Hot process Honey soap experiment

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Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2013
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Birmingham, Alabama, USA
So, on this thread:

I got a lot of different advice. I decided to experiment.

Recipe: (40 oz of oils total)
Lard: 40%
Coconut: 20
Olive: 10
Castor: 5
Sunflower: 5
Rice bran: 10
Beeswax: 10
4 tablespoons of honey
5% superfat
35% water

Method: I melted the castor and beeswax together in my microwave. I picked the castor b/c of this post from SwiftCraftyMonkey:

She says:
As for the second part of the question, there's an interesting balm I found on Voyageur for non-petroleum baby jelly that uses oil and beeswax. 94% castor oil, 5% beeswax, and 1% Vitamin E. I've tried it - I liked it. You could try this with another oil, but it won't work as well as there's an interesting interaction between beeswax and castor oil! Beeswax is partially soluble in castor oil, so you get a thicker and more viscous product when you mix beeswax and castor oil together than you would mixing something like sunflower oil and beeswax.

I don't know if this would worked any differently with another oil besides the castor. Of course, this was 1/3 castor and 2/3 beeswax, very different proportions from what she's talking about.

I heated all the other oils in my crockpot, and when they were melted, I added the melted castor and beeswax. (For Batch 1, the honey was added here. Batch 1 turned a reddish orange when the lye was added.) I then added the room-temp lye water and stick-blended until it emulsified. Then I cooked until Vaseline stage, about 45 minutes. (For Batch 2, the honey and 1/2 of the olive oil - 5% of the total oils - was added at this time and blended in.)

The soap was poured into a silicone tray mold and bubble wrap pressed into the top. Both batches were cool and hard enough to cut about 2 hrs later.

Batch 1:

So far, batch 2 is the winner. I love the variegated, golden color and the scent is slightly sweet. Batch 1 is a flat tan color. The scent is stronger, but not sweet, maybe just a starchy smell? It's pleasant, but I like batch 2 better. I am not sure why batch 2 is variegated. Did some of it overcook? Did the honey + olive oil not get mixed in well enough? It seemed homogenous when I poured it.
So, 3 months later...

Both soaps are a bit on the soft side. Nothing like the same recipe with 5% beeswax, which is very hard. The difference in scent is gone - both have a slightly sweet smell. Washing my hands with it - no lather, but it leaves my hands very soft, almost lotion-y feeling.
Very interesting about the castor oil and beeswax. I'd like to try that in a balm of some sort. I also find it interesting your bars are so soft. Isn't the addition of beeswax a hardener? Is it because it's HP? This is fascinating so I'm following along... :grin:
I made a honey, oatmeal and bee pollen soap with beeswax and I love it. I ground the bee pollen in to a flour along with the oatmeal. I used a honey, milk and oatmeal scent and 1/3 cup of honey. In the end I have a wonderful smelling soap, that lathers like mad and leaves your hands smelling like sweet honey oatmeal porridge, even after rinse off.

Oooohhh, sounds wonderful. It's moving on my to-do list from "eventually" to "ASAP". Thanks SoapyHeart!

You are welcome! I have a tiiiiny test tube of it somewhere (one of those tiny-tiny ones that you can get on ebay for next to nothing)

When I get some time I will post a swatch of it! I colored it MLBB red to match my lips.
what is the purpose of your experiment? I could be having a brain fart.:(

A 10% beeswax soap was on my "list" of things to try. I thought HP would be the best way to do that, so I posted a thread asking when to add honey to HP soap. The link to that thread is in the first post. Responses were pretty evenly split between "before the cook" and "after the cook" so I decided to try both ways.