Home Farm Market Eating Healthy Growing A Garden Raw Milk

              Homemade Castile Soap

Castile soap originated in the Castile region of Spain and is made from olive oil instead of animal fat.  I use it instead of regular soap to make shampoo because animal fats, like lard which is used in most soaps, are more difficult to rinse out of the hair.  Go here for the shampoo recipe that uses this soap.  Note: Make sure your measurements are exact.  If your soap is chalky or hard with excessive amounts of white powder on top or if the soap has a greasy layer on top of a hard soap, then you have used too much lye.  Do not use these bars.

If you prefer to purchase our Simple Life Castile Soaps, click here.

The measurements in this recipe are by weight.

Step 1
Get your mold/molds ready first.  the one I use is shown in pictures below these soap-making steps.  This recipe is very simple.  All you need is olive oil, water, lye, and essential oil if you want scented soap.  Since I am using this soap for shampoo, I don't use essential oil.  I add the essential oil when I make the shampoo.
Step 2
Get your utensils together.  You will need a stainless steel pot, a bowl, measuring cup, spatula, hand blender, rubber gloves, a meat thermometer, a digital scale, and a soap mold.  I keep these utensils for soap making only. 
Step 3
Pour 10 ounces of water into the bowl.  Put on the rubber gloves and slowly add 4.33 ounces of  lye crystals and dissolve it well in the water.  You can gently stir it with the spatula.  A chemical reaction will cause the water to become very hot.  Do not breathe the fumes.
Step 4
The water with the lye will become very cloudy, but as it cools it will become clear.  Set it aside while you prepare the olive oil. The lye water will cool faster if you set the bowl in the sink in some cold water.  Add ice to the water if necessary.  You want the lye mixture to cool to 100 degrees.
Step 5
Heat 34 ounces of olive oil in the pot.  When the temperature reaches 100 degrees F, turn the burner off.
Step 6
When both water and lye have reached 100 degrees, pour the water and lye mixture into the olive oil.  (It won't hurt if the temperature is a little off.  I usually aim for 100 to 110 degrees.)
Step 7
Using the hand mixer, mix the oil, lye, and water mixture until it reaches trace (when the mixture reaches the consistency of honey).  You can use a spoon, but be prepared to stir for about an hour.  When the mixture reaches trace, you can add 10 drops of the essential oil of your choice.  Since I use this soap only for shampoo, I wait until I make my shampoo to add essential oils.
Step 8
Line the mold with wax paper before pouring the soap into it.  Pour the soap into the mold and cover it with a towel.  Allow it to sit  and harden for 48 hours.  My mold makes ten 1 inch bars.  When I make my shampoo, I use about 3 bars (about 3 cups of grated soap).  That way you can use different essential oils each time you make shampoo.
Step 9

After 48 hours, remove the mold. You will have a solid bar of soap that is hardened, but not too hard to cut.
Step 10
My mold is 10 inches, so I cut my soap into 1 inch bars.  Place the soap on a cookie sheet that has been lined with wax paper and allow it to cure for at least two weeks.  The longer it cures, the better it is.  After two weeks, it is ready to use to make your shampoo.





  The four pictures below show the mold I use.  I had someone make the mold for me according to the dimensions I wanted for my soap bars.  The inside measurements of the mold are 10 inches by 2 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches.  I cut the bars 1 inch thick so the final measurements of my soap bar are
2 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 1 inch. 


Back to the Simple Lifestyle page