Simple and Natural Soapmaking (Page Street Publishing, 2017), by Jan Berry shares more than 50 homemade soap recipes that use natural ingredients and are easy-to-make. Jan includes step-by-step tutorials and detailed instructions, making this book perfect for soap crafters at any level. The following excerpt is from Part 2, "Soaps from the Farm."
You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Simple and Natural Soapmaking
Dry skin can be a problem for a lot of people during the winter. Save yourself money buying different moisturizers with this creamy avocado soap recipe.
Yield: 7 to 8 bars of soap (2.5 lbs/1.13 kg)
You Will Need:
• 5.75 oz (163 g) distilled water
• 3.9 oz (111 g) sodium hydroxide (lye)
• 2 tsp (9.5 g) French green clay
• 3 oz (85 g) fresh avocado, mashed
• 7.5 oz (213 g) coconut oil (26.8 percent)
• 3.5 oz (99 g) shea butter (12.5 percent)
• 11.5 oz (326 g) olive oil (41 percent)
• 4 oz (113 g) avocado oil (14.3 percent)
• 1.5 oz (43 g) castor oil (5.4 percent)
• 0.56 oz (16 g) peppermint essential oil (optional)
• 0.35 oz (10 g) fir needle essential oil (optional)
• 0.14 oz (4 g) rosemary essential oil (about 1-1/4 tsp) (optional)
1. Wearing protective gloves and eyewear, carefully stir the lye into the distilled water. Note that the water amount is significantly reduced to accommodate the extra moisture provided by the avocado puree. As a result, the lye solution will be more concentrated than normal, so handle carefully.
2. Add the French green clay and stir until well blended.
3. Set the lye solution aside in a safe place to cool for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the temperature drops to around 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Melt the coconut oil and shea butter, then add to the other oils.
Add the mashed avocado to the oils, mixing well with an immersion blender until completely incorporated. Be sure there are no large chunks of avocado left, since they can mold in the finished soap.
5. Combine the avocado and warm oil mixture with the cooled lye solution. Using a combination of hand stirring and an immersion blender, stir the soap until it reaches light trace.
6. At trace, stir in the essential oils, if using.
7. Pour the soap batter into a prepared mold. To preserve the green color of this soap and prevent browning, pop the filled soap mold in your refrigerator for around 24 hours. Afterward, let the mold sit undisturbed for another 1 to 2 days before removing from the mold.
8. Slice it into bars when it's firm enough not to stick to your cutting tool.
9. Cure on coated cooling racks or sheets of wax paper about 4 weeks before using.
Substitution: To replace shea butter, try using mango, cocoa or kokum butter, or lard or tallow instead. The lye amount will stay within an acceptable range for each of these changes so it will not need to be adjusted. If allergic to coconut oil, try using babassu oil instead. The lye amount will need to be reduced to 3.85 ounces (109 g) with this recipe change.
Reprinted with permission from Simple and Natural Soapmaking by Jan Berry and published by Page Street Publishing, 2017. Buy this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Simple and Natural Soapmaking