Saturday, November 25, 2006

Soap Making Day

Its hard to take pictures of soap making with no help, so to make my life easier I am using pictures from last year when my sister was here to help me.
The house is filled with a licorice scent from using the anise oil. I love it.
Next week I hope to make some baby soap and my laundry soap.

The pictures......
Soap mold ready to be used, lined with a plastic trash bag

Fats being melted in a pot on the stove

Lye water mixture cooling in a cold water bath in the sink, ice cubes help. Lye gets very hot when mixed with water so it has to be cooled down

Lye water has been added into the fats and stirred until thickened, at this point my sister is adding in the essential oils

The soap is poured into the mold

After 24 hours of being in the mold, the soap can be removed and cut.

In 3 weeks the soap can be used.

The Recipe ......

Anise Olive Oil Soap

5 cups chilled soft water. Rainwater works fantastic but if you don't have any, use bottled distilled water

1 1/4 cups 100% lye crystals, 12 oz by weight
5 3/4 cups 100% olive oil.
3 3/4 cups coconut oil
3 cups palm oil

4 oz anise essential oil

Do not use aluminum utensils or pots when making soap. Aluminum and lye don't work well together.

Use Lye safety. Its caustic and will burn your skin, eyes etc. Make soap when small children are NOT around.

Make soap in a well ventilated area.

Prepare your soap mold by lining with a single layer of a plastic trash bag. Smooth out any wrinkles and tape in place.
I put my mold on a large old bath towel.
Put the mold someplace where it can stay safely undisturbed for 24 hours. Keep it out of reach of children and pets.

Soap making requires mixtures be just the right temperature so have a good dairy thermometer handy.

Before you attempt to make soap for the first time, do some research.
There are some great instructions at
Soap making is fun but you must use safety precautions. Please read the instructions in the web site above carefully if you plan to try this recipe.

I try to have my oils at 92 and also have my water lye mixture reach 92 degrees also, and then I slowly drizzle the lye water mixture into the oils, stirring briskly with a whisk. Be very careful to NOT splash the mixture as its still very caustic !


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the recipe for the soap. We had a Soap Making evening at church a couple of years ago - there were plenty of books, recipes and giggling ladies. There was only one lady who had made soap before whose set. Mine was made with olive oil and it never set, though we were all giggling so much we may not have concentrated properly - actually I think aluminium pans were used too. I love the look of homemade soap and would love to try again. I've printed out your recipe :-)

JudyL said...

Patty: Seems like I remember from my soapmaking days that anise oil may not be safe for pregnant women or nursing moms. I may be wrong and you probably know way more about this than I do but I wanted to mention it. Nothing like homemade soap.

Judy L.

Patty said...

Hi Judy,
Anise oil ingested is the real worry when pregnant or nursing.
3-4 oz of the oil in such large batch of soap (about 40 bars), used topically should not be too worrisom.
But if one is concerned it would be best to ask their doctor.
Thanks for bringing that concern up : )

Anonymous said...

You make it look so easy.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'd like to make that, too. Where did you buy that stuff? In a pharmacy or some other shop?
I suppose it's also easy to change the scent - just to buy another scent oil..?

Lucy said...

I have one peice left from your soap. and I use that one for the smell in my closet with fabrics :-)
Thank you for the receipe patty

Marci said...

Pat, on your lined mold, it looks like you only lined the bottom. Is that true?

Patty said...

just the bottom of the mold works fine.

Anonymous said...

I used to make my own soap (selling it at farmer's markets) but gave up when my youngest was born. Too dangerous with little children around, however, you will not find a better bar of soap than one you've made yourself! I love soap making and am eager to get back to it when F has a few more years on her head!

Maddie said...

Hi I like your blog.So far I have made candles, chapstick, and homemade deodorant. I'm interested in making soap and your post is helpful. Where do you buy lye at? I found the oils at Walmart and the essential oil at a health food store but no one seems to know what lye is at my stores.

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