When I first started making soap, this was one of the first bars I tried. I saw a similar bar at a farmer’s market in Manitoba and thought it was a pretty cool idea, and I set out to do it myself as soon as I got home. Those original bars are long gone, but after a couple years of soaping I thought it was high time I whip up another batch. One of my favourite things about these bars is how they both exfoliate and boost circulation, all compliments of the cinnamon.
Cinnamon is known to increase circulation, making it popular in lip glosses that are designed to naturally plump and redden lips. It also smells fantastic, and the light grit from the ground spice makes for a bit of fantastic, light exfoliation—perfect for more delicate skin. I would, however, keep this soap away from your eyes and any other tender bits as the cinnamon can be irritating.
The resulting soap is a nice orange with dark brown swirls through it, reminding me of Tiger ice cream. The trick to getting the nice, liquidy swirls is to split the batch when you’ve still got a fairly light trace. I find my all purpose soap traces so quickly that it generally goes from liquid to peanut butter quite quickly. I generally consider fast trace to be a good trait, but it makes getting swirls tricky, so I’ve devised an awesome (and extra lazy) way to slow things down.
Any soaper knows that the lower the temperature, the slower things go. Many soap recipes advise you to combine the lye water and oils when they are both around 110–120° F, and at temperatures like that my all purpose soap reaches a very thick trace in about 3 minutes (juggling the different temperatures of the fats and the water is also a big pain in the butt—they ususally don’t arrive at the same temperature at the same time). Cooler temperatures take longer to get down to, though, so I’ve often combined at 110°F or so and just tried to work very quickly, rather than wait around in my gloves and goggles for ages.
My lazy solution? Spread it over an entire day. Right after breakfast, measure out and melt your fats, and combine your lye and water. And then leave both for the better part of a day. Both parts will conveniently settle at room temperature, and they will be cold enough to give you plenty of time in the light trace stage (this recipe still reaches trace very quickly, it just doesn’t thicken up so fast). It’s not a new or ingenious solution, but I’m pretty pleased with it. I find it means I’m more likely to make soap as it ends up taking up far less time this way as I just build all the waiting into my day. Booyah! (I made 6 batches of soap in 3 days the first weekend I figured this out).
Cinnamon Swirl Soap & Shampoo
35% olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada)
25% refined coconut oil (USA / Canada)
15% unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada)
10% castor oil (USA / Canada)
Per 500g (1.1lbs) oils:
- 30g cinnamon bark essential oil
- 1 tbsp white white kaolin clay (USA / Canada)
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2020 update: Given the irritation potential for the cinnamon and cinnamon essential oil, I’d recommend using a cinnamon-y fragrance oil rather than the essential oil. Please refer to supplier documentation for maximum usage rates for the particular fragrance oil you’re using when used in soap/rinse-off products.
Follow my standard soap making instructions (calculate for a 6% superfat), allowing the oils and lye water a good 6–8 hours to come to room temperature.
When the soap reaches a light trace, add the essential oil and clay. Divide the batch in two, and stir the ground cinnamon into one half. Pour the soap into the mold, alternating between the halves, drizzling to swirl.
Let saponify in the mold for 24 hours before slicing and curing for at least 3 weeks.
I have to confess I have recently stumble over your blog and I love it so much!
Have you ever considered selling your soaps and cosmetics on etsy or something? I woukd kive to try this soap but I find soap making to be very intimidating! I would.much rather purchase this from a experienced maker. Please consider!
Aww, thanks Samantha! I have thought about selling my stuff, but I simply don’t have the time to make, package, list, and ship everything. That’s why I do it once and then write about it instead 🙂 I’d really encourage you to try it yourself, though! It’s nowhere near as hard (or dangerous) as most websites make it out to be. If you haven’t done much DIY stuff I’d recommend starting with something fairly simple like lip balm, then moving to lotion (which is an emulsion, like soap), and then soap! It’s awesome and fun, I promise 🙂
I’m new to soap making, but very serious about doing it all well. Id just like to say an enormous thankyou for all the information and experience that you are willing to share. Huge shout out to you. I live in Peru and its taken me a long time to source a company that would sell me Lye. Thrilled to finally have it. also appreciate your taking the pain out of understanding a lye calculator. very excited to make a start. Many thanks.
