Homemade Castile Soap

There’s nothing better than having a shower or bath and using a bar of natural Castile soap. Castile soaps don’t dry your skin out or have a toxic chemical scent, instead, they smell and feel wonderful!

This recipe for Castile soap is one of Wendyl’s; be sure to follow it precisely as any changes in quantity and/or procedure will affect the result and you may end up with a gooey mess instead of a nice solid bar of Castile soap.

Castile Soap

470ml water
170g lye (100% caustic soda – none remains)

470ml olive oil
400g solid coconut oil
675g vegetable shortening (Kremelta)

Make sure you are wearing protective goggles and gloves in case anything in this first process splashes.

In a large stainless steel or glass container mix the water and lye together. It will fizz and get quite hot.

Meanwhile heat the oils together over a low heat in a large enamel or stainless steel cooking pot. You want it to heat up to 37°C.

Watch the lye mixture and wait for it to come down to the same temperature (37°C). When they are both at the same temperature remove the oil from the heat and mix with the lye, stirring constantly.

Eventually it will start to drag when pulling the spoon through. This means saponification has taken place. You will know you are there when the mixture is thick and the spoon leaves a channel that lasts a few seconds before filling up. This usually takes about 10 minutes but sometimes it takes longer.

You can then add 15 drops of essential oil and natural mica to colour the soap if you wish, stir again and pour into soap moulds. I used plastic moulds you would store food in. Ice-cube trays work well for small soaps.

Cover with a blanket or towels and leave for 24 hours. The soap should be hard and pop out of the moulds easily. If not, leave it for a few more days. You must then dry the soap out completely before use. I leave it for three to four weeks on wire baking racks to set completely and harden.

 

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