I like to use homemade soap. I love her even more because I can do it myself. Making soap can be quite addicting! There are countless recipes and options that allow you to completely customize your soap to suit your needs and desires.
My husband, however, wasn’t exactly thrilled to use my scented girl’s soap, so I set out to make manly scent soap just for him. He loved the result and has been using my homemade soap ever since.
This is a cold recipe, however, if you prefer to make your soap using a hot method, this recipe should work fine as well.
Work with Lye
Laundry is a necessary part of the soap making equation. Soap is the result of a chemical reaction between lye (which has been activated by water) and an oil or animal fat. This reaction is called saponification. You can’t make soap from scratch without lye, but with a correctly calculated recipe, no lye will be left in your final product.
It can be intimidating to work with detergent for the first time and it is absolutely necessary to follow safety precautions, but don’t let that stop you from making your own soap!
security: When I am working with laundry detergent, there are some things I do to make sure I am using it safely. This item also has great safety information, but these are the precautions I always take:
- Wait until the children are in bed. Children or animals underfoot can cause distractions or spills, and working with laundry is a chore to do when they’re not around.
- Wear protective goggles and rubber gloves as well as long sleeves.
- Have a clean workspace so nothing gets ruined in the event of a spill.
- Mix the laundry in a well ventilated area. I personally do this in my backyard so I don’t have to worry about house fumes and if I had to spill it it would be outside.
- Always add detergent to the water. DO NOT add water to the laundry. This will cause a caustic rash. Many veteran soaps use the phrase “snow floats on the lake” to remind the order in which they should be mixed.
Soap Making Ingredients
As I mentioned before, there are endless possibilities when you create your recipe. For this soap, I wanted a harsh but moisturizing soap with a lot of lather for my husband, so I used the following ingredients.
Tallow – makes a hard bar with high cleaning capabilities. It is an excellent basic ingredient for soap. Most commercial soaps are made primarily from tallow. It’s easy to create your own. If you want pure vegetable soap, you can substitute palm oil (sustainably sourced), but be sure to recalculate how much lye you’ll need before you start.
Olive oil – this is another classic soap ingredient. This initially makes a bar softer but with age can become quite hard. It’s very hydrating but doesn’t have the best lather.
Coconut oil – gives a wonderful, fluffy lather, but can dry out, so it’s best not to exceed 30% of your soap oils.
castor oil – I almost always include castor oil in recipes that contain coconut oil because it helps stabilize the foam produced by coconut oil. Use no more than 10% to avoid creating a lather that feels a bit slippery.
Beeswax – adds to the hardness of the bar.
Essential oils – your choice for the desired fragrance.
I used orange, patchouli, cinnamon and clove essential oils to create a spicy, manly scent. Patchouli helps anchor other scents so they last longer. I only used a very small amount of cinnamon and cloves as these oils are potent and can speed up the streaks which can make getting the soap paste into the mold difficult.
Soap Making Supplies
I have a set of supplies that I keep on hand for making soap. You can use your kitchen utensils if you clean them thoroughly, but I prefer to keep them separate.
- High quality glass jar or plastic pitcher for mixing lye and water
- Second glass jar or disposable plastic cup for measuring laundry
- Non-reactive jar or slow cooker for heating oils
- Small glass bowl for measuring essential oils
- Digital infrared thermometer or 2 candy thermometers (one for laundry and one for oils)
- Soap mold
- Immersion blender
- Digital bathroom scale
- Spoon for mixing laundry
- Gloves and goggles
- Vinegar for final cleaning
Spicy soap recipe for men
A simple homemade soap for men with a special blend of essential oils, coconut oil, tallow, olive oil and castor oil for a man’s skin.
Prepare your mold: If you are using a wooden mold, it should be covered with waxed paper. The silicone molds are ready without any special preparation. You can also use any box if you cover it with wax paper or a heavy garbage bag.
Wearing protective gear, place the glass jar on the scale and tare the scale.
Pour distilled water into the jar until it reads 10.9 oz.
Place the second pot on the scale and tare the scale. While wearing protective gear, carefully pour lye into the jar until the scale reads 4.39 oz.
Take the two jars and a spoon outside.
Still wearing protective gear, slowly pour the lye into the water.
Stir the mixture. It will get quite hot, so keep that in mind if you need to move it.
Let the water / lye mixture sit and cool until it reaches about 100 ° F.
While the laundry is cooling, measure out all other ingredients EXCEPT essential oils and heat them together in a saucepan or slow cooker. The beeswax will take the longest to melt.
Once everything is melted, remove the pan from the heat and let it cool to 100 ° F. I use the infrared thermometer every 5-10 minutes or so to test the temperature, which works great. A candy thermometer placed in each container also works. If one cools faster than the other, you can put your oils back on the heat source or the water / lye mixture in a hot water bath to slow down the cooling process a bit. Ideally, you want the lye water and oils to be both within 10 ° F of each other and around 100 ° F.
When the temperatures match, slowly pour the lye water into the oils.
Use the immersion blender to bring the dough to a slight trace. It should be slightly thick and look like cake batter.
If you are adding essential oils, now is the time to do it.
Blend the essential oils by pulsing the immersion blender several times. This should bring the mixture to a medium trace. You can tell when you have reached an average trace by lifting your blender out of the mix (to the OFF position) and observing the behavior of the drops. They should sit on the surface without falling.
Pour the soap paste into your prepared pan. Keep in mind that the soap is not yet fully “cooked” at this point and could still irritate your skin, so you should still wear your gear.
Place a cardboard box upside down on the soap and cover it with a towel. If you live in a hot climate, the towel may not be necessary.
Leave to rest for 24 hours.
Unmold your soap and cut it.
Hold the bars in a dry place with about an inch of space in between to allow air circulation and let them sit for 4-6 weeks. This will allow the soap to complete the saponification process and dry them out a bit so that they last longer in the shower.
All amounts are measured in ounces by weight. This recipe makes 3 pounds of soap – about 10 bars (4.5 oz).
Which essential oils do the men in your life prefer? Have you ever tried them to make men’s soap?