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Making Soap with Castor Oil

Finished Castor Oil Soap

Finished Castor Oil Soap

As a soapmaker, when you first start looking at formulating your own recipe, it can be overwhelming with all the different types of oils out there. What do you choose? One oil that is often recommended is Castor Oil. Castor Oil is a wonderful oil that boosts lather in soap. However in areas with hard water, it can create an overwhelming amount of soap scum.

Weighing Oils

Weighing Oils

Does this mean those of us with hard water have to forgo the luxurious lather from Castor Oil? No, we just have to treat Castor Oil as one of our luxury oils.

Ingredients
Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Castor Oil
Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Water
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes
Thermometer
Immersion Blender

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
156 grams Coconut Oil
113 grams Olive Oil
170 grams Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
14 grams Castor Oil
65 grams Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
177 mL Water
Recipe in Ounces
5.5 oz Coconut Oil
4 oz Olive Oil
6 oz Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
0.5 oz Castor Oil
2.28 oz Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
6 fl oz Water
Recipe in Percentages
34% Coconut Oil
25% Olive Oil
38% Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
3% Castor Oil
Q.S. Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Q.S. Water

Weighing Oils

Weighing Oils

Now to make soap. Weigh your oils into a microwave safe container. While the oils are heating in the microwave, weigh out your lye and mix with your water. Remember to add your lye to your water, not the other way around. Safety first!

Waiting for mixtures to cool

Waiting for mixtures to cool

Allow your two mixtures to cool. I like to put away my oils and set up my mold during this period. This helps keep my counters clean and my distractions to a minimum. When your oils are around 100°F-110°F, add your lye solution to your oils. (Using these lower temperatures results in a smoother textured soap.) Using your immersion blender, mix your soap until you reach a light trace.

Ready to Mix

Ready to Mix

Remember, trace doesn’t denote a viscosity, it just means that we aren’t seeing the oils float to the top and separate out. Often we pour our soap into the mold when it is the viscosity of whole milk not cooked custard or pudding. That is pretty fluid!

Mixing Oils and Lye Solution

Mixing Oils and Lye Solution

Allow your soap to sit in the mold undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Then cut into bars and place out on a shelf where they can dry. I like to use cardboard boxes under my soap so I don’t damage my shelves. You can use your soap immediately but it will last longer if you allow it to dry completely. A great aid in determining if your soap has fully dried are our Cure Cards. The best part is you can have them included in qualifying order for free! Let our order desk know if you want a pack.

Pouring Soap into Mold. See how fluid it is?

Pouring Soap into Mold. See how fluid it is?

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