Lavender Everything Cold Process Soap Recipe
Just know that you can get all the ingredients for this at brambleberry.com. We have a CreativeLive kit specifically for the Lavender Everything Cold Process Soap recipe. So this is recipe uses coconut oil, olive oil and palm oil. It's kinda the holy trinity of oils, and what that's gonna do for us with the coconut oil at a 30%, olive at a 40% and palm oil at 30% of the recipe, it's going to create a hard bar with stable nice lather. It's also not going to dry out your skin too much because we've got a 5% super fat, and it's gonna be so luxurious in the shower because it uses lavender essential oil, ultramarine lavender pigment. So that's this guy right here. Lavender buds sprinkled across the top just because it's so pretty and then it's going in that five pound wooden mold with the silicone liner. What I'm gonna do for first thing's first is I'm gonna mix the lye for you on camera so you can see exactly what that looks like and how that works. Then we're gonna disperse our oxide into...
the oil so everything is ready and then we're going to measure out our oils separately. Gonna make sure we have the right amount of essential oil, and then we're going to make the soap. So much about successful soap making is all about the preparation. Like all the perfect prep so you can just go in and work really quickly. So first thing's first. We're going to do our lye. So, this is distilled water. It's very important we only work with distilled water because tap water often has a little bit of impurities in it like metal impurities from the piping systems and who knows what additional chemicals end up getting added at the filtration plant so you always want to work with distilled water, to give yourself the best chance of having a long lasting bar. I've got my digital scale on. I have tared it. That means that a tare weight means I can put anything on here, hit tare and it's zero. So I don't have to do like oh this weighs 10 ounces. How much lye did I just add? Then I weigh my lye out in a separate container. The reason I do this is because yeah it'd be sure easy to add it to the water, but you can't take it out. So what happens if I added too much lye? I have to toss the whole thing right? So always measure out your lye in a separate container. So for this recipe, (lye shaking) we're going to be using 7.85 ounces of lye. And if you're thinking to yourself well 7.85 ounces, my scale only goes, that my scale doesn't go to 100. My scale goes to a 10. What do I do? Always round down. So if you're looking at that and you're like 7.85, hm mm go 7.8. Don't go up go down. It's better to have a higher super fat. So more oils, less lye than it is to go up and have a lower super fat and that's for, that's really for safety reasons. So 7. ounces of lye sodium hydroxide. And I got exactly 7.85. And then here is my water. And with the water the weight is exactly the same as the volume which is really cool. But this is the only ingredient that does that. So don't get excited and be like oh I'm just going to use volume. So now, when you add your lye, this is really important. You always add your lye to your water. Never the other way around ever. 'Cause if you had your lye here and you just decide to add you water to it, what ends up happening is that exothermic reaction happens in a very not controlled fashion. Gets very hot and you can volcano out pretty easily. So, all you do is you add your flakes slowly. You stir. (liquid stirring) You stir. You stir continuously. If you don't stir continuously what ends up happening is you'll get a hard layer of sodium hydroxide on the bottom of your container which is really no fun. So notice how this is getting milky. It will go clear as it cools down. This is just the sodium hydroxide mixing in. I can start to smell the fumes right about now. (liquid stirring) (container tapping) There we go. And since this is lye, I'm gonna go ahead and move it and put it over here. If I was soaping at home or I have my kitchen right up, I actually stop right now and go rinse that container out. You just never know when a friend or a kid or a husband's gonna walk by and just not realize what you're doing and accidentally touch that for example. Do note though if I touch this dry lye, not a lot happens. The lye is pretty inert until you mix it with a liquid. That's when it gets that high high high pH. (liquid stirring) So I don't smell any fumes any more. Can you guys smell any in the audience? No. And you'll notice that the color is starting to change. You'll notice the color is starting to change to more of a clear. So lets go ahead and see what temperature this is. So this at 191, 187, 188. It's hot. That's about normal for this size of batch. That's exactly what I would expect. Ideally I'd like it to be below 140 when I soap. We'll see how cool it gets. It doesn't tend to get that cool that quickly. So I do have some colder lye off to the side that I made right before filming that I might end up using for the soap. So we'll see how that goes. So I'm gonna set this to the side so it's out of the way. And then, I'm gonna work on measuring out my oils. So, here is my giant bowl. And I'm gonna move my mold out of the way so you guys can see what I'm doing. The recipe calls for 16.5 ounces of coconut oil. And these bags are boilable and microwavable so I was able to stick this bag in the microwave earlier because coconut oil and palm oil are solid at room temperature. So they do need to be melted. And palm oil always needs to be melted, and the reason palm oil needs to be melted, it's the only oil like this. Palm oil is compromised of nine different fatty acid chains, and the nine different fatty acid chains for palm oil, on of them is called palm stearic. And when it is cooling off the palm stearic, whoa are we? So close. 16.65. It's a little bit more. I'm not gonna worry about it. We're gonna call it a super fat and be done. Palm stearic falls to the bottom of the palm. So what happens if you're using palm oil that you didn't melt and all the palm stearic is at the bottom? The palm oil that you're using is not gonna have the same properties because all the palm stearic is down here, as the rest of it and then when you go to use it again, all this palm stearic's at the bottom. You just made a really really hard waxy bar of soap. So you always want to melt your palm oil all the way perfectly. So, now we're gonna add palm oil and I have melted this all the way perfectly, in this bag. And now, I'm going to add it to my coconut oil and you can see it mixing in really nicely. And in this recipe we're using palm oil as a hardening agent and as a secondary lathering agent. So it's going to help the coconut oil do its job and provide really great lather. So close. 16. 5. So I just need .25 ounces more of the palm oil. (cap twisting) Is there any questions I can talk through on measuring?
