Clove and Mandarin Soap

I tried making soap using the hot process in the past but unfortunately it ended up being a disaster.  I was not careful monitoring the temperature of the mixture and this resulted in it bubbling and getting spoilt.

Anyway, I thought I’d try the cold process this time. This is slightly easier but does mean waiting for 4-6 weeks before the soap is ready to be used. We have enough soap at home at the moment so I don’t mind the wait.

I’ve used Lye, Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil, Virgin Olive Oil and Coconut Oil, Neem Oil, Beeswax and Mango Butter and essential oils of Clove, Mandarin, Sweet Basil and  Lemon.

cold pressed rapeseed oil lye

I think I got carried away with the beeswax and mango butter. I should have used a lot less because when I mixed the lye with the oils and melted butters, the solution solidified very quickly and it became difficult to blend the mixture with the blending stick.  Anyway, I put the final mixture in containers and left it overnight to solidify.

Result: The soap in the silicone container was relatively easy to take out.

bars of soap

But the other stuff in the two plastic containers wasn’t.  I ended up having to break one container.  I made a bit of a mess with the soap from the other plastic container trying to wedge it out with a knife.  Ideally you need to use parchment paper in the container before you pour the mixture in it so that when it solidifies, you can just pull the soap out of it easily.

uneven bars of soap2

As you can see, the soap is a bit squidgy.  It has to be left for around 6 weeks in a cool dry so that it hardens and is ready to use.

uneven bars of soap

I’m not that fussed about the shape and the size of the soap.  What I was worried about was if it actually worked!  I took a little lump and tried washing my hands with it.

lather on hand

It lathered quite well and washed off well too.  By the time I got a decent picture using manual focus on my SLR with one hand, most of the lather had washed off!  The beeswax and mango butter makes the soap less drying on the skin.

Overall, am quite pleased with the soap. However, it is a bit of a faff to make but probably worth it as you get a good supply for family use.


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