Coffee Cold Process Soap Project

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Skill Level: Intermediate
Time: 2 hours
Yield: About 5 Pounds of Soap

Project Description

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are known for our love of coffee. We used locally-roasted coffee for this cold process soap.

Incorporating coffee into cold process soap is easier than you might think. The distilled water in cold process recipes can be swapped for plain coffee. The key is using distilled water to brew the coffee and allowing it to cool to room temperature before adding sodium hydroxide lye. Using coffee instead of water makes the soap quite dark, so keep that in mind when choosing the color palette. If you’re using plain brewed coffee, don’t worry about the soap overheatin because it doesn't have sugar.

Using coffee instead of water does not give soap a coffee smell. In fact, when you mix lye with coffee it does not smell very pleasant. This is because the lye “scorches” the coffee, resulting in a noticeable odor. The smell of the coffee and lye solution is usually not noticeable in the final bar. This is especially true if you’re using a fragrance oil in your recipe. For this soap, Espresso Fragrance Oil gives the bars a rich, delicious scent. It discolors in cold process soap due to the vanillin content. Titanium dioxide combats that slightly, but you can notice some discoloration on the top of the soap in the photos above and below. Learn more about vanilla discoloration here.

This soap also contains used coffee grounds. It’s important to add used rather than fresh coffee grounds. Fresh coffee grounds may bleed in the soap. The bleeding doesn’t hurt the bars in any way, but it is a cosmetic issue. It’s also a great way to use up leftover coffee grounds!

 

Additional Information

  • Supplies
  • Instructions
  • Reviews
  • Q&A

Supplies

6 Ingredients
3 Tools
For All 9 Items
If an item is out of stock, it will not be added to your cart.
All 9 Items :
Swirl Recipe Quick Mix - 54 oz
Swirl Recipe Quick Mix - 54 oz Item#: M900018
$24.99
Get 3 or More and Save 10%

$24.99
Sodium Hydroxide Lye
Sodium Hydroxide Lye Item#: IB002149
$11.99

$11.99
Titanium Dioxide Pigment - 1 oz
Titanium Dioxide Pigment - 1 oz Item#: IB002531
$3.00

$3.00
Brown Oxide Pigment - 1 oz
Brown Oxide Pigment - 1 oz Item#: IB002548
$3.99

$3.99
Black Oxide Pigment - 1 oz
Black Oxide Pigment - 1 oz Item#: IB002545
$3.25
Out of stock

$3.25
Espresso Fragrance Oil - 4 oz
Espresso Fragrance Oil - 4 oz Item#: IB001168
$9.96

$9.96
5 lb Mold With Sliding Bottom
5 lb Mold With Sliding Bottom Item#: IB002134
$57.99

$57.99
Hanger Swirl Tool
Hanger Swirl Tool Item#: IB003276
$5.95

$5.95
Silicone Liner for 5 lb Wood Mold - 1 mold
Silicone Liner for 5 lb Wood Mold - 1 mold Item#: IB002820
$22.99
Get 5 or More and Save 10%!

$22.99

Instructions

Coffee Cold Process Soap Project

  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: About 5 Pounds of Soap

Incorporating coffee into cold process soap is easier than you might think. The distilled water in cold process recipes can be swapped for plain coffee. The key is using distilled water to brew the coffee and allowing it to cool to room temperature before adding sodium hydroxide lye. Using coffee instead of water makes the soap quite dark, so keep that in mind when choosing the color palette. If you’re using plain brewed coffee, don’t worry about the soap overheatin because it doesn't have sugar.

Using coffee instead of water does not give soap a coffee smell. In fact, when you mix lye with coffee it does not smell very pleasant. This is because the lye “scorches” the coffee, resulting in a noticeable odor. The smell of the coffee and lye solution is usually not noticeable in the final bar. This is especially true if you’re using a fragrance oil in your recipe. For this soap, Espresso Fragrance Oil gives the bars a rich, delicious scent. It discolors in cold process soap due to the vanillin content. Titanium dioxide combats that slightly, but you can notice some discoloration on the top of the soap in the photos above and below. Learn more about vanilla discoloration here.

This soap also contains used coffee grounds. It’s important to add used rather than fresh coffee grounds. Fresh coffee grounds may bleed in the soap. The bleeding doesn’t hurt the bars in any way, but it is a cosmetic issue. It’s also a great way to use up leftover coffee grounds!

