Making Cream Soap

Cream soapmaking takes a lot of time and a lot of patience. You cook the soap in the slow cooker, let it cool overnight, then whip in extra water with a heavy-duty mixer. You can use your cream soap once it is whipped, but it will improve in texture when aged at least a week. Old-time soapmakers called this “rotting.” Essential oils, clay, herbs, and other enhancements can be added before or after rotting.

Close-up of cream soap showing elasticity

Making cream soap is the most experimental procedure in the book. There are so many factors that affect the outcome that it will take many batches and long waiting periods before you really get a grip on it. Think of this recipe and procedure as a starting place for much continued experimentation. Look online for lively discussion of cream soapmaking.

When you decide your soap is ready, make additions and package it. Jars, tubes, and airless pumps are ideal for cream soap. The drawback with a jar is that you have to put your hand in it to scoop out the soap, which can increase the chances of spoilage. Look for “tottles,” which are tube/bottle hybrids.

Getting the cream soap into containers can be tricky, particularly those with small openings. Counterintuitively, cream soap just gets thicker and more stubborn when heated, so that won't work like it does for other semisolids. A pastry tube or a heavy-duty zipper bag with one corner cut off will help you get the cream soap through small openings.

Because of the high water content in cream soap even after fully “rotting,” it may be susceptible to spoilage due to bacteria present in even the cleanest water. Consider using a cosmetic preservative such as Germaben II or Germall. You can find them in the lotion supply section of your soapmaking supplier's Web site.

Because the amount of air whipped into your cream soap drastically alters the weight, you'll fill by volume, not weight. The more “whipped” the soap, the less it will weigh. So instead of weighing the amount determined by your container, size up how much to prepare by eye.

Eleven ounces of this cream soap recipe with up to 4 ounces of additional water will fit perfectly in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer.

There are so many ways to use cream soap, and these are just a few recipes to get you started. Store the rotted cream soap in the covered plastic container in the refrigerator and remove the amount you need to create each project.

