Like an idyllic sky, this homemade soap is all softness and light!
Have you been dreaming of a cold process soap recipe that’s as soft as a cloud, looks like the sky, and is so light it floats on water? Dream no longer: Coop Coco has created it! After many hours of research and reverie, we’ve finally achieved a soap as inspiring as the heavens. Come join us On Cloud Nine with our new DIY soap!
Rich in solid butters whipped up like a fine Chantilly cream, this soap is softness incarnate—and it’s as good for your skin as it looks. Like a dessert, this homemade soap is made with an electric mixer, which fluffs up the mixture by whipping air into it. That’s what gives this creation its beautiful and unusual buoyancy, leaving it light enough to drift dreamily on the water’s surface.
Just one word of warning: as with any soap recipe, it’s important not to have your head in the clouds while making it. But you can drift off into daydreams when you’re On Cloud Nine in the tub!
How to make floating soap
Before you begin
- The advantage of this technique is that there is no need to worry about trace, simply because there isn’t one.
- What makes this recipe special is that you have to work with both the sodium hydroxide solution and the oil and butter mixture at low temperatures. The oils and butters must have a very specific texture when mixed in order to achieve the whipped effect. If the sodium hydroxide and sodium lactate solution is too hot, it will melt the butters and oils and you won’t be able to achieve the desired texture.
- You’ll notice that there is no mention of superfatting in the ingredients list or instructions. This is simply because we decided to superfat this soap recipe by reducing the volume of sodium hydroxide. It’s another interesting way to make cold process soap!
- 230 g (21.15%) grapeseed oil
- 220 g (20.23%) coconut oil
- 180 g (16.55%) cocoa butter
- 70 g (6.44%) shea butter
- 50 g (4.6%) castor oil
Sodium hydroxide solution
- 21 g (1.93%) zesty lavender essential oil blend
- 1.5 g (0.14%) pacific blue mica
- Protective soapmaking gear
- Scales, accurate to 1 g and 0.1 g
- 1 large Pyrex measuring cup or HDPE (high-density polyethylene) pot (with a minimum capacity of 500 ml) for the sodium hydroxide solution
- 1 pot for weighing the sodium hydroxide
- 1 pipette for measuring the essential oil
- Components to make a double boiler
- 1 large stainless steel bowl
- 2 small stainless steel bowls
- 1 electric mixer
- 1 basin containing cold water and ice cubes (to make a cold water bath)
- 1 thermometer
- Several spoons
- 1 silicone spatula
- A few ramekins
- 1 silicone loaf mold
Good to know!
- This soap takes longer to harden (approximately 48 hours) than a traditional cold process soap recipe.
- Sodium lactate is used so that you can unmold your creation sooner, and to prevent crumbling.
- To cut your floating soap, use a guitar string, knife, or soap-cutter. For the latter two, remember to dip the utensil in hot water between each cut.
Steps to follow
- Prepare and disinfect your equipment and workspace.
- Take the necessary precautions for handling sodium hydroxide safely.
- Prepare the sodium hydroxide solution: measure the water and sodium hydroxide separately; pour the sodium hydroxide into the water, contained in a Pyrex measuring cup or HDPE pot; mix together and leave to cool.
- Place the Pyrex cup or HDPE pot into the ice water bath. Leave to cool until it reaches 15–20 °C.
- In the meantime, weigh the cocoa and shea butters and the coconut oil. Melt on the double boiler.
- Weigh the grapeseed and castor oils in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Weigh the blue mica in a ramekin. Add a bit of the oil from step 6 and disperse the pigment.
- Allow the butters and coconut oil to cool in the fridge or freezer until the mixture has a balm-like texture.
- When this texture is reached, beat with the electric mixer until it resembles the texture of whipped cream.
- Gradually add the grapeseed and castor oils while mixing with the electric mixer. Continue to mix until the batter is homogeneous.
- Gradually add the solution of sodium hydroxide and sodium lactate while mixing with the electric mixer.
- Pour in the essential oil and mix well, still using the electric mixer.
- Continue to mix until the batter reaches the texture of whipped egg whites.
- Pour half of the soap batter into the mold a bit at a time. Tap the bottom of the mold on your work surface between each pour.
- Add the mica to the rest of the soap. Mix with the spatula, then again with the electric mixer.
- Pour the coloured soap batter into the mold a bit at a time. Tap the bottom of the mold on your work surface between each pour. When all the coloured soap is poured in, swirl a spoon in the batter to create the sky pattern.
- Decorate the top of the soap using the tip of the thermometer.
- After 24 to 48 hours, place the soap in the freezer for an hour (this helps prevent crumbling). Unmold, then wait 30 minutes before cutting. Be sure to follow the advice given in the “Good to know” section.
- Leave to cure in a cool, dry place for four to six weeks.
Use and conservation
This cold process soap recipe is formulated for both face and body use. As it is rich in butters, it’s suitable for all skin types and is particularly good for dry skin.
When made and stored in optimal sanitary conditions, your DIY whipped soap will keep for at least 12 months. Store it in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place.