Hey y’all! I finally have another soap recipe! I recently got into soap making and this is now the 3rd batch I’ve made! I thought a simple white soap with lavender buds and some lavender essential oil would be so pretty so I had to try it. Plus, we were almost out of my Homemade Bentonite Pine Soap and Exfoliating Coffee Soap so it was time to make some more soap for my stockpile! This recipe contains coconut oil, shea butter, sweet almond oil, and lavender essential oil and smells divine! It makes two pounds of soap and I used the hot process method of soap making.
If you’ve never made soap before, it can be quite intimidating at first, but its really not too difficult at all! Knowing the safety precautions to take and handling the lye very carefully is the most important thing to remember. This recipe will assume you know the basics of soap making, but don’t worry if you don’t! I wrote a very in depth post called Soap Making for Beginners that will point you in the right direction. It goes over cold process and hot process soap making, explains the general process of what you will do to make soap, and it has great recommendations for all the gear and supplies you’ll want to pick up. Once you get the hang of it, its very easy!
My Little (big) Mistake and How I Saved It!
This batch was the first batch that I have ever had difficulties with. The other two times I made soap, I followed instructions to a T and everything turned out great! This time I made a small error and decided to just roll with it and keep going. BAD MOVE. The measurements and calculations you make in soap making are very precise for a reason. When I was measuring my lye, I poured it right into the water which was my first error. I should have measured it into a container before adding it to the water to prevent too much from pouring out but I didn’t. I thought with my steady hand I could pour the lye right into the water, but just as it was nearing 4 ounces, a clump fell out into the water bumping the measurement up an ounce or so above where it needed to be. If it was a small fraction of an ounce I don’t think it would have mattered quite as much, but it was probably a little over an ounce more than I needed. Instead of wasting the water and lye I just measured and starting over I thought that tiny bit of extra lye wouldn’t be a huge deal so I used it. After cooking my soap batter for the recommended 3 hours, I tested it and it was still very alkaline. I let it cook another hour and tested it again. Still alkaline! Another hour went by and when it was still alkaline it dawned on me that putting that extra bit of lye in my soap had totally messed it up. I was starting to panic thinking I was going to have to throw away all my precious soap! After frantically searching all over the internet I learned about a process called “re-batching” that is used in cold process soap when your soap is lye-heavy. Basically you grind the soap down into a crockpot, add the extra oil you left out (if you know where your calculations were off), and cook it in the crockpot with the extra oil, just like with hot process. I figured I had nothing to loose by trying to add more oil, even though I had no idea how much to add…So I poured a few ounces of more oil in and cooked it another 30-40 minutes, and when I tested it, it was totally neutral! I actually prayed for my soap to be neutral too..Haha! So I think my prayer and experimentation really paid off and my soap ended up being saved. Yay! The lesson from this little story is:
-Be super careful with your measuring!
-If you mess up, its better to waste some ingredients then to waste an entire batch of soap.
-If your soap is lye heavy, try adding more oil and cooking it to save it!
-Prayer works. 😉
Here’s the Recipe!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links that earn me a small commission if a purchase is made through them. It doesn’t cost you any extra and as always, I only recommend products I love and use myself!
- 12 oz. sweet almond oil
- 12 oz. coconut oil
- 3 oz. shea butter
- 4 oz lye
- 9 oz water
- 2 tbs dried lavender buds
- 50+ drops lavender essential oil
- Carefully measure the sweet almond oil, coconut oil, and shea butter. Add to a crock pot and start warming on low.
- Measure 4 oz. lye and add to 9 oz water very carefully. Stir to dissolve lye.
- Monitor the temperature of the lye/water mixture and wait patiently for it to drop to around 130 degrees F.
- Carefully pour the lye into the melted oils in the crockpot.
- Using an emersion blender, carefully blend until the soap batter comes to a trace.
- Cover and cook on low for about 3 hours, stirring well every half hour or so.
- Test your soap batter after three hours.
- If soap batter is neutralized, add your essential oil and lavender buds and stir well.
- Press the thick batter into your soap mold and wait until it is firm.
- Cut into bars and enjoy right away!