Olive oil is not just for cooking, it has many benefits when used on the skin! Olive oil is a staple ingredient in many soaping recipes and after use, will leave your skin feeling hydrated and soft.
Castile soap refers to olive oil based soap made in a style similar to that originating in the Castile region of Spain. It’s an all-vegetable soap made primarily with olive oil, although sometimes it can also contain small amounts of other plant oils such as those from palm, hemp and jojoba, in this case, the recipe makes use of a mixture of olive and coconut oil.
This recipe from www.earthoria.com makes 7 bars of olive oil castile soap.
- 150g/ 164 ml coconut oil
- 538 g/ 580 ml olive oil
- 190-220 ml cold water
- 92 g lye /sodium hydroxide/ caustic soda
- 20 drops lemon oil (can use any kind of pure oils)
Here are the tools you need:
- A digital scale
- 2 thermometers that can measure up to 93° Celsius/ 200° Fahrenheit.
- A stick blender.
- 1 high temperature plastic jars (to mix the sodium hydroxide and water). I use a plastic bucket
- 1 plastic bucket to mix the sodium hydroxide mix with the oil mix)
- 1 glass bowl for lye
- 1 ceramic bowl for heating up the oil in the microwave
- A long-handled plastic mixing spoon.
- A ladle.
- Soap molds – alternative you can use a water bottle (1.5 liters) and cut it open when taking the
Caution: Whenever working with lye you should use rubber gloves, protective glasses and long sleeved skirts and pants to protect your skin from accidental splashes of the liquid.
How to make the soap:
- Add lye to water in a high temperature plastic container somewhere with fresh air (outside your house). Do not breathe fumes. Always add Lye to water (not reverse). Caution: Temperature of mixture will rise to approximately 91ºC / 195ºF. Stir mixture with plastic spoon.
- Allow lye to cool (place in bowl of cold water to speed up cooling).
- Mix oils and microwave to 43º C/ 110ºF (that’s about 2 minutes in my microwave).
- When both solutions are at 43º C/ 110ºF, add lye solution to the oil mixture. Blend with stick blender until the mixture reaches “trace” where you can see a film on top of the soap that traces the line of the stick blender. Ladle into molds.
- Leave it in the mold for the next two days. PH will be high and can burn the skin for the first 48 hrs. The PH will settle to neutral after this.
- Place molds in freezer for 1 hour to help separate the soap from the molds.
- Use plastic gloves when handling the soaps the first month.
- If you use a plastic bottle to pour inside the liquid soap mix, cut up the bottle and take out the hardened soap mass and cut it into pieces.
- Place the soaps on paper.
- Allow 6-8 weeks to air dry before use.
Distilled water can be used to guarantee that the PH of the soap will be neutral when complete, and that no impurities are in the water that could affect the saponification process.
Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) can be purchased in cleaning section of many supermarkets. Make sure you buy the one that says 100% lye/ caustic soda/ sodium hydroxide.