Friday, November 27, 2009

Handmade Natural Soap

I mentioned in my previous post that I've been on a made-from-scratch spree. One of the things I did first in this spree was make a couple of batches of soap. I had made a batch some time ago, and liked the soap, but just hadn't tried it again. But deciding to give it another go, I dug out my supplies and jumped right in. The first batch was done without any fragrance oil because I didn't have any at the time. The recipe came from a soap book I found at the library.

My hands get really dry sometimes, and even using lots of lotions, they can still feel dry and uncomfortable and crack around my fingernails. The recipe said I could add ground oats to the mixture to make it more moisturizing, so I threw those in, too. Here's the result:I just poured it into some small plastic storage boxes to mold, and then cut it into bars with a knife. The bars aren't very even and the corner pieces are kind of a strange shape, but that doesn't really matter.

Getting all enthused, I ordered some fragrance oils and other butter-type ingredients for a "skin-nurturing" recipe from the book. I also enlisted the help of my husband, and we made a wooden soap mold. (He actually did most of the "making" while I did the "helping.") And ta da! Our home made soap mold!
Armed with more of the right tools and some fragrance (gardenia), I tried the new recipe and the mold:We made the mold where you could cut the soap into bars right in the mold. These bars came out more even, but they're not quite the shape I was going for. They're more square than rectangular, making them a little too big to hold comfortably in your hand. But I just cut a couple of them in half, and that worked fine, too. I guess the mold should have been a little longer in length or something. Also a soap cutter would work better than the kitchen knife I was using. This is kind of a learn-as-you-go operation, you see.

**IMPORTANT**Be sure to do your research before attempting handmade soap. Also be sure to follow ALL of the safety precautions recommended. And do your homework about any fragrance oils or essential oils you use. Essential oils especially should be researched before using them, as some of them have restrictions about not using them if you have certain health conditions.***

So, how does this home made soap work, you ask? Wonderfully well! Both batches make really nice lather, and the difference in my hands is amazing! It's probably not all due to the soap, because I've also been using some handmade hand lotion and sugar scrubs, but I could tell a difference before using them. More about them in a later post!


Crazy Lady with purple fingers said...

Great Job on the soap, I bought a book on soap making years ago but it just never got done, was milking goats at the time and thought I would makes goats milk going to put it on my list to do after Christmas list.

Morrgan said...

Interesting to hear about the soapmaking process. I really like handmade soap, there's a big difference to the usual store-bought stuff. I can't make any myself, though. :)

Stephen Elcombe said...

Good advice, worth a read and always worth trying new things.

Scents of Occasion Handmade Soaps


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