Handmade hand soap

Last year I bought several bars of goats milk soap and noticed after a while it wasn’t having the same scratchy drying effect on my hands as normal soap. One of the blogs I read fairly regularly, Down to Earth, has included soap recipes from time to time. The soap was running out (we only use bar soap at the kitchen and bathroom sink) so I decided to make some. Just to see what it was like. No committment to make it ever again.

August 19th I made some soap using olive oil, coconut oil and caustic soda.

¬†One of the advantages from my perspective was that I could get all the ingredients from one of the larger local supermarkets. The instructions Rhonda provides are super useful and easy to follow. The only equipment I bought was a $10 stick mixer from Chickenfeed which survived the first batch. I’ll only use it for the soap so it is now stored in the laundry with other ingredients.

The caustic soda (lye) and water combo is very, very stinky – I mixed this on the deck and then moved back to the laundry once the fumes dissapated a bit. Mixing with the stick mixer took about 4 minutes to transform the warmed oils and the lye into a thick gloopy mix.

I used a shoebox lined wtih baking paper and some muffin trays as moulds to let it set. Being me, I managed to get some dirt on some bars when I went back to check it later in the day with muddy hands from the garden. After 24 hours I turned it out of the moulds and cut the large block up into soap sized pieces. I let it sit to cure for about 4 weeks and started using it. I used a sharp knife to tidy up the bars with speckles of garden dirt.

And it works!

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