Adding any type of clay to cold process soap creates a bar that has an amazing amount of slip and glide. Clay soaps make great shaving soaps!
It’s also fun to use colored clays to add a natural color to your soap. I’m going to use Morocco Red Clay in this soap at a rate of 1 teaspoon per pound of oils. I don’t expect a super deep red color, but I do expect a nice reddish tint to the finished soap.
First let’s come up with a soap recipe. I like using Avocado Oil as my luxury oil (following our 6-5-4-1 method). Avocado Oil is so great for all types of skin!
For the base of the soap formula, I’ll use Soybean Oil. It gives a nice hard bar with a white color – great for using other colors. Soybean Oil will go in the “6” spot in the formula.
The next oil will be Olive Oil in the “5” spot in the formula. It’s a gentle oil that makes a lovely soap. Olive Oil provides a dense, creamy lather which is perfect to facilitate shaving.
In the “4” spot we’ll use Coconut Oil for its big bubbles.
Also, I will use Sodium Lactate to help make this a harder bar at a rate of 1 teaspoon per pound of oils.
Join me in the workroom to make this soap.
What You’ll Need
37.5% Soybean Oil
6 ounces Soybean Oil
Before getting started, please prepare to soap safely! Long sleeves, gloves, eye protection, and close-toed shoes are a must. If you have never made cold process soap before, we’re glad you’re here! Please check out this blog post, which is the first in a series on beginning soapmaking.
Weigh all the oils into a microwave-safe container; set aside.
Measure additives (such as clay or exfoliants) into a small container; set aside.
Weigh the fragrance oil into a small glass container; set aside.
Weigh the lye.
Weigh the liquid you will be using.
Slowly add the lye to the liquid, stirring. Do this in a well-ventilated area. It will give off toxic fumes that you do not want to inhale. Once the lye is completely dissolved, set the mixture aside to cool. Once lye mixture is cool, add Sodium Lactate, stirring well to combine.
Pop the oils into the microwave to melt, using 30-second increments. Once they are completely liquid, set them aside to cool.
Here is your break to clean up your work space, set out the mold you will use, visit the rest room. Once the oils and the lye mixture are within 10 degrees of each other and have cooled to about 90-100 degrees F, you’re ready to make soap.
Carefully pour the lye mixture into the oils, taking care not to splash. Stir with your soap spoon, then pulse the stick blender several times to emulsify the soap batter.
Remove a small amount of soap batter and add Morocco Red Clay to it. Stick blend the clay until it is completely free of clumps of clay. Then return this soap to the main soap pot and stick blend briefly to combine. Hand stir with a silicone spatula to make sure all the soap is combined with the clay.
Hand-stir the fragrance oil into the batter.
Now you’re ready to pour the batter into the mold. I’m using one of my favorite cavity molds, our Soap Stone Silicone Mold.
Place the silicone mold on a sturdy surface such as a cutting board, and carefully pour the batter into the mold. Move the mold on the cutting board to a warm spot to saponify. I like to cover the mold with plastic wrap and place it in an oven that’s been preheated to 170ºF then turned off. I leave it there overnight. Placing a cavity mold in a warm spot helps prevent the saponification process from stalling due to cooler temperatures. Placing the plastic over the mold helps you avoid soda ash.
If you do place your soap in the oven, put a sticky note on the oven controls that says SOAP INSIDE so no other family member accidentally turns on the oven with your soap in there!
After 12 hours you can remove the soap from the oven and allow it to stand another 12 or so hours to continue hardening, if desired. I never seem to want to take that extra time, so I’ll go ahead and unmold my soap after 12 hours. (Using the Sodium Lactate helps facilitate the bar being hard enough to unmold after 12 hours.)
Place the bars on a shelf to cure for 4-6 weeks, then enjoy using the soap!
One of the best parts of using a cavity mold is not needing to clean up the bars after unmolding!
I had to pull these bars out of the mold a bit too early, so they didn’t come out totally clean. They’d been in the mold for about 14 hours.