Loofah Cold Process Soap Tutorial

  • Difficulty:Beginner
  • Time:1 hour
  • Yields:9 bars
Loofah soap can be super scrubby on the skin. I designed this recipe with a mild scrub in mind. This recipe is great because it has a nice gentle scrub on one side of the soap and it’s silky smooth on the other. Plus the fragrance combination of Pomegranate and Mint is positively swoon-worthy.
What  You’ll Need:
8 oz Coconut Oil
1.0 oz Jojoba Oil
11.20 oz Olive Oil
10.5 oz Distilled Water
1 Tablespoon Shredded Loofah
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Preparation: Safety First: familiarize yourself with the safety precautions of Cold Process Soap Making. Please watch these videos on Lye Safety, Basic Terms, Using Fragrance and Essential Oils, Using Colorants. Review the lye safety blog post here. Also, be sure to line your mold ahead of time with freezer paper.
ONE: In your soaping gear (gloves, goggles and long sleeves) prepare your Lye Water.

 

TWO: Heat/melt and combine the Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Olive Oil, Palm Oil and Sweet Almond Oil. Then mix in the Shea Butter until fully melted and incorporated.
TIP: When adding the shea butter to your melted oil, put the stick blender right on top of the shea and blend it in. Trap it down on the bottom. This will speed up the process of the normal hand stirring.
THREE: Carefully add your Lye water to the oils and mix with your stick blender.
TIP: Remember to “burp” your stick blender by tapping the air out of your stick blender before you start mixing.
FOUR: Once all of the ingredients are combine split the batch in two containers (make sure they’re big enough to mix in). Does not have to be perfect but try to eyeball it the best that you can.
FIVE: In one half of the batter, add 1 tablespoon of shredded loofah and 1.5 ounce of Moonlight Pomegranate fragrance oil. Mix well. Moonlight Pomegranate is an Advanced Soaper Fragrance; it will want to separate on you but if you keep mixing and mixing and mixing with the stick blender you’ll get it to incorporate. The fragrance combo is worth the effort! But, if you want something easier because you’re not quite sure you want to deal with a fragrance that likes to separate? Mangosteen or Berry “I smell horrible out of the bottle but soap up way nicer” Wine would be great with Mint!
SIX: Pour this layer into your lined, 9 Bar Baltic Birch Mold.
SEVEN: In the second half of your batter, add about ½ teaspoon of Super Pearly White mica and 1.5 ounce of Moroccan Mint fragrance Oil. Give it a mix with the stick blender and pour the second layer.

 

TIP: Pour the second layer over a spoon or spatula so the top layer does not break through the bottom layer.
EIGHT: Carefully smooth the top layer out with your spatula. Leave as is or texture the top of your soap using a spoon or whisker. Have your dividers assembled already and carefully place them in the mold.

NINE: Let the soap harden up for 24 hours and it’s ready to unmold and cure for 4-6 weeks.
PS – We’re testing the awesome soap beveler that I used to bevel this soap above. I can’t wait to approve that nifty piece of equipment for sale!

 

33 Responses to “Loofah Cold Process Soap Tutorial”

  1. Savonerita says:

    I was just wondering if you could add loofah to a CP soap but didn’t know if it would be easy to cut. Hadn’t thought of adding it shredded! thanks for the tutorial!
    xoxo
    MJ

  2. Soapsnsuchcreations says:

    Anne Marie–> can us Melt n’ pourers do this recipe using shea butter mp soap, ground up loofah and the fragrances?

    Do you think you could post a MP soap recipe for this?

    Thanks!!

  3. Anne-Marie says:

    Shredded is so awesome! I love how easy it is to use. =)

  4. Melissa Hussell says:

    i love the idea of the shredded loofa, is it on BB?

  5. aussiesoapsupplies says:

    Nice recipe AM :) I haven’t soaped Moonlight Pom for a while, but it’s a favourite. It didn’t seize on me, do you think it’s the combo of Moroccan Mint and Moonlight Pomegranate? I love loofah, but less is more for me :)

  6. Hudsonvalleysoap says:

    Anne-Marie, I don’t have your mold (though it is on my wish list). Approximately how many pounds does this recipe make?