This is going on my list of must make soaps! I’ve decided my friend Laura is going to help me make a big batch of CP soaps that I can give out as Christmas presents. I should probably try another small batch first, but when I’m in Calgary I’ll get the measurements of your huge mold and then I’ll use that you make Christmas soaps! I have a bunch of my international blogging friends addresses, and I’m going to surprise a bunch of them with Christmas soaps! I adore making Beauty products again, now that I don’t sell them anymore. I told Matty I would make him some of your minty Bug spray so he wouldn’t reek of Deet like the other lads when they go to Galliano in a couple weeks, and he practically wept with gratitude.
Ooh, lovely! Cinnamon soaps are super appropriate for Christmas… maybe I’ll have to make more for then 😉
The inner measurements of my mold are 15″ long, 3.5″ across, and 3.5″ deep. I have a series of dividers that support the lid; they are 2.75″ high, giving the mold an effective depth of 2.75″ (the lid is 0.75″ thick). Each inch of the mold holds 100g/oils of soap; so the entire mold holds a 1500g of oils batch of soap. It’s also exactly as long as sheets of parchment are long, meaning it’s super easy to line as well. Basically, it’s the perfect size!
Your soap is beautiful and your blog on trace is timely for me. I am just learning about “walking away” and letting things cool before blending. It does allow for more creativity at trace. I wish I knew this a year ago when I worked in a hurry at much hotter temperatures. Thank you for the great information.
Thanks, Cynthia! I am so thrilled with the “walking away” discovery—not only does it allow for more creativity, as you said, but I also find it allows me to make a lot more soap since the active time is reduced so much… I may just make another kilo or two of soap this weekend 😛 Thanks for reading!
I am a soap virgin with many questions, recently gathering products to get started. Do you use refined or unrefined shea butter? Are both appropriate?
I always use raw/unrefined ingredients when I can, though you should be able to use either successfully—just make sure you choose the “refined” version in the lye calculator just in case the SAP values are different 🙂
Thank you for responding. I have learned so much from your blog. More questions to follow, I’m sure.
No problem, Brenda—I’m always happy to help 🙂
Thanks for your blog!!!! What’s the purpose of the clay? Could it be made without it?
Thanks for reading, Juli! The clay adds “slip” (so you can use the bar for shaving) and boosts the cleansing power. You can use it out, I just wouldn’t recommend shaving with it or you will likely end up with razor burn. I’d really recommend getting some clay and trying it, though—I use clay for so many things!
Oh wow! I am SO happy to find this blog 🙂 Not because of the soap making (although I WILL be trying soon), but as I was getting frustrated with reading other blogs the past couple hours that by no means should these individuals be wasting my time with their horrible,unintelligent, or copied ideas. But fortunately for me, somehow I made it to yours! ANYWAYS…as for the soap…….From what I understand in a couple comments, you’re a vegetarian. My daughter would NEVER use soap knowing there was beef tallow in it. Is there anything I could substitute for it?? THANX! Oh…And please don’t take that as an insult!
Yay, I’m so glad you found my site, Patty! I have lots of fun coming up with new ideas, trying them out, and sharing them with everyone 🙂 If you’d like to learn more about why I use tallow/lard in my soaps (even as a vegetarian), you should read my blog on it. You should also have your daughter read it—if she knew about the common alternatives, she might prefer lard/tallow as well 🙂
I have been making soap for years and have to say I have never had such beautiful bars of soap since I made my first batch from this recipe. WOW! Maybe it’s the tallow? Previously I had used all oils…. either way, I’m addicted! Going to take a shot at the beer soap tomorrow since my husband is a home brewer and always has some flat stuff sitting around!
Awesome, I’m so thrilled to hear it, Kalyn! I’m super pleased with this recipe—I’ve been working on it for a couple years, and I think it’s great (obviously :P). I used to make my soaps with all oils and plant-based butters (but never palm!), and once I started using tallow & lard, I never went back. How did your beer soap turn out? Mine is a big hit with my family.
i always hated the matching of temps for the oils & water phases. i felt like i was being held hostage by my soaping…and because of that, i would rush through the end and my swirls would end up all jacked bc of it. i much prefer soaping at room temp. in fact, i will mix up the lye the night before and leave it out (somewhere kittehs will not bother it) and the next day i merely weigh out my oils and add my room-temp lye solution to it…the heat of the reaction of lye + oils melts any solid oils im using. its quite liberating to not be tethered to your thermometer whilst soaping.
I 100% agree, Chelle! I would just end up standing around in my kitchen like a dolt, wearing goggles, for ages, puttering from oils pot to lye mixture, waiting until I could finally combine… and then everything would trace in an instant and swirls were pretty much out of the question. I’ve read about using the lye water heat to melt the oils but never tried it myself—do you have to avoid any of the harder oils, or make sure the oils are in smaller pieces?
smaller pieces help facilitate the melt for sure…i usually only use shea butter in my soap recipe, as far as hard oils go. so far, its not caused me any issue.
