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Recipe Index This Page

Body and Bath
General Purpose

Please note that there are a number copyrighted soap recipes here. These people/companies have listed their recipes on the Internet for folks to try for free to help promote their product line. This is fine. What would not be fine is if we didn't give these folks all the credit due their efforts or take these as our own bits of brilliance. The copyrighted materials are duly noted next to each recipe. Since these folks have all been making soap commercially for some time, it would be a good idea to visit their site for additional information, tips or try their product line. They certainly give us good targets to aim for! At the bottom of this page, you'll find quick links to the contributors' websites.

NOTE: Red Devil lye has changed the product container size. If your soap recipes have called for a portion of a can, e.g. 2/3 can, rather than a specified amount, and you haven't adjusted for the change, it will cause your soap recipes to fail. The old metal container held 12 ounces. The new plastic container holds 18 ounces, so adjust your recipes accordingly.


Basic Soap

32 oz. blended vegetable oil or olive oil
74 oz tallow
3 oz cocoa butter
14 oz lye
41 oz cold water

Follow basic soapmaking directions to prepare lye solution and oils. . Slowly pour the lye solution into the oils while stirring. Complete soap as per usual instructions. This soap is mild with long-lasting, creamy bubbles. It traces quickly, sets up and dries quickly. Good choice for hand milling; accepts additives readily. Can be used in milled soaps either in a moist or dry state. Soap is hard when cured.

All-Vegetable Soap Rainbow Meadow - copyrighted

Fits in a large #10 envelope box. Line it with a garbage bag and mold....
28 oz. coconut
18 oz. palm
42 oz. olive
12.7 oz. lye
33 oz. water
2.8 oz. essential oil
Fat temperature: 920F
Lye/water temperature: 920F

Follow basic soapmaking directions to prepare lye solution and oils. Slowly pour the lye solution into the oils while stirring with a handblender. Stir with handblender for about 5 minutes or until it looks blended. Let sit for about 10-15 minutes and then blend again for 5 minutes. Continue until the soap saponifies. An alternate method is to beat it with the handblender for about 5-10 minutes and then stick it in a kitchen aid mixer and let it stir until it saponifies. You can also handstir this, but be prepared to wait an hour plus for saponification. When soap is at a thin trace, add herbs and essential oils and blend in well.

Vegetable Soap - 1# blender batch Rainbow Meadow - copyrighted

5.3 oz. coconut oil
3.2 oz. palm
7.5 oz. olive oil
2.4 oz. lye
6 oz. water
.5 to .7 oz. of fragrance or essential oil
Oil temp: 1100F
Lye/water temp: 1100F

Follow basic soapmaking directions to prepare lye solution and oils. Pour oils into blender. Put lid on blender and turn on to a low mix. Take lid off and into the well of oil, pour the lye/water solution carefully. Avoid splashes...remember this is very caustic. Put lid back on blender and allow to blend for 2-3 minutes. Stop and check for trace. When it is a very thin trace, add the essential oil and blend again for a few minutes. Pour into mold. Cover with plastic wrap and towel and let set undisturbed for 24 hours. Plastic wrap should touch the top of the soap. Don't worry. It will peel off.

Palm Oil Carmel Soap

Anna Farris sends this variation: it's a nice brown soap that smells like Carmelized Sugar (a very pleasing aroma!)

1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup caustic soda
2 cups oil (use standard blender recipe).

Use at least 1 cup of palm oil; for the remainder, I've used tallow or olive oil or Crisco--haven't tried pure palm oil soap yet. But no matter what other oil I add, the soap comes out brown and smells like carmelized sugar. Look for palm oil in 1kg cans wherever you buy Indian or Middle Eastern groceries; it might be called "Vegetable Ghee." It's very inexpensive as vegetable fats go--a couple bucks for the can--in the Armenian neighborhood, anyway. For the milk, we buy 2%, so that's what went into the soap; don't know how milk fat content affects the soap. One advantage is that since the milk comes right out of the fridge, the lye solution never gets very hot. Hope it works for you; it's very easy.
Oil temp: 1100F
Lye/water temp: 1100F

Oh Yes, Sweet Almond Elaine White - copyrighted

16oz of Sweet Almond Oil
2.2oz of lye
3/4 cup of cold water
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of fragrance oil of your choice
Fat temperature is 1150F
Lye-water temperature 1600F
Tracing time is 2 days
Time in mold is 5 days
Age time is 6 weeks

Add the lye-water to the fat. Put the soap in a preheated 2000F oven for one hour, stir it every fifteen minutes. Remove the soap from the oven and leave it in the stirring bowl for two days. Stir the soap as much as you like, but at least twice daily. Stir in the fragrant oil, pour the soap into molds and leave it five days. Place the soap in a freezer for twelve hours, then remove it from the molds, age six weeks. This is a recipe from Elaine Whites book called "Soap Recipes".

