Burst of Caffeine Shower Soap (aka homemade coffee based lye soap)

Picture of Burst of Caffeine Shower Soap (aka homemade coffee based lye soap)
People who know me, know I need my coffee.  Not just in the morning, although I am a better person when I start my day with some, but in the afternoon, in the evening, and of course a cup at night (I'm one of those odd people who fall asleep with caffeine). 

I can't just wake up with coffee, I need a good hot shower in the morning, however it can be  really difficult to keep the soap and water from getting into my coffee cup. I had to come up with a way to have my coffee and my shower and not miss a minute of the day.  That was when I began making my coffee soap, whats better to get you going than coffee and a hot shower all at once!

Heres what you need to make this fabulous rich soap that helps keep your skin at that perfect pH balance, and makes you feel like your soaking in a big hot cup of coffee!

Safety Gear: this is very important as you will be using caustic materials
1. Heavy duty rubber gloves
2. Goggles
3. Mask (not as important, but still recommended)
4. Baking Soda (this is to neutralize your utensils and any accidental spills of the Lye)
5. Phenolphthalein to test the soap's alkalinity (this can be purchased online through soap making sites, chemical suppliers or where I get mine - Wine making Sites.)

The Ingredients:
4 ounces NaHCl - Lye
22 ounces Olive Oil
10 ounces Sweet Almond Oil
12 ounce Strong Coffee (brewed with spring water is best, if your water is alkaline you can use bottled drinking water or distilled)
2 Ounces Castor Oil
1.5 ounces of essential fragrance oil - COFFEE of course!
4 ounces of powdered goats milk

small plastic container to be used for the lye
large measuring cup or glass jar for mixing lye and liquid
Large Stainless Steel or enameled cooking pot ( WARNING! Never use aluminum pans or utensils when working with Lye as this will contaminate your soap)
2 Thermometers
Large Wooden or Plastic Spoon
Plastic Spatula
Hand Blender (not necessary but definitely nice to have as it cuts down stirring by 75% at least)
Non-Stick cooking spray
Mold (I made this sosp mold from left over laminate scraps when I removed my  kitchen counter, but a small plastic bin will do or even a shoe box lined with wax paper).
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Please clarify the paragraph about sodium hydroxide safety. Always add the lye to the water. If you add water to the lye, it can boil and splatter the highly corrosive mix.

Also, baking powder will do basically nothing to neutralize sodium hydroxide, and is unnecessarily expensive. I assume you meant baking soda, which is similarly ineffective, but at least cheaper. To clean up an alkaline spill like this, you need to use vinegar.

StirringTime5 months ago

Hi, this sounds like a soap I would love, seeing I'm one of those who can drink coffee and fall right asleep too. My only question is can I replace the castor oil with any other oil that will keep the superfat content.?? That's 1 oil I don't have in my collection. I do have - Olive of course, vegetable oil, soybean, safflower, sunflower, grape seed, almond, avocado, walnut, flax seed oil, coconut oil, oh and creamed coconut, hey do you think maybe the creamed coconut would be good for moisturizing exfoliate? (has tiny bits of dry coconut in it, I tried making homemade creamed coconut but it didn't liquify all the way) I am new at this but want to make my own soap and such too just little nervous. :)

I wonder if you could make caffeinated soap with plain ol' melt and pour soap base. I have mischievous pets in the house and I don't really want to take the chance of them somehow escaping their cage and getting underfoot when trying to make the soap.

Maybe a few milligrams of powdered caffeine added into the base, and then coffee grounds for exfoliating... maybe a little vanilla fragrance.

(before anyone says anything, yes, I know you have to be very precise with powdered caffeine. I've been doing a lot of research lately into making my own energy drinks.)

yes you can just grinde the coffee up into a fine powder and use that to colour and add it to the soap base as the coffee use coffee fo and add extra caffeine :) done well that's how I would lol

