A wonderful recipe for natural soap

This revitalizing, organic, biodegradable, olive oil based soap, is a beautifully simple recipe that I learnt from a dear friend during my 3 weeks at the Saja project in Sicily. She makes these incredible soaps from scratch, with all locally sourced ingredients; mostly homegrown or from close friends, and sells them to order for super affordable prices. Be sure to check out her page in the link below.

https://www.facebook.com/Erbalista-Sicula-341373459779336/

Ingredients

  • 280g (20 days) -300g (30 days)  demineralized or distilled water. The days next to the measurements point to the amount of time it will take for your soap to set properly. The water can be bought or distilled at home.
  • 134g Caustic Soda  DO NOT TOUCH, BREATHE OR SMELL.
  • 1kilo raw extra virgin olive oil
  • Any desired coloring; Bay leaves, tomato paste, nettles, Spirulina etc.
  • Desired scent; any amount and scent of essential oils up to 20ml is recommend (for 1kg of oil). 
  • Extra herbs for scent or decoration; lavender, rosemary, mint etc.
  • 1 teaspoon of flour.

What you need

  • A table or surface that can be dirtied / cover with a plastic table cloth
  • Scales
  • Measuring jugs or containers for oil and water
  • Moulds to shape the soap
  • Electric mixer
  • Special cup for caustic soda
  • Something to smooth the soap at the end
  • Goggles, gloves and mask for handling the caustic soda

Step 1.

Measure out desired amount of water and the caustic soda in separate containers.

A specific cup is designated for the caustic soda to keep the toxic powder separate from the other ingredients

Step 2.

Pour the soda into the water. NEVER pour the water into the soda as the chemical reaction can be explosive. At this stage it is important to be careful that the soda doesn’t get in your eyes or nose (goggles & mask are recommended). At first the mixture will be extremely hot, so set it aside to cool. While the soda is toxic at first, when it mixes with the oil later in the process its fatty acids transform into salt; the soap.

Step 3.

In a small cup, mix the flour with the essential oils. The flour helps to store the scent of the essential oils, infusing the soaps with a lasting fragrance of your choice.

Dried lavender from the garden

Step 4.

Measure out the oil in a large container and collect water and caustic soda. By now it should have cooled to around 40 degrees. To check the temperature, touch the outside of the container, if it is cool enough to keep your hand on then it is ready. Add the mixture to the oil and mix with electric blender until consistency is almost thick.

Oil, water and caustic soda ready to blend

Step 5.

Add any colouring, herbs or extra essential oils. The extra oil will give the soap a beautiful smell when you smell it as well as when you use it. Continue to blend till it is thick.

Step 6.

Pour liquid into moulds and shake gently to settle the mixture smoothly. Use tiny spatula or smoothing device to get soaps as even as possible. Leave to set for 48hrs.

Soap mixture freshly poured into the moulds (the little spatula is used to smooth them out)

Step 7.

Remove from moulds and shave any rough bits, then set aside for 20-30 days as the reaction fully takes place.

Soap shaving time

Step 8. Take a long overdue shower with your incredible home-made soaps;)

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