Oooh, sounds awesome! I just might have to try this sooner rather than later 🙂 Though I just ran out of shea butter—remarkable, considering how much of it I had!
I did this method to make beer soap with tallow in the recipe, chopped up pretty fine, and it worked great! No issues whatsoever.
And today I did the same with a tallow only batch. I had to place the pot over light heat initially to help melt the tallow, but it didn’t seem to cause any horrendous problems, and once the fat was all melted, I shut off the heat and got to blending. I’ve got lovely, hard, traditional lye soap curing as I type. 🙂
Fantastic! Enjoy your new soaps and thanks for sharing 🙂
I came across your blog a couple of days back and I am hooked!! I’ve been reading as much as I can and have even signed up for your newsletter. Thank you so much for sharing all the lovely recipes. By the way, I also love your relaxed, natural, humourous stye of blogging 🙂
Just one question .. have you noticed a change in your hair colour since using the cinnamon shampoo bar? I used to mix it in my henna to impart a brown tint.
Hi Jess! I’m so thrilled you stumbled over to my wee corner of the internet & are having fun 🙂 As for cinnamon changing my hair colour—I honestly haven’t stuck to any one type of shampoo bar long enough to notice a change. I have at least 15 kinds of soap & shampoo aging at any given time (made 3 more today, haha), so I’m usually impatient to try something new, and I just bounce from one thing to the next. I do make a cinnamon & chamomile lightening hair mist, though, and I did notice that helped my hair “golden up” in the summer. I’ve also read other tales of cinnamon (cassia in particular) lightening hair over time.
Thanks for reading & don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any help 🙂
Haha now why doesn’t that surprise me?? Since trying to go natural, I’ve found that I’ve just swapped from being a product junkie to being a natural product junkie! There’s no less clutter in the bathroom or my dressing table!
Just made a mix of tallow/lard for the first time today and am hoping everything turns out okay with the soap as I don’t have digital scales but some ancient ones!!
My family has taken to smiling and laughing every time they see me puttering around with some new concoction or the other. For my first soap ever, I’m going to be trying your all-in-one soap shampoo bar .. wish me luck!
Thanks for the recipe and inspiration 🙂
Haha, yup! I’m an even worse product junkie now because each bottle costs $0.10 instead of $10+ lol. Oh well… at least I’m having fun 😛
Let me know how your shampoo bars turn out 🙂 Lots of luck!
Hope you’re well and enjoying Christmas!!
The soap turned out absolutely wonderful. I’m going to let it cure a bit longer but I just couldn’t resist trying one bar .. the lather feels luxurious and creamy!
In a week or two I’m going to be trying some of your other recipes 😉
Take care for now.
Oooh, fantastic! I’m so thrilled to hear it 🙂 My Christmas was just lovely—relaxing with the family & catching up on some much needed sleep. I’d love to see some photos of your projects if you’d like to share them on Instagram or Facebook (links in the upper left column).
Happy New Year!! I’m so glad you had a nice Christmas.
Haha I didn’t even think of taking any pics of y soap. It’s all been given away to family and friends. I was just left with one bar! I’ve been buying more ingredients online so I’ll be doing a new batch soon. I’ll definitely try and take some pics this time. I’m not adventurous enough to try colours and fancy stuff yet so the pics won’t look very exciting I’m afraid 🙂
I’m still enjoying reading your blogs. Take care and keep having fun with DIY
Happy New Year, Jess 🙂 I totally get forgetting to take photos, if I didn’t have a blog to hold me accountable I might have photos of 1/6th of my soaps 😛 Fire ’em over whenever you’ve got ’em, I’ll be here!
Just a quick question please. As I’m a very impatient person and I really don’t want to wait long to cure my soap, what do you think about using beeswax to “harden” the soap? Also, do you find your soap has a very slippery feel, the way soaps sometimes feel with hard water i.e. harder to rinse off?
I’m eagerly awaiting your response. Thank you so much!
Hi Jess! Yes, adding a wee bit of beeswax to your recipe will produce a harder end bar. It will also make the batch much harder to turn out properly, though. I tried two batches of beeswax soap back-to-back and both curdled on me 🙁 I haven’t tried again since. They were both usable, but crumbly and quite ugly. So, if you aren’t overly confident in your soaping abilities, I wouldn’t do it quite yet, especially if you are worried about wasting ingredients.
