The recipe I’m sharing with you is the very first soap recipe I ever made and also the recipe that made me fall in love with soap making. From now on you can also easily make your own soap.
Today, almost all soaps bars are machine-made. This is much cheaper and faster than traditional handmade soap.
We choose the purest way of making soap. The traditional method in uses low temperatures and is called the cold process method. This is a pure artisanal and slow process. The soaps have to cure for 4-6 weeks. By using low temperatures, the vitamins and minerals are preserved as much as possible. And your skin will thank you for this.
Comparing factory soap with artisanal handmade soap is a bit like comparing factory bread with sourdough bread from an authentic bakery.
Making natural soap is magical and different every time! It seems simple with so few components, but it is really a game between the ingredients, temperatures and the time of mixing. In short, making your own soap is slightly different every time! The result: a luxurious soap that cleanses in a mild way and also nourishes your skin.
Unique to Nature Bar is that every soap & shampoo bar contains a circular ingredient. A favorite of many is the Orange & Calendula Soap. That’s why I added a simple version of this crowd pleaser as an extra to this basic recipe. So that you too can make circular soap and contribute to a more beautiful and cleaner world.
- Goggles & gloves
- Face mask
- Glass measuring cup 2x
- Fine grater
- Soap mold, old milk carton or a (silicone) baking tin
Old tea or towel
- 150 gr olive oil
- 150 gr coconut oil
- 150 gr sunflower oil
- 149 grams of water
- 65 gr lye crystals
- 15 g orange oil
- 1 tbsp grated orange zest
- 5 g calendula leaves (dried)
Step 1 – Lye Mixtures
- Handle lye with care, so put on gloves, safety goggles and a face mask.
- Weigh 149 g of water into the glass measuring cup
- Weigh 65 g of lye crystals (Sodium hydroxide) in the other glass measuring cup.
- Now add the crystals to the water in a well-ventilated area – for example under the extractor hood or outside. Always do this in that order and never the other way around!
Immediately stir the crystals well but gently with a spoon until the crystals are completely absorbed by the water. A lot of heat is released when the crystals dissolve. Make sure the jug can cool in a safe place until the lye mixture is 40-50 degrees and/or transparent.
Step 2 – Base oils
- Weigh the oils into a saucepan.
- Heat the pan over a low heat so that the coconut oil melts and forms an emulsion together. Keep an eye on the temperature because you don’t want the oils higher than 45 degrees. Then the good properties of the oils are lost.
Step 3 – additional additions
- Weigh in a cup the 15 gr orange oil 1 tsp orange zest and 5 gr calendula.
- I use the peel of squeezed oranges from a local supermarket. But of course you can also use the peel of a fresh orange for grating.
Step 4 – final prep
- Prepare your mold on the old tea or towel.
- Check the temperatures, when the oils and lye mixture are about 45 C you can start with the most fun step!
Step 5 – Soap making
You are now ready to make soap.
- Slowly pour the lye mixture through a sieve into the oil mixture.
The saponification process starts from this moment. Almost immediately you will see the golden transparent oil mixture change into a cloudier and lighter mixture.
- Grab the hand blender and pulse the hand blender a few times until the mixture is as thick as custard or custard, this may take a while. If it goes too fast you can also grab a whisk. This will slow down the saponification process, giving you plenty of time. If you find it exciting, the guard is your friend.
- You can check the correct consistency by testing for trace. Trace is when the mixture is so thick that it leaves a trace. Use the whisk to drop a few drops onto the soap mixture. If these stay put – even if only for a moment – then you are done mixing.
- Now add the extra additives and stir again with the whisk until the orange oil, orange peels and calendula leaves are completely incorporated into the soap mixture.
- Pour the soap into the mold and use the spatula to clean the pan completely.
- Gently tap the mold on the counter to distribute the soap evenly. Cover the mold with old tea towels so that it slowly saponifies.
- Don’t forget to keep your gloves on when cleaning. In fresh soap, the lye mixture is not yet completely dissolved. So make sure it doesn’t come into contact with your skin!
After 1-2 days you can demold and cut the soap. After 4-6 weeks of aging in a dry place, the soap bars are ready for use.