"Soap Crafting" offers step-by-step techniques for making 31 unique varieties of cold-process soaps.
Cover Courtesy Storey Publishing
The Soap Queen, Anne-Marie Faiola, shows you how to make perfect cold-process soap that is better than what you can buy at the store! In Soap Crafting (Storey Publishing, 2013), she walks you through every step of 31 exciting recipes via simple instructions and great photography, making it easy to master the techniques you need and produce the soaps you want. The following Avocado Soap recipe is excerpted from chapter 8, “Inspired by Food.”
Buy this book in the Mother Earth Living store: Soap Crafting.
• Work in a well-ventilated area. Do not breathe any fumes!
• Wear long sleeves, long pants, and closed-toe shoes.
• Don safety goggles (regular glasses are not sufficient protection) and rubber gloves during the entire soapmaking process.
• Keep children and pets away from your workspace.
Avocado Soap Recipe
Avocados are high in vitamins A, D, and E, and also contain high levels of lecithin, potassium, protein, and amino acids. In raw form, they can be used to treat sun-damaged skin. In soap, avocado is beneficial for dry, itchy skin, and its antiwrinkle properties make it a good addition to caring for mature skin.
To ensure against browning, put the soap in the freezer after pouring it into the mold. This will prevent the soap from going through gel phase by keeping the batch cool.
Approximately 20 bars
8.2 ounces sodium hydroxide (lye)
15 ounces distilled water
Base Ingredient Amounts
8.6 ounces palm oil
14.3 ounces coconut oil (76°F)
5.7 ounces palm kernel flakes
11.4 ounces olive oil
17.1 ounces avocado oil
6.8 ounces avocado slurry (3 ounces ripe avocado, 3.8 ounces distilled water)
1 1/2 teaspoons Green Chrome Oxide
2 teaspoons Yellow Oxide
3 tablespoons sunflower oil (or other liquid oil)
3.5 ounces Wasabi fragrance oil
• Cardboard or newspaper
• Heat-resistant bowls for measuring lye and
• Heat-resistant measuring pitcher for oils
(large enough to hold oils and lye-water, with
room for mixing)
• Heat-resistant mixing utensils
• Measuring cups and spoons
• Rubber gloves
• Safety goggles
• Skewers or chopsticks (for swirling)
• Soap molds (and liners or freezer paper)
• Stick blender
• 91% isopropyl rubbing alcohol in spray bottle
• Sharp knife
• 5-pound wood log mold
• Large spoon
Prepare the avocado slurry. Add 3 ounces of ripe avocado to 3.8 ounces of distilled water. Stick-blend until well mixed. The texture should resemble a melted milk shake.
Prepare the colorant. Prior to starting the soapmaking process, mix the colorants as follows, using the mini-mixer.
• 1 teaspoon of Green Chrome Oxide in 1 tablespoon of oil
• 1 teaspoon of the Yellow Oxide in 1 tablespoon of oil
• 1/2 teaspoon of the Green Chrome Oxide plus 1 teaspoon of the Yellow Oxide in 1 tablespoon of oil
Push the powder under the surface of the oil with the tip of the blade to saturate the powder before you begin or you’ll stir up a messy cloud of pigment. Mix the colorants thoroughly for the most even color results.
Make the Soap Mixture
1. Add the lye to the water (never the other way around), stir gently, and set aside until clear.
2. Melt the palm oil in its original container, mix it thoroughly, and measure into a bowl large enough to hold all the oils and the lye-water with room for mixing. Melt and measure the coconut oil and add it to the bowl. Melt and add the palm kernel flakes. Add the olive and avocado oils.
3. When the oils and the lye-water are both below 120°F, add the lye-water to the oils, pouring it over a spatula or the shaft of the stick blender to minimize air bubbles. Tap the stick blender a couple of times against the bottom of the bowl to release any air trapped in the blades. Do not turn on the stick blender until it is fully immersed. Stick blend to extremely thin trace, then add the avocado slurry and stick-blend until a light trace (the consistency of a melted milkshake) is reached, about 2 minutes.
4. Split the batch into three parts: two parts at 4 cups each, one part at 2 cups.
5. Color each of the batches as follows.
• 1 1/2 teaspoons of the Green Chrome Oxide mixture to one of the 4-cup batches
• 1/2 teaspoon of the Green Chrome Oxide plus Yellow Oxide mixture and 1/2 teaspoon of the Yellow Oxide mixture to the other 4-cup batch
• 2 teaspoons of the Yellow Oxide mixture to the 2-cup batch
Whisk or stick-blend each of the colorants into the soap until incorporated.
6. Add 1.5 ounces of the Wasabi fragrance oil to each of the 4-cup batches, and 0.5 ounce of Wasabi fragrance oil to the 2-cup batch. Right before pouring each batch, stick-blend it until a thick trace (the consistency of pourable pudding) is achieved.
Pour and Layer
7. Pour the 4-cup batch colored with just the Green Chrome Oxide into the mold. Tamp the mold on the work surface to spread the soap and remove any air bubbles.
8. Pouring over a spatula to prevent breakthrough, pour the 4-cup Green Chrome Oxide plus Yellow Oxide batch into the mold. Tamp the mold on the work surface to spread the soap and remove any air bubbles.
9. Pouring over a clean spoon, pour the 2-cup Yellow Oxide batch into the mold.
10. Use the spoon to mound the soap into a peak that goes down the center of the mold lengthwise.
11. Insert a swirl tool (such as a skewer or chopstick) into just the top 1/2 inch or so of soap. Drag the tool through the heavily traced soap in a pattern to create visual interest. The design is meant to be purely textural, so don’t swirl deep enough to hit the other colors.
12. Spray entire exposed surface with 91% isopropyl rubbing alcohol two or three times over a 90-minute period to help decrease soda ash. Put the mold into the freezer for 12 hours. This will help the soap keep its color. If the soap gets too hot, the fresh avocado may turn brown in the soap.
13. Unmold within 4 days.
14. Cut the soap into bars and allow to cure in a well-ventilated area for 4 to 6 weeks, turning the bars over every few days to ensure that they cure evenly.
Excerpted from Soap Crafting © by Anne-Marie Faiola, photography © Lara Ferroni used with permission from Storey Publishing. Buy this book from our store: Soap Crafting.