Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Article: Healthy, Natural Soap are all in the Recipe

On Sunday, March 27,2010 I found an article about natural soaps by Jennifer Forker (with Associated Press) in the Daily News.

The article features a couple of soap makers who turned their soap making hobby into a business including Emily Voth of Kansas, MO, who is the owner/operator of Indigo Wild. IndigoWild makes the famous "Zum Bar", other soaps, spritzes, scrubs and most recently home cleaning supplies has 13 full time and 40 part time employees.  Currently their Zum Bars are sold in 2,500 stores in the United States and a handful in other countries.

Included in the article is a cold process soap recipe from Lindsay Mann of Clean Getaway Soap Company  One of my favorite scents for soap is orange and I wanted to share it with you. What I found really interesting with this recipe is that the coconut and palm oils were melted by the lye water.  In classes that I  have taken, these oils were melted in a pot over a burner and then they were combined with the lye water at a particular temperature. And I have seen lye water made prior to the class and it is at a cooler temperature when it combined with the melted oils. I am wondering if this would be considered to be room temperature cold process soap making?  Does anyone know? I am not sure how that step really works and may have to give it a try sometime.

Orange Body Bar by Clean Get A Way Soap Company

Ingredients (4 pound batch)

7 5/8 ounces coconut oil (Coconut 76 was used by the creator)
3 5/8 ounces palm oil (not palm kernal)
5 3/8 ounces olive oil (Pomace was used by the creator but any olive oil will do)
6 ounces tap water (that's what the article said. Distilled water is better)
2 1/2 ounces lye
2 teaspoons orange essential oil
1 teaspoon annato powder, optional (This can be used for color.  If not available, tumeric can be used)


Protective goggles
Clean Spray bottle
Four bowls, such as pyrex, including one that can hold 8 oz.
Scale (for weighing ingredients)
Measuring spoons
Immersion blender
Ventilated cake rack
Soap mold
White vinegar (in case of lye spills)


(1) Put on protective gear:  long sleeve shirt and pants, apron, gloves and goggles. Fill spray bottle with full-strength while vinegar in case of lye spills.

(2) Weigh the coconut and palm oils, and combine then in a large, heat proof bowl.

(3) In three separate bowls, weigh the olive oil, water and lye.

(4) If using color, mix the annato powder (or tumeric) with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.

(5) Make sure you have good ventilation (open windows, turn on fans).  Slowly add lye to the water, stir consistently until all the lye is dissolved.  NEVER ADD WATER TO LYE:  the lye solution will get very hot (above 212 degrees F).

(6) Add hot lye water solution to the coconut/palm oil mixture. The heat from the lye solution will melt the fat.  Cover to reduce heat loss, about 5 minutes.

(7) After the fats have melted, add the olive oil and blend with an immersion blender in 10-second bursts.  It will take about 2 minutes to reach "trace".  (Trace is a technical term referring to the point at which a little soap will dribble onto the surface of the mixture will remain there for a few seconds.  It's alittle thicker than shampoo, but not as thick as pudding.  Its at trace that most of the lye has been converted -- the best time to add "fragile" ingredients such as essential oils, color or oils that would otherwise be damaged by the lye.)

(8) After the trace has been reached, stir in orange essential oil and color-oil mixture.

(9) Pour soap mixture into prepared mold. Cover and insulate with an old towel or blanket.

(10) Allow soap mold to set for 24 to 48 hours.  Remove the mold, cut the soap into bars, and place them on a ventilated cake rack to cure (or age) for four to six weeks.


* Orange Essential Oil is more stable and less costly than some other oils which makes it a great choice for beginners.

* For accuracy, use a lye calculator, such as the one available through Majestic Mountain Sage.

* Never substitute one oil for another in a recipe because different oils require different amounts of lye.

* Invest in an inexpensive immersion blender because stirring soap by hand takes a long time.

* It is important to weight the essential ingredients.

* Almost anything can be used as a soap mold.  If using wood, metal or glass molds, line with freezer paper.  For this recipe, the soap makers used a 4x8 white plastic drawer liner made by Rubbermaid.  Plastic does not need to be lined.  If you place your soap in the freezer for a few minutes before removing it from the mold, it will pop out easily.

1 comment:

kyle said...

Homely soaps are very nice and they look after the kin in a very special way as they are devoid of all chemicals that ham the skin.
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