  7. Tina says:

    I’m so glad you are selling the shredded loofa, it took me hours to shred mine. This is another wonderful tutorial! Thank you.

  8. Anne-Marie says:

    Absolutely! Shredded loofah is great in melt and pour. Because it’s so light it will float to the top so stir the soap as it cools to help it naturally suspend. We did a melt and pour loofah episode on Soap Queen TV that will air soon. You’ll love it =)

  9. Anne-Marie says:

    Here’s the link to the shredded loofah http://www.brambleberry.com/Sh… =)

  10. Melissa Hussell says:

    Thank you so much!!!

  11. Shatzi Webster says:

    I love the Moonlight Pomegranate fragrance. I wasn’t expecting it to separate when I used it and I think I might have tried to over-mix it back in. By the time I got it to the mold, it was thick, thick. I’ll have to try again with this tutorial – the soap looks beautiful! I love the textured look the whisk makes.

  12. Anne-Marie says:

    Wow, you are persistent. That stuff is really wiry. =) I’m glad that we can save you time for next time. PS – My team is super impressed with you.

  13. Anne-Marie says:

    The separation is a bit of a surprise isn’t it? But the good news is that it does re-emulsify beautifully AND that takes some time and work. My awesome helper who took photos during the process about had a heart attack when she saw the separation. =)

  14. Anne-Marie says:

    It’s right around 3 pounds. You can add the water + lye + oils amount to get approximately the total ounces for the soap recipe. And when you’re designing, you can always easily resize recipes using the lye calculator at BrambleBerry.com It has a great recipe resize option.

  15. Anne-Marie says:

    It didn’t seize on me – it just did a full separation which was a surprise. And since it had been a while since I soaped with it, I was like “Okay, I clearly forgot this little aspect of it!” Maybe it was the combo but I figured if it happened to me, I should warn everyone. Pssst: totally agree about loofah usage rates. But I’m not a scrubby soap kind of girl ….

  16. Anne-Marie says:

    Yes, Bramble Berry does sell shredded loofa: http://www.brambleberry.com/Sh… It’s a really fun product.

  17. Abelavita says:

    Some great tips here. Never knew about burping a stick blender, or thought to add shredded loofah. I knew I’d been keeping the loofahs I grew for a reason :o)

  18. Anne-Marie says:

    Shredding might prove a bit difficult – I think maybe a food processor or coffee grinder might do it?

  19. Back 2 Africa says:

    Thank you. I like your content. Very nice.
    http://www.back2africa.com/

  20. Susan Kolbauer says:

    Hi … is the beveller for sale yet?

    • Anne-Marie says:

      Not yet – hopefully soon. We really love it but we’re keeping our woodworker far too busy with our Birchwood mold sales =) Soon, hopefully son.

  21. Anne says:

    Hi. I’m new to soap-making and have just made this soap. The first batch had tan and bright yellow mottling on the bottom layer and I wonder if overheating caused this? I insulated the birch mold with blankets.
    The second time I made this soap, I did not cover the mold at all. The bottom layer looks fine, however it creased right after unmolding. !? The top white layer looks like, I’m guessing, partial gel, with lighter and darker shades of white. The light white is at the very top. Any ideas or recommendations? Thanks! Love your site, btw. –Anne

    • Anne says:

      I’d could email photos if that would be of any help figuring this out. Thx, Anne

      • Courtney says:

        Yes! Please send pictures to info(at)brambleberry(dot)com…we would love to take a look at the soap. Be sure to tell us what fragrances you used and if you made any changes to the recipe. My guess on the first batch is that the soap boiled a little bit, which is why you have mottling (or pock marks). I’m not sure what you mean “creased” after unmolding.

        Can’t wait to see the soap and help you troubleshoot.

        Courtney from Bramble Berry

  22. Carrie Ann says:

    Well….despite reading all the feedback on the separation due to the fragrance oil..I was still unprepared haha!!! I thought I had it all mixed and I thought I was lucky…the soap was actually getting really thick so I waited and watched it…no separation so I quickly got in the mold where then it proceeded to turn to cottage cheese texture! Ooops scooped it out and started mixing again…it got really thick but I kept mixing…it never looked like your photo in which you poured it out easily into the mold, I had to scoop it out but it worked.

