One homestead skill I’ve been so excited to learn is making handmade soaps.
A blog I adore for soap making and soap recipes is the Nerdy Farm Wife which is why I’m thrilled today to have Jan Berry offer this Simple Pumpkin Soap Recipe from her latest book Simple & Natural Soapmaking.
This book is gorgeous and contains amazing recipes & techniques
Simple Pumpkin Soap Recipe
Loaded with vitamin A and other nourishing nutrients, real pumpkin puree gives this soap its natural yellow-orange color. Both homemade puree and canned pumpkin work equally well; if neither is available, try using butternut squash instead.
Makes 7 to 8 bars (2.5 lbs/1.13 kg)
- Lye Solution
- 3.95 oz (112 g) Sodium Hydroxide (also called Lye or Caustic Soda)
- 6.5 oz (184 g)
- Distilled Water
- Solid Oils
- 8 oz (227 g) Coconut Oil
- 4 oz (113 g) Shea or Mango Butter
- Liquid Oils 12 oz (340g) Olive Oil
- 4 oz (113 g) Sunflower or Sweet Almond Oil
- 2.5 oz (71 g) Pumpkin Puree
Notes & Tips
If you don’t have shea or mango butter, try using cocoa or kokum butter, tallow or lard for a similar effect. To further enhance the recipe, you could add 1 tbsp ground oats (at trace) and/or 1 tbsp dried milk powder (with the pumpkin). All oils, butters, water, lye and pumpkin should be measured by weight. You need an accurate scale to make soap.
Step 1: Make the Lye Solution
Wearing protective gloves and eyewear, carefully stir the lye (sodium hydroxide) into the distilled water until dissolved. Work in an area with good ventilation and be careful not to breathe in the fumes. Set the lye solution aside to cool for about 30 or 40 minutes or until the temperature drops to around 100 to 110°F (38 to 43°C).
Step 2 : Prepare the Oils
Step 3: Mixing
Add the pumpkin puree to the warmed oils and blend well with an immersion blender (stick blender). Pour the cooled lye solution into the warmed oils/pumpkin mixture. Using a combination of hand stirring and an immersion blender, stir the soap batter until it thickens and reaches trace. Trace is when the soap has thickened enough so when you drizzle a small amount of the batter across the surface, it will leave a fleeting, but visible imprint or trace before sinking back in.
Step 4: Pour in Mold
Pour the soap batter into your soap mold. Cover lightly with wax or freezer paper, then a towel or light blanket. Peek at the soap every so often; if it starts developing a crack, uncover and move to a cooler location.
Step 5: Cut & Cure
Keep the soap in the mold for 1 to 2 days, or until it’s easy to remove, then slice it into bars when it’s firm enough not to stick to your cutting tool. Cure on coated cooling racks or sheets of wax paper for about 4 weeks before using. The soap is safe to touch 48 hours after making it but it needs the extra time to allow the excess moisture to evaporate out.
My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.