Want to make your own products so you feel assured that what goes on your body or products used in your home are safe by your standards? I will be adding DIY recipes to this page.
Let’s start with bath soap, a product that is very important to our health and well being since it covers our entire body during bathing:
OLD FASHIONED LARD SOAP
I personally do not recommend Grandma’s way of making soap. The lye used to make Lard soap is caustic and can burn the skin if caution is not used when using it. Especially when mixing it with water. Having said that, All ingredients used in the process of making lard soap must be put in seperate containers, marked, and those containers never used for ANYTHING else EVER other than what was already in the container and used for soap making only.
Having said that, I am posting this recipe because it was mentioned in conversation and once made is the oldest of soaps ever used. It did right by our Grandmothers and other ancestors so I think it’s worth posting.
The pros The cons
Moisturizing Must be careful in making process
Mild Like with any soap, some people may be allergic to it’s ingredients
Creamy lather Not a bubbly lather like most soaps (adding a little Castor oil will resolve this)
Using Lard makes a softer bar with conditioning properties. Using Deer tallow rather than Lard will produce a harder bar and will lather better.
Having said all of this, Here is a recipe for you to use should you prefer a very basic soap.
ITEMS NEEDED BEFORE STARTING THE PROCESS
- glass jar for dissolving the lye in,
- a kitchen thermometer,
- a 2-quart (or bigger) bowl for mixing the soap (must never to be used for anything ever again except for soap making),
- a scale for measuring the ingredients in ounces,
- a plastic or wooden stirrer for stirring the soap, and
- a mold for pouring the soap into. The mold can be any plastic container big enough for the batch; you can use a plastic Velveeta storage container, it is a long rectangle that when unmolded the soap can be sliced into nice size bars.
- Lye (can sometimes be found at a hardware store)
- Vinegar KEEP CLOSE DURING THE ENTIRE PROCESS, AS IT’S AN ACID THAT CAN QUICKLY NEUTRALIZE THE ALKALINE IN LYE.
2 lbs of lard
4.4 oz of lye
7 fluid oz water
First, accurately weigh the lard and lye using the scale, and the water using a liquid measuring cup.
Then carefully mix the lye with the water. DO NOT PUT THE WATER IN THE LYE. THE LYE MUST BE ADDED TO THE WATER. DO THIS OUTDOORS IF POSSIBLE OR IN A VERY WELL VENTILATED AREA. “Once the lye is poured into the water it heats the water quickly and intensely, so the jar should be placed on a solid surface where it can be left as it cools to the proper temperature. Care should also be taken that animals or children cannot get near the lye solution. While mixing the lye and water, wear a simple pair of safety glasses to protect your eyes. So, with all those precautions in mind, pour the lye crystals into the water while stirring with either a wooden or plastic spoon. Once completely dissolved you can leave it to cool.”
While the lye is cooling, heat the lard to about 85 degrees Fahrenheit and fat at about 90 degrees; Stirring the fat in the plastic bowl with a plastic or wooden spoon, slowly stream in the lye solution. Stir constantly until it is thick like a Slurpee. This will take from 30 minutes to one hour. Now add essential oils for fragrance or leave it plain. Pour it into the mold scraping the sides of the bowl.
- After several days in the mold, the soap should be hard enough to pop out.
- Cut it into bars (with a knife or bench scraper)
- Lay bars in a cardboard box lined with brown paper.
- Age soap for at least 4 weeks.
- Now test the soap by washing your hands with it. If it leaves a slimy film on your hands, rinse your hands with vinegar and let the soap cure another couple of weeks. A well-mixed, completely saponified soap has a long shelf life.
After you are through with your soap making equipment, wash everything thoroughly with hot soapy water and also rinse with a little vinegar to neutralize any traces of lye.
Store your soap making equipment including mixing bowl and spoon. These are to never be used for anything but soap making. Never use them to store or stir food.
Castile Soap Recipe
Be sure to review each step as there are vital methods for making a soap using 100% olive oil.
