Pink Grapefruit – Orange & Pink Swirl – Cold Processed Soap

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In 2014 I started making our soap. It seemed like a fascinating process & I love the idea of being able to craft a bar that has exactly what we want & the exact qualities of a soap that we love.

I don’t think I’ve stumbled across ‘the’ recipe yet, but here is the latest batch I have tried. I will report back in a couple of months as to whether this bar is a winner.

Ingredients

  • 300g coconut oil (may need to warm it up a bit to get it into liquid form)
  • 500g olive oil
  • 75g shea butter (I use unrefined – you will probably need to warm this in a small saucepan on the stove to get to liquid form)
  • 126g lye (caustic soda)
  • 289g distilled/filtered water
  • 35g pink grapefruit fragrance oil
  • Total batch of soap will weight approximately 1.3kg

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You will also need

(here is a great article on all you will need)

  • Scales – Electronic that measure in single grams
  • Good rubber gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Large glass bowl to mix oils & lye together
  • Soap mold that will be able to hold the batch amount you are making above
  • Glass jug (or any heatproof jug) for lye water
  • Stick blender
  • Orange & Pink liquid brites colour for CP soap-making
  • Chopstick for swirling
  • Plastic measuring jugs (if you are wanting to pour out your soap mix to make different colours
  • Spatula (for getting every last bit of the soap mix into the mold)
  • Stainless-steel spoon

I like to do everything methodically when it comes to soap-making. I find it relaxing to do it this way & to be honest, it’s safer as you’re more likely to cover all bases.

Step 1: Use your scales to measure your lye (caustic soda) into small bowl (I have a few small glass bowls I use for this & to hold the fragrance oil when measured out).

Step 2: Use your scales to measure your water into your glass jug.

Step 3: Slowly add your lye to your water – Do this in a well-ventilated room & stir slowly with your stainless steel spoon until the caustic soda is dissolved. The water will heat up to an incredibly hot temperature (if you don’t believe me, touch the lower outer side of the glass jug…HOT).

Set this aside & let it start coming down toward room temperature. Now you can get on with getting out & organizing all the other bits & bobs.

Step 4: In a glass bowl, use your scales to measure your fragrance. Set aside.

Step 5: Use your scales to measure your olive oil, melted coconut oil & melted shea butter into your large glass bowl & mix together.

Step 6: Grab a plastic jug for each of your colours, for me that’s 2. Pour a small amount of pink & orange into each. Set these aside as we will pour soap mix into each of these after.

Step 7: Put on your safety glasses & rubber gloves. Gently add the room temp lye water to your bowl of room temp oils & gently mix together with your spatula. Put your stick blender into the bowl, tap it on the bottom of the bowl a couple of times to get any air bubbles out from under the blender head.

Step 8: Start with some quick bursts of the blender to emulsify the oil & lye water together. You are looking for ‘thin’ trace which is like a runny pancake batter. This took me about 30 seconds of quick blasts with the blender & then stirring to see how it is coming together in the bowl.

Step 9: This is when I add my fragrance and gently stir through with my spatula, then I give it a quick blitz with my stick blender.

Step 10: Once you are happy with the mix, pour about 1 cup into your jug with the pink colour & the same into the jug with the orange colour. Give these a good mix with your spatula, but you may also need to put your stick blender in them & give them a quick blitz to mix the colour through completely.

Step 11: Pour the remaining soap mix (uncoloured) into your soap mold. Take your pink and pour it into your soap mould in a big ‘s’ shape, using most of the mix in the jug. Follow with the orange & again pour it in a ‘s’ shape, right along side the pink ‘s’ shape, but not right on top of it. I end up doing two passes in a ‘s’ shape with each colour & then if there is any remaining colour I just use my spatula to scrape all of it out & onto the top of the soap.

Step 12: Take your chopstick & swirl diagonally from one corner of the mold to the other side so you are running your chopstick through the ‘s’ shape you made when pouring. Make sure your chopstick is going all the way to the bottom. I just do this once, but some people do it multiple times. I also run the chopstick around all 4 edges of the mold to see if I can pull some colour to the sides.

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Step 13: Cover the top of the mold with some strong cardboard or ply lay a towel over the top of that to ensure it is insulated (you don’t want soap to cool too quick as it will discolour). Put it out of the way.