As for slippery-ness; we’ve got very hard water here, and while the soap is slippery… it’s supposed to be, yes? I mean, I’ve never encountered a bar of soap that wasn’t slippery when it was wet. Anyhow, they rinse clean perfectly fine, so no big deal.
Thanks for reading & soaping with me!
haha you do make me laugh!! No, of course soap isn’t supposed to be slippery. Who told you that?? .. just kidding! Yes, it is ..but I find that mine feels a bit like there’s a film on my skin and it doesn’t just rinse off with water by itself. I have to just run my hands all over to “wash” it off. Now sure if that makes sense at all?! :/ Of course, me being me, I did alter your recipe to contain 10% castor oil since I really wanted to try the bar as a shampoo.
Plus I have a confession .. I added a teeny weeny bit of beeswax in mine, hoping to speed things along. Luckily it didn’t curdle .. phew!! Thanks for the warning. I’ll be careful this time as I really don’t want to chuck my ingredients away. Just had my whole collection of oils go missing from my luggage and it’s cost me £78 (ish) to buy the basic stuff again. I could cry! 🙁
Hope you’re well and thanks for your ever so lovely replies 🙂
I have noticed that feeling with soft water (ours is very hard), but I wonder if that’s simply because it’s not what I’m used to. With hard water my skin always feels well rinsed straight away.
I’m so thrilled the beeswax worked out for you! Phew. And I’m so sad to hear about your lost collection 🙁 Boooo to travel theft/confiscation! People are far too paranoid these days :/
I can’t wait to hear how that soap is in a week or two 😀
Please help!!! I set up to make a kilo oil based soapfollowing your all-in-one soap/shampoo recipe. Due to shortage of space and shortage of utensils as I’ve recently moved, I decided to tare and add my oils into the same bowl .. but thanks to my flatmate who got me all flustered, I’ve managed to spill most of my oils and I don’t even know what the proportions are for the saved oil .. not to mention the mess in the kitchen which is very dangerous! My flatmate proceeded to carry on washing his car footmats in the kitchen sink instead of even trying to help clean up the spill. I finally asked him to leave for a while so I could use the sink to clean the mess up! I could really slap him right now!!
Anyway, back to the urgent matter at hand. My lye is lying mixed for 1 kilo of oils and I don’t know if there’s any way of salvaging the oils that are left and adding whatever is left avaialble to make a soap/shampoo?? I’ve run out of coconut oil as I’d already added the whole lot in. I could add more castor, olive and shea but I have no idea what quantities to add. Please help as I’ve already spent a lot on the oils buying them from different ebay sellers .. I could just burst into tears. To top it all off, I start my new job tomorrow.
Sorry for turning you into an agony aunt, but I’d really appreciate any help at this point.
Ok. First off, your roommate is a dink who needs a lesson in soaping safety 😛 And not washing car mats inside, lol—isn’t that what garden hoses are for?!
Let’s see if we can salvage this.
So, the original plan was for 1kg of oils, using my all-in-one soap recipe. I’m going to assume you chose lard for these calculations.
The original plan would have meant a 1kg blend of oils, and 140g of NaOH.
Now, let’s take a look at what a 1kg batch made of just one of these oils would require for lye:
Ok… so. Most of those numbers are pretty close, with the exception of the coconut oil. Now, you said you have no more coconut oil, and you’ve spilled a lot of what you do have, so that will mean that the lye solution you have is invariably going to be too strong for the oils you do have on hand if you still want to make a 1kg batch.
And I just thought of another variable—had you melted everything together yet? If yes, then I think you can relatively safely assume the ratios hold true for whatever you have left, but if not… tricky. I’d imagine you could just pick up the clumps of coconut oil, lard, and shea butter off the floor, so your loss would be mostly olive oil and castor oil.
Start by weighing out your pre-mixed oils (pour them into another container) so you know how much you have left. Assuming you’d melted your oils together, go back and re-calculate the recipe for a total volume of whatever you have, and that’ll give you new lye and water numbers. Add those up and weigh out that much of your lye water solution (or just make up a new one, that’s probably the safest way to go). The weighing should work fine because it’s exactly the same strength of solution, just less of it. I’d go from there, and just make a smaller batch of soap. You can dilute the remaining lye solution (I’d add at least a liter of water) and pour it down a drain that’s having trouble draining 😛
If you had not melted everything together yet, pick out your solid ingredients and weigh them to see what you have left. Then, weigh your leftover liquid oils, and assume the vast majority of those liquid oils is olive oil. From there you can pretty much just start over, though again you’ll likely need to either make a smaller batch or tweak the formula to make up for the loss of any irreplaceable ingredients. I would increase your amounts of shea butter and olive oil to make up the difference.
