A few weeks ago I made homemade soap for the first time!
I have been wanting to make it forever, but it requires a few special ingredients and tools that I had to patiently wait to acquire. Once I finally got everything I needed I made this basic and simple soap recipe. I was so pleased with how it turned out! It has a great lather. As soon as I knew that I could accomplish the art of soap making I was hooked and coffee soap was my next target!
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Anyone who has been to my house knows that my husband and I LOVE coffee. After all we have an entire corner of our kitchen dedicated to this liquid energy.
I’m not the only one who loves coffee, my whole family does! (My mom doesn’t drink coffee but she loves the smell of it so that’s kinda the same thing). I knew coffee soap would be the perfect Christmas gift for many of my family members!
Not only does coffee smell amazing, but it is perfect for using in the kitchen after cutting up onions to get the smell off your hands.
The caffeine in coffee has a number of benefits for your skin such as treating redness, inflammation, reducing the appearance of under-eye circles, and getting rid of cellulite.
Before we get started we need to talk about a few “special” tools we’ll be needing.
- Crock-Pot (buy one here)
- An immersion blender (buy one here)
- Food Scale (buy one here)
- Silicon bread pan (buy one here) or soap molds (buy one here)
A word about these tools. In all of my research, every soap maker that I have come across has chosen to keep all of their tools completely separate from the ones they use when they cook food. So with that in mind, I decided to get a different crockpot and use it exclusively for soap making. I found a really cheap one at a yard sale. It turned out to be perfect! It was smaller than the standard size crockpot so I could make smaller batches, which is perfect for trying out new recipes. I would recommend looking at yard sales and thrift stores for old crockpots before buying a new one (the one I recommended from Amazon is inexpensive and the same size that I use).
The food Scale I recommended is the exact one that I bought for this. Whatever you use make sure it has a tare button, so you can always start at zero.
- Coconut Oil (buy it here)
- Olive Oil
- Castor Oil (buy it here)
- Lye (buy it here)
- Strong Coffee and coffee grounds
UPDATE: I’ve made a step-by-step video to hopefully make this process easier and help you become more confident to give soap-making a try!
Place the glass bowl on the food scale and hit tare so it reads 0. Add 5.25 oz of chilled coffee (it doesn’t have to be cold it just can’t be hot!). You want your coffee to be strong. I used the leftover coffee from a french press. French press coffee is much stronger especially when you get to the bottom.
Next, you are going to add the lye. Once the lye is added there will be a chemical reaction. You always want to add Lye TO the liquid, never the liquid to lye. Once lye has been added the bowl will get warm and there will be some fumes for just a few minutes. Don’t worry this is supposed to happen! Work in a well-ventilated place if possible. You do not want children or pets in your kitchen while making soap.
Hit tare again and slowly–very slowly– and very carefully add 2.2 oz of lye. Lye is poison and will burn you if you get it on your skin. It would be a good idea to wear long sleeves, gloves, and eye protection. I’ve never had an issue or a spill while using lye but I have always been very careful.
I feel like I am making a very big deal about this lye. I don’t want you to be scared to use it. It is perfectly safe and easy to use if you know what you are doing. I just want to make sure you are well educated about how to handle lye.
After the lye has been added stir the coffee and lye together until well mixed. The lye might get hard but gently stir until it is no longer hard. Set the bowl in a safe area and let it “cool.”
Now it’s time to mix the oils.
You can melt the coconut oil and Crisco before you measure them or after. I chose to let them melt in the crockpot after they were measured. Put all the oils in the crockpot and turn it on high.
Once the oils are melted turn the crockpot to low and add the lye and coffee mixture. Stir with a spoon until they are well mixed. Now it’s time to use the immersion blender. Use the blender to mix everything together for a minute or two until it starts to get slightly thick–similar to the consistency of pancake batter.
Put the lid on the crockpot and walk away. Check it every once in a while, but don’t stir–unless it looks like it will boil over, then stir it down. I promise it won’t stick or burn! After about 1 hour it should look like the middle has bubbled up and completely folded in on itself. That’s when it is done.
Now you may stir your soap.
It will be pretty thick and chunky. At this point, all the lye has cooked out and is no longer a danger to the skin (other than it’s just cooked for an hour and very hot!).
You may add up to but not more than 1/4 cup coffee to smooth out the soap a bit. Now it’s time to add coffee grounds to give it that extra coffee smell and as an exfoliate. Stir in 1/3 C coffee grounds and pour into your silicone bread pan or soap molds.
Let the soap sit overnight to harden. The next day pop the soap out. If you used the bread pan now is the time to cut the soap into bars. Let them sit out on wax paper for an additional week. Enjoy!
When I clean my soap-making tools I put everything in the crockpot, add water, and let it sit overnight. The leftover soap in the crockpot makes washing everything easy.
- 3.95 ounces coconut oil
- 3.15 ounces vegetable shortening
- 7.95 ounces olive oil
- 0.8 ounces castor oil
- 5.25 ounces chilled strong coffee
- 2.2 ounces lye
- 1/3 cup coffee grounds
- 1/4 cup reserved coffee
- Very carefully measure out all the ingredients.
- Add coconut oil, shortening, olive oil, and castor oil to a crockpot.
- Add Lye to the coffee (very important to do it in that order!)
- Carefully stir the lye and coffee mixture.
- Once the lye and coffee have cooled add it to the crockpot with the oils.
- Use the immersion blender to mix everything together for a minute or two until it starts to get slightly thick–similar to the consistency of pancake batter.
- Put the lid on the crockpot and walk away. Check it every once in a while, but don’t stir–unless it looks like it will boil over, then stir it down. I promise it won’t stick or burn! After about 1 hour it should look like the middle has bubbled up and completely folded in on itself. That’s when it is done.
- You may stir in up to but not more than 1/4 cup coffee to smooth out the soap a bit.
- Add coffee grounds to give it that extra coffee smell and as an exfoliate.
- Pour into your silicone bread pan or soap molds.
- Let sit overnight or for several hours until soap is hardened.
- Remove from pan and cut into bars.
- You may use your soap right away but if you let it sit for several weeks it will be even harder which will cause it to last longer.
If you love coffee as much as we do be sure to check out these other great posts by Blessed Beyond Crazy: