several bars of green laurel berry soap with olive leaves
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Laurel Berry Soap (Aleppo Soap Copycat Recipe)

Course DIY products, Soaps

Ingredients

  • 450 g olive oil
  • 150 g laurel berry oil
  • 228 g water
  • 78 g lye aka. Sodium hydroxide (NaOH)
  • 18 g fragrance or essential oils optional- I didn't use any

Instructions

  • Weigh out the lye and the water in separate containers. I now usually use stainless steel bowls for this step.  (Other metals may react with the lye, while some plastics may be melted and some glass bowls may crack from the sudden heat of the chemical reactions when you mix the water and lye together.)
  • Add the lye to the bowl of water. (Do not add the water to the bowl of lye.) Stir the water and lye together thoroughly in a well ventilated area. You will notice that the lye solution will heat up and get cloudy. It will also give off fumes that you should avoid inhaling.   
  • Allow the lye solution to set in a place where it won't be disturbed by animals or small children while you measure out the oils.
  • Weigh out the olive oil and laurel berry oils in a large bowl. At this point you can use ceramic, glass, stainless steel or plastic. 
  • Pour the lye mixture into the oils and gently stir them together. It's OK if the lye mixture is still warm. 
  • Once you have thoroughly combined the lye solution and oils, you can begin to blend them with an immersion blender. As you blend the ingredients together, they will begin to thicken and become more opaque.
  • Your mixture will thicken to the point of looking like a creamy salad dressing or light mayonnaise. This point is called "trace" in soap making. At this point you can add in any extra fragrances, essential oils, or other additives as desired. 
  • Pour the soap mixture into molds and allow to harden for a couple of days before unmolding. (You can unmold as soon as you feel the soap is hard enough. The amount of time will depend upon the temperature of your environment, humidity, molds used, etc.)
  • Cut the soap into bars as needed. Don't wait too long to cut the bars of soap or the soap will get too hard and brittle to cut easily.
  • Allow the bars of soap to cure for at least a month before using it. Ideally you should wait several months. Olive oil based soaps like this one are normally allowed to cure for several months before using them. The soap will harden and improve with time.