Friday, 12 April 2019

Palm Free No Butter Soap

A few days ago I made some soap based on Jan Berry's palm-free, vegan, no butter soap recipe in her book Simple and Natural Soapmaking. I doubled the recipe and added mica for colouring and it didn't turn out too badly.

The colour of the soap isn't quite as dark as it looks in most of the photos and the second last one is probably the closest to what it actually looks like. I have so much trouble with anything that is pink or red when taking photos for some reason. A photographer could probably tell me what the issue is with those colours. Once again, I used the room temperature method of soapmaking

 Anyway, back to the soap. I ran the recipe through Soap Calc to find out how much water and lye to add to double the recipe and used the measurements as below:

Palm Free Vegan and No Butter Soap

454g Coconut Oil
794g Olive Oil
226g Sweet Almond Oil (Sunflower oil could also be used)
114g Castor Oil
225g Lye
604g Water
30g   Lavender and Mint Fragrance Oil (I didn't add this to the whole batch)
1t      Pansy Mica
1t      Pink Lemonade Mica

Normally I just add the mica to the soap mixture when it is at trace but I read somewhere that you can add 1t to 1T or so of  Isopropyl Alcohol  and just add as much or as little as you want as you go along. That worked for the pansy mica but the pink one clotted a little for want of a better description. I did end up with a few bubbles in the soap as I didn't bang it on the bench to get rid of them. Oops! However, I am not into perfection with soapmaking as you know. LOL!

The next time I use the heart moulds in the above photo I might pour a bit more of a contrast colour in the small heart as the little bit I poured into the middle heart looks quite effective. That's a bit easier said than done though. I divided the mixture between three jugs and added the pansy mica to one, the pink mica to another and the third one was left plain as that was for my son. I poured the plain soap into the moulds then added 15g of the fragrance oil to one jug, gave it a quick swirl and poured it into the moulds then did the same with the other jug. Once you add the fragrance oil the soap can get very thick very quickly so you need to work fast. 

I find a lot of Jan's recipes make the soap quite soft in the beginning so I left this batch for four days and then put the moulds into the freezer for half an hour or so so that it wouldn't stick when unmoulding. It worked a treat so it is a good idea to be patient and put your soap out of the way somewhere so that you don't see it all the time and fiddle with it like I normally do. I don't know how many batches I have ruined (appearance wise) by unmoulding too quickly. Mind you, if you make 100% coconut oil soap then that is an exception and you can take the soap out of the moulds after a few hours as it hardens very quickly.

I am still rather paranoid about making soap in my new kitchen so have been making it elsewhere like on top of the washing machine or on a table on the back verandah so using the room temperature method works well for me as I don't have to heat the oils up on the stove. Once we get the builders back once again I believe they are making a bench for me in the laundry so then that will be where I will make soap in the future I guess. I am not sure I can cope with those powertools going off in the house once again but we will have to bite the bullet if the work is ever going to get done. 

Have a great weekend everyone!




  1. Pretty soaps Chel. It'll be worth having tradies back for a short while in order to have a work bench in your laundry. I had mine finished recently, and can't believe I managed for so long without a bench top.

  2. Yes I guess we will must have to bite the bullet and face the disruption once again, Nanette. A bench in the laundry to make soap would be just great.

  3. Lovely soaps as usual, very pretty.
    May be a good idea to have the tradies back before the cold weather hits, so you won't be cooped up inside trying to keep warm while they work.


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