Saturday, June 06, 2015

Soap Wars - Episode 2

The scent of lemongrass is divine. It's a while since we made soap but we had all the ingredients in stock and a bottle of lemongrass oil waiting to be used so, soap making was on the cards. We first made soap in 2012 and it was great but together with soap we had been given, bought and had in stock, we've had no real need to make it since. The good news is we are running low and the opportunity to make our own cannot be missed.

The recipe was pretty much as before but with amounts adjusted to create a perfect balance of hardness, bubbles, persistence, cleanliness and conditioning. We used an online calculator which gives you the values for each depending on your mix of ingredients. We also added some white clay which helps with the texture of the soap. The whole process of creating the right blend is know as a Saponification Calculation.

The soap was poured into a large wooden mold and a cupcake tin where it was allowed to cool and set overnight. The large block was cut into presentable slices and the whole soap will be left to cure for several weeks: it is caustic to the skin until it cures.

Home made soap is truly lovely and you can sure that it contains no unnecessary chemicals, micro beads or palm oil. If you do fancy having a go and making some it really is quite easy but special care is needed as you are dealing with chemical processes that can burn and injure unless handled with extreme care.

We used a processed lemongrass oil for the soap but we are also growing lemongrass in a pot. We hoped we would be able to harvest the bulbous part of the grass when it matured and infuse it with olive oil but last year it didn't reach such maturity. We'll just have to be content with the lovely fresh lemon smell it gives off as you brush past it. The cats love to eat lemongrass and can often be found grazing on the fresh green shoots.


Here is Soap Wars from 2012 if you missed it the first time around. Click here


  1. Lemongrass is lovely! Do you superfat your soap recipe? Normally, a 5% superfat eliminates any risk of lye remaining in the mixture after saponification. The curing process is then more to let the bars dry and harden, producing a longer lasting bar.

  2. Hi Coco. Thanks for the information regarding superfat as we were not aware of ots benefits with regards to home made soap. We will certainly add a 5% extra oil to our next batch.

  3. that looks a lot of fun to do, we don't use blocks of soap in our house, liquid soap only. I do buy a homemade scented block from time to time at a market etc but it usually ends up in a drawer or cupboard and gets forgotten about


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