True Castile Soap is made with 100% Olive Oil, but very often you will find soap that is accepted as "Castille" because it has a very high proportion of Olive Oil. A very high percentage olive oil cold processed soap which has a small amount of other oils and butters is known as "Bastille". Castile soap originated in the Castila region of Spain where Castile Soap has been handmade for hundreds of years. This recipe uses 100% Olive as the base (fixed) oil. Deceptively easy to make, you may find it a little different to making mixed oil batches and it can abe a little tricky for beginners. Castile takes a little longer to trace that mixed oil batches, and it is also slower to gel. You may also notice that it can be a little crumbly at the edges until you "get your hand in" and have the insulation just right.
Castile benefits from a LONG cure/drying time, as the longer it cures, the nicer the lather becomes. The lather from well aged Castile Soap is small and not particularly dense, but using this soap leaves your skin soft and moisturised. We like to use a lower water percentage, and we still age our Castile for several months minimum. This batch will fill our Wooden Loaf Mould with Silicone Liner comfortably. If using our Regular Silicone Loaf Mould, you will need a spare mould as well. We recommend leaving the soap in the mould for at least one week as it will be quite soft and more difficult to unmould, and also add Sodium Lactate Plus to assist unmoulding. If using the Single Cavity Silicone Moulds (as pictured) we recommend freezing the soap prior to unmoulding to ensure it unmoulds well prior to curing and drying.
- 1250g Olive Oil
- 160g Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
- Between 320g and 450g water - Use the higher amount of water if using touchy fragrances or you are a beginner as it will give you more time to play with
- 30g Sodium Lactate Plus
- 40g/ml (5 teaspoons) Essential Oils or Fragrance Oil
All your regular Cold Process Soap making equipment including Safety Gear including Goggles and Gloves
Jug to hold 2 litres traced soap
If you are a beginner, we recommend you make a few batches before attempting this soap For how to make soap from Scratch, please see our Cold Process Soapmaking Instructions. You can also watch Soap Queen's You Tube Series on Cold Process Soapmaking.
This recipe calls for a TOTAL of 450g/ml of water - but when you are a little more experienced, you may wish to use the lower amount of water. Castile is a soft soap until it cures, so Sodium Lactate Plus and leaving the soap a lot longer in the mould than usual is recommended. I like a minimum of 3 months to cure before use, and if the Olive Oil is nice and fresh, 12 months curing is a beautiful soap.
Instructions are described in full on the links above.
Bring to heavy trace before pouring into the mould.
If you want to experiment with a accelerating Fragrance or Essential Oil, this is the soap to try it in!
If you would like a very light, pale coloured bar, choose "light" olive oil, the darker the colour (such as pomace or virgin) the darker your soap will be as in the main graphic. The soap below was made from 'light' olive oil.