I hope that helps! Let me know how it goes :/
Thank you so much for repying so promptly! You really are a life-saver!!
Haha that would have been the easy solution but I just couldn’t think straight after the whole shabang! Luckily I hadn’t melted my shea butter yet, nor had I added my tallow. The coconut oil had been melted already to get it out of the bottle.
As per your solution, I’ll go and reweigh the remaining amount (making sure that my flatmate is not around this time, so I’ll do it when he’s gone to play football), add more shea butter and castor oil to bring it back up to 1000 grams.
I’m really hoping that I don’t end up with an overly soft sqidgy soap and am still able to bathe and wash my hair with it. I’ll update you on the results soon. Thank you ever so much for your help! I was going to take pics as you had suggested last time but now I’m feeling pretty flustered so let’s see.
Once again, thank you so much!!
No worries & good luck! Be careful of having more than about 20% castor oil as your bar can go soft after that 🙂 I’d also do a pH test before you use the bars, just to be sure. If all else fails, let ’em age for ages, shred them, and use ’em for laundry detergent & scrubbing toilets 🙂
Ooooh in that case I better add more olive oil rather than castor oil. I was going to add some gorgeous vanilla absolute but may go for lavender essential oil instead now, as that’s much cheaper .. fingers crossed that it won’t have to be used for laundry or toilets .. I have faith in your solutions :)))
Hi Marie! Haha yes, fingers crossed! I have no idea how it worked (especially without a blender) but somehow I think we have soap! I checked last evening and cut the soap into bars and it feels like it could be okay afterall! I was too tired to take pics last evening but I’ll take some this weekend .. not that it looks pretty. I nearly gave up after the whole fiasco, but thanks to you, I think it’ll turn out just fine. Thank you sooooo much for all your help, because there’s no way I could have done this lot without your help. I wish I could send you a card and flowers to say thank you 🙂
Fantastic! I’m so glad 😀 Phew.
Haha phew indeed!
I’m waiting for my vegetable glycerine to arrive so I can try your lip stain next. Had the carmine sitting here for 2 weeks now and am getting impatient 🙂
I know the feeling! The post can be so darn slow whenever you’re waiting for something 😛
Hope you’ve been well? I haven’t been online for a while as I’ve had connectivity problems with my new mobile and broadband. To make matters worse, I haven’t had much luck with my glycerine either. The first ebay seller had to cancel his listing and refund me as apparently he is not allowed to post those items. I didn’t even realise he wasn’t in UK!! So I bought another lot from another seller, and that parcel has gone missing in the post. I’m thinking about going and jumping off a cliff :/
Haha, well you take care and enjoy he rest of your weekend!!
Hi Jess! Good to hear from you again 🙂 Things have been good here, though cold (darn winter!). It’s giving me lots of time to do all kinds of indoor projects, if nothing else. Have you tried a local pharmacy for the glycerine? It’s a common constipation remedy, so you might have some luck there. Fingers crossed!
Hope you’ve been well? Trying loads of exciting new things I bet! I finally got my glycerine and made my lip stain but it looks absolutely dreadful on me!! .. makes me look like I should be standing under a red street lamp with fishnet stockings 🙂 Oh well, that’s another story, eh??
Just wanted to update you on the batch of soap you helped me with. What can I say?? It’s turned out amazing .. thanks to you! My hair feels squeaky clean and I haven’t had to bother with body lotion in over a week! Thought I’d take some pics for you but it’s the ugliest looking soap you could ever see haha 🙂
Take care and thank you soooo much for your help and encouragement!
Hi Jess! I’ve been well, but so darn busy 😛 I’m glad you finally got your hands on some glycerine… have you tried using less carmine in the lip stain to get a paler stain/tint?
I’m so glad the soap ended up working out 🙂 Yay for homemade soap/shampoo!
Thanks so much for DIYing with me 🙂
I just stumbled upon your site and I’m so glad I did! I am a beginner soap enthusiast and I saw a photo of this cinnamon swirl. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I’m just curious, what are those glittery bits speckled about? Thanks for all the inspiration.
Hi Ines! This soap doesn’t actually sparkle in real life, so it looks to be a trick of the light that makes those white bits appear to glitter. Those are just little bits of not-quite-totally-blended-in kaolin clay, which is white 🙂 Thanks for reading & have fun with your soap!
