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Olive Oil Soaps from Spain
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Modern Castile Soap is made with Olive Oil
Some of the best modern Castile Soaps are made in Spain with olive oil as the base ingredient. This process is part of a long tradition, that has been maintained generation after generation during a great number of centuries.
According to Wikipedia "the first European soap-making factories were created by the Muslims in the 12th century in Spain (Alicante, Malaga, Carthagene and Castile)". That tradition has been living in Spain for centuries and today, in the XXI century, we can find a relevant soap industry in the country where the tradition and modernity converge to a great mix.
One reason for this is the important olive oil industry in Spain. Spain is the first world producer of Olive Oil, followed by Italy and Greece. As Wikipedia says, "together, they produce more than 75% of the world production. Spain produces around 30% of the world's olive oil, with 75% of this being produced in the region of Andalusia". This industry provides a unique ingredient that is the base product used by many small soap and cosmetic manufacturers in Spain.
Compared to other oils and ingredients used in soaps (as animal fats), olive oil is a 100% vegetable natural product, with beneficial properties and moisturizing effects that have been well known since ancient times. Soaps made with olive oil provide an additional antioxidant-toning action, completely natural, that helps to protect the epidermis.
Besides, in Spain, small manufacturers of olive oil soaps have added color and design to their packagings and presentations which make the product specially attractive for the modern consumer, and perfect for gifting occasions.
Tradition and high quality join modernity to provide an excellent product and a gratifying sensorial experience. There's no question these are some of the best olive oil soaps in the world.
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Make Your Own Spain Olive Oil Soap (Recipe)
It is relatively easy to make olive oil soap at home. Yet some caution is required in the manipulation of the ingredients, the process is very simple and straightforward. Here we explain the steps to do the cooking for a hot recipe. It takes about one and a half hours (1.5 h.) to get your soap mix to be ready. After that, you only have to wait until soap gets cold to start using it.
- 34 ounces of olive oil (we recommend Spain olive oil).
- 4.4 ounces of lye.
- 10 ounces of water.
Depending of the use of the soap, the amounts can be varied. This recipe is for a 100% olive oil soap, highly moisturizing, and that can be used in very sensitive skins.
Changes in texture (optional)
A change in texture can be given by mixing the olive oil with some other natural oils, to obtain your ideal soap. For example, for a harder texture you can add palm oil, for a more bubbling soap you can add coconut oil.
We recommend to start with the most simple recipe, 100% olive oil, and then change it according to your preferences.
It is required the use rubber gloves and goggles for protection during this preparation.
It is important to do the mix and the cooking in an open well ventilated location, to avoid the negative effects of the vapors.
STEP 1. Mix water and lye
Lye is a caustic chemical that has to be manipulated according to the instructions. Add the lye to the water slowly and move and mix it until completely dissolved. It is very important to add lye to the water and not the opposite.
The chemical reaction produces hot. Lye has to be added slowly until getting a transparent solution.
STEP 2. Add the mix preparation to the olive oil
Warm the olive oil until a similar temperature to the mix obtained in step 2. Once both ingredients are into a similar temperature mix it slowly, removing the mix.
STEP 3. Reaction lye mix and olive oil
This step takes about thirty minutes and we recommend to cook it over a very slow fire. The mix will change from liquid to a texture similar to mayonese. You can do this mixing with a kitchen utensil or with a hand mixer.
Once obtained the desired mix, remove from fire. It will start to become a solid paste.
STEP 4. Add other essential oils (optional)
At this point you can add a touch of essential oil. For the amounts in this recipe 20 drops (1-2 ounces) of your preferred essential oil (as lavender or similar) would be enough.
STEP 5. Fill the mold
When the soap has a texture similar to smashed potatoes, is the right time to pour it over the mold. It is better a flexible mold to facilitate the soap extraction.
STEP 6. Wait till it is cool
… and finally you can cut it into pieces;)
I hope this helps. Enjoy soap making!