For this 12-bar (3 lb) recipe, use:
Set Up Your Area: Before soaping, it’s helpful to have your soaping area prepared before you start. While soaping, you don’t want to be running around looking for a spatula or whisk! Because this recipe does not have any complicated designs, the tools are minimal. But you will need your lined mold, prepared lye water, pre-mixed oils, stick blender, and a spatula.
SAFETY FIRST: Suit up for safe handling practices! That means goggles, gloves and long sleeves. Make sure kids, pets, and other distractions and tripping hazards are out of the house or don’t have access to your soaping space. Always soap in a well-ventilated area.
- Slowly and carefully add the lye to the water and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside to cool.
- Combine the coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil, almond oil, and shea butter (remember to fully melt then mix your entire container of shea butter before portioning). Allow the lye water and the oils to cool to 130 degrees or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other). For this recipe, both the oils and lye were around 120 degrees.
- Place your stick blender into the oils. Gently tap the blender on the bottom of the bowl several times to release any bubbles that got trapped by the stick blender head. This is called, “burping the stick blender.”
- Once bubbles are no longer rising to the surface of the oils, gentle pour the cooled lye water down the shaft of the stick blender and into the oils.
- Turn on the stick blender and pulse several times. You will immediately see the lye and oils begin to come together, and begin to create a creamy yellow color. Alternate between using the stick blender to stir the mixture, and pulsing the stick blender. After about 30 seconds, test for trace. Because this recipe contains a large amount of olive oil, it will stay at a thin trace longer than recipes with fast moving oils such as butters.
- As you continue to pulse and stir with the stick blender, you may notice the soap starting to lighten in color. It will also start to become thicker. The soap is thick enough to support the trailings and drops on the surface. It’s slightly thinner than pudding. This is a great consistency!
- Once your soap has reached medium trace, pour it into the mold until all the soap is in the mold. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure you get every last bit of soap!
- Once the soap is all poured into the mold, firmly tap the box on the counter. Doing so will help bubbles within the soap to come to the surface. Make sure you still have your goggles on! Sometimes soap can jump up during this process.