 

You will need:

  • 5 Pound Mold with Sliding Bottom
  • Silicone Liner for 5 lb Wood Mold
  • Hanger Swirl Tool
  • 54 oz. Swirl Recipe Quick Mix
  • 7.5 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
  • 17.8 oz. Plain Coffee
  • 3 oz. Espresso Fragrance Oil
  • Titanium Dioxide Pigment
  • Brown Oxide Pigment
  • Black Oxide Pigment
  • 2 Tbsp. Used Coffee Grounds
  • Whole Espresso Beans (for the top)

Follow these steps:

1

Fully melt the entire bag of the Swirl Recipe Quick Mix until there is no cloudiness. Shake to mix and measure out 54 oz. Once the lye coffee solution and the oils have cooled to 130° F or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye to the oils and stick blend until thin trace. If you’d like a harder bar of soap that releases faster from the mold, you can add sodium lactate to the cooled lye water. Use 1 teaspoon of sodium lactate per pound of oils in the recipe. For this recipe, you’d add about 3.5 teaspoons sodium lactate.

2

Once you have a thin trace, pour off 300 mL of soap into a separate container and 600 mL into another container.

3

To the 300 mL of soap, add 1/4 tsp. dispersed black oxide. Then, add 1/2 tsp. dispersed brown oxide to the container with 600 mL of soap. Use a spoon or whisk to mix in the colorants.

4

To the large container of soap, add all the dispersed titanium dioxide. Use a whisk to mix in the colorant. Then pulse for a few seconds with the stick blender to help fully mix in the colorant. Add 2 tablespoons of used coffee grounds to the large container, and use a whisk to fully mix in.

5

Add the Espresso Fragrance Oil proportionately to each container of soap (it’s okay to eyeball it) and use a whisk to fully mix in the fragrance oil.

6

Pour some of the light soap into the mold – just enough to cover the bottom (about 1 inch).

7

Holding the black soap several inches above the mold, pour a small and steady stream down the length of the mold. Holding the container a few inches above the mold helps the black soap fall to the bottom of the mold. Don’t be afraid about pouring a straight line. Pouring an uneven line can make the swirl more interesting! Pour less black soap with each pass than brown and tan. A little bit of black soap goes a long way! You also need some black soap leftover at the end for the swirl.

8

Pour more tan soap into the mold, followed by an imperfect line of the brown soap. Because you have more brown soap, pour a larger amount. Hold each layer several inches above the mold to help the colors break through. Don’t worry about being too exact during the pouring process.

9

After pouring the brown soap, pour another line of tan soap into the mold, followed by more black. Continue this pattern (tan, black, tan, brown) until you have used up all the brown soap and have a small amount of tan and black soap left.

10

Give the mold a firm tap on the counter. Insert the Hanger Swirl Tool into one side of the mold, and begin making loops in the center of the mold with the tool. Continue the loop-de-loop motion at varying heights within the mold. This technique is not an exact science. We looped the Hanger Swirl Tool about 6-8 times within the mold. If you like more whispy swirls, feel free to do more loops. Remove the Hanger Swirl Tool by pulling up and out along one side of the mold.

11

Tap the mold on the counter to settle the soap and get rid of bubbles. Cover the entire top with the rest of the tan soap. Tap the mold on the counter again to settle the top layer.

12

Drizzle a small amount of the black soap on top. Don’t worry too much about what this drizzle looks like, just make sure to leave a good amount of tan soap showing. It will give your swirls better definition.

13

Insert a dowel or chopstick into the very top of the soap. The swirl we used for this batch was not very exact and precise, so feel free to have fun with it! First, we made scallop-like motions from side to side, down the length of the mold. Then, create loop-de-loop patterns randomly. There really is no right or wrong way to do this, so have fun with it. Just make sure to not over-swirl, or the color differentiation will diminish.

14

Once you’re happy with the top, drop whole coffee beans in the center of the soap all the way down the mold. Gently press the beans into the soap to help them stick better once cut. Spritz the soap with 99% isopropyl alcohol to prevent soda ash. Leave the soap uncovered, and allow it to harden for 2-3 days. Remove from the mold gently, and cut into bars. To prevent drag marks from the coffee beans, lay the loaf on its side and cut with a sharp non-serrated knife. Allow the bars to cure for 4-6 weeks and enjoy!

Tutorial credits

Photographer: Amanda Kerzman

Coffee Cold Process Soap Project

  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: About 5 Pounds of Soap

Incorporating coffee into cold process soap is easier than you might think. The distilled water in cold process recipes can be swapped for plain coffee. The key is using distilled water to brew the coffee and allowing it to cool to room temperature before adding sodium hydroxide lye. Using coffee instead of water makes the soap quite dark, so keep that in mind when choosing the color palette. If you’re using plain brewed coffee, don’t worry about the soap overheatin because it doesn't have sugar.

