New Soap: Orange & Cedarwood Hand and Facial Soap

My latest batch of soap seems like it’s going to be a good one.

My very first soap was a hot-process soap made with 50% olive oil, 25% coconut and 25% palm. It’s not a bad soap, but it’s not a great soap, either. My daughter thinks it’s drying, but I’m not sure how, and my wife complained that the soap was very slippery. The lather is a bit on the thin side, too, something caused by the high percentage of olive oil.

So I did some research in my books and online at the Soap Making Forum and came up with a new formulation to try. I lowered the olive oil content and beefed up the palm oil. In addition, I added shea butter for its conditioning properties and decided to include some additional glycerin as a humectant. I saponified it with 100% sodium hydroxide.


Palm Oil 40%
Olive Oil 25%
Coconut Oil 25%
Shea Butter 10%


Glycerin, 3T/lb of oils


Blood Orange FO 50%
Lime EO 20%
Cedarwood EO 30%

I created a cylindrical loaf in a Pringles can. The new, shorter cans are just about perfect for a 1lb batch – it left me about 1″ of space at the top of the cylinder.

The loaf came out of the can (which I snipped at the top and peeled off like a packed of canned biscuits) after 48 hours. It was still slightly tacky to the touch, but had set nicely and smelled great. I used a wire clay cutter to slice it into discs. It worked fine, but the length of the tool and the need to get it all the way down to the surface of the table made it awkward. I also didn’t have a guide or miter box, which made the cuts a bit wobbly.


My Concerns

My primary worries are that the scent will turn out not to be pleasant once the process is done, and that the soap will be too soft because of the amount of glycerin. Updates on that when I check it in four weeks, 6/3.


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