I used fresh aloe vera gel in place of the water and a large amount of shea butter went into this recipe. Since it will be done curing in October I added orange and black colorant and a pumpkin spice scent. On the side I poured several unscented and plain aloe & shea bars as well. The white in this soap will darken a bit as it cures so you will need to use titanium Dioxide to keep white soap white.
7.5 oz Coconut Oil
6 oz Palm Oil
4.5 oz Shea Butter
4.5 oz Olive Oil
3 oz Castor Oil
3 oz Sunflower Oil
1.5 oz Hemp Seed Oil
4.17 oz Sodium Hydroxide
9.90 oz Aloe Vera Gel
(46.53 oz by weight total)
This recipe has a 5% Superfat, is 33% Aloe Vera Gel. Scented with 1.5 oz Pumpkin Spice Fragrance oil.
Colorants used: Activated Charcoal powder, Racing Stripe Orange Mica, Titanium Dioxide to maintain white color.
I did not add TD and this is the same soap 3 days later after darkening, it would be better with TD in my opinion..
You will want to use several Aloe Vera leaves. You will hopefully be able to find them in the specialty produce section of a well stocked grocery store.
Avoid any damaged leaves or bruises where the gel has turned dark. I bought three of them and one was completely bruised with dark colored gel which I did not detect when I bought it. I recommend either picking up an extra leaf or if you do not have enough you can substitute with distilled water.
Wash and then trim the spiked edges off of the sides of the leaves.
Then lay the leaves flat and remove the skin on the top of the leaf, with a spoon you will remove the gel inside and place it into a blender. This part is pretty slimy.
Once all of the gel is in the blender, pulse a few times and then blend for about fifteen seconds until completely liquefied. From there place in a strainer and allow the liquid to strain through, stir the bit in the strainer to help the last of the liquid to pass through the screen.
I usually place this in the fridge afterwards for it to chill and also for any bubbles to escape to the surface of the liquid.
And here you have fresh aloe vera gel! It’s meant to be used right away because it will oxidize and there is no preservative to protect it from mold and bacteria. If you want to save any portion of this for another day I suggest freezing it into ice cubes. This batch is going right into my soap as soon as it is cold enough.
I made Shampoo Bars with Coconut Milk, Coconut Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Castor Oil, Palm Oil, Jojoba Oil and Sweet Almond Oil. I added Henna Powder, Citric Acid and Panthenol, Rosemary EO, Tea Tree EO and Peppermint EO.
I made the mistake of trying to cut them way, way to early so they are going to rest for a few days. I consistently make harder soaps that can be cut the next morning so I wasn’t even thinking about how soft this was going to be until the knife was already in the soap. The rest got almost a week of sitting before I cut them. I used a brand new mold with better insulation and got a bit of overheating in some of these bars, luckily these are just for family.
For shampoo bars most people forgo the use of fragrance oils and colorants. I decided to do the same. The addition of Rosemary, Tea Tree and Peppermint essential oils are more beneficial to hair than a fragrance oil could ever be.
I went back and forth on how I was going to design this soap. My original request was for lemon. The problem here is that lemon essential oil wont hold its scent in soap. I went looking for a fragrance oil and after reading reviews of its performance I decided I would likely loose my lemon scent with fragrance oil or it would be so mild the lavender would simply overpower it. I know that I could use lemongrass, but it just isn’t as perfect of a match with lavender as an actual citrus scent, after reading many reviews on fragrance performance the closest match turns out to be a bergamot black tea fragrance. Bitter orange is not far off from lemon so it should work to fill the request and will blend with lavender perfectly. After that there were questions like would the yellow and purple be too silly looking? If I left it at white and yellow and ground up lavender flowers… should I mix the scent or split it between the colors. In the end I went with both colors even if it’s silly and to split the scents between the colors. So the extra made an additional two lavender bars on the side.
