Black Tea Soap
I wanted to use up some Camelia oil I had bought for protecting tools from rust, but it dried into a film making a mess. Black tea soap was the obvious option.
- 12 oz of black tea (I used 6 tbs black tea)
- 12 oz coconut oil
- 12 oz camelia oil
- 2 oz beeswax
- 6 oz walnut oil
- 4.55 oz lye (129 g)
I mixed when the oil was around 130F and the lye was around 120F. The soap traced quickly (~10 minutes) with some whisking and sirring and gelled overnight.
Pine Tar Edition
I modified the original recipe slightly to add some pine tar into the mix. I used a calculator at soapee.com to create a 4% superfat recipe.
- 11.5 oz water
- 30 oz lard
- 3 oz pine tar
- 4.19 oz NaOH
The first batch we made failed terribly. We added the fat and lye around 160F while stirring with a spatula, and it immediately turned grainy–a condition I think is called ricing. With further mixing it only got worse, and when let sit for a few minutes oil would puddle out. It’s destined for the trash.
We think the sapponification reaction happened too quickly, and learned that many people mix the oil and water at a much lower temperature. We tried it again with the oil around 95F and the lye around 85F, mixing rapidly with a whisk as they were combined. The result was a beautiful texture that traced nicely and poured easily into molds.
We made a 100% lard soap with 3-5% superfat. Calculators, SAP ratio, and lard content all vary, so we looked at multiple sources and settled on the ratio 90 oz lard to 12.05 oz lye. We wanted about 35% water relative to oil, but this measurement is less critical. We Scaled down the recipe to a 4 lb batch by lard:
- 64 oz rendered pork lard (back fat)
- 22.4 oz water
- 8.58 oz NOH (lye)
This produced about 160 cubic inches of soap. It fit perfectly in our two smaller soap boxes.
Walnut Castile Soap
On our second attempt, we targeted 2% lye discount whereas our first attempt was closer to a 7% lye discount.
- 54 oz walnut oil (Mike Mahoney)
- 10 oz beeswax
- 7.63 oz lye
- 20 oz water
- 2 tbsp walnut dye
I had to find a use for some excess walnut oil so I made some soap.
- 90 oz walnut oil (La Tourangelle)
- 11.12 oz lye
- 0.82 oz KOH
- 30 oz water
- 1 tablespoonh salt
- 1/2 tsp walnut dye
Dissolve salt in the water and then add the lye and KOH. One stirred and dissolved, mix in the dye and cool to 150F. Meanwhile heat the oil to 160F. When both solution are at temperature add the lye to the oil and stir until cream, homogeneous, and traced (we used a stick blender to speed up the process).
Next time we might use 1 tsp dye for a darker color. The soap had a pleasant color and fragrance, but was too soft and oily. After a year some oil separated out into the box we were storing the soap in. Next time we would certainly use a bit more lye to cut down on the excess oil.
Beeswax Olive Soap (Wedding Soap)
- 26 oz olive oil
- 4 oz beeswax
- 2 oz palm oil
- 4.2 oz lye
- 16 oz water