Greetings from Sydney, Australia! I’ve been following your blog for a couple of weeks now, and I am totally inspired in making my own beauty products! Congratulations on a beautiful blog that’s filled with so much passion and enthusiasm!
I made a simple olive oil/coconut oil soap which worked beautifully, and am now waiting for it to cure (impatient). This was before I came across your blog, so now I’m keen to try out your recipes that smell so glorious.
Yesterday for Mother’s Day, my son made me a soap mould according to your directions – now I can’t wait to use it.
I have a question that I don’t seem to find the exact answer for: You write that working with oils and lye mixture at room temperature gives you more time to reach trace and therefore enables more creativity with swirls etc. Don’t you want to reach trace quickly so that the mixture is quite thick when you layer it? Also isn’t it time-consuming standing and blending for a longer time to reach trace? I wonder if you can briefly explain what the exact benefits of slow tracing are?
Hi Birgit! Welcome to my far north blog 🙂 I lived in Penrith, NSW for a while in 2010 and just fell in love with your part of the world. If you need a live in soap maker, I might be your lady 😉
To answer your trace question—my recipes trace pretty quickly thanks to the shea butter and tallow. I can reach trace at 110°F/43°C using just a hand held spatula in about 3 minutes, which then hops over to a very thick trace really quickly, leaving little time to blend in essential oils, clays, colourants, and other fun things before it’s pretty hard to work with. That’s why I’ve been soaping at room temperature lately. I still reach trace really quickly (maybe 3–4 minutes with some blasts from the immersion blender), but it doesn’t race to the super thick pudding stage nearly as fast. That gives me time to choose the thickness of trace I want, rather than trying to work with whatever I end up with after adding everything to the batter 😛 Hope that clears things up 🙂
Thanks so much for all your kind words, and thanks for reading!
Thanks for all your answers, Marie. (I finally found all the comments). You’re welcome to visit any time and give me personalised tuition in soap making!! (I’m in Glenhaven surrounded by bush).
Reaching trace slowly certainly makes sense now – I will definitely try it this way.
I’m looking forward to further recipes…
No worries, Birgit! Glad you found everything 🙂
I don’t think I ever made it to Glenhaven when I lived Down Under… I shall have to add it to my list for my return 😉
Thanks for reading!
i love all these awesome homemade things! however, most of the ingredients i feel like are either hard to get or just expensive :/
Hi Keely! If you visit the suppliers I recommend (scroll up to the big box above the comments) you’ll find everything you need for surprisingly reasonable prices 🙂 And, when you do the per-unit cost calculations, you’ll find it’s far, far cheaper than paying somebody else to do it! Some of my DIY make-up recipes cost less than 1% of the store bought price to make.
Do you sell your soaps? I would love to buy one.
Sorry, I don’t sell anything.
Would anyone know, if I used silicone mold, how long would I need to leave the mixture in it to saponify , please? Would 24h be enough?
I always leave my soaps for 24 hours in silicone moulds and that works really well 🙂 I tend to place the mould tray on a towel, cover the mould in clingfilm after filling it, and then laying another towel overtop.
I am wondering about leaving the lye and oils out for 6-8 hours to reach room temperature — won’t the lard/tallow and coconut oil harden again at room temperature? Do you have to reheat your oils (and lye) to get these fats to melt again before combining with lye, or heat after combining? If you can clarify that would be helpful.
Love your pictures and tutorials! There is so much inspiration here.
Hi Kristi! There’s so much liquid oil in the oils that the mixture doesn’t solidify. It might get a touch cloudy if it’s quite chilly in your house (~15°C), but that’s not much of a worry 🙂 Once you add the lye and start stirring it’ll all come together. Thanks so much for reading and have fun with your soap!
Where does this dark, a bit blueish, color of this soap comes from? Could it be a cinnamon?
And if you could explain how exactly were you pouring both parts in the mold, to get this kind of swirl, please!
Hello! The bluish tinge is just a trick of the light in the photo—the actual bars don’t have it. As for the swirl, it was a relatively thin trace, and I poured through the centre with alternating colours 🙂
I made my first attempt at soap today. I used your basic recipe and read over here about letting both lye solution and the oils come to room temperature. When I put the lye into the water it really didn’t let off a plume of foul smelling stuff and it didn’t seem to get noticeably warmer. I was outside and it is January in Minnesota, but it is above freezing and a pleasant day, so that shouldn’t have made that much of a difference, right?
