This recipe will produce a gentle, clear all-purpose soap. You can add whatever essential oils you like, perhaps tea tree for a kitchen soap or a geranium and lavender combination for something a little more feminine.
INGREDIENTS FOR UNDILUTED SOAP PASTE
- 200 g (8 oz) coconut oil
- 200 g (8 oz) sunflower oil
- 100 g (4 oz) olive oil
- 180 g (7 oz) spring water
- 108 g (4 oz) potassium hydroxide
- 10 g (⅓ oz) potassium carbonate
1Weigh the coconut, sunflower and olive oils and put them in a stainless steel saucepan. Weigh the water and pour into a plastic bucket. Half fill the larger saucepan with tap water and put it on the heat.
2Put on your gloves, goggles and mask. Weigh the potassium hydroxide and potassium carbonate separately and then combine. Add the potassium hydroxide and potassium carbonate mixture to the water and stir for two minutes.
3Melt the oils on a low heat and stir. Remove the soap pot from the heat. Still wearing your protective kit, pour the alkali mixture into the pot and stir again. Bring the soap to trace using a stick blender. (The oils and liquids may separate – keep mixing until they come together again.)
4Place the soap pot into the larger pot and bring the water to a rolling boil. Cover the pot. Top up water in the outer pot as it evaporates. Stir every 15 minutes for approximately three hours or until the mixture in the pot resembles deep yellow petroleum jelly.
5Remove from the heat and test . If the soap is ready, store in a plastic lidded container or dilute as per the instructions below. If not continue to cook until it tests clear.
To fill a 250 ml (8 fl oz) container, weigh 83 g (3 oz) of soap paste and dilute with 166 ml (6 oz) boiling spring water. Once dissolved, heat until tepid and add up to 2.5 ml (½ tsp) essential oil of your choice. Also add preservative at this stage, should you require it, following the manufacturer’s recommended ratio. Allow to cool and then pour into a sterilized bottle.