How to handmake soap

14 01 2010

I know this seems totally random. But I am allowed a few non-Postcrossing items so why not? A couple of weeks ago I saw a TV show here in the UK called Kirsty’s Homemade Christmas. She’s one of those posh types and handmade everything to festoon her mansion. Along the way she also made soap and I loved it so much I wrote the “recipe” down and I’m determined to make some this year. I know it can be bought for, like, 10p, but the homemade variety is so much more pure and beautiful.

Here’s how!

Be sure to put on goggles and rubber gloves as the first part is quite dangerous. Put 900ml of water in a bucket and add 295g of caustic soda. Whisk. There will be steam and weird science stuff happening but try to brave it out. Take 615g of coconut slab and melt in a pan with 800ml of sunflower oil and 800ml of olive oil. This mixture is added to the bucket mixture and stirred for 40mins until the colour and texture change. Now add essential oils and/or food colouring.* Put the mixture into plastic tubs. Put a blanket over them for 24hrs until they set. Leave for six weeks in a cool, dark place for saponification to occur. Cut into blocks and use.

*For lime and parsley soap add a handful of parsley and 20g of lime essence – whisk. It’s really limitless but some other nice ideas are oats and honey or cinnamon and orange. You can also set things in the top – little roses, pieces of orange – to make it look all pretty.

Et voila!

For more info – and supplies – check out Soap Basics or Just a Soap. Some of the stuff they sell is actually amazing!




2 responses

14 01 2010

I tried to make soap once many years ago. I know it can’t be hard because my niece has been doing it since she was 13. But let me tell you, when my roommate and I tried to make it (I think with olive oil?) it was an unmitigated disaster. The only thing we could do to fix the situation was to drink some margaritas.

15 01 2010

oh no, don’t say that!! 😀

I’m scared enough already!

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