Making soap by hand is not difficult and lets you control the ingredients in your soap. Most commercial soaps have a high pH and contain strong detergents that are not as gentle to the skin as most homemade soaps are. You can add all sorts of ingredients to personalize your soap, but papaya can add a beautiful fragrance and it has antioxidant properties that are good for the skin. Homemade papaya soap makes a wonderful gift or a simple personal indulgence.
1. Line the cardboard box with wax paper. Put on protective gear.
2. Pour 6 oz. of distilled water into a measuring cup. Slowly pour in 2.25 oz. by weight of lye and stir until dissolved. Let the water cool. Never add the water to the lye.
3. Combine 6 oz. of coconut oil, 10 oz. of extra light olive oil, 15 to 20 ml of papaya oil and 1 tbsp. of castor oil in a measuring cup. Heat the oils in the microwave until melted, checking frequently to avoid overheating.
4. Measure the temperatures of both the lye and the oils. When they are within 20 degrees of each other, slowly add the lye to the oil while stirring and measure the temperature again. The temperature should be between 90 and 110 degrees F.
5. Blend the mixture for a few minutes with the stick blender until it thickens into a consistency like gravy and gains a whitish color. Check the temperature—it should rise by a few degrees when the soap has “traced” and the oils have begun to solidify into soap.
6. Pour the mixture into the lined box. Cover with wax paper and let sit for two days.
7. Check the soap while wearing protective gear to ensure the soap is solid and smooth. Remove the soap from the box and cut into sections using a stainless steel knife.
8. Let the soap continue to thoroughly dry, or “cure,” for three to four weeks, turning regularly.