Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Handmade Lemon Green Tea Soap in the Crock Pot


I've been inspired by a new soap making blogger friend so
I'm gathering supplies today to make a five pound batch of soap in my biggest crock pot!
Coconut Oil, Lard, Sweet Almond Oil, Castor Oil, Olive Oil...


Green Tea and Lye -


I've weighed out all the oils on a kitchen scale and have them in the crock pot on low to melt.


The Lye has been added to the green tea and is cooling in the kitchen sink.


In the time it takes for the oils to melt in the crock pot I've kept busy lining my five pound soap mold with non stick pan lining paper, that's all I could find when I went to the store and it works great.  
My stick blender is ready and waiting...

Edited to Add:  I've gained more experience soap making since this post was written and learned soap molds should NOT be lined with any type of aluminum foil.  Aluminum reacts with sodium hydroxide (lye) and can give off poisonous gases.  Wood molds can be lined with freezer paper, some soap makers use plastic bags for liners.  I've opted for silicon loaf molds so I don't need to line them anymore.



After the oils have melted slowly pour in the lye solution being careful not to splash.  Stir with the stick blender a few times before it's turned on.  Turn on the stick blender and start to blend the oil and lye together.  This batch took between 5 and 10 minutes to reach trace.  Trace looks like a thick pudding and when you lift your stick blender out the soap leaves a trace on top of the mixture.


The crock pot has been on low all this time, next put the top on and set your timer for 60 minutes.  The soap will go through a gel stage and cook, it takes about an hour on low.  Some soaps take a little longer, some take a little less than an hour.  Just keep an eye on it so it doesn't rise up and over flow out of your crock pot!


Pictured above is my Essential Oils measured out and waiting to be added to my final soap.


An hour has passed, my soap has gone through the gel phase and looks ready!


I removed the crock from the cooking pot to stir and help the soap cool a little before adding my essential oils for fragrance.  I should have waited longer because my fragrance is pretty much non existent, patience is a virtue =) they say...


It's time to scoop it into the waiting mold where it will stay for about 24 hours to cool.


The next day my soap is out of the mold and ready to slice into bars.


I'm not sure exactly what my soap cutting tool is called, my friend gave it to me and it has Pampered Chef embossed on the handle.  I like the way my soaps look when I use it.


I was able to get sixteen one inch thick bars of Lemon Green Tea soap from this recipe.


I know there's one missing here, it's in our shower!  The lather and bubbles this soap produces are lovely.

Anna at Nature's Home Spa inspired me to make this batch of soap, when I saw her Lemon Honey Green Tea soap I had to try it or something like it!  She has a wonderful blog making natural soaps and other beauty products, I hope you'll stop by and visit her too.  I didn't have the exact ingredients Anna had so I checked my oils and improvised a recipe using the Lye Calculator at Brambleberry.

 Lemon Green Tea Soap Recipe

Oils                                                         Amount               %

Almond Oil (Sweet)                                4.0 oz                 7.01%
Castor Oil                                               8.0 oz                 14.3% 
Coconut Oil (76 Degrees)                       8.0 oz                 14.3%
Lard                                                      32.00 oz               57.1%
Olive Oil                                                 4.0 oz                  7.01%
Lye - 5% (Sodium Hydroxide)                7.60 oz   
Ounces of liquid recommended              18.48 oz

Yields (5.13 lbs.)                                    82.08 oz

My Notes:

Optional Additives -
2 tablespoons Sugar
2 teaspoons Kelp Powder
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
2 teaspoons ground Lemon Peel

2 teaspoons Lemon Essential Oil
1/2 teaspoon Lavender Essential Oil
1/2 teaspoon Tea Tree Essential Oil

Optional Variations -
Replace water with brewed green tea (chilled or frozen)

Feel free to use this recipe, if you don't have the same oils use what you have and be sure to run it through a lye calculator so you know exactly how much liquid and lye to add to your recipe.  I'd still recommend running my recipe through a lye calculator too.  I'm human and if I typed something wrong...

I hope you enjoyed my crock pot soap tutorial, thanks for visiting my blog!

Link Parties -

Adorned From Above








13 comments:

Liz said...

I think that it is the crinkle cutter. very cute. Thanks for sharing

Anna from Natures Home Spa said...