38 oz. Pure Olive Oil
4.8 oz. Sodium Hydroxide
12.5 oz. distilled water
SAFETY: Be sure to be well prepared for the process! That means goggles, gloves and long sleeves. Make sure all distractions such as kids, pets, and tripping hazards are out of the house. It’s for your safety and theirs. Be sure you have a well-area to work in.
- Slowly and carefully add the lye to the water and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. Adding Sodium Lactate to high olive oil content recipes helps to harden the soap so unmolding can happen more quickly. Add 2 teaspoons of Sodium Lactate and stir. Set aside to cool.
- NOTE:This soap will stick in your molds for a couple weeks.
- Portion out the olive oil. Once the lye water has cooled to 130°F or below, add the it to the oil and stick blend until medium trace.
- Add 3 oz. of Neroli and Shea Fragrance Oil. Since you aren’t doing any complicated designs or swirls, you can stick blend or whisk the fragrance in.
- Pour into the 9 Cube Silicone Soap Mold. Now play the waiting game! It most likely (most definitely) takes a full two weeks to unmold this soap. Allow it to cure and harden for at least another 4 weeks, and longer if possible. Enjoy – and set aside a bar to test out in a year. You’ll be surprised how much the lather has improved after a full year cure time with this unique type of soap.
Olive Oil Soap Recipe
- 11 fl oz (310ml) Mineral water
- One handful of Lavatera flowers
- One handful of Chamomile flowers
- 8 fl oz (225ml) Sunflower oil
- 8 fl oz (225ml) Pomace oil or olive oil (pomace oil will speed up the tracing time of the soap).
- 7 oz (200g) Coconut oil
- 4 oz (100g) Lye (also known as caustic soda)
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) Bergamot essential oil
- 1 teaspoon (6ml) Sweet orange essential oil
- 1 teaspoon (6ml) Ylang ylang essential oil
- 1/2 teaspoon (3ml) Tangerine essential oil
Before you begin making this homemade shampoo, take a moment to read the Cold Process. In this overview you will see photos and obtain a good feel for the basic soap making procedure.
- Make sure the room you are making this olive oil soap recipe in is well ventilated.
- Oil a plastic mould and then line it with greaseproof paper.
- Make an infusion by boiling the mineral water and pour it over the camomile and lavatera flowers, cover and leave to cool(this may be made the day before as long as you store it in the refrigerator once its cooled).
- Once cooled, strain and reserve both the infusion and the flowers.
- In a good size stainless steel pan, melt the olive or pomace oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil over a low heat.
- Put on protective eyewear, mask, apron and long rubber gloves. Pour the infused mineral water into a plastic bucket or large jug.
- Slowly, add the lye, using a plastic spatula to stir until dissolved.
- Use two jam thermometers, one for the lye mix and one for the oil mix.
- Making sure you are wearing the protective clothing.
- When both the mixtures cool to 96 F (35.5 C) immediately pour the lye mix into the oils and begin to mix with a hand whisk, stir continuously until well combined.
- Continue to stir until it has thickened enough, when a bit of the soap is drizzled over the top it leaves a line this is called trace, this normally takes about 20 minutes.
- Pour in the bergamot, sweet orange, ylang ylang and tangerine essential oils and stir thoroughly.
- Add half of the flowers from before to give it texture and mix until they are evenly distributed.
- Pour the mixture into the mould that you prepared before.
- Leave it covered with cardboard, in a warm, dry place for 24 hrs in order for it to set.
- Line a wooden board with greaseproof paper, put some protective gloves on and turn the soap out onto the board.
- Use a carving knife to cut the soap into blocks or use a biscuit cutter to make different shapes. If it is too soft to cut, leave it for another 24 hrs.
- Put the homemade olive oil soap into a tray lined with greaseproof paper and leave for four weeks in a warm dark place.
- Turn them occasionally.
Moisturizing Honey Body Wash
With this combination of ingredients, this moisturizing body wash is gentle enough to use on your face, Body, and also makes a rich lathering shave soap. (In fact, I recently took this on a camping trip and used it as facial cleanser, body wash, and shaving foam. It really cut down on the amount of toiletries I had to pack!)
