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Homemade soap – diy

Around here we are always kicking it old school. By that I mean making it myself, whenever and wherever I can. Why you might ask, well I will tell you. The reasons are plentiful, sometimes it is cheaper to do this. When it comes to food, well food always tastes better and you know what has gone in it when you make it all yourself. This time it was because it is nice to. This may sound like a silly childish reason but I am a huge believer in the fact that we need to slow down. Our society is built for speed and our health and wellbeing is often hindered by this. One way to combat this is to take some time to make something. There is something incredibly satisfying about making a thing from scratch. This whole idea is the cornerstone of a new project I am working on with friend and fellow presenter Clare Gay; 50s housewife extraordinaire and super mum. More on our project soon – I promise. It is also beneficial when you employ a process that cannot be rushed, such as making this soap recipe. Take time out and then sit and congratulate yourself, then back into the rat race for you.

The Soap Recipe
you will need;
4.8 oz olive oil
4.8 oz coconut oil
3.2 oz shea butter
3.2 oz cocoa butter
6oz boiled and cooled water water
2.2oz of lye (sodium hydroxide)
0.8oz essential oil
moulds – I used Tupperware that had lost their lids lined with baking parchment.
Blankets to insulate your soap
Scrap cardboard
Baking paper
Always wear safety goggles/glasses and use protective gloves and apron when soap-making to avoid injury from spills and splashes. If you get any mixture on your skin wash immediately with cold water.
  1. Prepare your sodium hydroxide solution. Make sure you have your safety equipment on before you start this. Put your cold water in a plastic or glass container for this. Gently sprinkle small amounts onto the water and mix until dissolved, the solution will warm up whilst this reaction occurs. DO NOT pour the water onto the sodium hydroxide it can cause a violent reaction. See you should have paid attention in Chemistry class! Don’t mind me I am a massive nerd.
  2. Melt the solid oils in a stainless steel pan. Once the solid oils have melted remove from the heat and add the olive oil.
  3. Slowly pour a thin stream of the sodium hydroxide solution to the oils. Stir continually with a strong motion but not too fast as you don’t want to get splashes. The mixtures will combine and the sodium hydroxide (lye) will turn the fats to soap, just like in Fight Club! As this happens the mixture will become opaque and get thicker.
  4. Continue mixing until you can get a thin trace with the mixture, like whipped cream. At this stage you can add any additives you wish to such as a colorant. I added the poppy seeds to one batch and lemon peel to another at this stage. I bought the lemon peel from a cosmetic supplier the poppy seeds were from my kitchen. This is also the time to add essential oils if you wish to. I used lemon, with the lemon peel and cinnamon oil with the poppy seeds.
  5. Continue to stir whilst it thickens but when it is still able to pour place in your moulds.
  6. Carefully take the filled moulds over to the location you will be insulating it at.  Place the soap moulds on top of the wool blankets. Pop some baking paper on top of the moulds and cover with scrap cardboard to protect your blankets. Surround your soap with blankets.
  7. Leave for 4 – 6 weeks for the soap to cure and the chemical process to complete. Your soap can then be removed and cut. It will be beautiful and creamy and not dry your skin.
It will depend on how large you make your bars of soap but this recipe should make at least 12.
Take Care
Nicolette xo

December 29, 2012



  1. Reply


    December 28, 2012

    Being vegan in South Africa sometimes feels like we went back in time a few decades because we can only get certain things if we make it ourselves. I even make margarine.

  2. Reply

    Soap Making Supplies

    March 8, 2013

    I was able to read the whole content, all I can say is this is great! Great post with great ideas with great ideas with a great concept and with such a great writer. A written perfectly and was very much easy to understand.