I can’t find the recipe a coworker wants, but I know it’s one of my regular bars of soap made up “nice” to give to people. In this case, that meant it was a vegetarian bar, and I’m not going to do that today because I have an awful lot of tallow to use, and palm oil kinda freaks me out, anyhow, on the sustainability front.
I make a bar of soap that is almost universally loved by ladies who need a moisturizing bar. It is about 40% some fat that is solid at room temperature, 20% cocoa or shea butter, 20% olive oil, 8% castor oil, and the rest is usually something like argan, jojoba, sweet almond, or other oil that I like right out of the bath as a moisturizer all on its own. Every batch has its own character since the scent and specifics change a bit, but they are largely comparable. Each bar from a batch becomes the new best-loved bar ever.
401 g beef tallow
202g cocoa butter
209g olive oil
75g castor oil
Eventually, I will add:
16 g sweet almond oil (it was what was left in the bottle
19g cocoa butter (yes, again)
So, I’m going to base my lye calculation on all of that, with 6% superfat. But I’m going to add the lye solution after my first four fats and I’m going to let them react. I want to give every chance for the tallow to react completely and /then/ I’m going to add the fancier oils.
That means I’m going to need 125.6 grams of lye (NaOH)
I’ll use 304 mL of water. Some lye calculators will give you a range of water you could use. The most important thing is to use at least twice as much water as lye, or your lye cannot dissolve. I like a little extra, so that I don’t have to worry about some escaping the crock pot.
I added a teaspoon of sugar to my lye solution before it went into the crock pot with the first batch of oils. Sugar makes a bubblier soap.
The second batch of oils got gently heated to melt the cocoa butter, in the meantime.
After 20 minutes, it was mostly done, so I added the second batch of oils and used the immersion blender to get it all mixed up. Adding oil at this point will make your soap look a bit like applesauce, really.
Fear not. Another twenty minutes later, it looked like every other batch of soap you’ve ever seen in my crock pot. I scented it with an amaretto scent from Bramble Berry that everyone, me included, seems to love. My husband, who promptly left the house to go find something outdoors to work on as soon as I began clarifying fat, came back in to declare that the house smelled like birthday cake.