Oats & Honey Cold Process Soap

With summer comes flourishing bees and abundant honey!  Well, maybe not for everybody, my bees have struggled with splits and swarming this year and I’m still crossing my fingers for strong hives before winter.

Regardless, I still have enough honey available to experiment with in soap making! Honey has been used since the ancient times both internally and externally for its beneficial, seemingly magical properties. During the soaping process, however, it is very likely that many of those benefits will be destroyed, so I won’t go into detail about how this soap is going to transform you… it totally won’t.

For me, soaping with honey is more about inviting that fantastical energy into my life and products in a creative way. Honey is a fun crafting and soaping ingredient. In soap it offers caramelized color, extra bubbles, and an inviting theme combined with oats. The tireless energy the honey bees are exerting into the creation of their magical nectar elixir is shifted woo style into our hearts… and showers, helping us feel just a bit more connected!

NOTE: If you’ve never made soap before I highly recommend reading about it, understanding it, and watching videos about cold process soap making. Understanding the soaping process and terminology beforehand will make you more comfortable, give you the tools you need to troubleshoot any issues, and will help you create successful bars of soap without having excessive experience.  The links below are great places to start.

Soap Making 101 – The Nerdy Farm Wife

Equipment – SoapCalc

Lye Safety Guidelines – Soap Queen

Glossary of Soap Making Terms – Soap Making Essentials

How to Make Cold Process Soap – YouTube Video – How2Soap

Soap Calculator – SoapCalc – this is great if you’re looking for soap bar quality and fatty acid composition.


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Ingredients

6% super fat – 33% water

  • 4.39 oz lye
  • 10.56 oz water
  • 16 oz olive oil
  • 8 oz coconut oil (76°)
  • 3.2 oz avocado oil
  • 1.6 oz castor oil
  • 3.2 oz shea butter
  • 1 tbsp oat flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped up oatmeal
  • 1 -2 tbsp honey (the more you use, the hotter your soap with get in the gel phase – be wary!)
  • 1 oz essential oils of choice (my choices are below)
    • .5 oz sweet orange
    • .25 oz lime
    • .25 oz basil

TOOLS

Instructions

  1. Make your lye solution. With your protective gear on, and using a non-reactive, heat proof container, slowly stir the lye into the water until it dissolves. Place it in a safe place. I use my kitchen sink, it’s deep, out of the way, and will contain any possible spills. I also use a fan behind me, while stirring the mixture to blow any wafting fumes through an opened window.
  2. Melt your fats.  Combine and warm your fats (coconut, olive, avocado, shea, castor) until melted.  I like to use a make-shift double boiler. Remove from heat and pour into the large bowl you’ll be using to mix your soap. I use a 1 gallon pail, leftover from my coconut oil purchases.
  3. While waiting for your lye solution and your fat mixture to cool to about 90-100 degrees, you can prepare your essential oil blend, and measure out your oatmeal and honey. I measure my essential oils by weight on the scale.
  4. Making soap! When the lye and oils have cooled add the lye solution into your oil. Using your immersion blender, stir and pulse alternately, until you’ve reached a light trace.
  5. Mix in the honey, oats, and essential oils. Pulse until mixed and pour into your mold.
  6. Sprinkle the top with additional oats for aesthetics, if you’d like!

Let sit for 24 hours before un-molding and cutting. Allow these bars to cure for 4-6 weeks before use.

Handcrafted soap is made extra luxurious with a spoonful of honey!

 

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