lavender hot process soap

Luxurious lavender shampoo bar

Lavender is renown for it’s relaxing and calming properties and is often included in anxiety, insomnia, depression, and restlessness treatments and therapies.  It is also highly effective in relaxing muscles, soothing skin and healing minor cuts and burns.  Additionally, lavender helps keep hair healthy, killing, lice, lice eggs, and nits.

Making soap is a chemical process

Before you begin, there are a few things you should know;

  1. Making soap involves a chemical process that is dangerous, caution should always be taken during this process.
  2. Soap making involves Lye which is a strong alkaline solution of either sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or potassium hrdyoxide(KOH), which is toxic and will burn your eyes and skin upon contact.
  3. Always wear protective gloves and goggles when using and working with or around Lye.
  4. Any equipment used with Lye can NEVER be used for food!!!
  5. Keep the Lye far from the reach of children or pets.

Ingredients;

18 oz Lavender infused olive oil
1 oz Aloe vera oil
1 oz Neem oil
1 oz Tamanu oil
2 oz Castor oil
3 oz Jojoba oil
10 oz Lavender infused coconut oil

4.7 oz Lye
11 oz Lavender infused water

50 drops Lavender essential oil
2 tsp Alkanet root powder
1 tsp Arrowroot powder

Equipment;

Protective Gear – Goggles and Rubber or Latex Gloves
A double boiler or glass bowl/large jar and a pot with about 2″ of water for heating oils
Crock Pot (that is NOT used for food) – this is used in the hot process method
Heat Proof Measuring Cup
Wooden or Silicon Mixing Spoon (NOT used for food)
Digital Scale (for measuring lye)
2 Instant Read Thermometers
Immersion Blender
Soap Molds

Safety GearEquipmentGlass Jar Sauce Pan and Stir Stick

Instructions;

Infused Oils;

In a heat proof jar add about 2 tbs dried lavender flowers to every 4 oz of oil, do this in steps, lavender first, then oil and so on.  Once you have the desired amount of oil included in the jar, seal and place in a dark place, like your pantry, for about 6 weeks.  If you need it sooner, you can always use heat for the infusion process.  For more information about how to make infused oils check out my post Making Infused Oils.

Lavender infused water;

Bring about 13+ oz of water to a boil in a kettle.  In a heat proof jar, add 2 to 3 tbs dried lavender flowers at the bottom and pour the boiling water over them.  Cover and allow to cool.  When the lavender flowers and water have cooled to room temperature, strain out the lavender flowers and discard.

Lye solution;

Tea and Lye SolutionPour 11 oz of lavender infused water to the heat proof measuring cup, than wearing protective gear, goggles, gloves and a long sleeve shirt, measure out the lye using a separate container and the digital scale.  Slowly combine solid lye and liquid, stirring slowly as you pour.  This is best done outside while you are standing upwind. Stir until the solution is no longer cloudy and then, using one of the instant read thermometers, find out the temperature of the lye solution.

Always add solid Lye to Liquid, NEVER the other way around.

Oils;

Heating OilsIn a heat proof jar, combine lavender infused olive oil, aloe vera oil, neem oil, tamanu oil, castor oil, jojoba oil and the lavender infused coconut oil.  Set the jar into a medium sauce pan with about 2″ of water and heat over low to medium heat.  Stirring consistently will make the oils melt and combine quicker.

Once melted, pour into your crock pot and turn it on to warm.  Than check the temperature.  When the temperature of the oils and the temperature of the lye solution are within 10° F of each other, they are ready to be combined.  Be sure that neither of the solutions fall below 90° F.

While your waiting;

While you wait for the lye to cool, combine the alkanet root powder and the arrow root powder in a small container and whisk them until well blended.  Set aside with the lavender essential oil, as these will be added at trace.

Now;

TraceSlowly pour the lye solution into the oils, stir consistently. Continue to stir for a full 5 minutes with your wooden or silicon spoon.  After the first 5 minutes you can continue mixing with an immersion blender.  Blend in short bursts stirring in between.  You do not want to splash the batter out of the crock pot or make a lot of bubbles.  Continue stirring until the batter reaches trace, which resembles custard and will hold the shape of the spoon or blender for several seconds.

Next;

Add the 50 drops of lavender essential oil to the arrow root/alkanet root powder mixture.  The mixture should be a thick oily consistency, add more essential oil if need be.  Stir the essential oil/powder mixture into the soap until well combined.

Alkanet root powder combined with arrow root powder and essential oiladding essential oils and alkanet root powederLavender soap before cooking

At this point it is time to cover the crock pot, up the setting to low and allow it to cook for 1 hour.  You can take this time to prepare your mold. This recipe will fill a 3 LB mold.  I usually line my wooden or non-silicon molds with non-stick wax or parchment paper.

Once the hour has passed, turn off the crock pot thoroughly stir the soap mixture to combine any oils that may be trying to separate and spoon the soap into your mold.

Hot process lavender soap after half hour in the crock potHot process lavender soap awaiting final stirhot process lavender shampoo bar after stiring

Loaf molds work best with hot process soap recipes.  Using a folded sheet of parchment paper that is wide and long enough to cover the mold, you can smooth the top of the soap.  You can leave it alone if you choose, this only helps to keep the top from being too crumbly when being cut.

hot process lavender soap in the moldAllow the mold to open air dry overnight, and then remove the soap from the mold and allow the loaf of continue to cure for another 12 to 24 hours.

Congratulations!  You now have a loaf of soap that can be cut into bars.  While you can use your soap right away, it will be best if you allow it to cure for another few weeks.  Trust me, it is worth the wait!