Yesterday, my friend Megan & I hosted a soap & detergent making workshop. We all had so much fun. making new friends, meeting new women, chit-chatting & of course, learning a money saving new skill. She instructed us in how to make our own bar soap & I showed everyone how to make powdered laundry detergent.
We ran out of lye (apparently we use all our mental energy being creative & have none left for basic math skills--go figure) so the two of us weren't able to make our own soap. I knew I had some lye @ home and couldn't wait to try out the basic recipe.
A quick google research resulted in lots of various methods and recipes. I decided to stick w/ the basic recipe Megan taught us and added oatmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg and bit of sweet almond oil. Sounds yummy doesn't it? If it wasn't for the LYE--it would be edible. haha. Instead of using plain water, I boiled a cinnamon stick in it first, (just lightly) to test if it would altar the color and scent. It did make it a bit more tan tinted but the true color won't be fully known for a few days at least.
Who knew it was SO simple? and SO inexpensive? Proctor & Gamble has been making a KILLING off our ignorance! sheesh.
The picture above is the soap freshly poured into a disposable pan just because I didn't have anything else to pour it into. For some reason *my* mixture wasn't thickening like everyone else's was yesterday. Therefore, when I tried to pour it into a cute, flower shaped bread pan mold--it seeped through the end cap--FAIL!...ugh. So I had to put my double batch into this flat pan instead. I think if I hadn't been experimenting w/ my own concoction--it would have thickened nice and quick and held in the flower mold. You can see the oatmeal grains and spices--this makes the bar an exfoliate.
Yesterday we had a few scented oils and fresh herbs to work with. The rosemary smells so good and I was tempted to go with that today but I also wanted to use oatmeal...so next time. You can't really smell anything with this batch but I'll let you know when it is all cured and ready to use. It is safe to touch within 24 hours--so I will cut it tomorrow. Then you let it sit to 'cure' for about 3 weeks, which is letting it dry out more.
I found so many different recipes online. Instead of plain water you can use various teas to create green tea soap, for example. Or the new trend is to have caffeinated soaps to invigorate the skin which can be accomplished using black tea. You can also tinker with various 'fats', which are the oils you use to create a soap that is more moisturizing or vegan. Pretty cool huh?
Oh and of course it is very inexpensive! I mean super cheap. Yesterday's batch created about 56 bars--depending how they will be cut--for about $20! That is comparable to Ivory soap which is around $4 for about 10 bars. The big difference is that this soap uses no animal fats and is a higher end type of soap that normally sells for around $4 *per bar*! So for the price of the *cheap* soap you get the *good stuff*. And these home made bars make FABULOUS gifts!!!
I'll let you know how my oatmeal experiment turns out...so far it just smells really oat-y!