recipe w/beeswax temperature question


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Well-Known Member
Jun 22, 2008
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West Virginia
I was searching the net for a recipe with beeswax and I found this one:

Honey Soap
12 oz veg shortening
4 oz coconut oil
1 oz beeswax
1 cup distilled water
2 oz lye
1/4 cup honey
Mix lye and water, allow to cool. melt vegetable shortening. Over a double boiler, melt wax and coconut oil together and keep warm. When shortening is 120* and lye is 100*, pour lye mixture into shortening and stir until tracing occurs. Pour wax and oil mixture into soap mixture stirring constantly ( the mixture will get VERY thick with
the addition of the beeswax mix) When the beeswax mixture is completely blended, stir in the honey and pour into molds. Unmold after 24-48 hours. Allow to age for 3 weeks.

My question is why would the oils need to be 120°? I thought the oils and lye mixture had to be around the same temperature of 95-100°.


There's lots of disagreement as to which is the correct temperature to combine your oils and lye mixture. Most sources recommend somewhere between 80 and 120. In truth there is a lot of latitude in what temperatures your ingredients should be, and even there are differences in what people prefer.

So it's a style decision. There is no correct answer.

Susan Miller Cavitch (author) says that both under 80 or over 120 lead to faster reactions, not always good. I'm not sure I agree, but I believe that 80-120 represent the good limits for CP soap. (HP limits are much broader.)


I'm just a novice but I suspect the best answer is that at least within the range of 80-120 degrees in CP soap there would probably be no observable difference in the finished soap. The differences would be that your batch may take more time or less time to trace, and might react to addition of EOs and FOs more quickly or more slowly at different temperatures.

At the current time I'm trying to get my oils to about 100-110, and as the lye mixture cools off I add it to the oils when it reaches maybe 110 or slightly hotter (115) if I'm impatient. A few degrees won't make any difference.


Well-Known Member
Jan 5, 2008
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Novice here, too. I have yet to make a honey soap (on the list :D ), but I hear it causes the soap to really heat up. May want to watch that if you are also using an FO.