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  • How to build a soap recipe!!!


    How to build a soap recipe - Part Uno

    Please note, this is only a general get started guideline. Some awfully strange recipes make fantastic bars of soap, and you’ll never know unless you try it!

    For soapmaking instructions and precautions, please see Robin’s CP tutorial. I’m going to assume you’ve printed it out, and read it forward, backwards, and can recite it in your sleep.

    Ok, many bars are comprised of 50% hard oils and 50% soft oils. There are many variations, but we’re keeping around here for simplicities sake in teaching. Yes, I know if you soap with 20% hard oils you can still get a good bar and vice versa.

    Cleansing: Coconut Oil, Palm Kernal Oil, Babassu Oil

    Soft Oils: Sweet Almond, Apricot Kernal, Avocado, Castor, Hazelnut, Hemp, Meadowfoam, Olive, Passion Fruit, Rice Bran, Soybean, Walnut, Wheat Germ

    Hard Oils: Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Kokum Butter, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Palm Kernal Oil, Lard, Tallow

    We’ll start out with the hard oils. You know you want a cleansing bar, and the cleansing oils just happen to be hard oils. More than 15% coconut may dry your skin and be itchy, and more than 20% palm kernel oil may do the same. (I’m not to familiar with the babassu) Now, these are very inexpensive oils, so you want to use the max possible without getting dry skin, and for maximum bubbleage. (I like that word, bubbleage.)

    Once you have your cleansing percentages figured out, add them up and see how much you have left out of the 50%.

    Like this:

    15% Palm Kernal

    +15% Coconut


    30 % So, I have 20% more to fill in hard oils.

    Please note that most butters don’t need to be used at more than 5%, more is usually a waste.

    We’re going to throw in some palm as it makes a nice hard bar, resists melting in the tub, and can take the soap into trace sooner. Lets say 15%, as it’s an inexpensive oil too. If you don’t have any palm, or prefer it, use lard.. It makes an awesome bar of soap! It also slows tracing time if you feel you may want extra time for that swirl!

    So, we have the 30% from above, plus the 15%, which totals 45%. Time to pick a butter for some label appeal! This one is personal preference. I’ll say cocoa for this one.

    Here’s the total breakdown we have so far:

    15% Palm Kernal

    15% Coconut

    15% Palm or Lard

    +5% Cocoa Butter


    50% total hard oils

    Ok, now to the soft oils. What oil tickles your fancy? You know as well as cleansing bar, you want to feel soft once you're out of the tub. Anything that just sounds like it feels good? I think avocado sounds good, and apricot kernel sounds pretty cool too. So, we’ll use 10% of each of those to keep the expense down, while imparting wonderful conditioning. You can use more as your wallet allows and as you experiment. Feel free to plug in any of the above oils in the soft oils category, as all the ones I choose to list are highly conditioning.

    Here’s where we are with the soft oils:

    10% Avacado

    10% Apricot Kernal

    +10% Sweet Almond


    30% total soft oils

    Now, we’re going to add the rest in olive or rice bran oil, as then are nice and inexpensive, but don’t let the price fool you, these are wonderful oils!

    10% Avacado

    10% Apricot Kernal

    10% Sweet Almond

    + 20% Olive


    50% total soft oils

    Now, we add this to the above hard oils and it’s going to look like this:

    15% Palm Kernal

    15% Coconut

    15% Palm or Lard

    5% Cocoa Butter

    10% Avacado

    10% Apricot Kernal

    10% Sweet Almond

    + 20% Olive


    100% and a kick bootie bar of soap.

    Next lesson, how to use sooz! (Ok Robin, feel free to take over anytime here..lol)

    Please note, I didn’t list all the available oils or butters, I just choose the most common ones I have seen used in soaping. This is just a very basic instruction, none of this is set in stone. Be creative, play with percentages, and have fun! Please ask questions if you have them! And get the soaping pot out!

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