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Pure Soapmaking
Makes 18 bars

In addition to containing huge amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants, lemons are known for their deodorizing properties. While the saponification process may inhibit the deodorizing effect, the lemon zest in this soap provides a hint of exfoliation plus a burst of beautiful natural color. The cocoa powder creates a beautiful, rich brown color after going through a gel phase,so give the mold plenty of insulation to really make the colors pop.

Safe Soaping!
Wear proper safety gear the whole time.
Work in a well-ventilated space.
No distractions (keep kids and pets away).

Posted by Storey Publishing Published See Storey Publishing's 42 projects »

  • Step 1


    Add the lye to the water (never the other way around) and stir gently until all of the lye is dissolved. If using sodium lactate, add it to the lye-water and stir to combine. Set the mixture aside to cool until it becomes clear.

  • Step 2

    Melt the palm oil in its original container, mix it thoroughly, and measure into a bowl large enough to hold all of the oils and the lye-water with room for mixing. Melt and measure the coconut oil and add it to the bowl. Add the
    cocoa butter and palm kernel flakes to the hot oils, and stir until melted. If needed, heat the oils further until the butter and flakes are melted. Add the olive oil pure, rice bran oil, and sweet almond oil.

  • Step 3

    When both the oils and the lye-water are between 110° and 120°F (43–49°C), add the lye-water to the oils, pouring it over a spatula or the shaft of the stick blender to minimize air bubbles. Tap the stick blender a couple of times against the bottom of the bowl to release any air that may be trapped in the blades. Do not turn on the stick blender until it is fully immersed. Stick-blend for 20 seconds, or until thin trace is achieved.

  • How to make soap. Lemon Linear Swirls - Step 4
    Step 4

    Add the lemon juice and zest to the batter. Stick-blend for 10 seconds. The batter will turn a lovely o range/yellow.

  • Step 5

    Add the essential oil blend, and whisk to combine.

  • Step 6

    Divide the soap into three equal parts and add the colorants as follows.
    »» Container A: annatto infusion
    »» Container B: all of the Dutch-process cocoa powder dispersion
    »» Container C: all of the titanium dioxide dispersion
    Stick-blend each container about 2 seconds, just long enough to incorporate the colors.

  • Step 7

    Pour random S-curves across the bottom of the mold, using a different color for each one and varying the amount of soap used for each pour. Do this with approximately half of each color.

  • Step 8

    With the remaining batter, pour thin lines of soap lengthwise across the mold so the entire surface is covered.

  • Step 9

    With the mold positioned lengthwise, insert a chopstick in the top left corner until it reaches the bottom of the mold. Drag the chopstick perpendicular to the lines of the soap, making S-curves until it reaches the other edge of the mold.

  • How to make soap. Lemon Linear Swirls - Step 10
    Step 10

    Insert the chopstick in the far left corner again, all the way to the bottom of the mold. This time, drag the chopstick lengthwise along the wall of the mold, moving in the same direction as the original stripes of soap. Create S-curves in this manner across the entire soap.

  • Step 11

    Tap the mold to release any remaining air bubbles. Spritz the top of the soap with 99% rubbing alcohol. Cover the mold, and carefully drape a towel over it. This soap should go through gel phase to achieve the brightest color. Allow it to set for 48 hours before attempting to unmold.

  • How to make soap. Lemon Linear Swirls - Step 12
    Step 12

    Cut the soap into bars using a sharp knife. Allow the bars to cure in a well-ventilated area for 4 to 6 weeks before using, turning them every few days to ensure that they cure evenly.

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