Voyageur Beeswax Soap Recipe
One of our most popular bars, Voyageur
Beeswax Soap is hard and long lasting, provides excellent lather, and is gentle
on the skin. It cleanses without drying or stripping the skin of its
moisture, leaving it feeling healthy and soft.
Beeswax soap is also a popular soap for use with
pets, as it gives their coats lots of shine, while providing the economy of a
long lasting hard bar.
Basic Cold Process Soap Making InstructionsUse these step-by-step soap making instructions as a basic guide along with your specific soap recipe.
Prepare the work area:
- Before starting,
set up your work area with all the equipment, ingredients, and molds you'll need.
- Prepare your
Check out our section on Using Soap Molds for more detailed information.
Mixing the key soap ingredients:
- Measure out the
oils that you will use and set them aside. If you're using a Voyageur soap kit, your oils are already pre-measured and ready to be heated
- Put on glasses or
goggles and rubber or latex gloves. Weigh the lye and set it aside.
- Place measuring cup
on scale and weigh out amount of soft or distilled water required. If using a kit, please note that the
weight and volume of water are the same. (ie: 500 grams of water is also 500 ml on the measuring cup so no
scale is required.)
- Slowly add the lye
to the water while stirring with a small whisk or fork. The fumes may be quite strong after 10
seconds, so stand away and try not to breathe in the fumes. Leave
the area for one or two minutes and then return and stir again to be sure
the lye is fully dissolved. The lye
solution will be heated to approx 180 degrees F, so set the cup aside to
cool down to the soap making temperature.
- While your lye solution is
cooling, prepare the oils. If you're using pre-measured kit bottles, simply put the bottles in the microwave with the tops off. Heat until the oils have liquefied and
are at, or slightly above, the soap making temperature.
Making your soap:
- When the lye
solution and the oil mixture are both at the soap making temperature, you
are ready to make soap. Wearing
your gloves, slowly drizzle the lye solution into the oils, stirring quickly and
carefully by hand. Once the lye solution has
been well mixed into the oils, you may use your stick blender, being sure
to keep the blender submerged in the mixture to avoid any splashing, and
run for only 15-20 seconds at a time.
- Alternate between hand whisking and stick blending for equal
amounts of time to ensure your soap is getting thoroughly and evenly
mixed. Always hand stir just before putting soap into your molds. Using the stick blender only and not
alternating with equal amounts of hand stirring may cause your soap to mix
unevenly, causing flaking and cracking of your soap.
- Stirring must be
maintained until soap reaches the trace stage. Trace is identified in the soap mixture
when it is slightly thickened or when you lift some of the mixture and let
it drizzle back into the bowl, and a trace or trailing is left on the surface
to slowly blend back in to the mixture. If the trace or trailing stays on the surface you may have over
mixed the soap and will have less time to add fragrances and pour into the
- After incorporating final additives such as essential oils, fragrance oils, colour
or exfoliates (ie: oatmeal, etc) and stirred to fully incorporate these
added items, the soap is ready to pour into the molds. Quickly pour the soap into the
molds. The mixture should be
smooth, with no lumps or unmixed watery liquids. Check out our section
on Colouring Soaps and Scenting Soaps for further information.
- Cover the filled
mold or molds with a piece of cardboard or brown freezer paper, and
then cover with a towel or blanket to retain the heat in the soap
mixture. Leave undisturbed for 24
to 48 hours. During this period,
saponification (the process of becoming soap), is completed. With a balanced formula such as in
our kits, all of the soap oils and all of the lye have been
fully converted into soap and glycerin at this stage.
- Remove soap from
molds after the saponification period.
If using a lined larger mold, turn out onto a piece of brown paper
or cardboard. If using smaller
plastic molds, it helps to place the molds in the freezer for 15-30
minutes, remove and then leave for 5 minutes before tapping the
soap out of the mold. This prevents
crumbling of edges, etc.
- Place soap on
storage shelf for 2-3 days to begin drying (curing). After 2-3 days, your soap loaves are ready to cut into bar-sized pieces.
- Place the soap bars back
on storage shelf to continue curing for three to six weeks (depending on
type of soap), and turn the soaps once a week to expose all sides to the
air. After curing, your soap is
ready to use.
Keys to success:
- Blend lye solution into oil
mixture at equal temperatures. Alternately mix batch with manual whisk and electric blender to fully
incorporate ingredients. Do not over
- Bring mixture to a
light-medium trace before adding essential oil, colour, or other additives.
- If using
fragrance oils, please note that some oils can “seize” soap, causing a
premature setting up of the soap mixture. To avoid or minimize this problem when using a new and untested
fragrance oil, try dropping your soap making temperature to 100 degrees F, and slowly add the fragrance oil to your soap
mixture during the last half of the mixing process.