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Instructions for making this zingy cold-process eucalyptus soap recipe. Eucalyptus essential oil is used to open airways and clear congestion which makes this a great soap for the cold and flu season.
Eucalyptus essential oil isn’t for everyday but it’s your friend during cold and flu season. The smallest of sniffs will sent its minty-camphor scent through your nose and sinuses and deep into your lungs. It practically pushes its way through, making it perfect for when you’re feeling fed up with being stuffed up. You can use the essential oil in a diffuser, on a cotton pad, or fresh in the shower. You can also make this herbal eucalyptus soap recipe.
It’s cleansing and bubbly but most importantly, it helps to refresh and open airways. Not only that, but by washing with it, some of that scent will stay with you through the day, working to keep you feeling your best for a lot longer.
New to Soap Making?
If you’re a soap maker already, skip down a section. If you’re a beginner, stay with me. Soap making is a fun and creative hobby and I’ve been teaching people how to make it for years. It’s something that I taught myself and I’m certain that anyone who wants to can learn that way too. If you’re a complete novice though, I really recommend that you read my free Natural Soap Making for Beginners series first. It includes a lot more detailed information on soap making terms, equipment, ingredients, and everything else. The links for each piece are just below.
Eucalyptus soap that matches eucalyptus leaves
When I make soap I want it to be both functional and beautiful. It needs to have relevance in its color, ingredients, and end purpose. That’s why I decided to tint this soap to match the stunning grey-green of real eucalyptus leaves.
You can use Cambrian Blue Clay to get a similar shade but this time I used a mineral . Ultramarine blue, a nature-identical blue pigment, will ordinarily give you light-blue to cobalt-blue soap. When you use it in a recipe that’s high in extra virgin olive oil it will give you a greenish-blue. If you want to replicate this recipe to the T then keep an eye on what type of olive oil you’re using. If it’s pomace olive oil or ‘light’ olive oil then your shade won’t be the same.
Herbal Eucalyptus Soap Recipe
- Stainless steel pan for melting the solid oils
- A large bowl for measuring the liquid oils into
- Soap making is fun and creative but it's also chemistry. Make sure your work space is set up with your pre-measured ingredients and that you're wearing appropriate clothing, footwear, and safety gear. Always wear googles and rubber gloves when handling lye or the soap batter.
- Mix the optional colorant, Ultramarine blue, in a Tablespoon of the liquid oil. A mini milk frother is a great way to blend it together.
- Dissolve the lye (Sodium hydroxide) crystals in the water. In an airy place pour the lye crystals into the water and stir well. I prefer doing this step outdoors when possible because of the steam that will come off it initially. It's not pleasant if you accidentally breathe it in so avoid this by holding the jug well away from you.
- When fully mixed, leave the lye-solution in a safe place outside or inside, but in a shallow basin of water, or sink, to cool. Ensure that children and animals cannot get into it.
- Melt the solid oils in a stainless steel pan on very low heat. When melted, remove from the heat and set on a pot holder. Pour in the liquid oils and stir. Pour the colored oil into the pan too but do it through a small sieve — it will catch any chunks of color.
- Measure the temperatures of the lye-water and the oils. You should aim to cool them both to be about 100°F / 38°C. You don't need to be on the dot but aim to have them at that temperature or slightly cooler. The oils and the lye solution should be within ten degrees of one of another.
- Put your gloves and googles back on if you've taken them off. Pour the lye-solution through a sieve and into the pan of oils. Dip your immersion blender into the pan and with it turned off, stir the mixture. Next, bring it to the center of the pan and with both your hands, hold it on the bottom of the pan and blitz it for just a couple seconds. Turn it off and stir the soap batter, using the blender as a spoon. Repeat until the mixture thickens up to 'Trace'. This is when the batter leaves distinguishable trails on the surface. The consistency will be like thin custard at first but it will thicken quickly so make sure to work quickly after this point.
- Add the essential oil at this point and gently stir it in. Eucalyptus is a strong scent and the amount I've included in this recipe is also quite strong. If you'd like a lighter scent, use just 1.5 to 2 teaspoons.
- Stir in the optional dried eucalyptus or herb leaves. Most herbs will do for this recipe and they won't add scent, just visual interest. Use dried peppermint, oregano, parsley, or basil or you can use eucalyptus too. Aim to use Eucalyptus Globulus leaves if you can — did you know that there are 700 species of eucalyptus?
- Pour the soap into your chosen mold(s) on a heat-proof surface. Leave the soap in the mold for at least two days. A week might be even better since this is quite a soft soap initially. Soap recipes that are high in extra virgin olive oil tend to start off soft and turn very hard over the curing phase.
- Next, pop out your bars and cure them for six weeks. Curing means leaving the bars spaced out on a protected surface out of direct sunlight and in an airy place. This allows the extra water content to fully evaporate out. It also allows the bars to harden up.
- Once made, your soap will have a shelf-life of up to two years. Check the oil bottles that you’re using though — the closest best-by date is the best-by date of your soap.