Now you need to wait up to a week. To be honest, you are able to wait less, but I’m in no rush, so I wait at least 24 hours and then check. This time I checked after a 36 hour cure & the sides of the mold came away super easy so I un-molded.

Once I have un-molded, I cut my soap up into the bar size I want. For this batch I got 12 large bars.

I will now set these out on racks to ‘cure’ for another 4-6 weeks.

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I’m really happy with the swirls & patterns in this batch, definitely not perfect, but the orange thickened up quite quickly so I’m pleased with the swirls that I did manage to get.

I just love using home made soap. I will be bundling up 3 or 4 bars for my uncle to take home with him & I will pass another 3-4 bars on to my parents who I know will appreciate the thought.

Next batch will be with green swirls & will be an Anjou pear fragrance I believe. I may blog about that also.

Useful links:

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November 2014 – 2 years since last post

Time apparently flies when you are having fun. Not really sure how two years have flown by since I really started this idea of a little space to record the happenings here at Kiora Cottage.

I feel like so much has changed. The life that we spoke about 2 years ago is actually happening. Macro Boy has finished up work as a 3D visualisation artist & it busy with lots of projects around our home as he waits for his horticulture course to start in early 2015. I’m very excited for him, to be able to stop work in a field that he didn’t really love anymore to be able to go & try something new.

I am also acutely aware that we are so lucky to be able to do this in Australia. So many people here feel they need to have two incomes for each household just to get ahead. Not fun & very stressful.

Macro Boy still does some photography for his old company & has also recently had some super exciting news that one of his macro photos will be featured in an upcoming wildlife magazine. A dream come true for him really.

I am still within the same business as I have been for 5 years now, however I am now in a management position. I love it & all its challenges, however I do find that my day-to-day career sometimes doesn’t mesh with my bliss of a quiet, home based life.

I have become quite the little crafty domestic goddess in the last year or so. I have taken up crochet, I’m teaching myself to sew, I’m making our own soap & laundry liquid. I have even set up a little crafting space in our guest room.

Craft Room - Oct2014

At the moment, the above space is awaiting a little more decoration, which I will show in an upcoming post. So what am I doing in this space at the moment?

  • Crochet: A blanket in a soft-chevron pattern for my Dad (pattern from this YouTube video). The wool is all from Bendigo Woolen Mills which is where my parents have just moved. I’m hoping that having a blanket made by his only daughter with local wool will make the bitterly cold winter a little warmer & sweeter in 2015 & beyond.
  • Sewing: I’m currently running up little drawstring gift-bags for Christmas gifts. I’m also sewing lots of headbands to put in these gift bags for some of my colleagues & friends. Upcoming projects include microwaveable heat/cool rice bags for my Dad & Uncle. I’m also considering if I have enough skill to put together some cross-body tote bags & coffee cup cozy’s. I will post a collection of some of my projects in coming weeks.
  • Soap Making: I have started making my own soaps. The most recent batch I have made will be fully cured & ready for Christmas gifts. I follow Rhona Hertzel’s – Down to Earth blog quite closely & have really based any of my soap making on her recipe & guidance. Although I have got adventurous & added colour & fragrance to my latest batch. My next batch is going to be ‘pink grapefruit’ scented & I think the most appropriate colour for that soap will be a vibrant pink. I will definitely show that on here when it is done.

We are still working hard in our garden. We have acquired 3 beautiful chooks in the past year which now provide us with approximately 3 eggs a day. We are so grateful to Beatrice, Bertie & Edna.

We love our veggie patch & I’m sure the patch will feature in upcoming posts as Macro Boy has been out in the garden working hard on a irrigation system that is going to ensure our garden goes completely nuts this Summer, I predict.

As you can see below, the roses & geraniums are doing just fine despite the crazy winds we’ve been experiencing here in Melbourne.

Garden Instagram Pic

Our two dogs, Sooty & Sweep are also doing well. We have always loved them & probably indulged them a little too much, however they were our ‘practice’ children. As it turns out, they may end up being our only children, but that is ok, we still love them & one positive is at 6 & 7 years old they are already past the teenager phase.

Puppies 201

Well, I really do think that is about it. I will be trying to post here once a week. They will be simple updates, sometimes crafting, sewing, soap making, gardening, what I’m reading, or perhaps some news of some trips we are planning to take as we get closer to our savings goal for our first ever camper trailer. Exciting times.