    However, 24 hours later when I went to un-mold, it was very oily. It was all fragrance oil, I checked the PH etc …anyway, I never worked with fragrance oils much, is it usual for them to weep/sweat so much?

    • Anne-Marie says:

      So you’ve unmolded?

      Sop up the fragrance oil with paper towels.

      Let it dry for 3-4 days.

      THEN tongue test it, pH test it and see that it’s definitely where you expect it to be.

      If it’s just the FO that came out, you should be good.

      How’s the texture? Smooth or sort of … oozing still?

  23. Carrie Ann says:

    It has been out of the mold for five days now. Tongue test is fine, no zap. Texture is smooth but slippery :) It is most oily on the bottom section of the bar where it is the layer with the Moonlight Pomegranate, but I think it will be fine by week four.

    It was just so oily at first…lots of oil in the mold… I was concerned.

    Is it usual to ‘lose’ so much fragrance oil, is there a technique/additive to help the soap hold on to the oil?

    Thanks!

    • Anne-Marie says:

      It isn’t normal to lose that much oil. This particular fragrance is tricky. It doesn’t sound like your soap stayed congealed enough to hold the fragrance in. For most fragrances, they’ll happily stay in!

      I do hope that the fragrance smells just as delicious, even though it’s missing some!

  24. andrea says:

    Hi! I just made this soap, and had some issues. The one change I made was to add 1.2 oz of grapefruit seed extract to the oils before the lye.

    I melted the oils and by accident they got up to 120 degrees F. I waited until both the lye and oils were at 100F and then added the lye water to the oils. After about 5 min it started to trace, but went a bit chunky. I kept on and added the oils and additives to the two separate batches and poured the layers. I think i poured too early, because even pouring over a spoon the top layer broke through. The weird part is after curing for 24 h, and cutting, it looks as if the top layer ( the white mica layer) distributed itself throughout the soap in the form of little chunks. I don’t want to use the word bubbles, because they’re not round, they’re kind of oval like in shape. I’m assuming this is the white mica layer because there is no layer distinction in the bar, and unless they re-incorporated themselves together and completely mixed together, the white layer had to go somewhere. These spots are not powdery or greasy, they pretty much have the same texture as the soap. The soap is not crumbly or dry, or overly greasy, and there was no other type of separation after the 24h. there was a slight chalky-powdery covering on the top of the soap, but throughout the bar, it’s creamy soft but with enough resistance to cut nicely after the 24h.

    I guess my question is, since I haven’t had alot of soaping experience, when you get lye bubbles or when they describe liquid lye bubbles, what kind of consistency does that mean? These white splotches of mine are pretty much the consistency of the soap itself.
    Thanks so much. love your site!
    andrea.

    • Anne-Marie says:

      Grapefruit Seed Extract can accelerate trace so that might be part of the issue.

      Can I see a photo of the chunky white? You can email it to me at (info at brambleberry dot com).

      Those don’t sound like lye bubbles =) You can lick a spot and if it stings your tongue, that’s usually a sure sign that it’s lye. If it just tastes soapy, it’s something else. Do you think you can send me a photo?

      • andrea says:

        Hi there!

        Thanks so much for taking the time to reply! :) I’ve emailed you a few photos. i did do the tongue zap test, and unless it was a very subtle zing, I didn’t feel anything. I’m assuming these blotches are the white mica layer just redistributed.

        One thing i was wondering was that if I messed it up by adding the liquid oils to the pot first and then adding the solids? I later read that melting the solids first and then adding the liquids is better.

        Anyway, thanks again. I appreciate your time and expertise!
        Andrea

        • Great! We’ll keep our eyes open for the pictures and reply to your e-mail! We’ve done it both ways and as long as all the oils and butters get melted it shouldn’t cause any problems.

          -Becky with Bramble Berry

  25. [...] a year ago Soap Queen did a tutorial on making a Loofah Soap.  It has been a great seller for me.  I’ve altered it a bit to make it in a 5lb loaf mold [...]

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