To make Pauline's Castile soap you will need:
- 849g olive oil
- 57g beeswax
- 283g of distilled or spring water
- 113g lye (sodium hydroxide/caustic soda)
- 10g essential oil or honey or a combination of both
- Weigh out the olive oil and beeswax and place in a large stainless steel or enamel pan over a low heat until the beeswax has melted. Turn off the heat and allow to cool to approximately 54C.
- In an oven proof glass or stainless steel bowl/pan pour in the water and carefully add the lye, stirring until dissolved. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves and take care not to inhale the fumes. Leave until the temperature reduces to approximately 54C.
- When both the oil mixture and the lye mixture reach the same temperature of 54C add the lye mixture into the oils and stir (do not add the oil to the lye solution)
- Stir until the mixture thickens so that some will trickle off the back of a spoon. It will leave a trace line on the mixture surface and this is called 'trace'.
- At this point add the essential oils, honey or combination of both and stir. Pour the mixture into a mould (I use a wooden mould lined with thick freezer paper but you can also use a greased plastic container).
- Cover with a towel for 24 hours or until hard. Wear rubber gloves, turn out of the mould and cut into bars.
- Cover with a towel to insulate and leave in a well ventilated room to cure for 4 weeks before use, during this time the process will be completed and any residual lye neutralised.
Caution: When making soap, never leave unattended and never allow children or pets into the area where the soap is being made.
Pauline recommends: The Handmade Soap Book by Melinda Cross