How to Make Lemongrass and Lavender Soap

Hi, and thanks for joining me. I’m going to be showing you how to make this natural hot process soap that uses essential oils and natural colorants. [music] What’s the difference between hot process soap and cold process soap you ask? Well, they both start with the same basic steps. You combine lye water and oils, and get thick trace or thin trace with both of them.

However, hot process soap applies heat so that it cuts down on the curing process and speeds the saponification reaction. I still recommend curing your hot process soap for that 4-6 weeks, because it helps to get rid of any excess moisture that’s still left in the soap and makes a harder bar that lasts a longer time in the shower. This soap is technically ready to use within just one day, but a little bit more drying time will help it last longer in the shower. Using a Crock-Pot for this process works great. Make sure you choose a Crock-Pot that has low and high settings.

You don’t want to accidentally scorch your soap. Also, make sure you’re prepared to watch the soap the entire time you’re making it, because anytime you walk away is an opportunity for that soap to heat up, expand and slowly creep over the sides of your Crock-Pot, making a huge mess on your counter. If you’ve never made cold process soap before, please stop right now and watch the first four episodes of Soap Queen TV, where I go over important things like safety and how to use lye. Or just read the first couple chapters of my book, Soap Crafting. Want to find more hot process recipes?

You can find them at First portion out 0.6 ounces of Lavender Essential Oil. I’m using Lavender 40/42 Essential Oil from Then add .8 ounces of Lemongrass Essential Oil. Wow this smells so fresh and herbaceous.

Because we are working with lye, it’s important that we suit up for safety. So that means long sleeves, pants, work in a well-ventilated room and make sure any pets or children are out of the way for safety. And make sure you’re wearing gloves and goggles.

This recipe uses natural colorants. Green zeolite clay has oil-absorbing properties while spirulina adds beautiful green color. For this recipe, we need to premix all of our colorants.

So disperse the clay in water and disburse the spirulina in a lightweight oil such as sweet almond oil or avocado oil. Disperse 1 teaspoon of spirulina in 1 tablespoon of lightweight oil and 1 teaspoon of green zeolite clay in 1 tablespoon of water. Use a mini mixer to fully mix this is in. You may notice the spirulina has a slight odor. It’s okay. This will be overscented by our essential oil blend.

My oils and lye water have been fully measured out, and I’ve checked their temperatures and they’re around 120F. Now I’m going to add sodium lactate to my lye water. This is an optional step. Sodium lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid. It’s a commonly used food preservative and in this case it’s used to harden up our recipe faster and it also helps to keep the soap the smooth during the, well, pouring/glopping process. In hot process soap, the usage rate is 3% of the weight of your oils, so in this case we’re adding .6 ounces of sodium lactate to the recipe.

Mix your lye and your oils, pour your lye water slowly down the shaft of the stick blender. Stick blend to a thick trace, a pudding like texture. Don’t worry about getting it too thick. And now it’s time to cover and cook.

Don’t walk away from this mixture, just in case it expands. And the amount of time it needs to cook depends on your Crock-Pot. After about 10 minutes, go ahead and check in on your soap.

The sides actually start to change in consistency first. Stir to help even out the cooking. Looks like there are some pretty big chunks in there. All right, now after another 5 minutes, go ahead and stir again.

You can see that we’re starting to get kind of a Vaseline-like consistency. Keep stirring until this gets to be a thick Vaseline consistency similar to say, clear mashed potatoes. Now it’s time to test for pH. Place a dollop of the soap in distilled water. It’s very important you use distilled water and not tap water. Try and get as much of it mixed into the water as possible.

Place your pH stick in the water and let’s see. What is this? Oh we’re at a pH of 8.

Anything lower than 9 or 10, and you are good to pour this soap into the mold. But before we pour into our mold it’s time to add our colorants. Add 1 tablespoon of your dispersed spirulina and 1 tablespoon of your dispersed green clay. Stir in fully. Now it’s time to add our essential oil blend.

Add this slowly and gently and fold it in. Make sure your mold is fully lined before you start this process. Take large spoonfuls of the soap and just glop, glop, glop and tap your soap, make sure you have enough head space for the rest of it. All right, add some more.

And now for that finishing touch – lavender buds on the top of the soap. Sprinkle lavender buds on the top of the soap and press them in. Remember that soap is hot so don’t burn your hands.

Press, press. Wow, this looks great. I can hardly wait to cut it.

Your soap will be hard after about one day. I went ahead and made this early for you so we could cut it on camera. To release your soap from the mold, take these wingnuts and just loosen them. There we go. Pull away at the sides and pull that soap right out.

I love this silicone liner from Bramble Berry. It really helps with this unmolding process. Because of the lavender buds they will form drag marks in your soap if you don’t cut this from the bottom. I’m using a crinkle cutter for a nice rustic chic look. And here’s our first cut. Beautiful.

I love how this turned out. Oh and it smells so good. I can’t wait to use this in the shower. Until next time, thanks so much for reading me. Happy soaping!