What is the deal with castile?

DSCF2694You might have heard about castile soap or know someone who has used it.  All natural soap is made with two main ingredients; oil and lye water.  The two are combined in the saponification process to create an amazing product!  Each oil that is used in the process adds different qualities to the final soap.  Castile soap is 100% olive oil soap.  It is one of the most pure, gentle, and mild soaps available!

Soap making dates back nearly two millennia and castile soap originated in the Castile region of Spain.  It was brought back to England after the Crusades and soon production of this soap spread through the whole Mediterranean area.

Now I have been making cold process and hot process solid soaps for quite some time.  This past week has been my first venture into liquid soap making.  I knew I wanted to offer the benefits of pure and natural castile soap but it takes 6 months for solid castile soap to be ready for use!  Liquid soap making is quite a bit more complicated than other types of soaping.  Here’s a little peak into my process.

This is the first stage after the liquid oils and lye water are combined in a crockpot.  Potassium hydroxide is the lye that is used in creating liquid soaps.  The oil and lye is blended with a stick blender until it reaches the consistency of thick mashed potatoes.  This process took over an hour and a burned out stick blender to achieve the right consistency! (My poor stick blender, sniff, sniff…..)

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Then it gets to cook…………………………..  And cook……………….

The mixture goes through several stages and regular mixing to achieve something that looks like Vaseline.  This took about 4 hours to achieve.  This is called soap paste which is basically just really concentrated liquid soap.  Using it in this form would be a little too strong for the skin.

After testing for doneness through a pH test and a clarity test it’s ready to dilute with distilled water.  The total dilution takes about 12 to 24 hours in the crockpot with stirring and checking at regular intervals until all the soap paste is incorporated and the consistency is uniform.

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And after it’s bottled and cooled it looks like liquid gold!  Such a labour of love but totally worth it!

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Check it out in our products section!

Thanks for reading!

(Here’s the disclaimer: For advice on skin conditions and treatment please consult your doctor.  This is in no way intended to replace medical advice on skin care.)

 

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