DIY Hand & Body Soap Recipe (Cold Process)
⅔ cup coconut oil – to produce good lather (buy it in bulk here for soap making here)
⅔ cup olive oil – which makes a hard and mild bar
⅔ cup other liquid oil – like almond oil, grapeseed, sunflower or safflower oil (find them here)
¼ cup lye – also called 100% sodium hydroxide (find it here or at local hardware stores)
¾ cup cool water – use distilled or purified (find the best water purification systems here)
Cover your work area with newspaper. Put your gloves and other protective wear on. Measure your water into the quart canning jar. Have a spoon ready. Measure your lye, making sure you have exactly ¼ cup. Slowly pour the lye into the water, stirring as you go.
In the pint jar, add your three oils together. They should just make a pint. Heat in a microwave for about a minute, or place the jar of oils in a pan of water to heat. Check the temperature of your oils – it should be about 120° or so.
When both the lye and oils are at the right temperature, pour the oils into a mixing bowl. Slowly add the lye, stirring until it’s all mixed. Stir by hand for a full 5 minutes.
Add your herbs, essential oils or other additions at this point. Stir thoroughly to combine. Pour the mixture into mold(s) and cover with plastic wrap.
After 24 hours, check your soap. If it’s still warm or soft, allow it to sit another 12-24 hours. When it’s cold and firm, turn it out onto a piece of parchment paper or baking rack. Allow soap to cure for 4 weeks or so. Be sure to turn it over once a week to expose all the sides to air (which is not necessary if using a baking rack).
When your soap is fully cured, wrap it in wax paper or keep it in an airtight container.