RSS Feed

February, 2012

  1. Make your own liquid castile soap.

    February 28, 2012 by Karl

    Liquid Soap berry berry berry berry berry

    This article will show you how to make your own liquid castile soap like Dr. Bronners. Buying 32 ounces of Dr. Bronners soap can cost you between $16-$35 US. In addition, if ordered on-line, you need to pay for shipping. Here I will show you how to make your own liquid castile soap for between  $1-$5 US depending on the cost of your source materials.

    To make this, you will need 1 bar of castile bar soap.  You can use one of Dr. Bronners bar soaps, or you can follow my directions HERE to make your own.  You will also need a gallon sized zipper freezer bag, and a scale capable of measuring up to 5 pounds.

    Here’s the simple description of the process:

    Place soap in bag and add water in a ratio of 1 part soap to 4 parts water by weight.  Let it sit in a large bowl for 5 days.  Congratulations, you now have liquid castile soap!

    Here’s the wordy long-hand version for people who like everything spelled out:

    The process is fairly simple.  Place the bar of soap in the bag.  Now place a large mixing bowl on a scale and zero out the scale.  Place the bag (with the bar in it) in the mixing bowl.  Write down the weight of the bar.  Multiply this number by 4.  Write down the product (answer).

    Now re-zero the scale.  Add water (preferably distilled) until you have reached the new number you just wrote down (in ounces).  Zip the bag closed.

    Leave the bag in the bowl and set it aside for 5 days.  Massage the bag with the water / soap mixture in it once a day or so.  This comes naturally because you will not be able to resist looking at it from time to time.  Don’t be concerned.  The first day it looks like there is too much water in there.  Over the next few days you will see that it thickens up very nicely.

    By the end of the 5 days, you should have a bag full of very thick liquid soap.  You can now add more water and mix it up to get it to the consistency you want.  When it is all done, I simply clip a small portion of the corner off the bag with scissors and let it pour into my waiting empty container.  No mess.


    I love your feedback!  If you have found this article useful, please comment!  I also like to hear different ways that people like to use this liquid soap.  There are thousands of applications!

  2. How to make castile bar soap

    February 20, 2012 by Karl

    Soap berry berry berry

    This article will show you how to make your own castile bar soap.  If you enjoy using natural soaps, this will show you how save money making it yourself for about $1 US per bar.

    First something that needs to be said about soap.  There is NO WAY to make bar soap without using lye.  It is a physical impossibility.  The basic reaction that is needed to make soap, called ‘saponification’, cannot happen without some form of lye reacting with some form of oil.  Lye is actually a general term for a very strong alkali (the opposite of acid on the PH spectrum).  There are generally two alkali’s that are used in soap making, sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide.  Both are considered lye, but the potassium hydroxide is not strong enough to make a solid soap.  It is only used for making the liquid soaps in today’s world.

    Soap manufacturers today do everything they possibly can to hide the fact that they use lye in their soap.  They have made up lots of names to hide it.  Dr. Bronners soap, which many naturalists are in love with as a natural soap, uses lye.  They hide the fact in their ingredients list by saying that they use “saponified oils”, which is the process of mixing lye with oil.  The public is afraid of the word lye, but they have no idea that it is used in every bar soap ever made.  Soap simply cannot be made without it.

    The important thing in any soap recipe is using the proper proportion of lye and oil to form a PH neutral soap when completed.  In times of old, soap makers were not using a pure form of lye in their recipes.  The PH of the lye was not consistent, so their end product could end up being very alkaline, and burn the skin.  The story of “lye soap” burning the skin has been passed through the generations, creating public fear of the word.  When properly used, lye is our friend.  Lye (sodium hydroxide in this case), when mixed in the proper proportions with hydrochloric acid, produces a strong chemical reaction resulting in table salt, something we have been eating for hundreds of years.

    The recipe below uses the proper proportions of oil and lye to create a PH balanced soap that will be very mild to the skin.

    Here are a few tools you will need:

    • A digital scale capable of 5 lbs measurement.
    • 2 glass bulb thermometers that can measure up to 200° Fahrenheit.
    • A stick blender.
    • A high temperature plastic jar  (to mix the sodium hydroxide and water).
    • A long-handled plastic mixing spoon.
    • A ladle.
    • Two large plastic bowls.
    • Soap molds.


    Here is the recipe:

    • All measurements are in weight – not fluid ounces.
    • All bars are assumed to be 4oz.


    Full Batch Half Batch Quarter Batch
    Makes 28 bars Makes 14 bars Makes 7 bars
    24oz Cold Distilled Water 12oz Cold Distilled Water 6oz Cold Distilled Water
    12oz Sodium Hydroxide (lye) 6oz Sodium Hydroxide (lye) 3oz Sodium Hydroxide (lye)
    74oz Olive Oil 37oz Olive Oil 18.5oz Olive Oil
    14oz Coconut Oil 7oz Coconut Oil 3.5oz Coconut


    Caution: Whenever working with Sodium Hydroxide it is recommended as a safety precaution that you use rubber gloves, goggles, and any other protective gear that you may want to use in order to protect your skin or clothing from accidental splashes of the liquid.

    1. Add lye to water in a high temperature plastic container outside of house. Do not breathe fumes. Always add Lye to water (not reverse). Caution: Temperature of mixture will rise to approximately 195ºF. Stir mixture with plastic spoon.

    2. Mix oils and microwave to 110ºF.

    3. Allow lye to cool (place in bowl of cold water to speed up cooling).

    4. When both solutions are at 110ºF, add lye solution to the oil mixture. Blend with stick blender until the mixture reaches “trace” where you can see a film on top of the soap that traces the line of the stick blender. Ladle into molds.

    5. Handle bars with care for next two days. PH will be high and can burn the skin for the first 48 hrs.  The PH will settle to neutral after this.

    6. Place molds in freezer for 30 minutes to help separate the soap from the molds.

    7. Allow 6-8 weeks to air dry before use.


    Distilled water is used to guarantee that the PH of the soap will be neutral when complete, and that no impurities are in the water that could affect the saponification process.  Distilled water can be purchased at any shopping center in a one gallon container.

    Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) can be purchased locally at any Lowes home center, and now Tractor Supply carries it too.  A two-pound container of Roebic Crystal Drain Cleaner is available for just over $12.  Make sure you buy the one that says 100% lye.  Or, you can purchase it in bulk HERE.  Two pounds are plenty to last more than two full batches.

    Please note that sodium hydroxide is considered a hazardous substance, and shipping prices increase significantly because of this.  It is also used in manufacturing certain illegal drugs, and some states may regulate the sale of lye for this reason.

    Soap molds can be purchased HERE or at many other internet soap supply retailer.

    How to make your own Castile Soap like Dr. Bronners from on Vimeo.

    I now have an article posted on how to use this bar soap to make your own liquid castile soap. Check it out HERE.