Hemp and Lemongrass Soap.
I made a small batch today, of my all time favourite, hemp and lemongrass soap.
I find the hemp oil helps with the drying effect soap can have on my skin, it moisturises a little leaving the lather soft and easy on sensitive skin. Lemongrass is softer, sweeter, than lemon oil, and it’s what I had available.
First assemble your tools and equipment, make sure everything is clean and dry. Make sure your work area is clear and clean. Make sure pets and small children are out of the way. The last thing you need is a cat sticking its head in the mixture, or a small child distracting you. I find the lye fumes can irritate my throat so I mix that near an open window, at arm’s length, and I also use a cheap dust mask for that stage.
I use the method described by The Soap Kitchen, but there are plenty of other guides available. I’m not going to repeat their hard work here – but I will comment on parts where I’ve done things a little differently. However, their method has worked for me every time I’ve followed it. I’ve used different recipes, but the method works. Follow the process step by step from the link, all I’m giving you is the proportions of ingredients!!
The main difference is that I wouldn’t use any wood tools at all. Silicone works well, doesn’t react with any of the chemicals and cleans up nicely afterwards. Stainless steel is great too, or glass, for bowls and pans. Small plastic containers are fine for storage and weighing.
The recipe for Hemp and Lemongrass soap, palm oil free:
225g Olive oil
80g Coconut oil (solid)
23g Mango butter
23g Shea butter
5ml Vitamin E oil (preservative, and optional, leave this out if you want)
49g Sodium Hydroxide pearls/beads
115g Cold water
15ml Hempseed oil
15ml Lemongrass oil
I also decided that today I’d try adding some colour – and I used titanium dioxide with D&C Yellow #10 for half the batch, and Chromium oxide green for the other half – then I dolloped some yellow and green into the moulds. The colours came from Simple Pleasures, and were gifted to me by a friend. You only need a tiny amount, mixed with water to disperse it before adding to the soap mix.
The colours didn’t mix into the soap, or blend with each other, as well as I would have liked, and I now have sort of blotchy soaps. But I think this is more to do with the texture of the soap as it was put into the moulds. A smoother mix would have enabled a better blending of the colours, but this palm oil free just doesn’t seem to do that. I’m not sure why.
So, sometime soon I’ll be changing the recipe a little bit and see what happens!
This is my own recipe, and although I use the soap I make, and so do my family and friends, these recipes are not tested or approved. If you want to try using my recipe you are welcome to do so, but in doing so you accept this is at your own risk.
When using sodium hydroxide, and working with the resulting lye solution – take extra care. Chemical burns are a serious business, and you don’t need a hospital stay just because you fancied having a go at making soap. I recommend old clothes, long sleeves, tough rubber gloves, and safety glasses – possibly a lightweight mask too if you think you might need it for the fumes.