Using coffee instead of water does not give soap a coffee smell. In fact, when you mix lye with coffee it does not smell very pleasant. This is because the lye “scorches” the coffee, resulting in a noticeable odor. The smell of the coffee and lye solution is usually not noticeable in the final bar. This is especially true if you’re using a fragrance oil in your recipe. For this soap, Espresso Fragrance Oil gives the bars a rich, delicious scent. It discolors in cold process soap due to the vanillin content. Titanium dioxide combats that slightly, but you can notice some discoloration on the top of the soap in the photos above and below. Learn more about vanilla discoloration here.

This soap also contains used coffee grounds. It’s important to add used rather than fresh coffee grounds. Fresh coffee grounds may bleed in the soap. The bleeding doesn’t hurt the bars in any way, but it is a cosmetic issue. It’s also a great way to use up leftover coffee grounds!

 

You will need:

  • 5 Pound Mold with Sliding Bottom
  • Silicone Liner for 5 lb Wood Mold
  • Hanger Swirl Tool
  • 54 oz. Swirl Recipe Quick Mix
  • 7.5 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
  • 17.8 oz. Plain Coffee
  • 3 oz. Espresso Fragrance Oil
  • Titanium Dioxide Pigment
  • Brown Oxide Pigment
  • Black Oxide Pigment
  • 2 Tbsp. Used Coffee Grounds
  • Whole Espresso Beans (for the top)

Follow these steps:

1

Fully melt the entire bag of the Swirl Recipe Quick Mix until there is no cloudiness. Shake to mix and measure out 54 oz. Once the lye coffee solution and the oils have cooled to 130° F or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye to the oils and stick blend until thin trace. If you’d like a harder bar of soap that releases faster from the mold, you can add sodium lactate to the cooled lye water. Use 1 teaspoon of sodium lactate per pound of oils in the recipe. For this recipe, you’d add about 3.5 teaspoons sodium lactate.

2

Once you have a thin trace, pour off 300 mL of soap into a separate container and 600 mL into another container.

3

To the 300 mL of soap, add 1/4 tsp. dispersed black oxide. Then, add 1/2 tsp. dispersed brown oxide to the container with 600 mL of soap. Use a spoon or whisk to mix in the colorants.

4

To the large container of soap, add all the dispersed titanium dioxide. Use a whisk to mix in the colorant. Then pulse for a few seconds with the stick blender to help fully mix in the colorant. Add 2 tablespoons of used coffee grounds to the large container, and use a whisk to fully mix in.

5

Add the Espresso Fragrance Oil proportionately to each container of soap (it’s okay to eyeball it) and use a whisk to fully mix in the fragrance oil.

6

Pour some of the light soap into the mold – just enough to cover the bottom (about 1 inch).

7

Holding the black soap several inches above the mold, pour a small and steady stream down the length of the mold. Holding the container a few inches above the mold helps the black soap fall to the bottom of the mold. Don’t be afraid about pouring a straight line. Pouring an uneven line can make the swirl more interesting! Pour less black soap with each pass than brown and tan. A little bit of black soap goes a long way! You also need some black soap leftover at the end for the swirl.

8

Pour more tan soap into the mold, followed by an imperfect line of the brown soap. Because you have more brown soap, pour a larger amount. Hold each layer several inches above the mold to help the colors break through. Don’t worry about being too exact during the pouring process.

9

After pouring the brown soap, pour another line of tan soap into the mold, followed by more black. Continue this pattern (tan, black, tan, brown) until you have used up all the brown soap and have a small amount of tan and black soap left.

10

Give the mold a firm tap on the counter. Insert the Hanger Swirl Tool into one side of the mold, and begin making loops in the center of the mold with the tool. Continue the loop-de-loop motion at varying heights within the mold. This technique is not an exact science. We looped the Hanger Swirl Tool about 6-8 times within the mold. If you like more whispy swirls, feel free to do more loops. Remove the Hanger Swirl Tool by pulling up and out along one side of the mold.

11

Tap the mold on the counter to settle the soap and get rid of bubbles. Cover the entire top with the rest of the tan soap. Tap the mold on the counter again to settle the top layer.

12

Drizzle a small amount of the black soap on top. Don’t worry too much about what this drizzle looks like, just make sure to leave a good amount of tan soap showing. It will give your swirls better definition.

13

Insert a dowel or chopstick into the very top of the soap. The swirl we used for this batch was not very exact and precise, so feel free to have fun with it! First, we made scallop-like motions from side to side, down the length of the mold. Then, create loop-de-loop patterns randomly. There really is no right or wrong way to do this, so have fun with it. Just make sure to not over-swirl, or the color differentiation will diminish.

