September is officially here, and we’re wondering how that happened so suddenly? School is starting (or has already started) soon, and we are on the verge of more change as the facets of fall start to show themselves. Cooler evenings are upon us and our team enjoys a hot cup of tea to wind-down in the evening, so we decided to let our soap enjoy a cup of tea too! This cold process tutorial uses green tea instead of distilled water. It gives our soap a boost of antioxidants, as well as a warm natural color. Please enjoy our tutorial below.
What You’ll Need:
15 oz Coconut Oil
5 oz Castor Oil
15 oz Palm Oil
12 oz Olive Oil
10 oz Rice Bran Oil
3 oz Kukui Nut Oil
25 oz Distilled Water
1.5 oz Green Tea Leaves
8.37 oz Lye (6%)
3 oz Crisp Cotton FO
5 quart glass mixing bowl
2 quart glass mixing bowl
Small glass bowl to measure lye
Small container to measure fragrance
32 oz glass mixing bowl
Stainless steel or silicone whisk (2)
Ramekin or Dixie cup (1)
5 pound slidey bottom wood mold
Silicone liner for the 5 pound wood mold
**If you are not local, you can get all of this and more at Bramble Berry! They will ship directly to you!**
If you’ve never made Cold Process soap before, stop here! I highly recommend checking out Bramble Berry’s FREE four part SoapQueen.tv series on Cold Process Soapmaking, especially the episode on lye safety. And if you’d rather do some reading, Bramble Berry carries a wide range of books on the topic, including Anne-Marie’s newest book, Pure Soapmaking. You can also checkout the digital downloads for that instant gratification factor.
In a small ramekin or dixie cup, measure out 1 tablespoon of titanium dioxide and add about 2 tablespoons of any fixed oil (we chose Apricot Kernel Oil). Then combine using Bramble Berry’s mini mixer until fully incorporated and smooth.
Weigh out 25 oz of distilled water and heat up until 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add 1.5 oz of green tea leaves to the heated water, stir, and wait for 5 minutes.
Strain out all the leaves and then chill into a freezer until the tea is 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Measure 20 oz of green tea into one 4 cup glass container, and 8.37 oz of lye into a small glass bowl. Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area, and you are wearing long sleeves, gloves, and goggles. Carefully add the lye to the green tea while gently stirring with a whisk until the lye has completely dissolved. Allow the lye to cool to around 105 degrees by either labeling and setting aside, or by placing into a designated freezer. We recommend using Bramble Berry’s Infrared Thermometer. These are amazing because they are so easy to use and you don’t have to worry about getting your thermometer contaminated!
While the lye is cooling, weigh and combine your oils (making sure you are PRECISE!) and then microwave on 45 second bursts until the oils are around 105 degrees.
Once both the lye solution and the oils are around 105 degrees (between 10 degrees of each other) you can begin soaping!
Place the stick blender into the oils at an angle and burp the blender by gently knocking the stick blender on the bottom of the glass measuring bowl. Pour the lye solution down the arm of the stick blender and start mixing until you have reached a thin trace. Check for trace often, as once trace has been reached it will begin to thicken quickly.
Once you have reached a thin trace, pour 40 oz of the soap batter into the 2 quart glass container.
You will be coloring this part with the titanium dioxide.
Divide the fragrance between the two containers of soap (you can eyeball this).
We want to create four layers to our soap. To help prevent break-through we used a spatula to help lay the layers on top of each other. You will start by pouring half of the uncolored soap into the mold (we used a scale to help us pour 20 ounces), and then carefully layer with half of the titanium dioxide batch (20 oz). Then finish up with another layer of the uncolored soap, and top it off with the titanium dioxide batch. This will make for a very full mold.
With a spoon we swooped up out soap batter to one side to create an interesting top.
Next we drew tiny figure eights into the white with the pointy end of a scewer.
Cover to promote gel phase. Wait 3-4 days to cut. The soap will be soft around the edges, so just be extra careful when unmolding your soap. You may want to pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes or so before attempting to unmold.
Don’t forget to allow your soap to cure for 4-6 weeks.
Let us know if you enjoyed this recipe and what you’d like to see a tutorial on in the future.