Simple & Natural Soapmaking (Page Steet Publishing, 2017)by Jan Berry presents 50 easy, unique soap recipes with ingredients and scents inspired by the herb garden, veggie garden, farm, forest and more. Beginners can join in the sudsy fun with detailed tutorials and step-by-step photographs for making traditional cold-process soap and the more modern hot-process method with a slow cooker.
These bars feature a double dose of scalp-soothing chamomile, incorporating both a tea and oil infusion of the flowers. If chamomile isn’t available, try using calendula or dandelion flowers instead. A generous amount of castor oil, combined with the natural sugars in honey, ensures a terrific lathering experience. Lavender essential oil not only contributes a subtle stress-reducing scent, but is purported to help promote hair growth as well. Don’t feel limited to using shampoo bars only on your hair; they make an excellent body or hand soap too!
Yield: 7 TO 8 BARS OF SOAP (2.5 LB)
- 8.75 oz (248 g) cold chamomile tea
- 3.9 oz (111 g) sodium hydroxide (lye)
- 8 oz (227 g) coconut oil (28.6%)
- 2 oz (57 g) shea butter (7.1%)
- 10 oz (283 g) chamomile-infused olive oil (35.7%)
- 4 oz (113 g) castor oil (14.3%)
- 4 oz (113 g) sweet almond or sunflower oil (14.3%)
- 1.23 oz (35 g) lavender essential oil
- 1 tsp (5 ml) honey diluted with 1 tsp (5 ml) water
- Wearing protective gloves and eyewear, carefully stir the lye into the cool chamomile tea. It’s normal for the lye solution to turn a golden brown at this point. Set the lye solution aside in a safe place to cool for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the temperature drops to around 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm the oils to around 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, then combine with the cooled lye solution. Using a combination of hand stirring and an immersion blender, stir the soap until it reaches trace.
- At trace, hand-stir in the lavender essential oil and diluted honey, then pour into a prepared mold. Cover lightly with a sheet of wax or freezer paper, then a towel or light blanket. Peek at the soap every so often; if it starts developing a crack, move it to a cooler location. Keep the soap in the mold for 1 to 2 days, then remove and slice it into bars when it’s firm enough not to stick to your cutting tool. Cure on coated cooling racks or sheets of wax paper about 4 weeks before using.
- Substitution: To replace shea butter, try using mango, cocoa or kokum butter, or lard or tallow instead. The lye amount will stay within an acceptable range for each of these changes so will not need to be adjusted.
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Excerpted from Simple & Natural Soapmaking by Jan Berry. Copyright © 2017 (Page Street Publishing. Used by permission of the publisher.