14

Once you’re happy with the top, drop whole coffee beans in the center of the soap all the way down the mold. Gently press the beans into the soap to help them stick better once cut. Spritz the soap with 99% isopropyl alcohol to prevent soda ash. Leave the soap uncovered, and allow it to harden for 2-3 days. Remove from the mold gently, and cut into bars. To prevent drag marks from the coffee beans, lay the loaf on its side and cut with a sharp non-serrated knife. Allow the bars to cure for 4-6 weeks and enjoy!

Tutorial credits

Photographer: Amanda Kerzman

You will need:

  • 5 Pound Mold with Sliding Bottom
  • Silicone Liner for 5 lb Wood Mold
  • Hanger Swirl Tool
  • 54 oz. Swirl Recipe Quick Mix
  • 7.5 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
  • 17.8 oz. Plain Coffee
  • 3 oz. Espresso Fragrance Oil
  • Titanium Dioxide Pigment
  • Brown Oxide Pigment
  • Black Oxide Pigment
  • 2 Tbsp. Used Coffee Grounds
  • Whole Espresso Beans (for the top)

Follow these steps:

1

Fully melt the entire bag of the Swirl Recipe Quick Mix until there is no cloudiness. Shake to mix and measure out 54 oz. Once the lye coffee solution and the oils have cooled to 130° F or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye to the oils and stick blend until thin trace. If you’d like a harder bar of soap that releases faster from the mold, you can add sodium lactate to the cooled lye water. Use 1 teaspoon of sodium lactate per pound of oils in the recipe. For this recipe, you’d add about 3.5 teaspoons sodium lactate.

2

Once you have a thin trace, pour off 300 mL of soap into a separate container and 600 mL into another container.

3

To the 300 mL of soap, add 1/4 tsp. dispersed black oxide. Then, add 1/2 tsp. dispersed brown oxide to the container with 600 mL of soap. Use a spoon or whisk to mix in the colorants.

4

To the large container of soap, add all the dispersed titanium dioxide. Use a whisk to mix in the colorant. Then pulse for a few seconds with the stick blender to help fully mix in the colorant. Add 2 tablespoons of used coffee grounds to the large container, and use a whisk to fully mix in.

5

Add the Espresso Fragrance Oil proportionately to each container of soap (it’s okay to eyeball it) and use a whisk to fully mix in the fragrance oil.

6

Pour some of the light soap into the mold – just enough to cover the bottom (about 1 inch).

7

Holding the black soap several inches above the mold, pour a small and steady stream down the length of the mold. Holding the container a few inches above the mold helps the black soap fall to the bottom of the mold. Don’t be afraid about pouring a straight line. Pouring an uneven line can make the swirl more interesting! Pour less black soap with each pass than brown and tan. A little bit of black soap goes a long way! You also need some black soap leftover at the end for the swirl.

8

Pour more tan soap into the mold, followed by an imperfect line of the brown soap. Because you have more brown soap, pour a larger amount. Hold each layer several inches above the mold to help the colors break through. Don’t worry about being too exact during the pouring process.

9

After pouring the brown soap, pour another line of tan soap into the mold, followed by more black. Continue this pattern (tan, black, tan, brown) until you have used up all the brown soap and have a small amount of tan and black soap left.

10

Give the mold a firm tap on the counter. Insert the Hanger Swirl Tool into one side of the mold, and begin making loops in the center of the mold with the tool. Continue the loop-de-loop motion at varying heights within the mold. This technique is not an exact science. We looped the Hanger Swirl Tool about 6-8 times within the mold. If you like more whispy swirls, feel free to do more loops. Remove the Hanger Swirl Tool by pulling up and out along one side of the mold.

11

Tap the mold on the counter to settle the soap and get rid of bubbles. Cover the entire top with the rest of the tan soap. Tap the mold on the counter again to settle the top layer.

12

Drizzle a small amount of the black soap on top. Don’t worry too much about what this drizzle looks like, just make sure to leave a good amount of tan soap showing. It will give your swirls better definition.

13

Insert a dowel or chopstick into the very top of the soap. The swirl we used for this batch was not very exact and precise, so feel free to have fun with it! First, we made scallop-like motions from side to side, down the length of the mold. Then, create loop-de-loop patterns randomly. There really is no right or wrong way to do this, so have fun with it. Just make sure to not over-swirl, or the color differentiation will diminish.

14

Once you’re happy with the top, drop whole coffee beans in the center of the soap all the way down the mold. Gently press the beans into the soap to help them stick better once cut. Spritz the soap with 99% isopropyl alcohol to prevent soda ash. Leave the soap uncovered, and allow it to harden for 2-3 days. Remove from the mold gently, and cut into bars. To prevent drag marks from the coffee beans, lay the loaf on its side and cut with a sharp non-serrated knife. Allow the bars to cure for 4-6 weeks and enjoy!

Tutorial credits

Photographer: Amanda Kerzman

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