CHARCOAL AND CLAY
Hot vs. Cold Process Soap
As I explained before, both methods of soap making use water, lye and
a combination of oils. The additional step of heating the mixture with
hot process soap speeds the saponification process and results in a
faster soap making process.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of soap. Hot process
creates a faster soap, and cold process often creates a smoother soap.
With soap making, it is very important to measure the weight. I use
a digital scale and measure by grams to be most precise. This ensures
that there is no remaining Lye in the recipe and that the oils fully
saponify. I also keep the following tools and supplies on hand for
A slow-cooker (I got an older one at a thrift store)
A digital scale (this is important for making a soap
that is not too harsh or too oily)
Glass jars and bowls
A stick blender
plastic cups (optional)
A metal spoon
A wooden spoon
Soap molds (or an old cardboard box lined with parchment
paper). I have green flower molds, red silicon rose molds
and basic bar soap molds.
Gloves and sunglasses or eyewear
A large bottle of white vinegar for neutralizing the lye
mixture if it spills on anything.
Charcoal Soap Ingredients:
172.36 grams (6.08 ounces) of filtered water
66 grams (2.33 ounces) Lye
181.44 grams (6.4 ounces) Coconut Oil
181.44 grams (6.4 ounces) Olive Oil
90.72 grams (3.2 ounces) Castor Oil
1 tablespoon activated charcoal powder
1 tablespoon bentonite clay powder
1 ounce of essential oil of choice (or blend)
I used lavender and tea tree
How to Make Charcoal Soap
1. Make sure that your work area is clean, ventilated and that there are no
children nearby. This is not a good recipe to let children help with since
Lye is caustic until mixed with water and oils.
2. Measure the oils in liquid form (by weight) and pour into the slow cooker.
Turn on high just until oils heat up and then reduce to low heat. At this
time, Add the clay and charcoal and use a stick blender to incorporate fully.
3. While oils are heating, carefully measure the lye and water separately.
TIP: This is the only thing I ever use disposable plastic cups for. They donít
weigh anything on the scale so they make measuring easy and I keep three
separate cups labeled:
4. Water, Lye and Oil to use for this purpose only. I reuse them each time so
they arenít wasted and I donít worry about anyone drinking out of them since
we donít usually use these types of cups.
5. Carefully take the cups with the water and the lye outside or to a well
ventilated area. Pour the water into a quart size or larger glass jar. With
gloves and eye protection, slowly add the lye to the water.
DO NOT ADD THE WATER TO THE LYE (this is really important).Stir carefully with
a metal spoon, making sure not to let the liquid come in contact with your body
6. As you stir, this will create a cloudy white mixture that gets really hot.
Let this mixture set for about 10 minutes to cool. It should become clear and
not cloudy when it has cooled.
7. When the oils in the crockpot have heated (to about 120-130 degrees F), slowly
pour in the water and lye mixture and stir.
8. Quickly rinse the container used for the water and lye mixture out in the sink.
I rinse well and then re-rinse with white vinegar to make sure all Lye has been
9. Use the metal or wooden spoon to stir the lye/water mixture into the oil mixture
in the crockpot. Once it is evenly mixed, use the stick blender to blend for about
4-5 minutes or until it is opaque and starting to thicken.
10. Cover and keep on low heat to thicken. I set a timer for 15 minutes and check it
every 15 minutes until it is ready. It will start to boil and bubble on the sides
first. After about 35-55 minutes (depending on crock pot) it will thicken enough that
the entire surface is bubbly and the sides have collapsed in.
11. At this point, turn the heat off and remove the crock. If you are going to use
essential oils for scent, add them now. I added lavender and orange.
12. Quickly and carefully spoon into molds. Iíve often heard of people using empty
Pringles containers but havenít tried it. I have used empty boxes lined with parchment
13.Cover the molds with parchment paper and set in a cool, dry place.
After 24 hours, pop the soap out of the molds. It can be used right away, but I prefer
to let it set for a few more days so that it lasts longer.
This soap will leave a little bit of residue in the bottom of the shower over time, but
Iíve found that this is easy to clean with a quick microfiber wipe down each day.
Charcoal & Clay Facial Soap Recipe
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