Coco Cooks Up Homemade Soap…A New Year of Projects

A few weeks ago thoughts of personal care products cooked up in my own kitchen came to me after looking through a flavoring catalog for my pastry needs. They had wholesale aromatherapy and spa products too. Salves, balms, creams and soaps could be made in my own kitchen! A friend had earlier suggested why don’t I blog about beauty and cosmetics as I have been in the industry since college (20+ years) and it’s what I know. Honestly, there are so many beauty fashion blogs out there, I just didn’t feel it. But I could get into blogging and writing about my experiences making homemade beauty products. Now that would be fascinating to me.I was bent on a mission to play as a little Christmas treat. Wandering a craft store aisle, I saw some soap making kits. Nice place to start and learn with Melt and Pour Cheap bases, but crap products.

I then delved into the Internet forums, blogs, and tutorials, and became obsessed with worlds of possibilities in crafting my own soaps.  There a lot of complicated information out there based on Chemistry, in which I was never good at. But once you grasp the info, it’s just basic science and common sense. Plus the Internet is full of Lye Calculators, Essential Oil Charts, and SAP Value charts (The higher the value the more lather, but not necessarily the most moisturizing) that practically do the work for you. So you will know how much Lye and liquid to add, which fats makes a hard, moisturizing or lathering bar .You will find yourself using the common sense you apply to baking and cooking. In fact that’s why I love soap making because I see so many correlations between the culinary arts and crafting soaps.It’s all about ratios. Choosing the right fat/oil bases, adding natural additives and exfoliates right from my pantry, and watching how Sodium Hydroxide ( LYE) and fat ( animal or vegetable, or a combo) saponify in a magical process  to transform into soap. You can enrich your bars with superfatting after Trace. Our ancestors made soap, why can’t I? So for the past week I have been playing and have made two batches. One animal based and one pure vegetable. Soap making can be expensive, not to mention Hit or Miss. But using a safe approach (goggles, ventilation, gloves, no kids or animals present) mixed with the creative you can create a particle work of art that not only cleanses you, but looks good in your bathroom as well.

Certain Someone naturally thinks I’m crazy. Images of Fight Club came to his head and he has taken to calling me Tyler Durden. He says I’m not focused. But as he’s not a creative, he can’t see how this interest is tied up with all my other interests. Just a natural progression of being cognizant of what I put in my body and on it. Plus , it’s a way to create in the kitchen, minus the calories intake.  Most commercial soaps are not only expensive and full of chemicals. I’m loving the way my bars feel on my skin so far. I haven’t even waited the total curing time (1-2 weeks  for Hot Process to make soap milder) but am in love already. I have found some fellow food bloggers who make soaps. The Internet has some great soap blogs and Etsy shops out there that are full of inspirations. So far I have only made small batch Hot Process soaps via a Crock Pot Method.I have decided to dedicate my crock pot and separate Kitchen supplies to just soap making. Be sure your molds are only made of heavy duty plastic, silicone, wood, cardboard. Molds can be found in items around your home. Wood boxes, cars board boxes, plastic containers, etc.Pots should be stainless steel. Do not use Aluminum based items!

One more thing. You can’t make soap without Lye. No matter how its labeled it’s Lye. If you see Saponified this and that, it’s a Fat /Oil that has undergone the chemical process via Lye. If someone says they have Lye Free soap, it’s a LIE ( Pun intended).

Ground Vanilla Bean & Spiced Oatmeal  Bar

Animal fat based. Some people are zealous about not using animal fats in soap making. Our ancestors first used this. The fats are transformed and the soap makes a nice rice bar. Read more about animal fat based soaps here. In fact most widely used commercial soaps use animal fats.

I used what was on hand. Even rendered goose fat.  Made a nice mild bar with pleasant mild order. Nice lather.

Oil/Fat        Quantity          Percentage

Almond Oil Sweet      2 oz.                       4.969 %

Beeswax                       1 oz.                      2.484 %

Coconut Oil                  12 oz.                    29.814 %

Goose Fat                       4 oz.                     9.938 %

Leaf Lard                                11 oz.                   27.329 %

Olive Oil                        7.25 oz.                18.012 %

Sesame Seed Oil          3 oz.                      7.453 %

Total Amount of Oils 40.25 oz.


2.01 oz      5 % (mix sesame, almond, olive)

5.614 oz Lye

11.2 oz water

Oatmeal, cinnamon, ginger

Rebatched small pieces from scraps . Added Honey, more Jojoba and Turmeric for natural color. Softer finish, less suds. Also rebatched cubed weren’t fine enough and gives appearance of Salami. Certain Someone almost ate a piece.

Island Citrus . An all Vegetable Shortening based soap with Essential Lime oil and Grated Nutmeg.

Basic Soap making Processes ( click here)

  • Melt and Pour

  • Cold Process

  • Hot Process

  • Re-batched / Hand Milled

Helpful Links with Tutorials:

Miller’s Homemade Soap Pages


The Soap Making Forum

Best Crock Pot Hot Process Tutorial Link


Beautiful  and Helpful Soap Making Blogs

The Soap Bar

Soap History


Sourcing Supplies

Bramble Berry

Wholesale Cash and Carry Restaurant Supply outlets  or Ethnic markets for large quantities of Olive Oil, Coconut Oils, Palm Oils

If you are a foodie who makes soap, let me know about your own adventures. Maybe we can have event roundup this year. It would be awesome.

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11 thoughts on “Coco Cooks Up Homemade Soap…A New Year of Projects

  1. Megan

    Thanks for this post, I really enjoyed it and think I’ll add this to my “to do” list for this year. 🙂

  2. Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle

    I do not make my own soaps but I have my own branded label of small batch soaps made for me. What would you expect Vino Luci to carry? Well, how about Cabernet and Champagne soaps and some more expected like Lemon Rosemary and Lavender. I could actually go to their shop and make my own but have never had the time…your adventure might compel me to do otherwise! They look beautiful.

  3. Cathy

    What fun! I’ve never made my own soap. Although my husband’s gratdmonher used to tell us about when she made soap on the back porch, and how much she hated using lye I suppose that’s why I’ve never tried. Would be lovely to pair soap-making with fragrant herbs and flowers from the garden. Homemade lavender soap! Do you think you’ll try adding fragrance to your next batch?

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