Wow, great tutorial on hot process soap making. Great pictures. Glad you tried the green tea soap idea! Like you I use what oils and butters I have on hand and run the recipe through Bramblberry's lye calculator.
I love the natural, rustic look of tea soap, yours is just lovely Jan.
I noticed with mine that as it dries the scent comes out stronger, usually by the 3rd day. Love the crinkle cut for this type of soap, gotta get me one!
Anna

Jennifer said...

This is wonderful! I've got my eye out for a second hand crock pot! I'd love to try this!
The tool you use to cut the bars looks like what I see some people make homemade fries with. I've seen a smaller version used to cut decorative carrots.
Thanks for sharing!

jperr said...

Thanks for the great tutorial.I haven't made soap yet,now I,m going to try it out with your recipe.
Thanks for sharing,Jocelan

Hannah White said...

Thanks so much for sharing this on Eco-Kids Tuesday AND Thrifty Thursday! You are a brave woman to take on making soap!!

Megan Hutchison said...

Curious to know if you've done a cost analysis on making your own versus buying a similar soap.

Angi Schneider said...

How cool! I have soap making on my list of things to try this summer. I thought you had to cure soap for a few weeks before using it. Do you not have to? Also is there a way to make a liquid soap instead of a bar soap?

Jan Hunnicutt said...

Angi you'll enjoy soap making once you get into it! Cold process soaps need to cure for 4 to 6 weeks in most cases. Hot process (Crock Pot) soaps are "cooked" so they have a very short cure time. I usually give my Crock Pot - hot process soaps about a week to cure before we use them.

People do make liquid soaps, it's a bit of a different process though. I haven't learned how or tried yet but it's definitely on my to do list =)

Kathy Shea Mormino said...

You make this sound so easy, I've always wanted to try to make soap, good summer project.......Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!


Cheers,
Kathy Shea Mormino

The Chicken Chick

http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

Captain Jess said...

What is this "curing" that you mentioned? Is that the cleaning of your work tools? Is there a certain way to safely clean your utensils? I hear lye can be very caustic and I wasn't sure if you needed tools of a certain material or if you need to neutralize your tools after using them. I want to make some homemade soaps but i think I want someone who's made them to supervise me. O.O I'm a little hesitant about using lye.

Captain Jess said...

What is this "curing" that you mentioned? Is that the cleaning of your work tools? Is there a certain way to safely clean your utensils? I hear lye can be very caustic and I wasn't sure if you needed tools of a certain material or if you need to neutralize your tools after using them. I want to make some homemade soaps but i think I want someone who's made them to supervise me. O.O I'm a little hesitant about using lye.

Jan Hunnicutt said...

Hi Jess!
Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog today about soap making =) I thought I should stop by and answer some of your questions in case you didn't make it back my way again soon.

I'm cheating a little here copying and pasting:

What is this "curing" that you mentioned?

Curing is actually allowing your soaps 4 to 6 weeks to dry, allowing the bars time to become hard and the extra moisture to evaporate. Curing helps give you a long lasting great lathering bar of soap.

Is that the cleaning of your work tools? Is there a certain way to safely clean your utensils?

I clean everything up with a mixture of white vinegar, dish soap and water. Vinegar neutralizes the lye. Soap dishes are actually nicer to clean up the next day as the process of "making soap" has happened on the tools too.

I hear lye can be very caustic and I wasn't sure if you needed tools of a certain material or if you need to neutralize your tools after using them.

You're right lye is caustic but if handled correctly and cautiously you shouldn't have a problem with it.

I want to make some homemade soaps but i think I want someone who's made them to supervise me. O.O I'm a little hesitant about using lye.

I completely understand your apprehension using lye (sodium hydroxide) I felt the same way. Before I ever made soap I searched out bloggers who made soap and did tutorials so I could see what it was all about step by step. When I was comfortable I started making soap and haven't looked back, it's fun.

Here's a link to a great place to learn and watch videos how to make soap: http://www.soapqueen.com/

I hope you'll come back and visit my blog again soon too.

Have a great day!

Jan

Kristin O. said...

Great post. This week over on Wildcrafting Wednesdays we’re hosting a special Hygiene Edition and this post would be perfect in the carnival. I’d love it if you would pop over and share this post again with our readers.
http://www.herbanmomma.com