Imagine walking by at a soap store in Megamall, with all those luscious soap smells. I walk the aisle savoring those strange textures and flavors such as oatmeal, avocado, tea tree… plus the wonderfully poetic and strange names. It’s enough to make my husband nervous. With a pang, I let him steer me out of harm’s way.
Making soaps has always been one of those in my bucket list. Some people, they dream of conquering Mt Everest, me, I want to be able to make soaps at least once in my life. It seems so daunting, what with all the science and the mystique it creates around bubbles of soap.
But well, there’s no better time than now eh? I happened to have 2 liters of VCO (virgin coconut oil) from Mother Dear. I know I have saved a link and a soap recipe somewhere in my Evernote. This recipe is for liquid soap.
Here is the recipe from TheThingsWellMake.com. I adapted it a bit according to what I have. This is actually a recipe for Castile Soap, like that famous Dr Bronner’s soap but this one uses Coconut Oil -since that is what I have, and it does not have glycerin. Glycerin is mostly added to make it more gentle for the skin but for this test cycle, I elected not to have it added.
Castile Soap has a hundred and one uses. Don’t believe me? Check Pinterest haha! depending on how you dilute it, you can use it for shampoo, for washing the dishes, for shaving, for cleaning the toilet, for washing your clothes, really versatile!
Homemade Liquid Castile Soap Recipe
1 liter Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) – 380 per liter
8.06 KOH (Lye. MAKE SURE IT’S CAUSTIC POTASH NOT THE USUAL CAUSTIC SODA) – 120 per kilo –
24.18 Distilled Water
The next step is to search for the ingredients. VCO can be sourced anywhere or you may buy it from me haha! My mother makes homemade VCO too but you can now buy it most anywhere.
Now the lye is a bit tricky to find. It’s a special kind of lye. After much searching I found it here. For the distilled water, I used Absolute Distilled Water.
Other things you might need to make this homemade soap:
Slow cooker -I have a slow cooker. If you don’t have one, you can buy a small one from Lazada for as low as 1k. It’s a life-changer, promise! This 1.5 Kyowa is good enough for starters but you might want to get a bigger one if you’re going to use it for soap making.
Weighing Scale – I bought a weighing scale specifically for this. I have an old weighing scale but it’s not digital. I bought this in Divisoria, Manila for P300.
- ADD KOH TO WATER (NOT WATER TO KOH <<IMPORTANT). HANDLE KOH WITH CARE
- -Let the KOH/water solution sit overnight
- Begin heating your oil in the slow cooker. I used the high function.
- Slowly add the KOH/water solution to the oil and stir it together till it’s incorporated.
- Blend the mixture using a blender until it becomes thick.
- After a few minutes, I have this consistency which is something like cheese. Or mashed potatoes.
- Don’t get tired of mixing it! After a couple more minutes though, I shifted to a wooden spoon. It was too hard to mix!
- Wait until it becomes a bit shiny and translucent. Then you can just mix every 30 minutes or so.
How to know when it’s done.
It’s supposed to become translucent but mine did not turn out as transparent as the one in thethingswellmake.com. I extended it to an hour but it was still cloudy. Still, I tested if the soap will dissolve completely and it did! Hooray!
So we now have the basic for making a liquid soap! This paste will need to be diluted so we can use it for our project. There are a lot of ways to dilute the liquid soap paste. As you can see, it’s totally okay too, to just leave it in a bottle and shake it once in a while. I used 1 soap : 2 water ratio for body soap.
-Water is 3x more than KOH by weight.
7:00 AM 3/7/2017 Started
7:15 AM 3/7/2017 Bubble stage
7:37 AM 3/7/2017 Frothy Stage
7:50 AM 3/7/2017 Foamy Stage
8:01 AM 3/7/2017 Started to form fold marks. My slow cooker feels like overflowing!
8:17 AM 3/7/2017 Marshmallow (folding stage) then lard stage
9:23 AM 3/7/2017 Pudding/Cassava/Starting to get a bit shiny/translucent
10:02 AM 3/7/2017 No improvement.
11:09 AM 3/7/2017 Elmer’s Glue
Day 1: Finished product is still cloudy
Day 2 : After sitting for 24 hours it becomes clearer but nowhere near the Dr Bronners Castile Soap. Maybe after sitting for 1 week will make the soap clearer. Hopefully!
Add 10% more lye to see if the soap will get clearer result
Yield: 40 oz Soap Paste.