Sunday, February 10, 2013

Saponification Sunday...You picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Castile.

Lace: from Mrs Quinns Charity Shop. Gort, County Galway, Ireland.
Pottery dish: From Mrs. Nobody's garage sale, Chatsworth. Soap:
Made with mold from son Kyle and wife Amanda

Wish I could tell you it was because of some well thought our plan but truth is...I was running low on other oils. So having lots of Olive Oil and not much else I went for it, the creation of some pure castile soap.

The technical definition is this;castile soap is that made with 100% olive oil soap, no other oils.This soap is said to be named for the Kingdom of Castile, a region in what is now known as Spain. Evidence seems to suggest that castile soap actually originated in Northern Italy, and spread outwards from there, although this soap is so ancient that it is a bit difficult to pin down the precise details of its history. In Castile, the soap was made with olive oil only, and some people differentiate between capitalized Castile soap, made with olive oil, and lower case castile soap, made with other vegetable oils.

Love the beautiful dishcloth? A blog follower of mine makes them!
Get your own masterpiece  HERE  (Thanks again Martha)

Still others use only olive OIL but add some butters like Shea or Mango and still call it castile soap. But for purposes of this blog, Castile Soap is that made with Olive Oil, water and Lye. How simple is that?

Pretty simple. With that much soft oil I worried that the batter would not trace easily (it did in about 7 minutes), that is would be too soft to cut (it was hard enough to cut on day three) and that once cut it would never harden. (Two weeks old and it is very hard)

I also had heard the lather could be "slimy" Well, the lather is not abundant by any means but it is adequately creamy and left my hands and hair, very soft. I chose not to color or scent it and the result was a sweet little ivory colored bar.

I've given out bars to my testing crew, my sisters, and will pass on a couple more to the other woman in my life whose opinions I value, my daughter and two daughter-in-laws.  The best subject though will be the farm husband who has his hands out in the cold winter weather every day.  Then I'll scientifically collate the data and complete my thesis.

Or not.


  1. Can't wait to try it tomorrow morning! Expecting great results. Thanks for allowing me to be part of the testing crew!

  2. If you start making your soap from olive oil, what are you going to do with all that fat? Didn't Berlusconi make a bar from his liposuction?

  3. I make a similar Castille Soap. Very mild and gentle. Yours looks lovely!!! xoxo

  4. Your Castile soap looks lovely, Donna! Castile definitely gets better with age. I made a batch last year with 100% olive oil. At the six-week point, I wasn't very impressed - the lather was minimal and slimy. I started to really see a change in the lather after the 18-week point. The soap is over a year old now and it is fantastic!

  5. Tom, never fear. Our lard stash will be used for oter soaps, and cooking, and Christmas presents. Nothing says love like five pounds of lard all wrapped in ribbon

  6. Jennifer. If my soaps could look 1/10 as wonderful as yours I'd be a happy camper er, soaper.

  7. Jenny, NOW you've got me all excited. Can't wait to see how these bars age (Hopefully better than I have)

  8. Donna, thank you for the shout out for my hand weaving shop! Love your new soap, if you need an extra tester I am voluntering!

  9. They look so pure! Our rainwater totes used to hold olive oil. When we bought the totes, Dan drained the olive oil for me to save for soap. Haven't gotten any closer to making it than then, but at least I have it. :)

  10. Always wondered about "Castile Soap". Now I know.

  11. Your soap looks gorgeous!

    When I was a nursing student many, many years ago, we had liquid yellow soap called Castile soap. You don't want to know what we used it for! ;)

  12. Martha, you are welcome and if I can wrestle a bar away from Keith it will go out to you !

    Leigh, I know you are so busy but soap making is not really hard once you get the hang of it. I'm teaching a class in April. You should come.

    Susan. Yes, you are now fully informed. Wish I were

  13. susan

    I started as a CNA in 1973, did that for 11 years, then an RN for 25 after that. I do know exactly WHERE that castile soap went and it a charm.

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