Introduction: Hydrating and Exfoliating Coffee Soap: Cold Process

I got into soap making a while back and became fascinated with how easy it can be but also with the complexity of recipes. In the instructable, I will show you how to make an easy unscented, hydrating and exfoliating soap made with coffee.


- Coconut oil (9.52 oz / 270 g);

- Olive oil (9.52 oz / 270 g);

- Palm oil (12.70 oz / 360 g);

- Sodium hydroxide (4.79 oz / 135.76 g);

- Distilled water (10.48 oz / 297 g);

- 4 spoonfuls of coffee grounds.

Step 1: Mix Your Oils

This is the easy part. In fact, everything is easy in this process.

Just weigh the exact amounts of each oil in a pot and heat them until they melt and become homogeneous.

No need to reach high temperatures. Just enough for all of them to meld together in a liquid form.

Step 2: Make Your Coffee

This part does not require science.

Just place the coffee grounds in a filter or any other apparatus that facilitates the extraction of used grounds.

Use distilled water for making the coffee.

Put aside the weight of coffee equivalent to 1/3 of the total amount of distilled water.

Step 3: Mix Your Sodium Hydroxide

Weigh the amount of sodium hydroxide.

Place 2/3 of the total amount of distilled water in a borosilicate glass container (i.e. Pyrex). Concentrated NaOH solution reacts with conventional glass.

Add the sodium hydroxide slowly to the water and mix it at the same time to ensure complete dissolution.

Once the NaOH is all dissolved, place the (hot) Pyrex container in cold water to cool down more quickly (the NaOH solution and oils should be at around the same temperature and both below around 100 ºF / 38 ºC).

Step 4: Mix Everything Together

First place the coffee equivalent to 1/3 of the total amount of water in the oils and mix everything with the blender.

Then, place the used coffee grounds (making sure that it contains as little water as possible) in the oils and blend the mix.

Once the mix is homogeneous, add the NaOH solution slowly to the whole mix.

Use the blender to mix everything together until it reaches trace. In the last figure of this step, you can easily see how the mix should be. It should be fluid, yet with enough viscosity to form patterns on top of the batch (see last figure).

Step 5: Place in Molds

Your can use several types of molds for this, as long as they have reasonably non-stick surfaces.

I used a can of well known brand of chips (ending with "gles" and starting with "Prin"; no need to obvious advertising), but you can use other similar containers. I also used yogurt containers as molds.

After placing the mix inside the molds, make sure you compact them just by hitting them on the surface they are on.

Step 6: Demolding, Cutting and Curing

Two days later, unwrap the soap and cut it to even fractions (with any width you want). Make sure you do this before the curing process as the soap is softer.

Afterwards, just place them in a aerated tray (or something of the like) and leave them to cure for at least 4 weeks.

And.. Congratulations! You just made hydrating (property from olive oil; coconut oil and palm oil provide cleansing and lather properties, respectively) and exfoliating (used coffee grounds) soap!

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