Cocoa Soap

I am so excited about the new soap I am making. It is a cocoa soap made in the cold process method. The hardest part of making cold process soap is the cure time. As a hobbyist and small business owner I want to see instant results. But there is nothing quick about making the best bar of soap that has a good balance between harness and lather.

The ingredients are simple in the vegan soap.

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Distilled Water and Lye. You cannot make a good bar of soap without lye.
Olive oil, Vegetable shortening (Instead of Lard), Coconut Oil, and your favorite scents. I used Sandlewood and Clove essential oils. For Coloring I used cocoa powder for a beautiful brown.

Remember when making soap dress up like a mad scientist. Goggles, gloves, long sleeves and long pants. Protect yourself from spills and splashes. When I mix my lye into water I take it outside for good ventilation. You do not want to breath the fumes and please make sure there are no children or pets nearby.

workspace.JPGAlways remember to slowly pour the lye into the water, not the other way around. Mix gently until the mixture is clear. I use a candy thermometer to keep an eye of the temperatures of both the lye mix and the oils. When they are in a to degree range of one another they can be mixed together.

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I combine the oils into the lye/water mix by gently mixing with a stainless steel spoon. I don’t use wood because the lye can eat the wood away over time and you may end up with splinters in your soap.

Once these are combining nicely I use my stick mixer to bring my soap to a medium trace.

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You know you have reached a medium trace when you drizzle the soap and it sits on the surface for a moment.

Now is a good time to add your essential oils or fragrance oils. I chose Sandlewood and clove because I love the earthy rich tomes they provide.

I am going to make a layered soap so I want to divide our a portion before I color by bottom layer.

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I pulled out maybe 1/4 of the mix and placed in a second bowl. I used cocoa powder to color the rest. This actually looked just like chocolate frosting. Once again please do not leave this unattended with children in the house.

At this point I was so excited about the outcome of the color that I forgot to take more pictures.

I brought the cocoa mix to a firmer trace. I did this because I do not want these layers to combine in the mold. (That happened to me last time because I used a thinner trace.)

I poured the cocoa mix into my prepared mold. I banged it a few times lightly on the table to level this layer and release bubbles. Next, I spooned the uncolored mix on top using the spoon to create a texture. I had a little of the cocoa mix left to I spooned a line along the middle of the top and used a skewer to create gentle swirls. I sprinked some loose cocoa powder over the top and then sprayed Alcohol over the top to help prevent soda ash from forming.

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The final step is to cover with clear wrap and then wrap in a towel for insulation. Then you have to put it away for 24-48 hours. I cannot wait to unmold and cut into bars and see the results. As soon as I do I will update with pictures of the Cocoa Bars. Waiting is the hardest part. The bars will need to cure for 4 – 6 weeks.

Vegan Cold Process Soap – Without Palm Kernel Oil

10.5 oz   Distilled Water
4.4 OZ    Lye

15.9 oz   Olive Oil
7.9 oz    Coconut Oil
6.3 oz     Crisco

Water as % of Oils = 33%
Super Fat/Discount = 5%

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