My favorite method of making soap has been hot process (using a crock pot), because of the shorter drying (curing) time, usually a few days. But lately, I am beginning to appreciate making cold process soap, because cold process soap often looks more refined and delicate than hot process soap.
Take this cold process sea salt soap for example, I use virtually the same recipe as my hot process salt bar soap, and I can pour my cold process sea salt soap into soap molds with intricate designs, which is impossible to do with hot process salt bar soap. Trust me. I’ve tried many times and have failed miserably EVERY TIME. I think it is because hot process soap is very thick to begin with, and after I add sea salt, the whole mixture thickens and hardens very quickly, making it impossible to pour into any cute, adorable molds that have a lot of details. For cold process sea salt soap, I haven’t had the same issue and have made some very pretty soap. The longer drying (curing) time of at least 4 weeks sucks. But hey, all good things come to those who wait.
Cold Process Sea Salt Soap, Palm-Free Ingredients, with Crushed Lavender Buds
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Yields: about 28 oz of cold process sea salt soap
Dry (Cure) Time: at least 4 weeks
Ingredients for This Cold Process Sea Salt Soap with Crushed Lavender Buds
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- Coconut Oil – 16 oz. My favorite is Trader Joe’s Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. You get a 16 oz container for $5.99 at Trader Joe’s, or you can buy it on Amazon for a lot more. Any brand of coconut oil will work.
- Olive Oil – 2 oz. My favorite is Trader Joe’s Imported Olive Oil. You can get a 33.8 oz bottle for $5.99 Trader Joe’s. Or you can get it on Amazon for a lot more, Trader Joe’s California Estate Olive Oil. Any brand of olive oil will work. For this cold process sea salt soap, I use lavender buds infused olive oil. (More on how to infused oil.)
- Sea Salt – 7 oz. My favorite is Trader Joe’s Sea Salt (fine crystals). It’s less than $2 for 26 oz at Trader Joe’s. You can also use Whole Foods Sea Salt (fine crystals), Real Salt Sea Salt or Bob’s Red Mill Sea Salt.
- Lavender Buds – 2 teaspoons. I got mine at Target for $4. Amazon offers Lavender Flowers Ultra Blue Grade for a bit more. Add the lavender buds into olive oil, then use a stick blender to crush the lavender buds.
- Coconut Milk – 6 oz. I use Whole Foods 365 Organic Coconut Milk. It’s $2.50 for 13 oz at Whole Foods. Amazon offers Whole Food 365 Organic Coconut Milk and Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk.
- Lye – 2.35 oz. I get my Food Grade Lye from Amazon. Yes, 100% Lye Drain Opener works too. It actually works pretty well. I’ve used Roebic Laboratories Drain Cleaner Crystals, which I got from Lowe’s. Make sure it’s 100% Lye though.
- Lavender Essential Oil – 1/2 teaspoon. I use NOW Foods Lavender Essential Oil. You can also use NOW Foods Organic Lavender Essential Oil.
- Tea Tree Essential Oil – 1/4 teaspoon. I use NOW Foods Tea Tree Essential Oil. You can also use NOW Foods Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil.
- Cute Silicone Molds. I use an Insect Silicone Cake Mold, a Silicone Fondant Cake Mold, and a Silicone Heart Mold.
Make Cold Process Sea Salt Soap with Crushed Lavender Buds, Sea Salt, Coconut Milk and Coconut Oil
You have made soap before, right? If you haven’t, I don’t recommend that you begin with this cold process sea salt soap, because after you add the sea salt, your soap mixture will thicken and harden very quickly, and you will need to work super fast. There are plenty of soap recipes for first time soapers, including Olive Oil Crock Pot Soap and Rebatch Soap and Hand Milled Soap, both make hot process soap.
Also, as noted in my other posts, you have to take safety precautions when working with lye and making soap from scratch. Remember to wear your protective gear, including your chemical resistant gloves, long-sleeve shirt, long pants, and closed-toe shoes. I keep vinegar around to naturize any potential lye spill. And I don’t make soap around my little one. I do it when she’s taking her long nap or has gone to bed for the night. Learn more about soap making safety here.
Step-by-Step Instruction on How to Make Cold Process Sea Salt Soap with Crushed Lavender Buds
1. Make lye solution. I add 2.35 oz of lye into 6 oz of FROZEN coconut milk to make my lye solution. I use coconut milk because of its nourishing properties. Here is a post on how to make lye solution using coconut milk. You have to be patient, because you have to gradually add the lye to the coconut milk.
You can substitute water for coconut milk, and, unlike using coconut milk to make lye solution, you won’t need to freeze your water before adding lye.
Here are some pictures showing the frozen coconut milk slowly melting as I gradually add lye to it.
2. Warm or melt Coconut Oil and pour it into a large bowl. You can use a glass or plastic bowl, but don’t use an aluminum bowl because lye reacts with aluminum and will release some nasty stuff into your soap.
3. Using a plastic or silicone spatula, mix the lye solution and the oil. Then use a stick blender to bring your soap mixture to trace (pudding consistency).
4. Add Lavender Buds to Olive Oil, then use a stick blender to crush the lavender buds. I use lavender infused olive oil here. Add crushed lavender buds and olive oil to the soap mixture.
5. Add essential oil to the Sea Salt. Then add Sea Salt to the soap mixture.
6. Mix everything quickly and well. Pour your cold process sea salt soap into molds. The cuter the better.
7. Wait 1 to 2 hours before unmolding your cold process sea salt soap. Allow your soap to dry (cure) for at least 4 weeks before use. During this period, the lye will fully react with the oil, making your soap gentler.
That’s it! Isn’t the cold process sea salt soap adorable?! I’ve been very impressed with how much details there are in the soap and I like the soap’s lovely milky color. I know I can’t get the same result with hot process soap. The only annoying part about the cold process sea salt soap is that I have to wait at least 4 weeks to use the soap. I’ve been hiding the soap from my little one because every time she sees it, she tells me that she wants to bring all of it to the bathroom, so she can try each and every piece individually. I think that’s her way of saying she really likes the soap and that her Mama did a good job.
Will you be giving this cold process sea salt soap recipe a try? I’d love to hear about your creation? What are your thoughts about the 4-week waiting period? Does it turn you off and keep you as a hot process soaper? Share your thoughts, and let’s connect! And happy soaping!