Friday, August 8, 2014

soap ¦ simple living

well i finally did it!
dove into soap making, that is! this is something that has been on my to do list for a few years now, but the whole process freaked me out a bit. considering the whole process comes with dire warnings of the use, or rather misuse, of lye and all it's damaging properties. there are pages and pages one can find online on the proper and safe procedures of making soap...all of which are resplendent with their own beware threats and cautions.
however, the lure of homemade soap customized to mine and my family's needs was too called to me. scent blends invaded my dreams at night. bars of goats milk, castile and beeswax soaps danced in my head like those sugarplum visions one reads about in the night before christmas ;) yes, truly, this all happened.
so i gathered supplies, a recipe that seemed easy enough for a beginner, my husband (just in case i exhibited one of my more klutzy moments and needed to be doused in vinegar), a friend who has made soap before and headed out to my husbands shop to make soap.
while the making of lye water still caused a mild case of paranoid anxiety, i made it through. i ended up with a 18 bars of beautiful lemongrass and lavender castile soap that, upon using a small sample of a week later, leaves my skin so soft and moisturized like no store bought soap ever has.
possibly even obsessed.
i cannot wait to make more and while i thought the making of my first batch of soap would have abated the dreams of scent did not. essential oil blends now, not only, invade my dreams but my waking moments as well as i conjure up all sorts of natural additive combinations. *sigh* like i said, possibly obsessed. i make no apologies, especially considering my obsession means homemade soap for christmas gifts...yeah, exactly! carry on obsession, right? thought you might see it that way.
as evident by the name of my blog, we all know i love simplicity, so, i kept things simple in my soap making. i made a castile soap which consists of 3 base ingredients. all of which are easy to obtain. lye, water, and olive oil. this soap is lovely. it's not a soap that lathers, but lather is a contrived notion of cleanliness. after seeing how soft and moisturized my skin was after use, i gifted a few sample bars to friends who have all said the same thing. soft, clean and moisturized skin.
the recipe i used can be found here or use my version below. for my first batch i halved the recipe.  after my soap reached trace i added 1 ounce lavender and a half ounce of lemon grass and poured into my soap molds (i used washed out milk cartons i had on hand)
pure castile soap
print this recipe

50 oz olive oil
6.3 oz lye
15 oz cold water
 1/2 oz lemongrass essential oil
1 oz lavender essential oil
- gather supplies and pre-measure
-heat olive oil to 100F and keep warm at this temp
- in a glass bowl add cold water, while stirring, SLOWLY add the lye to the water. keep stirring. the lye and water will react together causing the solution to heat up. continue stirring until the lye water reaches a temperature around 110F. lye water and olive oil need to be within 10 degrees of each other.
-while stirring olive oil with a wooden spoon, slowly add the lye water. once all the lye water has been added, switch over to blend the mixture with a stick blender.
-blend soap mixture until trace is reached.
-mix in your oils ( i had had to blend a few minutes to get back to the thickness of trace desired)
-pour into molds, cover molds with a piece of cardboard, wrap molds in a quilt
-let sit for 8-15 hours, remove from molds and cut into bars
-let bars dry for 6 weeks to harden before use
before making soap, please research and follow proper safety procedures for soap making. lye is a serious chemical and can have serious consequences. do not make soap around children or animals. also make sure you research how to make soap as this is just a recipe and does not explain terminology or list soap making supplies. you can find more in depth soap making procedures here and safe soap making procedures here

happy soap making and happy friday!


  1. Wish I could smell it. Thanks so much for all the details. Does sound scary. I am on my phone and can't find the respond button to your PM over on CD. Thank you!!

    1. hi patricia!
      no worries, glad you were able to check out the post!

  2. OhMy! i think you might have created a monster in me.... ever since i saw this post i've been thinking of trying to make my own homemade soap and see if it'll help with some skin conditions we have in our family. i've been watching youtube videos one after the other and i'm so pumped up to do this! i finally found a place to get ingredients and i'm hoping to be able to go to the shop soon. has great videos and info/recipes. and here's an online calculator to see the qty of each ingredient if you're making your own recipe.
    Thanks for inspiring me!