Soap VIII -- Beeswax Castile Elaine White - copyrighted

16 oz weight olive oil
1 oz beeswax
1 oz palm oil
2.1 oz lye
1 cup water (8 fluid ounces)
(melt the beeswax with the fats)
Fat and lye/water temperature about 1500F
Tracing time: about 12 minutes FAST! (This is not a good blender soap candidate!)
Time in molds: 48 hours
Place the soap in a freezer for 3 hours, then remove it from the molds
Age: 6 to 8 weeks for the bars to harden

Soap X -- Beeswax Soap Elaine White - copyrighted

16 oz weight olive oil
1 oz weight beeswax
2.2 oz weight lye
1 cup water (8 fluid ounces)
(melt the beeswax with the fats)
Fat and lye/water temperature about 1500F
Tracing time: about 12 minutes FAST! (This is not a good blender soap candidate!)
Time in molds: 48 hours
Place the soap in a freezer for 3 hours, then remove it from the molds
Age: 6 to 8 weeks for the bars to harden


Elaya's All Olive Oil Soap Countryman's Rustic Cuts Soapworks

16 oz. pure olive oil
2 oz. caustic soda
6 oz. Water

Place the olive oil in an enamel pan to heat. While this is heating place the cup of cold water into a glass bowl (do this outside if you can) and pour the lye into the water slowly while stirring with a wooden spoon.

Stir until the water is clear and leave to cool. When the lye and olive oil is both warm to the touch pour the lye slowly into the olive oil while stirring. Now olive oil soap will take a long time to trace so stir and check on it every 10 minutes and then stir again it should take a good hour or more to trace.

When you see trace add what ever herbs you would like (I use dried sage) this gives a nice scent and a nice green color. Place into whatever plastic molds you are using. This will yield one pound of soap. Be sure you have greased your molds with a little olive oil. These molds will need to set anywhere from two to three days before the soap is set.

When set, turn it out and cut into the sizes you want and let cure for up to eight weeks. This will make a softer bar but is great for dry skin. If you use this recipe, I do ask you send a bar to be placed into the St. Jude baskets.

Clear Soap (Faux Neutrogena)

1 cup tallow
1/2 cup melted coconut oil (I use olive, too)
2/3 cup glycerin
1 to 1 1/2 cup isopropyl alcohol
3/4 cup water
4 TBSP lye flakes
yellow food coloring (or whatever)

Melt tallow and coconut oil, as previously described. Cool to lukewarm, by "floating" pan of oil in a tepid water bath. Stir lye into cold soft water. Cool to lukewarm. Pour lye into fat, stirring to emulsify. When creamy, add glycerin. Pour into mold greased with petroleum jelly.

After three days, grate soap into the top of a double boiler. Begin to heat over gently boiling water. Add alcohol and stir constantly. When the liquid is transparent, lift the spoon. If a ropy thread forms, remove from heat. If a skim forms immediately upon removing from heat, pour into molds.

Unmold after a few days and stack to air cure for 2 weeks.

Soap V Elaine White - copyrighted

A traditional and blender soap combination. The fats are expensive, but milk allows for about 12 bars, vs. only 6 bars of the same recipe without milk. Pretty sneaky, huh?

8 oz weight cocoa butter
5 oz weight palm oil
3 oz weight castor oil
2.2 oz weight lye (sodium hydroxide)
1 cup cold milk (I used 2% right from the frig)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon essential oil (I added 2 chamomile tea bags and 2 jasmine tea bags, dry)
Fats: 100 degree range
Lye/water/milk combination: 1250F range

Dissolve the lye in the water. Add all ingredients to the blender. Process about 30 seconds, or until the mixture looks smooth and a uniform color. It will not trace. Pour it into the molds (it won't separate, trust me)

Tammy gave credit to the Delaney Sisters for this recipe.

6lbs grease, melted and clean (or 3lbs grease, 3lbs olive, coconut, or other rich oil.)
1 cup borax
1/2 cup water, boiled
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp washing soda
1 cup sudsy ammonia
1 can (13oz) pure lye
2oz Glycerin
2 to 4 tbsp perfume
2 cups oatmeal

Start by dissolving the lye in the 2 pints of water in a porcelain container. Set aside and let cool until the mixture is just warm. This may take hours. Collect grease from cooking until you have about 6lbs (or use rendered fat from butcher). Make sure you drain it through cheesecloth so that you remove any little pieces of meat. (Half solid fat and half liquid makes the best soap).

Next, put the borax in a porcelain pan. Add the 1/2 cup of boiled water and sugar and washing soda. Next, add the sudsy ammonia. Follow at once with the lye and 2 pints of water, checking first to see that the lye water is just slightly warm. Hold your hand over it - don't stick your finger in it. Then add the melted grease, a third at a time.

Stir constantly until its the consistency of thick cream. (Both grease and lye need to be lukewarm to make good soap). If you are making facial soap, when the mixture is thick as honey, add the glycerin and perfume. Sometimes we add 2 cups oatmeal run through a food chopper to give it a texture. When you are done, put the soap into paper boxes lined with freezer paper. When it gets thick, cut into bars. Then put it into the sun until it bleaches white. Store for use. One nice feature of this soap is that it floats!