I think it's so valuable to actually see you doing this in action, because as a comment that came through from Paula Boquette saying unlike how to soap making videos this class is invaluable in the do's and don'ts, and that really helps and it all makes sense. We did have a couple questions about the tools that you are using as well.
Absolutely. Let's talk tools.
Melissa said is it safe to use kitchen tools for making soap that will still be used for food?
Oh Melissa that is a great question and while I'm measuring out my 22 ounces of olive oil let's talk about that. By the way you guys I'm using olive oil remember because it makes a really creamy bar of soap. It's great for sensitive skin but on it's own, not so much on the way for lather. So we like a decent amount of lather in our soaps and I'm going for 22 ounces. So, can I use kitchen tools? That's a great question right? You're making soap, that's what you wash your kitchen tools with. I generally recommend getting a second set of tools for soap making from like the Goodwill or something. You don't have to buy brand new silicone tools. But the reason for that is just in case the worst case scenario happened and a little bit of lye was left on your whisk or on your spoon, you certainly wouldn't want to be making your kids oatmeal in the morning and stirring with a spoon that had just the teensy teensy little bit of lye left on it, or something that was active. So I do recommend a second set and, if you're like well that does seem like a lot of extra tools, you can get almost, you can get 100% of the tools you need for probably 10 to $12 at a Goodwill. I was just there last weekend with my kids marveling at all the amazing things they had and how economical it was. I do recommend a second set of tools. Before we get started we're going to mix out and measure our lavender and our ultramarine lavender pigment and our olive oil or sweet almond oil in this case. So you can use any light weight oil when you're making your color disbursement. So you can have olive oil. And I think I'm just gonna use olive oil 'cause that's what's here. You can use sweet almond oil or avocado oil. (jar tapping) In this case we're going with a full three tablespoons or colorant to three tablespoons of oil, (cup tapping) and generally it's a one to one usage rate. Meaning like if you're using three tablespoons of colorant you'll be using three tablespoons of olive oil. If you're using one tablespoon of colorant you'll be using one tablespoon of olive oil. And so all you do is you just measure that out into a container that you can wash easily. Because you'll have a very oily colorful, very oily colorful situation going on in this container when you're all done. So make sure it's something you can wash easily. (spoon tapping) And I'm gonna put this right there. Get your little, you again, this little latte blender thing I didn't even invest in until probably five or six years ago. I used to do this all the time with a little mini whisk. So mix it in. The reason you mix it in first, is can you imagine what happens if you turn in a blender and there's a bunch of power and a bunch of oil? Poof. Oil everywhere right? (latte mixer whirring) So, mix this all in. Mix it in really really really well. (latte mixer whirring) And you're all done. You just want to work out any of those clumps. (latte mixer whirring) And now it's time to get soaping. I have my lavender 4042 pre-measured out in here, and you'll notice this comes in, I'm just gonna open it up so I don't have to open it up when it's at trace. This comes in a amber glass bottle. You always want your essential oils in glass bottles. Because essential oils can eat through plastic. Isn't that interesting? So you want to make sure they're always in glass bottles. so this oil is 88 degrees which is really really really cold so I'm gonna go with my very very very hot lye which is 168 because if you think of what 168 averaged out between 88 degrees is, you know what? We're pretty close to 120, 130. So, gonna pour gently my lye water gently down the shaft of the stick blender. And remember you guys I am fully suited up for safety. There are no kids or pets around here, and I have a full 90 minutes to do this project from start to finish. This is a nice plastic lye container. Put it out of the way. That's the first thing you're gonna wash when you're done. Give this a really quick swirl. Just make sure, (blender pulsing) everything's fully mixed in. Turn on your stick blender and just pulse. So, the reason I like to pulse is because if I turn on my stick blender and do this, (blender whirring) it doesn't mix the entire batch perfectly. You