Ingredients you’ll need
Honey – Honey is the secret ingredient in this recipe. Honey’s amazing benefits for the body, inside and out. Honey helps your skin retain moisture and elasticity without drying it out. This makes honey perfect for mature, dry, itchy, or damaged skin. It can also help speed the healing of blemished skin. Instead of making the body wash sticky, honey just makes it nice and smooth. Be sure to use raw, unfiltered honey. (find raw honey here)
Liquid castile soap – Using a pure liquid castile soap will ensure your body wash has enough suds, without the addition of any chemical foaming agents. Feel free to use scented or unscented castile soap. If using scented castile soap you can omit the essential oils, or go ahead and add them for their therapeutic benefits. (Note: Peppermint castile soap may be a little uncomfortably tingly on sensitive areas for some.) (find it here)
Oil – Adding an oil that is easily absorbed by the skin makes this body wash extra moisturizing. Jojoba and grapeseed oil are two of my favorites. You may even find you don’t need to apply additional moisturizer after using the body wash. (find it here)
Vitamin E oil – Vitamin E is repairing and moisturizing. This ingredient is an antioxidant and can help elongate the shelf life of homemade personal care products. Perfect as an addition to products during the summer or winter months when our skin may be more stressed from extreme temperatures and weather. (find it here)
Essential oils – Many essential oils are perfect for troublesome skin conditions. Some of them soothe, repair, heal, disinfect, or deodorize skin. See suggestions at the end of the article for beneficial essential oils to use in your body wash. (find 100% pure essential oils here)
- ⅔ cup liquid castile soap (find it here)
- ¼ cup raw, unfiltered honey (find it here)
- 2 teaspoons oil – grapeseed, jojoba, sweet almond, sesame, or olive (find it here)
- 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil (find it here)
- 50 – 60 drops essential oils (find 100% pure essential oils here) – see suggestions below
Measure out all ingredients and combine in a bottle with a squirt top, shaking to mix. Shake gently before each use. To use, squirt onto a washcloth, bath pouf, or directly onto body.
Since this recipe doesn’t contain water, it has a long shelf life of up to a year.
Essentioal oils can be added for fragarance. Use ones that are natural like
- Peppermint – Since peppermint is very strong, use only half the amount recommended in the recipe (or less). Cooling, refreshing, and stimulating. Has astringent properties, making it perfect for acneic skin. (Note: Avoid during first 4 months of pregnancy.)
- Grapefruit – This essential oil tones the skin and is extremely cleansing for oily skin. If using the amount suggested in the above recipe, there is no phototoxic concern.
- Rosemary – Rosemary is stimulating and restorative. Useful for acne, eczema, and dermatitis. (Note: Avoid during pregnancy. Do not use if you are epileptic or have high blood pressure.)
- Sweet orange – One of the only citrus essential oils that is not phototoxic, sweet orange is helpful for dull or oily skin.
- Tea tree – This antibacterial oil can be nicely blended with others like lavender and peppermint. May be useful for acne, oily skin, rashes, and inflamed skin. Using too much may actually create a drying effect. You may need to experiment a little to find the right amount for your skin.
- Petals from flowers – using petals from flowers, like roses, lavendar, and other fragarant petals, will also give fragarence to your soap.
DO NOT USE FRAGRANCES AND PERFUMES SOLD IN THE STORES, LIKE CHANEL #5, DIOR, ETC. These perfumes are manufactured with preservatives that could be bad for your skin. Preservatives, such as formaldehyde, sodium benzoate, propylparaben, etc (find out more at this link: Preservatives and fragrances in selected consumer-available cosmetics and detergents.)
FOR THOSE WITH COCONUT ALLERGIES:
If you are allergic to coconut and want to add something beside coconut oil to your soap, follow this link. Also, keep in mind, if you use castile in your soap, many castile oils or soaps are made with coconut oil.
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