Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Soup & Soap

I'm only going to go into detail about the latter, but we did make a very nice Sudanese Piaster Soup as well. This post will be on the soap I just made. Easy peasy.

I've been on a kick where I decided to make my own toiletries - it started with deodorant, went to shampoo, and today it turned to soap. I read an article on the Mother Earth News website that gave a simple recipe for homemade soap, and so I decided to acquire the ingredients and see for myself just what all this business was about.

Simple Soap Recipe
2 cups glycerin soap base
2 tbsp shea butter
essential oils of your choosing
colors of your choosing (food coloring)

You can buy the soap base from most craft stores. I found it at Michael's - 2 lbs for $10, but if I had thought ahead I would've waited and used the 50% off coupon or 40% off coupon that I found in my Saturday newspaper. I bought soap forms there as well for around $3.29. I put my first order in a week ago to Swanson Health, which has great prices on essential oils, shea butter, coconut oil, and jojoba oil (all the pre-requisites for your own beauty products). The products came on Friday, and I decided to use them today.

To start off, you need either a microwave or a double boiler. I opted for the double boiler because you can easily mix your colors and essential oils and see how things are turning out as they combine. I started with 8 blocks (the 2 lb brick is divided into 24, 1"x1" blocks) and a tbsp of shea butter. This made a little extra that what was required to fill 1 of my large soap forms and 1 of the smaller ones. The second set I only used 4 blocks and a tbsp of shea butter. This time I didn't have enough to completely fill the forms. The first set I made were lavender peppermint (and then dyed purple), and the second set was orange, tea tree, peppermint (dyed orange). VoilĂ ! Here they are.

Eventually, I plan on making soap from scratch, but I think I need a mentor before I start combining dangerous chemicals that require all new cooking equipment because the chemicals can poison you. Just a thought. This one was a lot safer and beginner friendly. Don't be surprised if you get a small, special package from Pullman this year around our favorite winter holiday.


  1. heather...

  2. Way to go Heather! I've been making laundry and dish soap lately but not ventured into the land of personal toiletries as of yet. Your post might just be the push I need.

  3. So I 'm still trying to figure out why my soap is a little waxier than I'd like it to be. It's kind of strange, it takes a lot of rubbing for it to get on your hands. More details to follow as I figure it out!

    Lisa, oooh I'd love to have your recipes for both. The laundry detergent I have made is pretty good, but maybe you have some tricks or a better recipe. And the homemade dish soap would be great to know about too.