really want everything to be mixing smoothly and evenly so that's why I pulse. Another thing is if I take this, and I just go bonk, I've just dropped a ton of air underneath that sticker blender bowl right? So I always burp my stick blender to make sure there's no air in there because I don't want to be whipping air into the soap. Soap when you cut it and it has air in it it's a little air bubble, looks like little white bubbles. It's fine, but it's not exactly what you probably want. (blender whirring) So now I'm getting to trace and so let's look and see where we're at with trace. So, I'm getting, this is a thin trace. Remember we need it to be pretty thick trace, and so 118 degrees. That's perfect right? Temperature wise. And yeah that's a thin trace. Like if I pour it right now, this would not separate, but we certainly wouldn't get the peaks that we're looking for right? (blender whirring) so while I'm waiting to get to a thicker trace, and this recipe remember how much olive oil it had in it? There's a reason it's taking a little bit longer and giving me a little bit more time to work with it. It's 'cause I have so much olive oil in it. Olive oil is a very slow moving oil so when you're thinking I really want to have a lot of time 'cause I wanna swirl with 15 colors and it's gonna be amazing. Olive oil is your friend 'cause it really traces very slowly. You can see now that we're getting a much different color right? It's not as yellow. It's more ivory. And the trace is getting thicker. You can see how beautiful that trace is. The thin trailings are staying on the surface of the soap. (blender rattling) And so now it's time to add our colorants and it's time to add our fragrance oil. This is gorgeous. So, I burped the stick before I put it in and I'm gonna let it just gently rest there. I can not tell you how many times I've had it flip out though. So, some people at home like to keep like towels right here and just put it there. So I am going to get my color and just get all of that color into there. And this is the three tablespoons of the ultramarine lavender color. There's also a ultramarine violet color that you can use. It's a slightly darker color. Mixed in the three tablespoons of the olive oil. Just gettin' it all in there, and then 'cause I know, now you guys if I really wanted to like a cool swirl or I was worried about trace, this is when I would add my essential oil too. In this case I want my trace to be thick so I'm gonna go ahead and stick blend this color in. Isn't that pretty? So pretty. (blender whirring) So now we're just stick blending the color in. And I am seeing a little bit of, just a teensy bit of violet that I didn't do a good enough job of pre-mixing in. So that's the only like there's a little bit of violet but when I'm stick blending it in it's breaking up really nicely. But again that's the whole reason we want to pre-mix and take our time pre-mixing because we want all that oxide to really go in beautifully. So this is a really, eh it's a medium to thick trace. It's not that thick yet. (blender tapping) And then if I was worried about my trace and again I'm not because I need to make a beautiful peak, I would be using my whisk to whisk my essential oil in. I want my soap to be thick. So, we add in the essential oil. And again this is essential oil lavender which basically means like a red table wine, it is mixed every single year so that it is stable and smells exactly the same. It's 100% natural however, and this lavender 4042 is sourced in a variety of places from Spain to France and it smells great. Really herbaceous and fresh. And you can whisk it in again if you're wanting a thinner trace or I'm just gonna stick blend it in 'cause I really want my trace to be thick so I can make those gorgeous peaks. Oops. Did you hear that difference in sound? That would be because there was air in the stick blender. (blender whirring) And we're gettin' really thick so it's time to pour. This is thick trace and I would only do this if I was going for the design that I'm going for. Now, pop that guy off. Toss this on the floor, and make sure the bottom of this is in and then your pour into the mold. And I'm gonna, notice how that silicone mold just gets pushed out and lines beautifully even though it looked a little floppy. And I am going to... Now I'm going to start working on my design. So, this soap still really got thick right? So I want to make sure, I want this spoon instead. (spoon clanging) So I want to keep my safety goggles on. So we're gonna start working on our design that you saw earlier. And the way you do that design is you just use the spoon, and you move it up.
