This liquid castile soap recipe is super versatile. You can use it as is, or jazz it up with your favorite essential oils or fragrance oil blends. It's gentle, nourishing, and great for mother and baby, or anyone with sensitive skin.
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Melt the coconut oil in the microwave and pour it into the crockpot. Add the olive oil and turn the crockpot on to a low setting.
Place 750g of Distilled water into a sturdy, plastic container. Wearing PPE, (gloves, goggles, and facemask) and working in a well-ventilated area, weigh the Potassium hydroxide. You will want to keep your PPE on while working directly with lye and raw soap batter. I will let you know when you can take it off.Add the potassium hydroxide to the water and stir it well. As you add the lye to the water you may hear it rumble or hiss, this is quite normal. Set aside until It has fully dissolved and has clarified.
Once the lye solution has clarified, and your coconut oil has dissolved, you can combine them in the crockpot. You should always pour your lye into your oil, and do so carefully to avoid splashing.
Give the stick blender a quick blitz to remove any trapped air bubbles before placing it into the oil/lye mixture. Keep the blender on low to avoid splashing, blending the batter for a couple of minutes at a time. This gives both your batter and your stick blender a short rest. While you can use your stick blender continuously, you will risk burning it out.
Continue with the blending until the batter reaches trace. For anyone who isn't familiar with this term, its where you can leave a noticeable trace on the surface of the batter when you let the soap trickle from the stick blender. As you blend, you may notice that the batter tries to separate at times, don’t panic just keep blending until it reaches trace.
Once the batter has reached trace, continue blending, using the same technique, until the batter begins to resemble mash potato. This is essentially a very heavy trace.
It's now time to pop the lid on and let the batter cook into a nice thick paste. This can take anywhere from 4-7 hours and will need stirring every 20 to 30 minutes. You will notice it going through various stages during this time. First a thick mash potato, then apple sauce, and finally a golden translucent paste similar to vaseline, although not in color.
When the paste reaches its golden translucent stage, I prefer to turn off the crockpot and leave it to rest overnight. In the morning, I decide whether to dilute all the paste or store some or all of it in the refrigerator for another time. The paste will last for a year if it has been sealed in a zip lock bag or airtight container.
If you decide to dilute it all now, pour 2500g of hot distilled water over the soap paste. Stir well and then turn the crockpot on to a low setting for a couple of hours. After, turn your crockpot off completely. While you can keep it on for longer, if you are going out or going to bed, don’t be tempted to leave it on. The soap paste will still dissolve just fine with the crockpot switched off. If you have decided not to dilute all your paste at once, weigh whatever amount of paste you wish to use, put it back into the crockpot and add double the amount of water to the soap. It’s basically a ratio of 1:2.
When the soap is fully diluted you need to test the PH level with a universal indicator strip. You are looking for a range between 9 and 6. If it is too high it can be lowered with a little citric acid. Make up a solution of 1 part citric acid to 4 parts warm distilled or pre-boiled water. Stir a little into the soap, give it a few minutes then test it again.
If you are not adding any essential oils or color to the soap then it is now ready to be transferred to bottles. The finished soap will last 6 months without a preservative and 18 months with. If you want to add a preservative make sure you choose one that’s tolerant of a high PH such as plantaserve P (Saligurd PCG) and use it at around 1%, stirred into the soap prior to bottling.
Adding scent and color is a personal choice that can change the consistency of the soap. I've noticed that my fragrance oils seem to make it thicker, so I add a little distilled water to thin it out again. Essential oils (especially citrus ones) can actually make it thinner. Adding some gum that’s been dissolved in glycerine, or salt that’s been dissolved in a little water will help to thicken it. As this is a wash-off product its safe to use up to 2% of your essential or fragrance oils.I find liquid soap dye to be better in this recipe than other types of soap dye. It won’t fade with time like mica does. I use one that’s food safe and vibrant so I only need a couple of drops.
I’ve added coconut oil to this recipe, it gives us a little extra lather and will lift the color of the finished product. If you want to make pure castile soap with just olive oil, that’s totally ok, just run it through our soap calculator first to make sure you are adding the right amount of potassium hydroxide and distilled water to make a good paste.The recipe shows almost 2 days to make this soap, but remember that most of the time is not really active, it is spent waiting for the processes to complete.Stage 1: Making The Soap Paste
The soap paste in this recipe will take around 6 hours to cook depending on the heat setting on your crockpot.
Stage 2: Dilution Stage
The dilution time usually takes around 24 hours, you don't need to do anything to it during in this stage, however, it's almost impossible not to give it a quick stir now and again.