We start by using freshly squeezed orange juice...
We mix this delicious juice with heavy cream and kaolin clay. Soaps made with milk & cream are extra conditioning for the skin. Smells wonderful! Just like an orange creamsicle :)
Mix it well until creamy and no lumps. Kaolin clay is great for the skin and adds slip to the soap.
Next, we weigh our sodium hydroxide (lye) and distilled water in grams for accuracy. Make sure you're wearing eye protection, gloves and long sleeves when handling lye. It's a good idea to keep children and pets away from your area while you're soaping. Always add the lye to the liquid - never the other way around, or you could end up with a volcano. The lye water mixture will get hot - up to 217 degrees farenheit!
(Sodium Hydroxide - lye)
(Our lye water cooling.)
Next, we weigh our oils and butters while our lye water is cooling. Again, we use grams for accuracy.
(For this recipe, we use olive oil pomace infused with annatto seeds for a natural bright orange color, coconut oil, organic sustainable palm oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and castor oil. All of these ingredients add wonderful skin-conditioning properties to our soap!)
Once the oils and butters are gently melted and at the right temperature, we add the cooled lye water to our soaping oils and mix just until combined.
We then add our orange juice/cream/clay mixture.
Mix well until all is combined and a light trace is reached (light trace is when there are no streaks of oil left in the raw soap mixture, and the soap is the consistency of a thin cake batter, a barely thickened mixture). This is the part where it's actually starting to saponify and turn into soap!
Then we add our delicious Sweet Orange essential oil and mix well. Look at that pretty color!
After a thicker trace has been reached, we're ready to pour it into our slab mold. It's a good idea to tap the filled mold on the counter a few times to eliminate any air bubbles that may be trapped within the soap.
The soap gets covered with plastic wrap to help prevent soda ash from forming, and placed in a cool room to set up (soda ash is when lye interacts with carbon dioxide in the air and forms a white powdery substance on your soap - this is only a cosmetic issue & perfectly safe to use). We try to prevent soda ash from forming if possible, although sometimes this is unavoidable.
The soap will rest in the mold for a minimum of 4 days. Since we use silicone molds, it's helpful to add sodium lactate or salt to the recipe to help the soap harden and unmold faster. Otherwise, the soap could take several days to 2 weeks to set up.
Once unmolded, the soap slab will be cut and ready to be stacked and cured for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, the soap is safe to use and no lye is present in the final soap. If used too soon, the soap will be very astringent (drying) on the skin and won't last as long since not all of the moisture has evaporated out of the bar. So patience is key here!
(Finished hand-beveled soap ready to be labeled!)
Citrus oils don't last long in soap since they're considered a top note and are very fleeting. But another benefit of using kaolin clay is that it helps the natural scent last longer (usually 3-6 months depending on storage conditions).
We also like to add silk protein to our recipe for a velvety, silky feel on the skin.
We hope you enjoyed learning how we make our Orange Cream Delight all natural soap. A very refreshing, uplifting aroma and natural color to brighten your day. Safe enough for babies, children and folks with sensitive skin. Our soaps are not tear free, so please avoid getting into eyes. You can purchase a few bars while available here.