One question again that had come in about tools was will it be okay to use a regular electric mixer instead of the stick blender?
Genius question. Will an electric mixer like an egg beater work like a stick blender and the answer is no. It will not. It will work because it will help with the entire process go faster right? Or mixing the oils and our lye water as fast as possible, but it will not emulsify like a stick blender will as quickly. It'll work but you're looking at like, mm 45 minutes to an hour and a half as opposed to five or 10 minutes. So it'll definitely work. So now that we've built up the sides of this it's time to find our lavender and just do a little sprinkling on the top and then we'll talk about gel phase, putting this little guy to bed, and how long we're gonna wait and I did make a batch earlier to cut for you on camera so you could see how this looks when it's cut. So this is what we do with this guy. So now, the next important soap making think we're gonna talk about is gel phase. And this is the finishing touch. And so gel phase is totally a personal preference. Some soap makers love to gel every time. That's me. I love to gel every time. Some do not love to gel every time. The reason I like to gel every time is because I like the brighter colors and because the soap naturally wants to gel. It's part of the natural saponification process. So the soap naturally wants to gel and so when it wants to gel it's harder to force it not to gel. If you get incomplete gel though this is exactly what happens right? Like you get this like little sort of halo effect. You can see it's darker in the middle, lighter on the outside. It's not a problem. The soap is great to use. It's luxurious, it's moisturizing, it's fantastic, and it may not look exactly the way you want it to. So, in order to ensure that my soap goes through gel phase especially in the winter in Washington state, I put my soap on a heating pad for about 30 minutes on medium to low and give it a little bit of love with some heat and then cover it with a towel. Now in this case you're like well how in the world are you going to cover this thing with a towel? This is going up. All you do is you take some cardboard, you make a little tiny tent with it. You put the little tent of cardboard on it and then you cover it with the towel. This soap is going to sit in the mold for approximately two to four days and once you pull your soap out of the mold, I'm gonna move this out of the way. I'm gonna move my other soap out of the way and then I'm gonna show you guys how to cut and we're gonna talk about finishing touches. So once you have the soap in the mold for four to six days it's ready to come out. And the way you remove it from the mold is very easy. This particular mold you just slide the bottom, the whole little guy, the whole batch of soap, the whole loaf falls out nicely. You peel the silicone layer away gently from the side. If you've lined it using freezer paper, you peel the freezer paper gently away. You marvel at the amazing soap you made, and you pat yourself on the back and then it is time to cut. (sighs) Oh it's so pretty right? I love it. So, couple different ways to cut. One you can use a non-cerated knife. All you do is you core up, put your core on, and you, let's see let's cut right here. And you just push firmly down. And I made this soap on Monday. So it's nice and soft, but cuts easily. It's a little sticky but not too bad. And so here we go. Or, so you can do that over and over again, or you can take a cutter like this cutter, and, (cutter rattling) put the soap here. Line it right? Line it up beautifully. Let's see there we go. And push down. I usually like to do it pulling towards myself. And you need to core up. You gotta core up. And, (cutter clicks) there we go. And then all of these bars are cut and they're done. Right? So, either way. This is a little bit of investment piece, or you can use a non-cerated knife. And so are there any other questions before we wrap up our soap making. Begin our soap making how to and science demonstration session?
Absolutely AnneMarie, and it smells so good in here.
I wish you all could smell it. But that's what we are all saying. So let's do some maybe some rapid fire questions
if we're gonna move on to lotions as we keep going. So, Pamela Talbot again we're all about safety here, I would like to make a cold process soap. I have some lye that has been sitting in my laundry room for a couple of years. Can I still use it or should I dispose of it and buy it new?
That's a great question Pamela. So you want to make cold process soap. You've got some lye. It's been sitting in your laundry room for a few years. Can you still use it? What lye does and the reason it's in this child proof container because A it's poison, but it also is air tight. Lye sodium hydroxide draws moisture to it. So what ends up happening is if you use old lye, it's usually drawn moisture to it, it's gotten heavier. Right? It's taken on the moisture, and so you may not see it, but it's heavier than it should be. So if you make soap with old lye you'll often have inadvertently given yourself a pretty big lye discount. Meaning there's not enough active lye meaning it's heavier because of the moisture. Is there anything wrong with that? Eh, your soap might not lather as well, it might not last as long, but it's probably okay it's just gonna have a larger super fat. The worse case scenario though is if you really didn't have enough lye to saponify your soap and then you ended up kinda with this soupy oily mess and if that was the case you'd double bag it in a garbage bag. You'd toss it out and it would be very very very sad. So there would be no way to save that. So if it were me and i was using $ of soap making ingredients or $ of soap making ingredients I'd invest in some new lye. But good news. You could probably use it for cleaning your drain. (woman laughs)
That's right. That's awesome. You are such a wealth of knowledge. This is awesome. Okay, a question from La La Dee Leon, do I need to put preservatives if use herbs or milk? I tried rosemary herbs on top of my cold process and it had mold after a few weeks.