Soap Contents: Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Distilled Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Castor Oil, Rice Bran Oil
Colorants: Queens Purple Mica, Yellow Mica, Racing Stripe Orange Mica, Gold Shimmer Mica, Activated Charcoal
Fragrance: Lavender Fragrance Oil, Bergamot Black Tea Fragrance Oil
Method: Tilted Base, Pencil line, Hangar
Coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, distilled water, sodium hydroxide, castor oil, rice bran oil, cocoa butter, rosemary essential oil, lavender essential oil, activated charcoal, mica, titanium dioxide, tin dioxide, iron oxide, chromium oxide hydrate, boron oxide
I used a divider, dropped color in and then did a hangar swirl with 5 colors.
This is another split batch since I am using my half loaf mold, my secondary soap used up a sampler of Brambleberry’s Juicy Couture scent, no special design effort there.
For more Rosemary & Lavender ideas I have posts about Rosemary & Lavender Lip Balm and Rosemary & Lavender Hair Conditioner
Now to see how the colors change with curing.
This is my basic cold process coconut milk recipe. Coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, avocado oil, castor oil. Then mix the sodium hydroxide with coconut milk.
I split the batch and used some round molds and a new half loaf mold. My sandalwood colorants we’re gold mica and cocoa powder and used the half loaf for that.
The Tropical Jasmine I left plain.. because I have soaped with it before and I knew it was going to rice and need extra blending.. then would harden as soon as it stopped being stired. I love this scent in soap but it’s solid before I can get to tapping out air bubbles. I quickly glopped this stuff into round molds.
I also have a post about Sandalwood Lotion here.
My hobbies have grown so my project list needs categories now, here’s what I’ve got in the works, who knows what I will get to, I should have some free time in a few weeks.
Cold Process Soap Making
Idea: I made a lot of soap last year, I have isolated my favorites and will be recreating some variation of them. All of my soap sold or was given away last year so I only have the newer two that I made in November that were curing at the time I ran out.
- Charcoal soap split (Lavender/Rosemary Soap, Cedar/Bergamot)
- Breton Sea Salt Bar
- Coconut Milk split scent ( hawaiian jasmine, sandalwood)
- Beer Soap (new soap type)
- Shaving Cream (will run out soon)
- Laundry and Dish Soap ( will run out soon)
This is meant to be as a set for holiday presents but it didn’t happen. I will be infusing the black tea into the oils.
- Black Tea & Lavender
- Black Tea & Peppermint
- Black Tea & Bergamot
I might make these with Black Tea Infused Oil as well.
- Apple/Sage Conditioner
- Apple/Sage Lotion
I’m an extreme beginner, I still cant sew a straight line or understand some terms and instructions. The seam ripper is my best friend and I keep stabbing myself with pins and burning myself on the iron… but I have determination.
- Jean Quilt
- Tri-Fold Wallet
- Handmade Paper with Botanical Imbeds
- Hardcover hand made blank journal
- El Pollo Loco Chicken ( pineapple and lime glaze)
- Teriyaki Tofu ( I can’t get it right!! Eventually…)
- Corn Tortillas
I am using the other half of my frozen coconut milk cubes for this recipe. so half coconut milk half distilled water. Because of the sugars it should reach a higher temperature, hence the freezing of the coconut milk. The soap wont be insulated at the end because I don’t want a mess, I find that my soap mold fits perfectly into the door part of my freezer so I will place it there until it cools off.
This soap will have two layers that are both going to discolor so I am not particularly worried about scorching. I expect it to darken considerably from the fragrance oils. I will be using pearly white mica to bring it down to a lighter brown vanilla layer and tan espresso layer with flecks of finely ground coffee. Because the fragrances will discolor differently I will have twice as much Mica in the Vanilla portion. I am also hoping to get a nice jagged look between the layers. For my extra leftover soap I made individual Vanilla and Espresso soaps without mixing them(much).
10.25 oz Coconut Oil
10.75 oz Palm Oil
10.25 oz Olive Oil
2 oz Castor Oil
1.75 oz Cocoa Butter
4.99 oz Sodium Hydroxide
5.77 oz Distilled Water
5.77 oz Coconut Milk
2-3 tablespoons Bentonite Clay
Pearly White Mica
1.2 oz Espresso Fragrance
1.2 oz Vanilla Fragrance
one pinch of Espresso, fine ground
I added the clay to the oils before the lye and I added the frozen coconut milk cubes to slushy, near frozen distilled water just before incorporating the lye into the water.