SOAP - A nice body and face soap

This is a luxurious and gentle handmade soap. It's a lot of work to make, but it's also a lot of fun. It is a good use for huge quantities of fat left over from cooking something.

INGREDIENTS (6 pounds of soap)

4 kg (9 pounds) rendered suet, coconut oil or olive oil
12 oz. lye
750 ml (3 cups) water
500 ml (2 cups) lemon juice
7.5 ml (.25 oz) essential oil (optional; see note)

Stir in the lemon juice, scent (if you are using it), just before soap is to go in the molds. When the soap is firmer but not yet hard, cut into bars with a knife. It should be hard in an hour or so; you can test it with your finger. Wrap in clean cotton rags and store in a cool, airy place for 3-6 months.

The recipe will work equally well with other animal fats to produce a similar result. Coconut oil yields a softer, quick-lathering soap. Olive oil and other vegetable cooking oils yield a very soft soap that never completely hardens. Unfortunately, these oils are sensitive to air and light, and soap made from cooking oils will spoil in a few weeks unless it is refrigerated.

NOTE: A few drops of musk oil is enough to scent an entire batch of soap; less-potent fragrances such as a fruit oil might require 5-10 ml . Soap scented with herbs is also popular; herbs like lemon thyme or verbena or lavender work well. To scent with herbs, make an herbal oil by packing a 100-ml container with herbs and then filling it with a pleasant-smelling vegetable oil such as almond oil. Let this mixture sit for a few weeks, stirring it every day, then heat in a double boiler for 10 minutes, then cool and strain the oil.

The soap works just fine with no fragrance at all, and many people prefer it that way. The lemon juice lowers the pH. The finished soap will have a pH of about 9; you can lower this by adding more lemon juice.

Contributed by: Aviva Garrett, Santa Cruz, CA

Handmade Oatmeal Soaps Sugar Plum Sundries - copyrighted

We have all seen the oatmeal soaps in the store that cost a fortune. Here's how to make your own. you can also add other dried material such as cornmeal or pumice for varying abrasive effects.

10oz palm
4oz coconut oil
2oz olive oil
1/4cup regular oatmeal, run through the blender
2oz lye
1 cup distilled water
optional scent

Mix lye and water and set aside to cool. Melt palm oil and coconut oil together and set aside to cool. In a blender or food processor, mix the olive oil and oatmeal. When the lye reaches 1000F and the fats are 1200F pour lye into fats and stir until it traces. Add the oatmeal mixture, and stir until well mixed. pour the soap into the molds. Allow to sit for 48 hours. Unmold and cut if needed. allow to age for 3 weeks.


Tony's No Fail (and no weigh) Soap Recipe

2 cans (3 lb) veggie shortening
1 can (12 0z) lye
2 cups water

Mix lye and water in enamel pan, OUTSIDE, set aside to cool. Melt shortening, set aside to cool. When both are "hot to the touch (on the outside of the pan) pour lye into shortening. Stir until consistency of mashed potatoes. Pour into prepared mold and let set 24 hours, covered. Uncover, poke it and see if it's firm. If it is, turn it out on newspapers and cut it into bars. Put them someplace safe and let cure for 2-3 weeks, minimum. If its not firm, cover and let sit for another 24 hours, then turn out and cut.

MOLD: my favorite is a cardboard box lined with a trash bag. I usually get the ones that soft drinks or beer are shipped in because they're the perfect size for this batch. YIELD: around 24 bars, usually.

Soap III Elaine White - copyrighted

6 oz coconut oil
6 oz olive oil
5 oz vegetable shortening
2.6 oz lye
1 cup water (8 fluid ounces)
Fat and lye/water temperature about 1200F
Time in molds: 48 hours
Age: 4 weeks

Soap IV Elaine White - copyrighted
9 oz vegetable shortening
4 oz coconut oil
3 oz lard
2.4 oz lye
3/4 cup water (6 fluid ounces)
Fat and lye/water temperature about 1200F
Time in molds: 24 hours
Age: 3 weeks

Soap VI Elaine White - copyrighted
16 oz lard or beef tallow
2.2 oz lye
3/4 cup water (6 fluid ounces)
Estimated tracing 45 minutes
Fat and lye/water temperature about 1200F
Time in molds: 24 hours
Age: 3 weeks

Pure Soap Elaine White - copyrighted

16 ounces coconut oil
2.9 ounces of lye
1/2 cup of cold water
1 and 1/2 teaspoon of fragrance oil of your choice

Fat temperature 900F
lye-water temperature 1800F
Tracing time 1 hour

Combine the lye-water mixture and fat, stir occasionally for one hour and forty minutes. Add 1/4 cup of hot tap water and stir for ten minutes. Add another 1/4 cup hot tap water and stir until the soap is thick and smooth (only a few minutes). Time in mold 24 hours. Place the soap in freezer for 3 hours, then remove it from the molds. Age 3 weeks.

Contributors' websites where available:
Countryman's Rustic Cuts Soapworks
Elaine White's Lather Land
Sugar Plum Sundries
Tony O'seland's Cedar Wolf Production
Rainbow Meadow

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