Kokum Butter Cold Process Soap Project
If you’re unfamiliar with kokum butter, it has a firm texture most comparable to cocoa butter. It melts slightly above body temperature and it's known for its light, non-greasy feel on the skin. In cold process soap, kokum butter adds firmness.
For this recipe, we kept things simple to let the creamy texture of the soap stand out. It’s scented with eucalyptus essential oil for a refreshing scent. Titanium dioxide pigment is added to lighten the color, while walnut shells add exfoliation. Because this recipe contains plenty of olive oil, a small water discount helps it pop out of the mold a bit quicker and prevents glycerin rivers. Learn more about water discounting in this post.
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Time to Complete: 2 hours
- Kit Yields: About 3 pounds of soap
Kokum Butter - 1 lbItem#:IB002425 Varient/Quantity/Set: 0
Olive Oil - Pure - 1 lbItem#:IB002448 Varient/Quantity/Set: 0
Sodium Hydroxide LyeItem#:IB002149 Varient/Quantity/Set: 0
Eucalyptus Essential Oil - 3.5 ozItem#:IB000102 Varient/Quantity/Set: 0
Titanium Dioxide Pigment - 1 ozItem#:IB002531 Varient/Quantity/Set: 0
Kokum Butter Cold Process Soap Project
This simple recipe is made with moisturizing kokum butter and scented with eucalyptus essential oil.
10″ Silicone Loaf Mold
0.7 oz. Castor Oil (2%)
8.5 oz. Coconut Oil (25%)
1.7 oz. Kokum Butter (5%)
23.1 oz. Olive Oil (68%)
4.7 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
10.3 oz. Distilled Water (8% water discount)
2 oz. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
3 Tbsp. Ground Walnut Shells
COLOR PREP: Disperse 1 teaspoon of titanium dioxide into 1 tablespoon of lightweight liquid oil, like sweet almond oil or sunflower oil. Use the mini mixer to help break up any clumps. Optional: To ensure the titanium dioxide blends smoothly into the soap, we recommend micronizing it before dispersing it in oil. Use a coffee grinder to break up any clumps of color and prevent streaks of white from showing in the final soap. We like to use a coffee grinder that has a removable stainless steel mixing area for easy cleaning.
FRAGRANCE PREP: Measure 2 ounces of eucalyptus essential oil into a glass container. Set aside.
SAFETY FIRST: Suit up for safe handling practices. That means goggles, gloves, and long sleeves. Make sure kids, pets, other distractions, and tripping hazards are out of the house or don’t have access to your soaping space. Always soap in a well-ventilated area.
|Slowly and carefully add 4.7 ounces of lye to 10.3 ounces of water and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside to cool. Optional: Add 2 teaspoons of sodium lactate to help the bars harden more quickly.|
Fully mely and combine 8.5 ounces of coconut oil, 23.1 ounces of olive oil, 0.7 ounces of castor oil, and 1.7 ounces of kokum butter. Once the lye water and the oils have cooled to 130° F or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye water to the oils and stick blend until thin trace.
Add all of the dispersed titanium dioxide and stick blend the colorant in.
Add the 2 ounces of eucalyptus essential oil and stick blend until completely combined.
Continue stick blending until you reach a medium to thick trace. Add 3 tablespoons of ground walnut shells and use a whisk to combine.
Pour the soap into the mold and tap firmly on the counter to get rid of bubbles.
Use a spoon to texture the top of the soap. We used a wave motion to create a peak on one side. If you find that the soap is not quite thick enough to hold its shape, let it sit in the mold for several minutes to firm up.
Spritz the top of the soap with 99% isopropyl alcohol to help prevent soda ash. Leave at room temperature. Because kokum is a hard butter, you may want to keep eye on the soap. If it gets warm and goes through gel phase, it can crack. If that happens, stick the soap in the freezer to cool it down and prevent larger cracks. Allow the soap to sit in the mold for about 3 days. Unmold and cut into bars. Allow the bars to cure for 4-6 weeks. Because this soap contains a large amount of olive oil, we recommend curing the soap for the full 6 weeks. Enjoy!
Photographer: Amanda Kerzman
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