Make your own homemade soap with this recipe featuring peppermint and sweet orange essential oils.
1. Into plastic measuring container, measure peppermint leaf.
2. In a small pot over high heat, bring water to a simmer. Pour over peppermint leaf, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled. Using tea strainer, strain out peppermint leaf. Add additional water if needed to reach 11 1/2 ounce weight and set aside.
3. Line greased cake pan with wax paper, folding excess over rim of pan and taping edges to sides or bottom of pan. Set aside.
4. In a stainless steel pot over low heat, combine coconut oil, cocoa butter, canola oil, castor oil and olive oil. Heat just until melted and clarified. Turn off heat and insert thermometer. Allow temperature to gradually drop to 115 degrees, then maintain that temperature.
5. Measure cold peppermint infusion into measuring cup, set on a tray in well-ventilated area such as under stove air vents and crack open a nearby window.
6. Put on gloves and eye protection and weigh out lye. Turn stove vent on high, (if using). Avoiding splashes, slowly and carefully pour lye into the cold infusion. Stir slowly and carefully with the stainless steel spoon until dissolved. Lye may clump temporarily on the spoon or bottom. Do not stand over the container and avoid breathing in dust or fumes when handling the lye or lye solution. Don’t let it touch your skin or eyes.
7. Carefully place thermometer in lye solution and allow temperature to rise to over 150 degrees.
8. Monitor temperatures of oils and water/lye solution until both liquids reach 110 to 115 degrees. Aim to have the oils ready when the lye temperature comes down to 105 to 110 degrees. Do not reheat lye solution.
9. Once oils and lye reach the same temperature range, wearing gloves and eye protection, remove oils from heat and carefully pour water/lye solution into the pot with the oils.
10. Carefully place immersion hand blender into the center of the pot, just above bottom and turn on blender. Hold tightly as it may jolt when first turned on.
11. Blend slowly for about 30 seconds, being careful to avoid splattering or drawing air into mixture, until solution is completely blended, then turn blender off.
12. Add essential oils. Repeat blending in 30-second increments for about 3 to 5 minutes, until soap is thick, smooth and develops a “trace” when you lift blender and allow excess to run onto surface of mixture.
13. Carefully pour liquid into pan. It should quickly reach a pudding-like consistency. Using spatula, clean out pot, gently lift and rap pan to displace any air pockets, smooth surface with spatula, then place pan into a cardboard box and close flaps.
14. Still wearing gloves and eye protection, rinse all supplies with plenty of water. Do not touch the uncured soap with bare hands as the soap may be irritating until it is fully cured.
15. After a few days, when soap is firm, use gloves to turn soap out of pan, remove wax paper and cut into bars. Let sit for 4 to 6 weeks before using.*Makes 18 3-ounce or 12 4 1/2-ounce
All ingredient measures (except essential oils and herbs) are by weight, not volume. When handling the lye ingredient, please refer to the article “Safe Soap Making with Lye”.