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Castile soap has been very popular since the medieval times. It is made from 100 percent olive which makes it gentle and mild and works as a skin moisturizer. It is used as a hand soap, bathing soap, and also as a natural shampoo. Naturally, people will opt for this rather than the chemical ones that are available in the market. Making it at home is very easy with plenty of recipes available. If you love homemade soap, you can choose any one recipe from below.

Homemade Recipe
The ingredients are easily available in grocery stores. Apart from that, you will need rubber gloves, a huge stainless steel soap pot, a glass bowl, two sturdy spoons to stir the soap and the lye, a meat thermometer, an old blanket, and a huge wooden rectangular box for molding the soap or other molds of your choice.

Ingredients
  • 40 oz. 100% olive oil
  • 10 oz. coconut oil
  • 16 oz. distilled water
  • 6.9 oz. Lye (sodium hydroxide)
  • 2.2 oz. of any essential oils of your choice (optional)
Procedure
  • Pour the water in the glass bowl, and set it down. Slowly add the lye, and mix it well with the water. Be sure to wear your rubber gloves while working with the lye, as it may burn your skin in case of direct contact. Don't touch this glass bowl, as it will become very hot while mixing the water and the lye.
  • Pour the measured amounts of both oils into the soap pot and heat up to 75ºF. You can keep a track of the temperature with the meat thermometer.
  • Turn off the gas, and slowly add the water-and-lye mixture to the olive oil. Keep on stirring it continuously while adding the lye mixture. Prepare yourself for at least an hour of stirring.
  • A trace will be seen while you are stirring the mixture. This trace essentially means that the necessary chemical reaction needed for the formation of the soap has started.
  • Traditional recipes do not have any fragrances, but you can add a combination of the essential oils for this purpose. The right time to add them will be after the water-and-lye mixture has been thoroughly blended with the oil.
  • Once this mixture reaches honey-like consistency, you can stop stirring.
  • The next step is to pour the mixture into the molds. You can pour the entire thing in one big rectangular mold, and cut it in your favorite shapes after the soap hardens.
  • Next comes the part where your patience is tested. You will need to cover the mold(s) with an old blanket, and keep it undisturbed for at least 48 hours so as to allow it to harden. This is an important process, as the soap is undergoing saponification (chemical reaction).
  • After 48 hours are up, open the blanket, and cut the hardened substance into bars.
  • Hold it! Do not use it yet! Your soap needs to be aged before it is used. Hence, after cutting it, keep it on a wire rack to age for minimum two weeks. Cover it with the same blanket so that it doesn't become dusty. The more it ages, the better it becomes.
After two weeks, your beauties are ready to be used or wrapped to make wonderful gifts.

Variations

The recipe must have olive oil. In case you want to use other oils, you can change the composition of the olive oil in the recipe accordingly. The following variations will help you. You can make your castile soap recipe with:
  • 80% olive oil + 20% coconut oil
  • 60% olive oil + 20% coconut oil + 20% palm oil
  • 70% olive oil + 20% coconut oil + 10% soybean oil
  • 60% olive oil + 20% coconut oil + 10% palm oil + 10% canola oil
Remember that the recipe is incomplete without olive oil. There is no 100% olive oil substitute in castile soap-making. You can also add cocoa butter, vegetable shortening, and beeswax pearls to make the castile soap creamy and give it a glossy look.

Liquid Recipe
  • In order to make liquid castile soap, you will have to first make it according to the above recipe. Only replace the sodium hydroxide with 5.5 oz. potassium hydroxide.
  • Once you are done, pour the mixture out in a sturdy bucket or a stainless steel pot, and add about 40 oz. of boiled distilled water to it.
  • Mix both, and keep it untouched for a night. The next day, you will find that it has completely blended with water.
  • Fill it up in bottles with the help of a funnel. Your liquid soap is now ready to be used.
You can add more of the essential oils or herbs to make a good homemade shampoo or handwash. You can also dilute it with water and use for general cleaning purposes.

Easy does it!
Whoa! If this is your reaction towards the recipes mentioned above, here is an easy recipe for you. Follow the procedure and teach your friends how to make homemade soaps with confidence!

Ingredients
  • 5 bars of ready-made castile soap
  • 1 gal. water
  • Cheese grater
  • Heavy-duty, stainless steel pot or a soap pot
  • Molds
  • Old blanket
  • 15 drops of essential oils of your choice
  • Food color (matching with the essential oil)
Procedure
  • Buy pure and natural castile soap from the shops selling natural products. It is white in color.
  • Grate this soap with the help of a cheese grater, and put it in the stainless steel pot with water.
  • Heat the pot gently till the soap dissolves in the water.
  • Add the essential oil and stir.
  • Add the food color to this mixture while stirring continuously. Preferably, it should complement the chosen essential oil. For example, if you have chosen orange oil, add orange color to it.
  • At this point, you can add 2 tsp. glycerin if you want to add extra moisturizer.
  • Pour the mixture in the molds, and let it set for 48 hours. Cover it with an old blanket, and leave it undisturbed.
Remove the blanket, and your soaps are ready to be used. You need not cure or age them.

I am sure there is at least one recipe above, that you would like to try out. Just be careful when handling lye. Making your own soaps will be a fun activity, and it can also be made into a home business. Surprise your friends with your handmade soaps. They can serve as good gifts too! Don those apron and gloves, choose an easy recipe, and start soap-making. Good luck!

Disclaimer: Make sure that you use an online soap calculator to confirm the accuracy of the measures of the ingredients for your recipe.