Hm that's a great question. So do I need to use preservatives if I'm using herbs or milk? If you're using herbs in your soap or milk in your soap the high pH usually kills basically anything that was ever alive at any given time. The reason that the rosemary herbs molded on top of the soap is 'cause they weren't really exposed to that high pH right? They're sittin' on top of the soap. They're kind of floatin' up there. So yeah. Anything like fresh orange rinds, that would look so pretty on the soap, or in this case the fresh rosemary herbs. It does have the potential to mold. It honestly I can't remember the last time I saw an herb on the top of the soap mold. It's entirely possible but I've never seen it mold. So one of the ways you can really help make sure it doesn't mold is to use dried herbs, as opposed to fresh or wet herbs because remember the way you get mold is by having moisture introduced. Fresh herbs start with moisture in them already. So use dried herbs to help lessen the chance of any mold ever forming on the top of your soap. And again I've literally never seen mold form on the top of soap that used dry herbs.
I have a question. Is there any disadvantage to making smaller batches 'cause I'm afraid I'll mess up and I want to try a different fragrances and what not.
So yeah, there is no disadvantages to making smaller batches except when you're thinking business right? If you're thinking I'm gonna be a business, well you make more money when you make larger batches 'cause you're buying in bulk, and it takes just as long to make a five pound batch or a 40 pound batch as it does to make a 16 ounce batch. That said brambleberry.com does have some tiny little baby wooden molds basically, and baby little tiny silicone molds just for adorable test batches. Like there's like a two pound silicone mold just for test batches 'cause you're not the only person that's like I want to test out colors. I want to test out fragrances. I'm not sure I want to invest so much. So you definitely could do that. You could also short cut your learning process by buying a quick mix. Like something like multiple oils that were already mixed for you ahead of time in a bag so then you didn't have to go through all the mixing and measuring yourself for everything. So that's another way to shortcut your learning process as well.
With regards to safety, when I make soap I use white vinegar. I have a squirt bottle of vinegar on hand to neutralize the alkaline. Is that true? Does that help?
You touched on a very controversial soap making topic. Yes there are controversies in soap making. (audience laughs) So, you're like vinegar, pH of two. Lye pH of 14. The two mixed together will make a neutral thing. Isn't this great? You can use vinegar on your counter. Never use it on your skin because when you put vinegar, and this comes from the MSDS sheet, the lye, this comes from firemen that I talked to, who have visted Bramble Berry a lot, for just to check on safety, just to make sure we have all our safety stuff in place, if you put vinegar on your skin with a lye burn, what happens is it creates another exothermic reaction and it gets even hotter, and that burns even worse. So when it's on your skin flush with cold water. When it's on your counter, by all means. After you've washed up with water, definitely spray some vinegar and get all, make sure everything is totally neutralized. But when it's on your skin don't put vinegar on it. And again controversial in the soap making industry (laughs).
Even after you've washed off? So if you washed off the spilled soap on your skin like you recommended, then put the vinegar as a back up? No?
I would not do the vinegar as a backup. Only because anecdotally I've personally never done it but I have seen some pretty awful chemical burns from people in the soap making industry that chose to do vinegar instead of water, and I'm really a big fan of just following what the experts say and the MSDS sheet is super clear that you use water.
Would you do the melted soap? Would you do the same, batch size with the same procedure to cut them and everything? Just be sure?
Oh like the melt and pour soap?
So melt and pour soap, you could do the same exact thing right? You could do it in this mold because it has a silicone liner and it's got great give. Melt and pour soap is interestingly enough more, it's harder and denser faster right? It hardens right away. There's not this cure time and drying time when the water's evaporating out. So these guys are really, these really beautiful wire cutters are harder to use with melt and pour and you can break the springs pretty easily. So with melt and pour when you're making large batches like this, you definitely want to be using a knife with melt and pour.