I put it in my mold that my dad made for me after it seemed to make a light trace (no swirling or anything, just the basic bar), but again it didn’t get hot or anything. I know the answer is wait a day and see that
Marie is right, but i just have a hard time believing that tomorrow this stuff is going to be cutable soap (plus the 500 gram recipe didn’t hardly fill the mold at all–had my dad make a mold like yours for Christmas).
I guess my issue is that it seems hard to believe that it was that easy and that this stuff that didn’t get hot and chemical-reaction-y is gonna be something else tomorrow. Is this considered “cold process”?
I’ll update tomorrow when it turns out just fine. Which will probably be before you can get to my concerns.
Thank you so much for this amazing site and all the great stuff on here. I love it so much!
So… did it work? I bet it did 🙂 Your water should get warmer, though, regardless of ambient temperature—it’s a chemical certainty! Be sure you’ve done a good job with stirring, sometimes my lye will settle to the bottom of the jug and fuse into a lye puck if I don’t stir well straight away. Then that has to be bashed up and stirred in, which is a slightly nerve-wracking annoyance as I don’t like bashing anything to do with lye! And if you mould is just like mine, a 500g batch will only fill 5″ of it, not the whole thing 🙂
I tried your recipe with a little twist. the room temperature gave enough time to play with my swirls, I didn’t have cinnamon, so I used a blend, cinnamon, orange and clove. . It smells amazing. I will see tomorrow how it looks like , , i added sugar and salt to the water before lye and tussah silk. Also honey at light trace and 1% less coconut oil that I substitute with beeswax.
OOoh, lovely! Your changes sure sound like they’d make for a hot bar (beeswax + honey + sugar)—did you do anything special for the saponification process?
Hi. I was hoping to see some kind of notification in my email. Sorry.
Actually, after I put the soap in my mold, it was warm, I didn’t cover it I just put inside my oven. Yesterday I cut it after 30 hrs. It was really nice. Looks like cinamon bread. Lol.
Awesome! Glad it turned out 🙂
I have Cinnamon Leaf essential oil, is that ok to use? Is there a big difference between that and Cinnamon essential oil? I asked a facebook group and they said to be careful using cinnamon essential oil on skin, is that a big concern? I did see you mentioned not using around “tender bits”, lol but in general it’s okay?
Hi Juli! Cinnamon Leaf and Bark EOs have quite different scents from what I’ve read, though I’ve never owned a bottle of the leaf EO. And yes, you do want to be careful with cinnamon bark EO on sensitive skin as it stimulates circulation and can be irritating, especially in large amounts or to those with sensitive skin. I’ve found it to be fine in soap, which isn’t on your skin for long, but I generally avoid it in lotions and body butters.
Thank you so much for your excellent articles. I’m trying this cold method today as my first soap-making exercise. It feels like a better idea to me than to faff around trying to get the temperatures to match.
Have fun & enjoy your homemade soap 🙂
So, 30 g is a LOT of essential oil… is that correct? It was almost half of a 2 oz bottle…
It is 🙂 I’m assuming you’re pretty new to making soap as 30g EO per 500g oils/ 1oz EOs per 1lb oils is a very common rule of thumb for making soap. The essential oils dissipate heavily when they go through saponification and the aging process. Also, once you’ve got all the oils, water, lye etc. in the soap, that’s just a 3% concentration.
I just made this as my first ever batch of soap, and it came out great! Unfortunately I realized that I used cinnamon bark oil vs. cinnamon leaf oil. And actually I only had 15g so it was half.
I used the cinnamon bark oil in a lotion, not realizing that it was so strong. It actually turned my skin bright red with burning! Since I accidentally used that in my soap, I should probably throw it out, right? Besides that mistake I was so proud of my first batch…even made it at room temp. 🙂
Oh sorry, just read through the comments and saw someone else asked a similar question! Seems like it might be fine then, especially if that is what you used in the recipe.
Yup, it should be ok 🙂 I wouldn’t call this a facial bar (the cinnamon is really scrubby), but it’ll be fine for hair and body.
Hi Karrie! It’ll probably be fine; cinnamon bark EO would be irritating in a lotion as well, but EOs are really well diluted in soap (about 3%), and they deteriorate even further between aging and saponification 🙂
This has completely changed how I think about soap making. Did some further googling and found this http://www.soap-making-essentials.com/how-to-make-soap-roomtemp.html#.VnsYquqnzmw
So that’s what I’ll be trying in the days to come!
