Tuesday, 10 January 2017

100% Coconut Oil Soap with 20% Superfat OR "Blue Soap - Yay!"

I've heard much about this idea from around the soap-making boards, and had to give it a try.  My main reason for wanting to try a 100% coconut oil soap actually has nothing to do with the properties of the coconut oil at all - after all, coconut oil soap is super-cleansing and can therefore actually be a bit harsh and drying on skin.  My reason has everything to do with it's colour - whitest of whites. Because, you see, I have wanted to make a BLUE soap for so long.  Especially a pale, fresh, icy blue.  And as any soaper knows, this kind of blue is impossible to achieve using most other oils, including the favourite olive.

Now, I still certainly don't want to produce a skin-drying soap, which coconut oil by itself would ordinarily produce.  Apparently the way to counteract this effect is to superfat the soap at 20%, which means only using enough sodium hydroxide to turn 80% of the coconut oil into soap, leaving 20% as "free floating".  After all, raw coconut oil (that hasn't been turned into soap) is extremely moisturising and very good for skin.  It also has a long shelf-life so the soap itself isn't going to suddenly go rancid because of all the free-floating oil.

I found most of this information from these websites then formulated my own recipe:
Candle and Soap
Modern Soap Making
Soap Queen

I wanted a pale, icy blue coloured soap with pieces of clear glycerine embedded in the soap to resemble pieces of ice.  I was pleased with how it turned out, it certainly has an icy look about it.  I used peppermint essential oil to add to its freshness.

My Recipe for Coconut Oil Soap

1000g coconut oil
265g de-mineralised water
142g sodium hydroxide
clear glycerine, chopped into pieces
a wee bit of blue oxide (dispersed in water first)
30g peppermint essential oil

WARNING: If this is your first cold process soap you need to learn the basics first as I won't be explaining them in this recipe. Here are two videos on how to make cold process soap by the Soap Queen you should watch first - Lye Safety & Ingredients and Basic Terms. It is important that safety procedures be strictly followed as sodium hydroxide, if not used properly, can cause serious injury and death.

* Weigh water and use a bit to disperse approx 1/4 tsp blue oxide
* Mix remaining water and sodium hydroxide and cool to approx 35-40 degrees celcius
* Meanwhile, melt coconut oil
* Blend coconut oil and lye (water + NaOH) together until trace is reached
* Add colour bit by bit until satisfied, then essential oil, and stir thoroughly to mix
* Pour batter into mould (I use this one)
* Sprinkle glycerine pieces on top of soap then press down into soap (wearing gloves!!)
* Spray with isopropyl alcohol and leave to saponify and harden (approx 24 hours)
* Slice and cure for 4-6 weeks


  1. Suzie, you are a clever little vegemite. You must be chuffed to get that result. Looks better than my 'date slice' soap I must say. LOL!

    1. Hehe, thanks Nanna Chel! :) I thought your "date slice" looked truly edible actually. I'm happy with how this one looks, yes, I hope it feels as good to use as it looks. Now, I want to experiment with some more BLUES.

  2. your soap looks beautiful! love the icy look, it really does look like you've sliced frozen water almost, very cool!

    1. Thank you Selina, that was the look I was going for, so yay! :) Still waiting to try them ... a couple more weeks and they should be ready. I'll report back when I've tested them. Some people love the coconut soaps, some don't ... they're meant to be super hard and nice and creamy from what I've read.

  3. This is a recipe I have yet to try. Looks wonderful.

    1. Thanks, Deb :) I just tried a small piece that's been curing for about 3 weeks now and it is very creamy and has a super lather with lots of bubbles. I'm quite surprised actually. I think I'll have to experiment with this recipe some more.

  4. Fantastic result. Does it smell like coconuts?

    1. Nope, not at all, just peppermint. I'm not sure how to get a natural coconut smell, but wouldn't it be nice! :) I feel another experiment coming on ...