Soap Recipe Exchange : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have been remiss in responding to folks' requests for recipes and thought I might take some time here to share a few. I am looking for a small batch recipe for olive oil soap. Right now mine makes about 25 bars and I would like to make a smaller batch. Halving it just doesn't work.

Basic soap making instructions should be followed, including safety when working with lye.


45 ounces (weight) olive oil 8 ounces (weight) olive oil infused with basil (let fresh sit in it for days or gently heat it with basil in it) 24 ounces (weight) vegetable shortening 8 ounces (weight) coconut oil

10 3/4 ounces (weight) lye 32 ounces (weight) water, infused with oakmoss (same as above infusion)

After tracing add 4 ounces ground cornmeal.

Essential Oil Scent: 1 liquid ounce patchouli 1 Tablespoon vetiver 3/4 teaspoon sage 1 Tablespoon Basil 1 teaspoon rosemary 1 teaspoon spruce

-- Anne (, November 30, 2001


A smaller batch recipe....

Old Sassyfras

8 ounce (weight) coconut oil

4 ounce (weight) olive oil

4 ounce (weight) shortening

2.4 ounce (weight) lye 3/4 cup water

Heat oil to about 120 degree F, Heat water to 160 degrees F. Combine. After combining, reheat gently for about 2-3 minutes on stove top stirring constantly. Add 1 teaspoon mineral oil.

Scent: 1 teaspoon sassyfras oil, 2 drops clove oil, 2 drops eucalyptus oil.

-- Anne (, November 30, 2001.

Lovely recipes, Anne. Thanks! Mary

-- Mary Fraley (, November 30, 2001.

Do you have any more favorite EO combo's you would like to share? I have been pretty timid about blending. I bought some lemon grass eo and it smells really fresh but it's missing something any suggestions? I also bought the patchouli but wasn't crazy about it on it's own (it's very distinctive isn't it) On another note since you are doing infusions, I tried adding a lavender infusion with some dried lavender and added a few drops of lavender eo it smelled fine but the colour was HORRID! a putrid grey green. Do you think the infusion was too strong or does this happen with some infusions. I suppose if I added some colour to the soap it would have masked it but I am hesitant to use colorants.

-- Terri in NS (, November 30, 2001.

More essential oil blends to recipe book is downstairs.

Remember with infusions that you strain the oil or water before using it. You might have had too high a ratio of herb to water/oil. Try less and less time in it (or lower heat).

I love rosemary with lavender. Ginger and grapefruit go well together. Vanilla and almond are swell too. I get the vanilla from "The Herb Lady" in Shepherdstown, WV. Excellent product. White thyme and lavender are also good.

-- Anne (, November 30, 2001.

I made my first batch of soap 2 weeks ago. Haven't used it yet as I was told to let it cure for 4 weeks. The only ingredients were olive oil, vegetable shortening, lye and water. I have very sensitive skin and was told that coconut oil may be an allergen. Cross your fingers for me! I hope it works well for my skin.

-- Colleen (, November 30, 2001.

Colleen, I bet you love it! Depending on how much lye, it will be very mild and you will grow complacent when you see the pile you made...until the last three bars!

Hope you love it!

-- Anne (, November 30, 2001.

Okay soap makers. I just made my third batch of soap and it came out dry and crumbly. If you take the crumbs and wash with it it seems fine. History. My first batch of soap was make in the early 70's. I mixed it up (no instructions) and put it on top of the frig to cure and about 4 days later I looked at the pan. nothing. the bottom of the pan was gone and so was the paint on the frig as well as down the side of the frig............ needless to say I didn't try soap for a long time. I got brave again a couple of years ago and made a batch that turned out great. My husband has been bugging me to make more but the first experience keeps poping up in my mind. I finally got brave and now have made very crumbly soap. What am I doing wrong. I know lots of people make soap and come out with a great product.

-- Mary R. (, December 01, 2001.

My best advice if for you is to read lots of soap books, The Soapmaker's Companion is one of the best. You will probably find out on your own what you did wrong. It's hard for me to say, as I don't know step by step what you did. Soapmaking is a little tricky, and you should follow instructions carefully. Measuring is very important; I have a digital scale just for soaping. Mary

-- Mary Fraley (, December 02, 2001.

I agree, get a good book. I think you may have not made soap the first time--the oil might not have saponified and you might have put it in a metal container and the lye ate through it. Too crumbly may be a mismeasurement of lye, or a bad recipe!

A really good soap book for small batches is called Soap Recipes by Elaine White. It has small recipes and good directions. With a beginner, these small recipes cost less if you mess up! Though with good directions you should have success your first time out. Try one of these crafting books, newer ones that are specific in instructions as opposed to old-timers telling you to boil the lard, etc...

-- Anne (, December 02, 2001.

Here are some of my favorite fragrance combos: cedarwood oil & vanilla, lavender and vanilla, lemongrass and vanilla (see a pattern?). Almost anytime I have a scent that seems too strong I add a few drops of vanilla. It tempers the stronger scent and, if used lightly, only makes you wonder what the other scent is. Also, lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange and bergamot oils in any combonation are great.

-- Carmen Black (, December 03, 2001.

I have tried many different oils in the past and I have finally come up with the perfect combination for soap. Palm, Coconut, and olive oils. I have had people of all ages and skin types try my soap and so far it has been great. I would warn you about only using coconut oil. It really should be used in combination with other oils.

I have read tons of books on soapmaking and I have found the only book every soapmaker needs. Soapmaking For Fun & Profit by Maria Given Nerius. It teaches you all the ins and outs of the cold- process method, and even everything you need to know to start a soap business.

-- Melissa (, March 22, 2002.

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