It cleans like my regular soaps although I do think it's just a bit more 'slippery'. Not sure if that is the charcoal or a combination of the charcoal reacting with another ingredient, but other than that I find it's the same as any other soap and lathers up nicely.
The lather does have a bit of a black tint to it if you look closely... but it rinses clear and clean and my family has been happy with it.
The question I cannot really answer is the long term use of it in a white or light colored shower or bath enclosure because our bathroom shower enclosure is ceiling to floor tiled with dark toned tiles - dark reds, browns, etc. so I don't know about the lasting effects of charcoal soap residue on a white tub/shower or if it's harder to clean. I would not imagine it would be harder to clean because it's still just the same ingredients as any other soap. It's soap... just soap.
My original post....
Today was the day! Finally!
I've been waiting and wanting to get the homemade charcoal soap made but for various reasons, it wasn't done yet. Not only was life busy with a lot of other things, but I also needed to make a batch of regular homemade soap first - get that into it's 6 week 'wait' period for it to harden and for the lye to neutralize so we could start using them, and then I could move on to my charcoal soap. But today was the day... and I'm loving it so far.
I actually forgot to take pictures for the blog while I was making it, so instead, I used 3 that I snapped and sent to my husband/family on my snapchat story on my phone. So at least I have those to share!
1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) water
8.5 oz. lye
3 lbs fats; (1 lb. Crisco shortening,1 lb. coconut oil, 1 lb. Canola oil) (part olive, palm, grapeseed)
1 c lemon juice
1 oz. stearic acid
1.33 oz. (1/6 cup) powdered activated charcoal
1/2 oz. sweet almond oil
1 oz. tea tree oil
1 oz. vitamin E oil
Fragrance, optional - oil based, not alcohol based
In a large non-reactive pot, outside and away from small children and pets, place the water.
Add the dry lye slowly, stirring, and keeping your face away from the release of gas it will briefly produce.
It will start to get hot immediately.
Add the coconut oil in small chunks. The heat of the lye solution will melt your fats so you don't have to melt them beforehand. Stirring slowly, continue with the Crisco. Stir or whisk gently until melted smooth. If it turns a bit pink, that is ok, that will go away. Add the Canola oil slowly and stir with your wooden spoon or non-reactive spoon.
Add the lemon juice slowly - do not shock it.
Whisk in the stearic acid and powdered charcoal.
When smooth, add the tea tree oil and vitamin E oil as well as any fragrance you might want to add. Stir a little but not too much. Let it set, come back and stir more. It will start to saponify and turn to soap. It will start to get thick. Stir a little more and watch it. When it gets to really thick honey stage, or a thick pudding, that is called 'trace' and it's ready to be poured into your mold.
Pour into your prepared mold. Let it set about 3 hours and score the tops into bars or the shapes you want. Place in an out of the way spot to let set for 24 hours. After 24 hours, unmold the soap and cut into bars. Now, place on newspapers, crates, paper bags or anything where it can have air circulate and 'dry'. They will now set and cure for 4-6 weeks. I put mine on the floor of my closet and forget about them. You can't use them earlier than 3-4 weeks because the lye is still too strong. (I test mine at 3-4 weeks just the way our Grandmothers did - with my tongue. If there is a slight tingle there, then it's not ready and I test again in a week.) Not telling you to test this way of course - but I'm telling you how I do it.
Related products available through Amazon;
Food Grade Sodium Hydroxide Lye Micro Beads, 2 Lbs.
Stearic Acid 1lb cosmetic Grade
Activated Charcoal Powder (1.2 oz glass jar)
Stearic Acid 1lb cosmetic Grade