100% coconut oil soap? It’s awesome!
Coconut oil, in soap, turns into such a hard cleaner, that it can actually be drying on your skin! But–it creates a very hard bar, and has a fantastic, bubbly lather! And so the answer to the drying is…superfat!
Superfatting is adding oil to your soap recipe, in excess to what the lye will convert. This leaves it very soothing, moisturizing, and nourshing to your skin! This particular recipe was superfatted to 18%. I found this on a blog, and will include the link in the recipe card below. When you use a lye calculator to create your own recipe, it gives you the superfatting option. I often go with 5-10%. But with 100% coconut oil soap, I go at least 18%!
At this point, it is easily the favorite soap I have made. But I have not yet tried my new, cold processed style. That one uses a mixture of palm, coconut, and olive oils, and I’m quite sure it’s going to be awesome! Palm oil gives you the hardness of the bar that you want. (That way it doesn’t all go down the drain in a week’s time!) Coconut oil makes a gorgeous lather. And olive oil is very moisturizing and nourishing.
But back to Coconut Oil Soap!
The first time I made it, I used very cold, 3 times (or so) strong brewed coffee as my water solution to mix with my lye. The result was a very bad smell when I mixed it, but with curing, that went away and left it unscented. The color, though, is lovely. It’s a current favorite!
I gave one to my friend, Leslie. She uses it as a shampoo bar, and told me that she has never had such soft, silky hair!
The next time I made it pure. Three ingredients: Water, Lye, Coconut Oil. Simple, fast, and fantastic. I did it hot process, because I wanted to make sure we don’t run out of soap! Truth is, the coconut oil soap is such a hard bar that we won’t run out right away. Except, of course, for the problem of me giving them away… 🙂
Here is a picture tutorial, with the recipe card at the end. Honestly, if you have been tossing around the idea of making your own soap, this could be the way you want to go. It is low cost. In your specialty soaps, the highest cost is in the essential oils. This one is unscented and uncolored. Your cost will be in the lye and the coconut oil. And a wee bit for the distilled or purified water!
Here we go…
I like to mix my lye and water in my laundry room, on the wide windowsill of the open window. I turn the ceiling fan on for ventilation. I make sure I have my goggles on. Your eyes? You cannot kill the burning lye with vinegar…not in your eyes. It’s not worth the risk. On my list is to get a nice pair of soapmaking goggles from brambleberry. But for now…I use Craig’s. 🙂 Make sure your water is in your jar. I actually prefer to use a glass mixing cup with a handle. It’s much easier to transport. This day, my big ones were dirty! So I went with a quart jar. As I was saying, always pour your water in first. Then pour the lye into the water. Stir for a minute until dissolved. (I use a wire whisk) Then let it set for at least ten minutes. When I do cold process, I let it cool down to 90 degrees or so, and that takes a really long time. This solution is hot! I make sure to have hot pads with me. One of the first times I made soap, I forgot this small detail and grabbed the jar. Ow! 🙁 🙂
I use these gloves.
And these goggles…lovely. 🙂
I use disposable cups to measure my lye and water. Easy. No cleanup of lye crystals.
Use purified or distilled water.
In one sink, I keep a solution of water and vinegar. I just pour a cup or so of vinegar in. This neutralizes lye. After I whisk my lye and water solution, that’s where my whisk went! Now it’s safe to wash and handle.
I’ve made soap while running out of vinegar. Don’t do it. 🙂 Vinegar is not a high cost item!
Here are my homemade molds. 🙂 I like using oven bags to line them.
Here is my fantastic, silicone mold! I love it. Ebay. 🙂 It’s flexible, so I set it into a box and brace it with books, as you’ll see later.
HEB has this fantastic coconut oil! It’s naturally refined, and has no scent. It’s not very expensive. But even less expensive, if you’re okay with it not being organic, is a bucket of the stuff from Bulk Apothecary. The 76 degree stuff.
A simple, digital scales is all you need.
Pour your coconut oil into your crock pot to melt. It won’t take long!
Crock pot on low.
If I’m stick blending, I like to wear long sleeves as well as gloves and eye protection. Stick blenders can splatter!
Pour your lye solution into your coconut oil. Really, you don’t even need to wait until the oil is melted. It’ll melt fast enough after your hot lye solution hits it! Stick blend by stirring the blender around by hand a bit, then just do small blends, stir around again, another small blend…until you get your equilibrium and you know there are no air bubbles under your blender. Then just blend around until you hit trace. That’s when you lift it up, and a trail of solution is visible on top of the liquid in the pot.
I like to have everything ready and close.
Keep your crock pot on low. Do not stir. It will start to look like this. Around the edges, it bubbles and turns translucent.
Then it might look like this! I say *might*, because with my other crock pot, it never looked like the blogs said it will. That crock pot cooked it too fast! Even on low, it was hotter and it rose up and lifted the lid before I knew what was happening! So…it might look something like this progression…
You want there to be no puddle of oil in the middle. Then you can stir it a bit, and pop into your molds! At this point, the lye has mostly been cooked out…hot process speeds up the saponification process. To make sure there are no air bubbles in your mold, bam your mold down on the counter a couple times. 🙂
This looks hard to clean, but it’s not! It’s just soap. 🙂 I fill it with water then when it’s all soft, wash it out!
Coconut oil makes a hard bar of soap. So you want to stay on it and cut this into bars before it gets too hard! I check it every hour or so and that day yet, I will cut it. I wait until it’s solid but still has a little give. Slice with a large knife, unless you’re fortunate enough to own a large, wire cheese slicer! (My dream…)
And then, friends…you have this…
Ahhh…I love soapmaking! 🙂 (P.S. Gotta’ watch those calories! 🙂 )
- 33 oz. coconut oil (76 degree)
- 4.96 oz. lye
- 12.5 oz. distilled water
- Measure out your lye and water into disposable cups.
- Pour lye into water, in a glass jar. Stir until dissolved.
- Measure your coconut oil. Place into crock pot set on low.
- Pour your lye solution into your crock pot of oil.
- Stir manually with stick blender a minute, then pulse with stick blender until no air bubbles are left under your blender. Stick blend until you reach trace.
- Cover with lid and do not stir until all the oil has been emulsified.
- Stir and spoon into your molds.
- Allow to set for several hours or until it is solid, yet has a bit of give.
- Slice into bars.
- Let cure in an airy place for a week or two.
- This recipe works great to add colors or essential oils. Just add them at the end before you spoon it into your molds.