I was a little nervous working with the sodium hydroxide with the tea at first. When I went to mix it, wouldn't you know I chose a container with a crack in the bottom! Luckily, I had another close at hand and I only had a small puddle to clean up. Phew! First hurdle overcome!
After weighing out my oils and setting the crock-pot to high to melt the solids, my next harrowing moment was adding the lye to the oils. Piece of cake! I'm very proud of myself for not splashing and making more of a mess. I stirred and blended with a stick blender. The soap came to a trace really fast within two or three minutes. I was surprised at that since most sites I've read say that trace can take 15 minutes to reach.
Now, I turned the crock-pot onto low and set the timer for 30 minutes. I stirred the mix every 30 minutes for 2 hours and it did it's thing perfectly and turned to a vaseline consistency. Next, I weighed out and added my Moroccan Argan Oil and Tea Tree Oil, stirred well and molded. The smell was overpowering! I do believe I used way too much tea tree oil. When doing hot process, I read that you use a lot less essential oils than in cold process. Next time, I'm going to cut the scent down to about a quarter of what I put in this batch. Our room was permeated with the scent for days!
The mold I used was a drawer organizer I found at Dollar Tree for 2 for $1. It's the perfect size for guest soaps. After waiting 24 hours, I unmolded and cut the bars into 1 1/4 inch thickness. Beautiful. I set them up on the shelf to cure for 2 weeks before I start gifting this batch. The next soap I make, I'll consider putting up on Etsy.
Here's my recipe adapted from The Soap Queen's recipe:
TEA TREE AND ARGAN OIL SHAMPOO BARS
- 10 oz. Coconut Oil
- 10 oz. Palm Oil
- 8 oz. Caster Oil
- 8 oz. Olive Oil
- 13.68 oz. Distilled Water infused with Green Tea and Jasmine
- 5.36 oz. Sodium Hydroxide
- .5 oz. Tea Tree Oil
- 1 oz. Moroccan Argan Oil
- 15 drops of Euphoria essential oil.