The return of hot, sunny weather brings with it vacations, outdoor adventures, and even camping for some! Whether you enjoy roughing it or a more “civilized” approach, you need a soap that respects the environment and won’t attract clouds of mosquitoes or black flies.
So why not make your own fantastic two-colour soap using two different clays? The following recipe makes a soap that’s fun to use while camping for washing both your skin and your hair. The mixture of essential oils gives it the refreshing scent of the great outdoors. Can’t you just hear the call of the wild?
- Silicone loaf soap mold
- Protective soapmaking gear
- Scales, accurate to 1 g and 0.01 g
- 1 large Pyrex measuring cup or HDPE pot (with a minimum capacity of 500 ml) for the sodium hydroxide solution
- 1 pot for weighing the sodium hydroxide
- Pipettes for the essential oils
- Large stainless steel bowls
- 1 thermometer
- Measuring funnel pitchers (900 ml)
- 1 immersion blender
- Several spoons
- 1 silicone spatula
- Soap mold
- 1 mini mixer
- 313 g (30.7%) olive oil
- 128 g (12.5%) palm oil
- 128 g (12.5%) coconut oil
- 38 g (3.7%) castor oil (organic or regular)
- 32 g (3.1%) neem oil
- 52 g (5.1%) kokum butter
- 0.3 g (0.02%) green oxide
- 0.7 g (0.06%) zinc oxide
- 0.2 g (0.01%) yellow oxide
- 2 g (0.2%) green oxide (set aside to sprinkle between the two soap layers)
- 8 g (0.8%) lemon-scented eucalyptus essential oil – Corymbia citriodora (Eucalyptus citriodora)
- 4 g (0.4%) Atlas cedar essential oil – Cedrus atlantica
- 4 g (0.4%) rosemary cineol essential oil – Rosemarinus officinalis ct cinéole
- 4 g (0.4%) true lavender essential oil – Lavandula angustifolia
Before you start
- Assemble all the tools and ingredients.
- Read the safety precautions for using sodium hydroxide (lye)here.
- Read the recipe all the way through to familiarize yourself with the steps.
- Put on your soap-making gear: gloves, safety goggles (even if you wear glasses), apron, long-sleeved top, and closed-toe shoes.
- Note that this is an advanced recipe; separating the soap into two halves requires you to work quickly to so the trace doesn’t appear too soon.
Steps to follow
- Prepare and sterilize your equipment and workspace.
- Weigh the ingredients.
- Dissolve the sodium lactate in warm demineralized water, let cool, and add the sodium hydroxide (lye). Follow the safety precautions for handling lye.
- Prepare two containers holding at least 500 ml. In the first container, add the green clay and the pigments (green, yellow, and white (zinc) oxide). In the second container, add the ghassoul clay. In each of the containers mix a few tablespoons of olive oil (using some of the olive oil listed in the ingredients) with the clay and the pigments (if any). Mix well with the mini-mixer (wheel attachment) to eliminate lumps. Set aside.
- Melt the semi-solid oils (palm, coconut, and neem). Once melted, remove from heat and add to liquid oils (olive and castor).
- Melt the kokum butter in the double boiler. Set aside.
- When the oils and the lye each reach a temperature of at least 40º C, it’s time to add the lye solution to the oils. Ideally, the difference in temperature between the oils and the lye should not be more than 10º C.
- Using the immersion blender, mix all ingredients well. When the mixture is homogeneous and before a visible trace appears, add the kokum butter. Mix again.
- Separate the soap into two equal parts and pour half into the container containing the green clay and the pigments and the other half into the container containing the ghassoul clay.
- First mix the soap containing the ghassoul clay; when the clay is well blended, add half of the mixture of essential oils. Mix again until a thick trace appears. Pour this mixture into the molds until they are approximately half full. Depending on the desired effect, you can vary this proportion.
- Using the sieve, sprinkle the soap layer with the green oxide that you set aside earlier. Lightly tap the sieve with a spoon to evenly distribute the oxide over the surface of the soap.
- Now mix the soap containing the green clay and the pigments and then add the essential oils. Mix again. Gently, from a low height, pour the green soap mixture onto the beige soap.
- Use a rod (or the stem of the thermometer) to texture the top of the soap.
- Cover and let stand 12-24 hours. Remove from the mould, cut, and set aside for four to six weeks.