Honey and Beeswax Soap


Let’s make soap with a little help from our friends, the bees! This batch of soap will contain beeswax and honey.

Honey is a natural humectant, drawing moisture to your skin. It also increases lather. That’s a good thing, because beeswax can cut the soap’s lathering ability. Keep beeswax usage in soap to no more than 2%. Beeswax creates a very hard bar of soap.

When using honey in soap, moderation is key; 1 teaspoon per pound of oils is plenty.

Soap at around 125ºF to make sure the honey and the beeswax stay fluid. But work fast. There won’t be time to do anything fancy or color the soap. This is one of those recipes that is beautiful in its natural state. I will, however, add some Honey Harvest Fragrance Oil because I want to smell that awesome scent!

We’ll use a simple recipe. Join me in the workroom.

What You’ll Need

Supplies

Palm Oil
Coconut Oil
Sunflower Oil
Sweet Almond Oil
Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Distilled Water
Honey
Beeswax
Honey Harvest Fragrance Oil

Equipment

Scale
Soap Bucket
Stick Blender
Spoon
Silicone Spatula
Container for lye solution
Round Ripple Soap Mold

Formula

35.5% Palm Oil
31.25% Coconut Oil
25% Sunflower Oil
6.25% Sweet Almond Oil
2% Beeswax
Q.S. Sodium Hydroxide (use Lye Calculator)
Q.S. Distilled Water (use Lye Calculator)
1 tsp PPO honey
Q.S. Honey Harvest Fragrance Oil (use Fragrance Calculator)

1-pound Batch

5.68 ounces Palm Oil
5 ounces Coconut Oil
4 ounces Sunflower Oil
1 ounce Sweet Almond Oil
0.32 ounce Beeswax
1 teaspoon Honey
8 ounces Distilled Water
2.31 ounces Sodium Hydroxide (5% superfat)
0.4 ounce Honey Harvest Fragrance Oil

Oils weighed and ready to melt.

Instructions

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 the solid oils (including beeswax) into a microwave-safe 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, you can stir in the honey if you want your soap to be a darker color. If you prefer a lighter color soap, you’ll add the honey later. Set the mixture aside to cool.

Adding honey to lye solution, which turned a deep orange.

Getting ready to stick blend the lye solution and oils.

Pop the oils into the microwave to melt, using 30-second increments. Once they are completely liquid, add the liquid oils, stirring to combine. 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 125 degrees F, you’re ready to make soap.

If you did not add honey to the lye solution, stir it into the melted oils. If your honey has crystallized, warm it first to make it fluid again. This will help ensure that the honey dissolves completely in the melted oils and does not cause issues in your finished soap. Unmelted honey can ooze out of the bars if not fully incorporated into the liquid oils.

Carefully pour the lye mixture into the oils, taking care not to splash. Stir, then pulse the stick blender several times to emulsify the soap batter. You don’t want to overdo it with the stick blending, because this soap will thicken quickly.

Add fragrance, and stir well to incorporate it.

Because soaps with honey and beeswax tend to create a more brittle bar, you’ll have the best success using individual cavity molds for this soap.

I will use our Round Ripple Silicone Mold.

Immediately pour soap into mold. Set the mold in a cool place to saponify. Because soaps with honey tend to get hot, you don’t want to oven process this soap.

Pouring into molds.

All done!

Notes

I added the honey to the lye solution. When I did, it turned a lovely orange-red as the sugars scorched. I could have put the lye solution into an ice water bath, but honestly, I forgot about that step. So we’ll just go with the darker hue the scorched sugars will produce.

When I added the lye solution to the melted oils, the temperatures were 126ºF and 118ºF respectively. Pulsing a few times with the stick blender was all that was needed to bring the batter to trace. I added the fragrance oil, stirred well, pulsed the stick blender once more, then immediately poured into the mold.

I left the soap in the mold for two days, and it was not hard to unmold at that time. I tried unmolding one bar after about 18 hours, and it was too soft.

This soap smells fantastic! I can’t wait to give it a try in the shower!

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About Denise

I'm a crazy goat lady who got into making my own soap with goat milk, found MMS to order supplies, and now I get to combine my love of creating skin care products with a job to pay the feed bill. I live in Alaska and greatly enjoy the unique aspects of my northern home - summer days when it never gets dark and the Northern Lights dancing above in winter. Favorite scents include Wild Mint and Ivy, Rhubarb & Sugar Cane, and Eucalyptus Spearmint.

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