This particular olive, coconut, palm kernel & less water recipe came about because of the Blackberry and Orange soap recipe. The finished bars were a little soft – usuable, but a little softer compared to the other bars. We concluded this was because of the huge amount of orange essential oil needed in order to obtain and decent long lasting scent. The solution was to add a palm or palm kernel oil PLUS add a little less water, but not too much. The palm kernel oils help to make a harder bar and the less water due to the more liquid of the orange essential oil. And this worked perfectly!
The only oil to not use in over 50% of total oils, is canola oil. Although canola oil is the oil of every single restaurant on the planet, it isn’t the best for soap, but only because of the reaction to the lye and the oxidation of the oils. Meaning that a canola oil based soap will start getting brown discolored spots on the soap bars. Which is too bad really, because the cheaper cost of the canola helps keep the price of your final product lower. more about the type of oils and the pros and cons of each, can be found on this basic soap making recipe page.
The following recipe is one-fifth of what a batch was in my store. Yet it could be too large for starters, so if you like, you can divide this recipe any way you like. This makes about 25 4-ounce bars, so dividing it in half to make test batches would work well.
olive, coconut, palm kernel & less water :
- 48 oz Olive/Canola blend oils
- 9.6 oz palm kernel oil
- 6.4 oz coconut oil
- 19.0 oz water
- 8.7 oz lye crystals
- for a total of 91.7 oz soap base
Directions for making soap:
• using a scale, measure out all the oils based on weight, one at a time, then add to the stainless steel soap pot
• place on the stove on low heat for the oils to heat up and the more solid oils to melt, you will want the oils to be 130 degrees
• measure out your water into a plastic water jug
• measure out the lye crystals into another small plastic container
• make sure you have a well ventilated spot for mixing the lye into the water, as the fumes can be very strong for about a minute
• or safety, I would always mix this in a sink, to ensure no accidental spilling to anywhere other than the sink
• place candy thermometers to the lye-water container and pot of oils
• the lye-water gets hot, reaching 175 degrees, and we will wait till it lowers to 130 degrees before adding to oil pot
• he temperature needs to be between 100 to 130 degrees to be mixed together
• add the lye-water slowly and carefully to the pot of oils, and start stirring
• some say to keep stirring constantly, but you can stop for a minute or 2 every few minutes
• using a hand blender will help speed up the process – but be careful you don’t lift blender up and splash soap base around
• your soap is ready for the scent, colorant and extras once it reaches the “trace” phase, this phase is when the oils and lye-water have saponified (basically have become soap), the soap base has changed color, is thicker, and doesn’t separate if you stop stirring for a couple of minutes
• now you can add your scent, color and other additives
• pour into your mold, cover with plastic, cover with a blanket or towel, and wait……..
Here’s an Orange Spice soap recipe, you’ll see the need for the olive, coconut, palm & less water recipe due to the highest volume of essential oils.
Good article on the differences between palm and palm kernel oils.
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