Making Soap

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4th of July Soap

How to make soap...

12 oz coconut oil
12 oz olive oil
10 oz vegetable shortening
5.2 oz lye
2 c water
(Heat fat & lye/water to 120 degrees)
4 tbsp fragrance oils (berry essence)
large box (0.6 oz) strawberry (or blueberry) sugar free jello

Line wooden molds or pan with freezer paper.  Wax paper will not work! Cut the paper the size of the pan and make sure the corners are creased and the paper fits well.  

Use a kitchen scale to weigh all oil and fats.  

Use gloves, goggles and mask when working with LYE. 
Begin by weighing/measuring your oils and fats in a microwavable bowl.  Set aside.
Measure water, set aside.
Measure lye and then add it to the water but do not add water to the lye... BE VERY CAREFUL, AVOID SPLASHING AND DO NOT BREATHE FUMES!
Measure the temperature of the Lye/Water mixture, it will heat on its own.  When it reaches 135-140 degrees, place oils in microwave for about 2 minutes, until temperature reaches 120 degrees.  When the lye and oil mixtures are both simultaneously 120 degrees, stir the lye into the oil using a wooden spoon and slowly stir and mix.  Stir in jello and fragrance oils. Continuously stir until it begins to thicken (you might want to use a mixer for this part), it usually takes 10-20 minutes.  You will know it's thick enough when it starts to leave "trailings" on the surface and it is the consistency of pudding.  At this point, pour the soap mixture into the lined wooden mold.  Let it set a room temperature for 48 hours.  Then cut into desired shapes and allow to cure 4-6 weeks before using.

How did I learn to make soap???

My parents started "The Banner Elk Soap Co." in Banner Elk, NC.  They sell their organic, all natural soaps in their gift shop.  I was visiting last week and got my sweet Mom to give me a lesson on making soap.

This is my Mom (isn't she adorable?) giving me a "soap lesson"
This is my handsome Daddy standing behind the store counter.

This is my favorite soap.  Aren't the stripes super cool?  It smells WONDERFUL too.  It's the apple cinnamon soap.  They have many different scents and they all come from local plants.  It's pretty cool... this is a pic (below) of the soaps curing in their back stockroom...

I got to help set up a new soap display in the middle of their store.  We took an old washstand that came from the old Banner Elk Hotel (before it was torn down years ago).  It's a BEAUTIFUL antique...

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  1. Nicole, that is so awesome! I must admit, I thought what the heck, the girl is making soap now! LOVE IT!!! Thanks for the directions too!

  2. Memories....thanks for sharing these photos, Nicole! My mom used to make homemade soap from goats milk for me. I had a terrible skin reaction while in collage and couldn't used regular soap for several years. The goats milk soap didn't lather much but made my skin super soft. Your parents have wonderful looking,(and sounding), soaps.

  3. LOL when I saw 4th of July soap I thought "wow now that is something I'd never think of OR probably do " but what a great story and pics
    NOW making soap makes more sense ....:)