barefootbohemian (author)  blackie.sage3 years ago
Sounds like a very interesting idea. I have never had any good results with melt and pour soaps. Coffee grounds do make a great exfoliant. I have put them in some of my coffee soap recipes. Not too harsh on the skin but incredible for removing dead skin cells and coffee is a great odor remover. I honestly have never experimented with adding powdered caffeine to soaps, but I have made a few energy drinks with it. I cant say for certain, but I'm betting you don't have to be nearly as exact adding it to soaps. Melt & pour variety it would go in immediately after melting and cold-process soaps right after trace along with any essential oils and such. Hot-process I don't know much about. Tried it a few times and the soap was always too soft.
Good luck and if you try it let me know how it goes!
BTW I have 4 yorkies that I have to make sure don't get underfoot when I'm doing just about everything. They are notoriously nosy and demanding, so I understand wanting to keep your pets safe.
srabel102 years ago
I used to have the same problem ("I'm one of those odd people who fall asleep with caffeine"). It's due to dehydration, I was told online, so I drink 1-2 Cups of water before I drink the coffee, and it works as it should. TRY IT! You'd be amazed! Lol
Please don't take this as snobbish or as disrespectful, but you got your chemical formula for lye wrong- NaHCl isn't lye- NaOH is; sodium hydroxide- OH is a hydroxyl group. There is no Cl. Also, I would like to point out that baking soda is alkaline just like lye is- not as powerfully, but you would be MUCH better off neutralizing an alkalai with an acid like vinegar- bases don't react with each other much at all- all you'll get from lye and baking soda is a REALLY caustic mixture of lye and baking soda. Again, please take this as helpful, constructive criticism, not hate-mongering or the like.
Ha ha. Never take things as snobbish unless they ARE snobbish. Thanks for the correction. Just goes to show you can't believe everything you read. I actually got that from a book I had purchased when I very first started making soap. So I should probably make sure my notes all have either NAOH or KOH (potassium hydroxide is used for making liquid soap).
Since I am no chemist, I'm not certain about the use of baking soda as a neutralizer. It is what I use most often and have never had a problem. I have used it to neutralize acid seeping from batteries as well. I guess since I never thought much about it, I have kept on using the same as when I was a child and my father would use baking soda on car batteries. But using an acid to bring up the pH makes more sense than using another base on a base. I think I will pull out my old chem book from college and do some studying. Not that I don't believe you, I just like understanding the "why" behind things. Thanks for the comment!
russvan3 years ago
you arent in the hospital from soap making, are you?
barefootbohemian (author)  russvan3 years ago
Oh nooooo! Stupid MS got me here ( and hoping out in just a few), it was actually the MS that made me get even more into making my own products. Seems I was becoming allergic to just about EVERYTHING until I cut out a lot of processed store-boughtroducts. I'm still eluded by how to make a good working anti-perspirant though). I was always aware that things were dangerous in the products people use most everyday, but it was a big eye opener when I started realizing just how much of what we eat or put on remains in our bodies forever, and what havock they can wreak. Makes me wonder why anti-depressants and ADHD drugs are such huge money makers when I really think they can be avoided a lot.
Worst I've ever had happen with the soap making, has been a small, but incredibly painful, lye burn on my finger when I stupidly swept some off my work counter with a damp bare hand. That small granule and the pain it created have kept me honest in adhering to my own rule of SAFETY FIRST. I don't even want to imagine how some in the eye, or a big splash on the skin would feel. And as for the potential of a "volcanic" over flow from putting the liquid into the lye, I've done that and moved faster than i ever thought I could!
Meant the multiple sclerosis is stupid, not you. Hope it didn't read that way - sorry ?
Nope, I understood you to mean multiple sclerosis. It's a pain to type, same with fibromyalgia which is why I tend to go with fibro or FM. Do you tolerate tea tree oil at all. I will often use that neat if it's really hot out as it kills the nasty stink producing germs quite well.
I have fribromyalgia and the chemical sensitivities that go with it. I've given up on antiperspirant and now go for anti-stink :D. A little rubbing alcohol to kill the stink producers and a bit of my favourite essential oil mixed with jojoba and I smell sweeter that any of my antiperspirant using friends.
barefootbohemian (author)  divah2 years ago
The MS is a big reason a started making things to live a bit more chemical free. Unfortunately I am allergic to alcohol (of all kinds). I found a decent and tolerable deodarant called Obao by Garnier but haven't had much luck making my own deodarants. What really bites is I can no longer drink my wine I make- dang it!! ;)
joen3 years ago
Nice instructable but you might want to reword step 2
Right after "ALWAYS" you said "add the liquid into the lye whether you are using powdered lye such as this, liquid or granular. If you reverse the process and add the liquid into the lye, it will form a volcano like eruption" You are saying "add the liquid to the lye" both after "ALWAYS and after "If you reverse the process". In my experience both in soap making and in an industrial chemical factory you add lie to the water not the other way around..
I hope what I said made sense.
barefootbohemian (author)  joen3 years ago
Thank you and stoeff both for pointing this out. I felt like a total reckless goober for putting that the wrong way. I had even proof read it all and I didn't see that.
You're very welcome. As we both know, soap making can be fun but only if it is done safely. Thanks for the patch.

Hope you are feeling better.

barefootbohemian (author) 3 years ago
I'M HOME!!! YIPPEEE!!! I am hoping now to be able to "clean up" this mess of an "ible". I really appreciate all the comments made, and I do hope to be able to clarify anything in this so that others can experience the enjoyment of creating your own homemade soap.
As much as I would love to win a prize, I would rather share something I know how to do so that others can join me in doing it.
Now if someone would just great an "instructables app" that would be so great!! **HINT HINT** for any of you programmers out there. :)
stoeff3 years ago
ALWAYS add lye to the liquid ;)
barefootbohemian (author)  stoeff3 years ago
Thank you thank you! Of all the things to just really mess up, that was up in the top of the worst. I am so glad you and joen brought that to my attention as quickly as you did so that i could correct it.
mstyle1833 years ago
i would definitively love to try this out..
sunshiine3 years ago
Thanks for sharing all your hard work! I may try this sometime. I love home made bath products! These pictures are great! Happy Valentine's Day!
joen3 years ago
Oh yeah and I need to learn how to spell "lye" LOL
Awesome. Lots of good advice, too. :D
barefootbohemian (author) 3 years ago
Please excuse the mess here, but I promise any errors will be fixed. Tried to upload from my iPad, but didn't seem to work too well. Sorry......