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Let's Get Started Making Our Pumpkin Soap
Let me just say, this has become one of my most requested soap recipes. The coming of fall is signaled by many things...one of which is making a batch of my famous pumpkin pie soap. It uses real pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice and fills the house with wonderful spicy fall scents.
To make this recipe you'll need:
- A basic soap recipe. You can create your own recipe or use one of the basic soap recipes at the top of my soap recipe directory list.
- Pumpkin fragrance oil or essential oil blend
- Pureed... fresh or canned pumpkin
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Basic understanding of Cold Process Soap Making
For this particular recipe, I used my Grocery Store Soap Recipe, sized up to make a bit over 4.5 lbs. You can use this one or any other basic soap recipe, and just add the pumpkin puree and spices to it. (The sugar and salt are optional - the salt allows the soap to harden quicker and the sugar helps boost the soap's lather.)
- 15.3 oz. Lard
- 15.3 oz. Olive Oil
- 12.8 oz. Coconut Oil
- 2.5 oz. Castor Oil
- 5.1 oz. Sunflower Oil
- 3 tsp. of sugar in the water before the lye
- 1.5 tsp of salt in the water before the lye
- 3 oz. of canned pumpkin
- 2 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice
- 2.2 oz of Pumpkin Pie fragrance oil (There are lots of variations on pumpkin fragrance - from spicy to creamy - most of them will contain some vanilla, so know that you're going to have discoloration
- 7.2 oz. Lye
- 15 oz. of water (see note at bottom on the water calculation)
Get all of your ingredients and equipment ready (including pre-measuring out all of your additives) and let's get started!
Note: Normally, if I was adding a vegetable additive like the pumpkin, I would discount the water a bit to make up for the water content in it. But since "spice" fragrance oils can often cause the batch to get to trace quickly, I'm not discounting any. The water in the pumpkin adds a bit more water to the recipe - which should give you a bit more time to work, get the spice portion mixed, and still layer it in the mold.)Continue to 2 of 10 below.
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Add the Lye and Blend
Once your lye solution and oils are at about 100 degrees, slowly add the lye water to the oils and blend. Only blend until the lye and oils are just barely mixed together. We don't want to take it to trace just yet.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
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Separate Out Some of the Soap
Using a ladle, separate out some of the soap into a large bowl or pyrex pitcher. I separated out about 1/4 of the whole batch into the pitcher.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Add the Pumpkin and Fragrance Oil
Leave the separated part for a minute. Going back to the main pot, add in the pumpkin. Make sure it is mixed in well. Also, add your Pumpkin Pie fragrance oil to the batch at this time.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
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Add the Spices
Take the pumpkin pie spice and add it to the separated portion. Mix it well, making sure there are no clumps of spice.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
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Blend Both to Trace
Blend both portions of soap so that they are mixed very well. You should already be well at trace by now.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
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Layer the Two Colors
Starting with the "spice" portion, pour about 1/2 inch of soap into the bottom of the mold. Then pour about 1/2 of the whole "pumpkin" portion into the mold. Pour in a bit more of the "spice", and then some more of the "pumpkin". Alternate the two until you've filled the mold.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Swirl in the Mold
Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, gently swirl through the soap rotating the spoon/spatula around, up and down through the soap, and back and forth. You don't want to mix the colors all together, just swirl the dark and light colors with each other.
Cover the mold with a bit of wax paper and let it set in a safe place.
It is probably not necessary (with this recipe at least) to insulate the mold like you normally would. Most pumpkin fragrance oils contain at least a little cinnamon... and/or clove essential oil in them, which will really get the saponification process going. This batch of soap will get HOT. Don't worry, this is normal. Also, don't worry about how dark the soap is getting. This is just part of the gel process. The soap will lighten back up as it cools.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
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Cool, Cut and Enjoy!
Let the soap cool and cure overnight before slicing it.
Though you're going to want to try it right away, let it set at least a few days before you test it, and at least a few weeks before you use it in the bath.
As it's curing, your house will be filled with the wonderful sweet spicy scents!