How to Make Easy Homemade Coconut Oil Soap
A Beginner's DIY
This is a super-simple homemade soap recipe that is ideal for beginners. The oils used, coconut oil and castor oil, are readily available (at Walmart), and you probably have the molds and colorants I've suggested in your kitchen. Lye is readily available at many hardware stores, in the drain-cleaner section, but be sure to get a drain cleaner that is labeled "100% lye." Several brands of drain cleaner are 100% lye, but most are not. Ask the store manager for help if you can't find what you need. Some hardware stores carry pure lye, but do not stock it on the shelf. If you can't find lye locally, it can be ordered online.
Super-Easy Coconut Oil Soap Recipe
This very simple recipe is for making cold-process coconut oil soap. It makes a three-pound batch of beautiful gift-quality soap that will produce ten to twelve bars, depending on how thick you decide to slice them.
Coconut oil soap has excellent cleansing properties, lathers well, and smells nice, even if you decide to leave it unscented. The castor oil acts as a moisturizer and bubble booster, and adds creaminess to it.
- 30 ounces coconut oil
- 3 ounces castor oil
- 4.7 ounces lye
- 10.9 ounces water
- 2 ounces fragrance oil (or 1 ounce essential oil)
10 Step Procedure:
1. Set out prepared molds. I suggest using two quart-size milk or cream cartons. The recipe will make enough soap to fill about one and one-half of these.
2. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan and weigh out 30 ounces on your kitchen scale. Weigh castor oil, lye, and water separately on the kitchen scale and have each ready to go in a separate container.
3. You might want to open the caps of the fragrance oil or essential oil bottles, to make sure they won’t be hard to open when you’re ready to add them to it. Some have an extra stopper in the bottle that could take some time to remove, so you will want to remove these now.
4. Mix the lye solution, adding the lye to the water and mixing to dissolve. Let cool to about 80° F.
5. Pour the melted coconut oil and castor oil into a large crock pot, ceramic bowl, or stainless steel pot. (Or mix in the same pot that was used to melt the oil, if it is a stainless steel pot, or a crock pot.) Let cool to room temperature, or about 80° F,
6. Slowly add the lye solution to the oils and mix with a stick blender. Both the oils and the lye solution should be warm (about 76°-80°) but not hot.
7. Continue mixing until it reaches a light “trace.” It will have a thin pudding-like consistency, and when the mixture is dribbled onto the surface it leaves a visible trail, or “trace.” This is the time to add color and fragrance if you have decided to use them.
8. When it reaches a light trace and color and fragrance have been added, it is ready to pour into the molds.
9. Let the finished soap harden overnight. You can unmold after 12-18 hours. If you used milk-carton molds, you can simply tear off the milk carton.
10. Use a long, sharp stainless-steel knife to cut it into bars.
Since this is a cold-process soap, allow it to cure for four weeks before using. If you are eager to try out your own, it should be safe to use 48 hours after unmolding. Most soapmakers trim a little (about 1/4 inch) off of the ends of the loaves since ends tend to have imperfections, and these end pieces are nice for testing it before it's fully cured.
You will probably be in love with your soap even before it has had time to cure, but the quality it improves during the cure.
To cure soap, lay the bars on a shelf or wooden rack and turn them every few days so that all sides are exposed to the air.