At light trace I separated the batter and added the mica then added the fragrance oil to the bottom layer, and brought it to a fairly thick trace in an attempt to make jagged edges that wont squash as soon as I layer on top of it. Once the bottom layer is poured and ready to go I added the fragrance to the second batch then layered it gently on top. In reality my technique evolved into using a spatula to create channels to pour soap into. I’ll have to regroup and try that technique again some time.
Cut Bars & Discolor Progression
I always expect the worst with new techniques and scents. I am using a bamboo scent for this one. I expect it to rice so I will take an extra step to blend the fragrance into a small portion of batter before fully incorporating it. It’s my first coconut milk soap and I expect heating. I am also a little worried to put the soap in the fridge/freezer with my food. So I’ve sort of created a quarantine area of the fridge where the soap mold will be held prisoner in it’s own little soap containment unit until it cools off. I generally am making a soap that I would apply heat to so cooling is a bit of a difference for me. Also I would recommend being careful with strong scents because your leftover takeout rice could absorb some scent and for example become ‘bambooed rice’.. or you’ll have ‘bambooed-butter’ or something awful so take this into consideration scent by scent, this one didn’t cause any trouble.
I am making this soap with palm, coconut, olive, castor and avocado oils. about 60% of the water was substituted with coconut oil and I added bentonite clay. I ended up using an in the mold swirl: which is two colors divided and then poured into the mold half the batter at a time, swirling the colors in together.
I added a portion of the batter to the fragrance oil and it didn’t know if it wanted to become solid or rice or both and I mixed like crazy, divided it into the separated portions and I had to blend it until it was at a thick trace before it smoothed out so I ran a chopstick through it since it was very gloppy when poured and I wanted to ensure it mixed enough. I hope I pounded the majority of the bubbles out after that.
This particular green mica goes through some interesting shades of vibrant green to grey color transformations.
I did have a few blemishes, the top of the soap had two small cracks, I got almost a complete gel so the two end pieces aren’t as pretty, the bubbles were about what I was expecting for how thick it was. Here we are unmolded and cut. The white still may yellow a bit from the fragrance oil. We shall see. At this point the green color change is nearly complete and the grey is almost gone.
I have my Salt Bar recipe built and I’ve taken a few days to watch all of the YouTube video’s on it I can find. I need the volume of my silicone molds calculated and I think I will have enough for my sheet of round molds and a bit of overflow to my plastic molds.
A few lessons I have learned from observing other soapers are as follows.
- Most soapers are using a near equal amount of salt to the amount of oil used. Salt kills most bubbles and coconut oil is an exception so you need to use a high amount of it in your recipe. 60-80% seems most common.
- That much coconut oil will be very drying so the superfat must be somewhere between 10-20%
- Add your fragrance to your salt and add your salt at thin trace, it will thicken quickly so work fast.
- Use silicone molds if you have them, the soap will be hard and brittle from all the salt so cut your soap as soon as 2 hours after pouring. almost everyone I observed waiting 24 hours to mold had broken loaf soaps.
So.. with these guidelines in mind I begin.
I am using 80% Coconut oil, then Palm, Avocado and Castor Oil’s for the rest. For the salt I am using Breton Sea Salt at 75% to the weight of the oils. I will be superfatting at 15%.
I will be splitting the batch in two and making 2 separate scents. Peppermint(2X) Essential Oil, and Apple Sage fragrance oil a sample I got from Brambleberry.
I will in the pot swirl each with one of my new micas. I selected Caribbean Blue for the Peppermint, and Kelly Green for the Apple Sage.
I added the fragrance to the salt before hand. The peppermint was pretty intense in my tiny kitchen for a while.
I let everything cool to about 100 degrees and then tried to work reasonably fast.
Here was the result. (Half of my kitchen light is burnt out so it’s a little dim)
After a few hours it was still pretty soft so I let it go longer. I tried to unmold the next morning, they were crumbly but firm, so I added them to the freezer before unmolding the rest.
Not perfect but it was about what I expected for my first try.
For fun I used my new Dash Cam to record the making of this soap so I may post that as soon as I figure out what software to use and get it edited.