Cream Soap in the Slow Cooker

<tgroup cols="2"> <colspec colname="col1" colnum="1" rowsep="0" colsep="0" align="left" colwidth="50%"/> <colspec colname="col2" colnum="2" rowsep="0" colsep="0" align="left" colwidth="50%"/> <tbody> <tr> <td><p><B>4 ounces palm stearic oil</B></p></td> <td><p><B>25 ounces water</B></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p><B>5 ounces coconut oil</B></p></td> <td><p><B>.25 ounce sodium hydroxide (NaOH)</B></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p><B>2 ounces soy oil</B></p></td> <td><p><B>3 ounces potassium hydroxide (KOH)</B></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p><B>3 ounces olive oil</B></p></td> <td><p><B>2–4 ounces of additional water, added during beating</B></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p><B>2 ounces castor oil</B></p></td> <td><para/></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p><B>1 ounce vegetable glycerin</B></p></td> <td><para/></td> </tr> </tbody> </tgroup> </table> <p><emphasis>This formula makes approximately 38 ounces of soap paste that you will transform into cream soap. It will fit nicely in the slow cooker you've been using.</emphasis></p> <ul> <li><p>Preheat slow cooker on high.</p></li> <li><p>Place the oils and stearic acid in the slow cooker. Make the lye solution when the stearic and coconut are melted.</p></li> <li><p>Place the water and glycerin into a heatproof container.</p></li> <li><p>Sprinkle the sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide into the water and stir carefully until dissolved. Don't wait for the solution to cool.</p></li> <li><p>Pour the lye solution in a thin stream into the oils, stirring while pouring. (The solution will get white, milky, and possibly grainy.)</p></li> <li><p>Blend with a stick blender until smooth. Wait 5 minutes. If it separates, blend until smooth. Wait 5 minutes and check again. Keep blending and waiting until it stays together.</p></li> <li><p>Once it stays smooth, put the cover on the slow cooker.</p></li> <li><p>Check every 20 minutes, stirring to make sure it cooks evenly. The texture will change from liquid to lumpy as the cook progresses</p></li> <li><p>After 2½ hours, check for neutrality. Smear a bit of soap on a paper towel. Place a drop of phenolphthalein on the soap. If it turns pink, it's not neutral and needs to cook more. Cook for another 15 minutes and check again. Repeat until test indicates neutrality.</p></li> <li><p>Turn off the cooker and let it sit covered overnight.</p></li> <li><p>Next day, scoop the lumps into the bowl of an electric stand mixer. (A heavy-duty mixer with a paddle or heavy beater is best because it's less likely to whip extra air into the cream soap than thinner blades.) Add two ounces of water.</p></li> <li><p>With the mixer on the slowest setting, mix the mass until it is smooth. Increase the speed of the mixer and beat the cream soap until it is fluffy like meringue. If the soap doesn't get as light as you want, add more water, up to 4 ounces total.</p></li> <li><p>Place the whipped cream soap in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. You can either make additions to it now, or let the soap rot before making additions. Plan on stirring the soap once a day for a week. Letting it sit after whipping is called “rotting.” A lot of the air whipped into the soap will escape as the air bubbles collapse. If the soap is too runny, leave the lid off so that the extra water will evaporate.</p></li> </ul> </div> <div class="npsb"> <h2>Ocean Fresh Cream Soap</h2> <p>Yields enough to fill one airless pump, jar, or “tottle”</p> <p><B>Plain cream soap to fit container</B></p> <p><B>Aqua Flore fragrance oil</B></p> <p><B>Blue food coloring</B></p> <ul> <li><p>Place the plain cream soap in a small mixing bowl.</p></li> <li><p>Add the fragrance oil material and stir well. (Try approximately ∕ teaspoon per 1 ounce of whipped cream soap to start, then adjust after you've used it and made notes.)</p></li> <li><p>Add the colorant, drop by drop, incorporating well until you get the desired color. (Add the colorant after the scent material because many fragrance and essential oils have color of their own.)</p></li> <li><p>Spoon or squeeze the cream soap into the container.</p></li> </ul> <bridgehead>Rose-Clay Shaving Soap</bridgehead> <p>Yields enough to fill one airless pump, jar, or tube</p> <p><B>Four ounces by weight plain cream soap</B></p> <p><B>⅛ teaspoon lavender essential oil</B></p> <p><B> teaspoon rosewood essential oil</B></p> <p><B> teaspoon rose geranium essential oil ½ teaspoon rose clay</B></p> <ul> <li><p>Place the plain cream soap in a small mixing bowl.</p></li> <li><p>Add the lavender essential oil, rosewood essential oil, and rose geranium essential oil and stir well.</p></li> <li><p>Add the clay, incorporating well.</p></li> <li><p>Spoon or squeeze the cream soap into the container. (If you have more than you can fit into the container and don't have another container, put the extra cream soap in a plastic zipper bag and store in the refrigerator.)</p></li> </ul> <bridgehead>Chocolate-Vanilla Parfait Cream Soap</bridgehead> <p>Yields enough to fill one airless pump, jar, or tube</p> <p><B>Plain cream soap to fit container Dutch Chocolate fragrance oil</B></p> <p><B>Special Edition Vanilla fragrance oil Cocoa powder</B></p> <p><B>Ground vanilla bean powder</B></p> <orderedlist> <li><p>Divide the plain cream soap between two small mixing bowls.</p></li> <li><p>Add the chocolate fragrance oil to one bowl and the vanilla fragrance oil to the other and stir well. (Try approximately ∕ teaspoon per 1 ounce by weight of whipped cream soap to start, then adjust after you've used it and made notes.)</p></li> <li><p>Stir the cocoa powder into the chocolate-scented soap and the vanilla bean powder into the vanilla-scented half. Start with ∕ teaspoon of each.</p></li> <li><p>In alternating layers, spoon or squeeze the cream soap into the container.</p></li> </ul> <bridgehead>Vanilla-Lavender Foaming Face Scrub</bridgehead> <p>Yields enough to fill one airless pump, jar, or tube</p> <p><B>Four ounces by weight plain cream soap</B></p> <p><B>∕ teaspoon lavender essential oil</B></p> <p><B>½ teaspoon bamboo powder</B></p> <p><B>½ teaspoon ground vanilla bean powder</B></p> <ul> <li><p>Place the plain cream soap in a small mixing bowl.</p></li> <li><p>Add the lavender essential oil and stir well.</p></li> <li><p>Add the bamboo powder and vanilla bean powder, incorporating well after each addition.</p></li> <li><p>Spoon or squeeze the cream soap into the container. (If you have more than you can fit into the container and don't have another container, put the extra cream soap in a plastic zipper bag and store in the refrigerator.)</p></li> </ul> </div> <!--/gc--> <div id="pagination"><ul><li class="prev"><a href="http://www.netplaces.com/soapmaking/liquid-transparent-and-cream-hot-process-soap-recipes/making-transparent-soap.htm" title="Making Transparent Soap">Making Transparent Soap</a></li><li class="next"><a href="http://www.netplaces.com/soapmaking/the-soap-casting-technique/" title="The Soap-Casting Technique">The Soap-Casting Technique</a> </li></ul></div></div> <div id="coda"> <div id="rel"><div class="n5">Related Articles</div><ul> <li><a href="http://www.netplaces.com/soapmaking/liquid-transparent-and-cream-hot-process-soap-recipes/making-cream-soap.htm" zT="18/1YL/Zn"> Making Cream Soap - Soapmaking </a></li> <li><a href="http://www.netplaces.com/soapmaking/the-hot-process-technique/hot-process-equipment.htm" zT="18/1YL/Zn"> 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