These luscious soaps use only 5 home ingredients, and are surprisingly easy to make.
What you will need
• 900ml water
• 295g caustic soda (make sure you buy pure sodium hydroxide and not something caustic soda based, that might include other ingredients)soda
• 615g coconut oil (or vegetable fat)
• 800ml sunflower oil
• 800ml good quality olive oil
• To fragrance you will need essential oils.
• Handful of fresh dried parsley and 20g lime essence
• Lemongrass essence, oat flakes and honey
• Cinnamon and orange essence, fresh orange zest
• Plastic moulds, such as Tupperware containers
NB - When using caustic soda, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Always wear protective clothing and work in a well ventilated room. When mixing, always add caustic soda to cold water, not water to caustic soda.
During the soap’s 6 week curing process the caustic soda mixes with the other ingredients and becomes safe to use on your skin.
1. Mix the caustic soda and water:
a. Pour the water into a bucket.
b. Add the caustic soda and whisk until steam rises from the bucket and the chemical reaction causses the mixture to heat up.
2. Prepare the oils:
a. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan on a low heat – you could use vegetable fat which is more readily accessible and cheaper.
b. To this add the sunflower and olive oil
3. Pour the oils into the caustic soda and water mixture and stir with a whisk for about 40 mins, until the texture and colour changes.
4. Separate the mixture into three bowls of equal quantities to flavour with different and delicious essential oils and other beautiful bits.
5. To the first bowl, add a handful of parsley, then a measured 20g of lime essence into the mix.
6. To the second, a handful of porridge oats, a glug of honey and some lemongrass essence.
7. To the third, I added cinnamon and orange essence, as well as some fresh orange zest.
8. Transfer the different flavors into separate moulds to set. You can add some slices of orange to the third mixture to make a delightful decoration.
9. Wrap tubs in a blanket for 24 hours to slowly cool down and set.
10. Once the soaps have cooled down and set, take them out the moulds and leave them to dry in a cupboard for six weeks so the caustic soda dissolves and the soap won’t have any harmful effects on your skin.
11. After the six weeks, you can divide the soaps up and decorate them. The blocks can be cut into smaller slices and wrapped with ribbons and bows. You can also use a couple of different shaped pastry cutters, which you can buy in any cook shop, to make pretty, shaped soaps and finish them off with dried rosebuds.
Watch Kirstie’s Homemade Christmas on The LifeStyle Channel.