I LOVE room temperature soaping and would pretty much never soap any other way now! It’s hugely helpful and really makes soap making less of an all-afternoon endeavor. Sometimes I’ll make the lye water and oil mixture a day or two before I need them, and just pull everything together when I find the time. It’s SO easy! I should also give the method you linked to a go… though I do wonder if my lye water would be hot enough to melt all the solid oils I include. Hmmmmmm. Definitely worth a go! I look forward to hearing how things work out for you 🙂
I just finished this recipe. It was the third batch of soap I’ve ever made and the first batch with a swirl and coloring. I just poured it in the mold and I am so so excited to take it out tomorrow and cut it! Like, I just had to tell somebody how much fun it was and how psyched I am! Thank you!
Wooohoo! I definitely know the excitement of the new soap pour and the crazy long following 24 hours before you can slice it 😉 Enjoy!
Do you let all your soaps age for 3 weeks before using? Is there a faster way?
Loved the recipe! can’t wait to try it!
One last thing: How do you get those beautiful colours?
In this recipe? I didn’t do anything other than what’s in the recipe 😛 Otherwise, read this!
I do—that’s a must-do part of cold process soaping. You can look into hot process soaping if you’re impatient, but I’m afraid I can’t offer much advice there as I’ve never tried it 🙂 You don’t have as much flexibility to do smooth swirls and what not with HP as you’re working with something the texture of stiff mashed potatoes, so it’s never really interested me.
I am a soap newbie, but I am finding it to be loads of fun.
I have only done HP so far, but I want to try CP. When you use your room temperature method, do you insulate the mold at the beginning of the curing time? Since I haven’t done CP before, I am still understanding how it works–does the raw soap get warm even though the oils and lye water were not before you mixed them together? Also, lots of people talk about “gel stage.” Does your soap go through gel stage?
Thanks so much and I really enjoy your website!
Hey Micah! I usually don’t bother insulating my moulds as I’m not fussed about gelling and often more concerned about over-heating. The saponification reaction is naturally exothermic (it releases heat), so yes, the mould/soap will get warm on their own 🙂 You could force a gel by insulating your mould or by putting your mould in a cool oven (I’ve never tried it, but I’ve read about it—just be sure to put a note on your oven so nobody turns it on!).
Happy soaping! 🙂
When soaping at room temp, how do you avoid false trace. I am new to soaping and this false trace thing scares me. I would hate to use a soap on my kiddos that still has lye. Can you tell when cutting the bars if there is a problem? Thanks
I’ve never had an issue with false trace—the biggest risk of it would come from working with pretty darn cold fats, so aim for comfortable not-needing-a-sweater room temperature, but not fridge temperature if your house tends to be cool. From there, go for a reasonably thick (thin yoghurt at least) trace to ensure you’re definitely there. And yes, you would definitely be able to tell when cutting as you’d never get to the point of cutting—without trace the soap would separate in the mould!
Great! Thanks so much. I love reading your blog! My last batch (only my second batch ever) thickened on me pretty quickly at the bottom of the pot but the there was still a large layer of melted fats on top. I was using milk in the recipe so keeping the lye mixture cold. I panicked but kept using the stick blender until it seemed to emulsify and the bars turned out great but wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something. I read your article about not using high PH products on you skin anymore, does that mean you are switching your routine from CP soap on your hair and body?
These days I’ve been experimenting with so many surfactant things that I haven’t been using CP soap much at all; in theory I’m still fine with using it on my body as that’s only a couple-times-a-week thing, but I haven’t been using it on my hair or face for nearly a year now and have definitely noticed improvements in both areas 🙂
Hello and thank you for your amazing website. We’re trying to do away with liquid shampoos and conditioners here in California. Is there any good substitute for lard in this recipe? thanks!
Hey Julia! Give this post a read re: lard. I’d also recommend looking into syndet shampoos, like this one, due to the lower (more hair-friendly) pH 🙂 Happy making!
Dear Marie, This recipe sound so wonderful and I would love to try it. However we are muslims and therefore cannot use lard. I would love to have just a vegetable based version of this. What would you substitude lard with in this recipe?
Thanks so much in advance
Hey! You’ll find the answer to your question in my FAQ on my website at https://humblebeeandme.com/faq/ Happy making!
(I’m sorry if you’ve answered this question elsewhere!) Is there a particular reason you use refined coconut oil in most of your soap recipes other than for the smell? Could I substitute refined coconut oil for unrefined coconut oil (because I happen to already have a jar)?
Because it’s typically way cheaper 🙂 You can use unrefined if that’s all you have. Happy making!