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Oven Processed Homemade Soap

Recipe by Jeanne Wolfley

Makes 20 bars


  • a. Large stainless steel pan
  • b. Large stainless steel spoon
  • c. Goggles or glasses
  • d. Heavy kitchen gloves
  • e. Measuring bowls
  • f. Scale (can be small and cheap)
  • g. Stick blender
  • h. Soap molds, anything that isn't aluminum
  • i. Digital thermometer


  • a. 12 ounces water
  • b. 4.8 ounces lye
  • c. 16 ounces olive oil
  • d. 16 ounces coconut oil


These oils can be bought at Wal-Mart. Buy the cheapest olive and coconut oils. They are perfect for soap making. The coconut oil is often found with the other baking ingredients or in the Hispanic foods isle.

Clear out the children. Make sure you have all your supplies and ingredients. Wear a long sleeve shirt, goggles and rubber gloves. You may even want to wear something to cover your nose and mouth while mixing the lye or open a window. Measure all ingredients by weight not volume.

Preheat oven: 180-190 degrees

Lye usually takes longer to cool than the oils. You can place the bowl of lye in some cool water (not ice cold) and it will help to bring the temperature down a bit faster or start mixing the lye 15 minutes before you melt your oils. Once the lye and oils are between 110 to 125 degrees, they are ready to be mixed together. There should only be 10 degrees difference between the two.

For example: If your lye is at 125 degrees your oils shouldn't be lower than 115 degrees. They can be closer in temperature or the same, but never more than 10 degrees apart. I use the thermometer about every five minutes until I get the two mixtures in the right range for mixing.

In your stainless steel pan, add the lye mixture to the melted oils and, with your stick blender, slowly pulse ingredients until you hit trace (see below). This process usually takes only a few minutes.

Trace: When you mix ingredients together, they start to look like pudding just before it sets. When it leaves a small trace of where your spoon or blender was a few seconds ago, you have hit trace.

Put your uncovered pan into the pre-heated oven and stir every 15 minutes for 1 hour. The mixture will be yellow in color.

  • After the first 15 minutes, it look like the consistency of pudding. (Stir)
  • 15 minutes later, it looks more like the consistency of canned shortening. (Stir)
  • 15 minutes later, it looks kind of bubbly and a little like mashed potatoes. (Stir)
  • 15 minutes later, it should have stopped the bubbling. Give it a final stir and pour into molds.

    Cover with plastic wrap and place between bath towels for a couple of hours. Then let it set out until you are ready to unmold. Leave it alone till cool (several hours to be sure or even overnight). If it is difficult to unmold, place in the freeze for an hour.

    This soap is mild to your skin and is very satisfying to make. Now start looking on the internet for more examples of how to make soap and for recipes. Soon you will be making all kinds of soap. I chose this one because it is easiest for beginners and still magnificent.

    February 2011 Newsletter

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