Coconut oil’s moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties are now well-known by anyone looking to care for their body with natural ingredients. Normally, you apply it directly on the skin or use it as part of home remedies recipes, but you can also make your own coconut oil soap.
Its grease-cutting and the anti-inflammatory effect will keep your skin clean and shiny while the moisturizing and rich nutrients will leave it plump and with a natural glow.
The basics of making coconut oil soap
Making your own coconut oil soap is incredibly simple! You only need these 3 ingredients:
- Coconut oil
You’re also welcome to add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the recipe, but it’s not required. This particular recipe accounts for the drying-out effect of coconut oil and lye and alters the amounts to ensure you’re going to get a thorough clean without drying out.
The only downside of this recipe is that this soap creates a lot of lather.
How to make your own coconut oil soap
You’ll need to have access to a crockpot, ideally 8 quarts or more. This is where the magic will happen.
- 34 oz coconut oil (aim for 76-degree oil – it works the best);
- 5 oz lye;
- 13 oz water;
- A few drops of any essential oil (optional).
Step 1 – Mixing the lye and the water
Pour the water into a glass or ceramic bowl. Take it outside or to a well-ventilated room. In this step, you’re going to be mixing the lye with the water, which can create some vapors you don’t want to breathe in.
Use protective gear while mixing these ingredients, including long dish gloves, eyewear and a mask.
1. Very slowly, add the lye into the water.
2. Mix gently with a long spoon (this allows you to keep a distance from the mixture).
3. Let the mixture turn from a cloudy color to clear.
4. Once the blend is clear colored, bring the bowl inside. It will be hot, so be careful handling it.
You will need to leave the lye and water sit together in the bowl for 10 minutes. While you’re waiting, you can move on to step 2.
Step 2 – Melting the coconut oil
To do this, you’ll need a saucepan of any kind and a thermometer.
1. Add the coconut oil to the saucepan and warm it up slowly.
2. Let the oil become completely liquid while checking the temperature to prevent it from cooking. Aim for a temperature of 76ºF (24ºC).
3. Once the oil reaches the right temperature, add it to the crockpot.
Don’t continue to step 3 unless the oil is completely liquid.
Step 3 – Bringing everything together
In this step, you’re finally bringing all the ingredients together.
1. Slowly add the lye/water mixture into the crockpot. Be careful not to let it splash out at you.
2. Stir the ingredients a bit while in the crockpot and then mix them more thoroughly using a hand blender. You want to get the consistency of pudding.
3. Cover the crockpot and let it sit. It should still be turned on at a low temperature.
This step will take about 45 minutes, typically. Of course, you’re going to want to check on it frequently and make sure the mixture isn’t overflowing.
Step 4 – Testing the consistency
When it’s ready, it will look a bit like the coconut oil before melting or petroleum jelly. You can test if the product is finished in three different ways:
- PH test strip (product should be between 7-10, any higher than 10 and it’s not done)
- Rub a bit between your fingers (should feel a bit like wax)
- Touch a bit to your tongue (a “zap” means it isn’t finished)
Note: If you are going to add any type of essential oil, you want to wait until the mixture cools a little bit. If you add them in too soon, they will lose potency.
Step 5 – Playing with the molds
Here comes the fun part! Now you’re going to scoop the mixture into the mold of your choosing. If you’re using a silicone mold, you won’t need to worry about cutting out the bars. If you’re using a traditional soap mold, the instructions are a little different:
1. Scoop your mixture into the mold.
2. Allow the mold to cool (you can put it in the fridge).
3. Take the mold out.
4. Cut the bars.
Coconut oil hardens thick, so it’s hard to cut the bars out once it’s fully hardened. With a silicone mold, you just pop out the shape once it’s done.
Step 6 – Wait and wash up
Unfortunately, it can take up to 3 weeks for the soap to finish processing. This is the best amount of time to wait to see maximum results.
You don’t have to wait that long though. As long as it has hardened completely, you’re good to go.
Make sure to store the coconut oil soap in a well-ventilated area. This is the best way to encourage hardening. Your homemade soap will last about 1 year after you’ve made it.
What are the benefits of coconut oil soap?
Although the recipe it’s quite simple, making your own coconut oil soap can still look like a lot of work. But there are many benefits to this process.
For one, you know exactly what went into making the soap. You can also customize the fragrance with your own oils, including mixing different oils together. Of course, coconut oil soap has a whole other list of benefits too:
- It is an amazing moisturizer
- It can revitalize your hair and give it that natural glow
- It is great for treating acne
- It can reduce scarring and encourage rapid healing
- It is great for treating dry skin and skin conditions, like eczema and psoriasis
- It helps to reduce wrinkles and tighten your skin
- It removes makeup easily
- It can help fight off bacterial infections
- Coconuts are packed with antioxidants
Since coconut oil is chalked full of helpful properties (like fatty acids, vitamins and minerals), it makes sense that it would be used in many skin care products.
Visualize the steps
Check out the video below to see every step put into action. Visualizing it will also make it easier for you to understand how the process should look like and serve as a guide for when you’re making your own.