap to cool and harden in the mold uncovered or insulated. The difference? Leaving the soap uncovered will prevent the gel phase from happening and result in more of a matte finish to your soap (you can even place in the refrigerator directly after pouring to speed up cooling and deter gel phase). Insulating the soap will encourage the gel phase and result in a shiny finish with more intense coloring. Both are beautiful. If you want to insult, simply cut a piece of cardboard to fit the top of the mold, tape the edges down, and cover with several towels or blankets. Either way you decide, the soap should sit in the mold for 24-48 hours.
9. After 24-48 hours, de-mold soap and allow to cure for 4-6 weeks on a rack or piece of parchment paper.
10. Enjoy! Wrap up for friends and family, display on your bathroom sink, or use in the shower.
Whew!! I told you it had quite a few steps! But the result is sooooo worth it! It’s beautiful, creamy, and will leave your skin feeling amazing!
Happy Soap Making!
Recipe: Lavender Coconut Milk Cold Process Soap