Yield: 6 servings
|Pure lye crystals
|Rendered and strained fat
|Finely ground lavender
Yield: 6 pounds
This hand and face soap is scented with lavender and cinnamon and enriched with coconut oil and olive oil.
SUPPLIES 2 quart lye-proof pot plus 8-quart lye-proof pot (stain- less steel, stoneware, or enameled cast iron) rubber work gloves goggles, safety glasses, or face shield face mask 1 cup white vinegar (Used as safety precaution only) stainless steel or wooden spoon dairy, meat, or candy thermometer hand eggbeater flexible plastic soap molds, such as margarine tubs or cardboard or wooden boxes lined with plastic wrap * BE SAFE. Lye is very caustic; it can destroy skin by chemical action. Handle it very carefully.
Place water in the 2-quart lye-proof pot. Put on the rubber gloves and other safety gear. Have the vinegar handy. Very slowly add lye crystals to water, constantly stirring until lye is dissolved. As lye is added to water, the water temperature will rise to around 150 degrees F. Place the mometer in the water and allow it to cool to 95 to 98 F. As the water is cooling, stir rendered fat and oils in the 8 quart lye-proof pot. Slowly heat until fats reach 95 to 98 F. When both lye and fat are in the same 95 to 98 F temperature range, slowly pour lye into fat, stirring constantly until well mixed. Beat very gently with the eggbeater to the consistency of thick honey. Avoid splashing. Stir in lavender and cinnamon.
Pour the mixture into molds, cover with a blanket, and set aside to dry for 36 hours, well away from children or pets. After 36 hours, carefully turn the soap out of the molds and leave in a dry, airy place for at least two weeks. A fine white powder may appear on the surface when the soap is a few days old. This is sodium carbonate.
Wash it away when the soap is mature; it tends to make the skin dry.
Notes: Lye is crystalline sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide.
It is usually sold in the drain cleaner section of supermarkets and hardware stores. Buy pure lye crystals or flakes, not lye sold as a liquid drain cleaner. Red Devil is the most common brand available.
Buy coconut oil from drug stores and health food stores. Buy dried lavender at herb shops and craft shops.
Source: Rodale's Book of Practical Formulas Typed by Fran McGee