Coconut Oil Soap |The Super Cleaner
Ever since I timidly walked into my local home improvement store and searched out my first container of lye, I have loved making soap. I have tried all sorts of recipes from simple olive, coconut and castor oil, to one where all I use is my stick blender to complete the soaponification process. Out of all my soaps, coconut oil soap is definitely in my top 3.
Why do I love it so much? Coconut Oil Soap is an Anomaly. It is supposed to act a certain way in soap scientifically, but it does what it wants and becomes this amazingly bubbly cleaner when placed in the right conditions. We’ll talk more about that a little later in this post. Since I love coconut in soap so much, I am dedicating the next few weeks here on the blog and on YouTube to all things coconut oil. I’ve already posted Parts 1 and 2 where I showed how I make 100% Coconut Oil Soap for Laundry Butter and use in Homemade laundry soap recipes. I posted Part 1 of making Laundry Butter as well. Let’s talk about what makes Coconut Oil so great in the first place.
Coconut oil comes from the ripe coconut fruit of the coconut palm tree. The oil is extracted in one of two way: wet or dry.
- the meat is extracted from the shell and dried using fire, sunlight, or kilns to create copra.
- The copra is dissolved with solvents, producing the coconut oil and a high-protein, high-fiber mash.
- uses raw coconut rather than dried copra.
- the protein in the coconut creates an emulsion of oil and water.
- centrifuges and pre-treatments including cold, heat, acids, salts, enzymes, electrolysis, shock waves are then used to extract the oil from the emulsion.
Coconut Oil can fall into a few different category types: 76 degree, 92 degree, Fractionated, Virgin. For most soap making purposes I use 76 degree coconut oil. This oil is non-hydrogenated and melts at temperatures over 76 degrees. 92 degree coconut oil is hydrogenated and melts at 92 degrees (there is even a 102 degree classification of coconut oil) If you’d like to learn even more about Coconut Oil classifications head over to this post by Quality First International, they break down all the types of coconut oil and the ways they are produced.
As with all oil and fats used in soaps, coconut oil has a make up of fatty acids that need to be taken into consideration when being used in a recipe.
Now I am not a science person, Kenna, over at Modern Soapmaking breaks down what each of these means much better than I ever could 🙂 (If you plan on becoming a great soapmaker, I’d definitely suggest checking her blog out, she shares AMAZING information that will help you make not only pretty looking soap, but safe and effective soap as well.)
Basically coconut oil will produce a hard bar of soap with nice fluffy bubbles of lather. This oil even lathers in salt water.
In soap making, 100% Coconut Oil Soap is one of the easiest types of soaps to make. Normally it is advised not use coconut oil as more than 30% of your soaping oils because it breaks up oil and grease se well, that it can be drying and stripping to the skin. But if you don’t mind being a little rebellious you can get around that rule. By using a superfat of 20% (which means your use 20% more oil than the lye can change to soap) your are left with a luxury bar that is FAR from drying. more coconut oil than the lye can convert to soap, you end up with a luxurious body bar. What makes it so great is that coconut oil has a long shelf life, no worries of your soap going rancid from all of the extra unsoaponified oils. You can also use supperfatting to make a bar or liquid soap that is perfect for laundry and household cleaning. By Superfatting at 0% or not allowing for any oil to be left over after soaponification, you are left with a bar that is a powerful grease fighter and stain remover. This oil really is an anomaly of soapmaking oils: It breaks usage rules, superfatting rules, it even breaks the rules of salt killing bubbles. As the weeks progress we will use this oil in a number of different ways, demonstrating some of these very ideas. We will finish our Laundry Butter made with coconut oil soap superfatted at 0%, Liquid cleaning soap, a Sea Salt Bar that is reminiscent of a spa-like experience and a 100% Coconut Oil soap that is superfatted at 20%. Coconut Milk might even make an appearance along the line. Friday I will be sharing Part Two of making my Laundry Butter Video and even more about the amazing cleaner that is coconut oil soap.
Make sure you watch the first two videos in this coconut oil series Here.