I have to admit, there was only one reason I decided on hot process for this recipe–we needed soap immediately. I’m glad I was forced to do hot process, though. The lemon essential oil is strong in the finished bars, and I’m pretty sure it’s because it didn’t have to survive the saponification process.
This recipe is nice and bubbly, and it makes a hard bar. The tea and oil gave it a very pretty yellow color (almost as yellow as in the pictures, though not quite). I’m giving you the exact recipe I used. In case you’re curious, I ran out of olive oil and had to add in a little canola. If you choose to use all olive oil instead of a tiny bit of canola, make sure you run it through a lye calculator.
You must use caution when working with lye. Wear goggles and long gloves, don’t breath in the fumes, and make absolutely sure there are no children or pets in your work area. If you’ve never made cold process soap before, please read up on it before attempting this or any project.
Rustic Lemon Hot Process Soap with Ginger and Lemongrass Tea
8 oz palm oil
8 oz coconut oil
6.8 oz olive oil
1.2 oz canola oil
3.463 oz lye
7.92 oz chilled ginger lemongrass tea–I used Celestial Seasonings Jammin’ Lemon Ginger (you could also use water instead of tea)
1.2 oz lemon essential oil
2 pound mold or individual molds
Safety Gear–Goggles & Gloves
Though this recipe has been calculated carefully, it’s always a good idea to double check any recipe with a lye calculator.
To Make the Soap:
1. Heat the oils in the crock pot until melted. Turn off the crock pot.
2. In a heat safe bowl (not aluminum), carefully sprinkle your lye into your chilled tea. Do this in a well ventilated area, and be very careful not to breath in the fumes. Stir the mixture until it is clear, and then set it in a safe place to cool.
3. Very carefully add your cooled lye mixture to your oils, and blend with a stick blender until it reaches light trace. This will look like thin pudding.
4. Turn the crock pot to low, and then cover with the lid. In fifteen minutes, stir the soap. It should be starting to thicken up.
5. In another 10-15 minutes stir the soap again. Continue to stir and wait until the soap is the texture of mashed potatoes. It will be somewhat translucent and waxy.
6. At this point it’s a good idea to test the soap’s ph. If the soap is finished (below a 10) then transfer it to a heat safe bowl to cool for a few minutes. You don’t want to wait too long, just a few minutes so it isn’t quite as hot when you add the lemon oil.
7. After a few minutes, stir in the lemon oil, and then transfer the soap to your mold. Press it down firmly with your fingers (since the soap is still hot, I keep my gloves on the entire time). Wait 24 hours, or until set, and then cut your bars.
The soap is ready right away, but the longer you let them cure, the harder they will be–and the longer they will last.
For a great step by step hot process tutorial with pictures, check out this post by Chicken’s in the Road. The Apple-Oatmeal soap at the bottom of the page looks wonderful!