Orange honeysuckle

I made soap again! This one’s the best one yet. Each time I improve on my recipe in small ways: adjusting the beeswax for bar hardness, coconut oil for lather, essential oils for fragrance.

Originally I only made soap to find a helpful way to recycle my leftover grease. See my very first soap here (along with better directions), my second here, and my bacon-celebration soap here. But now that we rarely fry anything and I can no longer eat bacon, that “wastelessness” aspect of it is becoming less important to me than simply coming up with a pleasant soap.

I do still supplement with such recycled oils, but not as much as I could. I find that they detract from the luxurious smooth feel of a more conditioning, fancy soap. (They are perfectly good for laundry soap however, and if I ever come across a treasure trove of bacon grease I would certainly make tallow soap again… just not to rub on my body.)

Even without using 100% recycled bacon grease (which sure did save on cost!), this soap came out to about 90 cents per bar. I spent about $25 on the ingredients (not counting those I had already, like fragrance). Since we love the Zum bars at our local organic grocery and will usually spend about $5.50 on each one of those, I estimate that this single batch of soap has saved us about $120.


  • Warm together til melted:
  • olive oil, 8 oz
  • castor oil, 2 oz
  • coconut oil, 12 oz
  • shea butter, 2 oz
  • beeswax, 2 oz
  • recycled fats, 12 oz
  • cocoa butter, 8 oz
  • add to an old crock pot on “low” while you prepare the lye.


  • Wearing gloves and glasses, and with a sink full of soapy vinegar water behind you, add 6.2 oz lye to 15 oz water in a heatproof container.
  • Once lye cools to the same temperature as the fats, pour it carefully into the crock pot.
  • Stir with an immersion blender – do not splash! – until it reaches “trace.” Cover and cook on low for 40 minutes to an hour. Soap should be translucent and the consistency of soft mashed potatoes.
  • Meanwhile, line your molds thoroughly with press n’ seal.
  • When soap is ready, mix in fragrance: 1 ounce each of honeysuckle fragrance and orange essential oil, added after cooking. I also added some red mica powder I happened to have, for color.
  • Spoon into molds, smear flat, and let rest overnight.
  • Slice, set the bars apart from each other for airflow to cure them, and let them rest at least a week before using.
  • After a week or two I wrap my bars in saran wrap so the delicate essential oils stay fragrant for longer. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing.

3 Responses to “Orange honeysuckle”

  1. heidi Says:

    Wow, resourceful. Bet it smells and feels really really good! Wish we lived closer..

  2. heidi Says:

    PS. It looks good enough to EAT!

  3. Diana Guillermo Says:

    Smells that way too! It’s my very favorite one yet. 😉

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