Tag Archives: olive oil

How To Make Savon Noir

 

This soap is also known as Moroccan Black Soap or Beldi. It is made with 100% olive oil, black olives, distilled water and potassium hydroxide. It should not to be confused with African black soap which is very different. As this is the first time making it I am trying to be as simple and traditional as possible.

Because we are using KOH instead of NaOH this will not be a solid soap. The olive are blended up and added to the lye water, it is also common for the olives to be blended with the oil instead. This is made in a crock pot and is cooked for 3+ hours, in that time the olive breaks down and gives this soap paste a unique texture. It is used by rubbing a small amount onto the skin and working it to a lather, then letting the lather sit for several minutes on the skin before a good scrub and rinse. This soap gel should be sequestered for two weeks to a month before use.

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Instruction:

Calculate this recipe using Soapcalc.net as a 100 % olive oil soap, set the superfat somewhere in the 5-10% range based on your preferences. You will be using KOH as your lye source for this recipe. Please check the type of KOH you are using with the soap calc settings. The water content should be calculated in the range of 60-70% of the oil weight depending on how thick you want it to end up.

Add the oil to the crock pot and turn the heat to high. Weight water into a separate heat safe container and add 100 g of olives for every 300 g olive oil, stick blend until everything is in tiny bits.

Add the KOH to the water and mix until dissolved thoroughly.

Add the lye solution to the oil and stick blend until light trace is reached.

Continue to cook for 3-4 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes or as needed.  It can expand rapidly so watch it, until enough water has cooked out and it settles down. It will go through a mashed potato and chunky phases, It might get somewhat solid, you just break it up and mix it. Cook in the 170 to 200 degrees F range and continue to cook until the soap gels and turns dark, it has taken me up to 7 hours of cooking to get gel phase in this soap. Keep cooking it until it gels, the higher the water content the longer it may take. Typically Essential Oil that blends with the natural scent of the soap is chosen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Castile Cold Process Soap

 

What is and what isn’t Castile soap is always up for debate it seems. A lot of soap makers maintain that Castile soap is 100% olive oil, water, and lye and to replace some of the olive oil with other vegetable oils would make it Bastille soap. Which is still primarily olive oil in content but includes other vegetable based oils.

You can walk into many stores and find Bastille soap sold as Castile soap and the argument continues among them.

Let’s look at the history of olive oil soap.

What we now call Castile soap was first believed to have been made in the same region in Syria as Aleppo Soap, in which incorporates laurel berry oil with olive oil.  “Castile” is named after a region in Spain, which it was given after the Crusades( 1095-1291) brought* it to Europe and the Europeans named it as such. However, the process of making 100% olive oil soap was spread all around the Mediterranean region.

The true origins of soap are lost to time and we are left with legends, the word soap itself is believed to be named after Mount Sapo, a fictional mountain somewhere in the vicinity of Rome. The earliest known documentation of soap making was written down by the Greek-Egyptian alchemist Zosimos of Panopolis around 300 B.C.E.  The oldest soap ever found was excavated in the ancient city of Babylon and dated back to around 2800 B.C.E.

There are several other variations on 100% olive oil soap that I have found throughout history, Savon de Marseille was an olive oil soap made in France with sea water first documented in the 1300’s. Nabulsi soap which was traditionally made by women in West Bank, Palestine before there was an industry, before the 10th century. Beldi soap also known as Savon Noir which has been made in Morocco for centuries is a gel like soap made from macerated olives, ashes and olive oil.

Regardless of what you call it and why, 100% olive oil soap is a very mild and wonderful soap, it takes about a year for it to fully cure. Depending on the type of olive oil you choose to use this soap may take hours or days to become solid enough to unmold. Once it hardens it can become crumbly so you have to keep an eye on it. Mine did become crumbly and work prevented me from cutting sooner but I was able to hide most of the crumbling when I trimmed up the edges. I recommend checking it daily so you do not end up cutting a soap that will crumble on you. I do highly recommend saving good quality olive oil’s for your kitchen and using lesser quality olive oil or pomace for your soaping needs.

This soap will need about seven months to a year for curing, some people even wait longer, you will want to select a fragrance that will really last, if you choose one at all. A large portion of fragrances will loose their scent before the cure would be finished. A steep water discount gets you the lower end of the cure time, I did mine at 33% of the oil weight or roughly a 28% lye concentration. Before this soap is fully cured it can feel sticky when used. it’s not a soap to make if you are an impatient soaper.

 

Hot Process Honeysuckle Soap

This is my first hot process soap and it is a combination of olive oil, palm flakes, coconut, castor and Sunflower oils as well as rice bran oil as a superfat. The coconut ensures it is cleansing, the castor ensures it bubbles well, the coconut, sunflower and rice bran condition and the palm makes sure it is a nice solid bar of soap.

I adjusted all the amounts in a soap calculator until I got the qualities I wanted. Soapcalc is my go to soap calculator but there are others. They have tutorials and once you know how to get the qualities you want in a soap you will make much better soaps.

I used distilled water and nothing with sugars so this soap gave me no trouble at all. However, I got gold sparkle everywhere.

For the colorant I used a mix of yellow and orange mica’s and added more to the main batter for each layer, the bottom later is white and the top layer has the most orange and yellow. I did mica lines with gold sparkle between each layer for a subtle vein effect. I was looking for a natural stone sort of look, I think I did alright with that.

I am used to working with cold process soap and having a top to decorate. I decided a gold dusting would cover the plain, rough top I was nervous about.

I used a Honeysuckle scent which is supposed to slightly discolor, I am not sure if the titanium dioxide I added will counteract that at all, only time will tell if that enhances or detracts.