Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Let's Make Soap

I live in a toxic-to-me city (and quite certainly to everybody, but I happen to be reminded of the negative effects it has on my body every single day), and there's not much I can do about it right now, so I decided to go as green as possible inside my home.  Without becoming obsessive about it.  Which was surprisingly hard to do, once I started getting into it.

The idea of giving up commercial cleaners and their industrious feeling sudsy-ness and deliciously CLEAN scents, was one I have been putting off for a long time, but once I started getting into the whole process, I found the fascination of this going-green business and make-your-own-this-and-that experimentation more than made up for the loss.  And really, once you start reading about the benefits, it's not even a loss after all.

To start, I made my own liquid hand soap.  I Googled a bunch of recipes and they all looked pretty similar, so I ended up doing my own thing....which is pretty much the same thing as everybody else.  I grated a bar of unscented Castile soap and added it to four cups of boiling water, followed by a splash of glycerin (which was completely optional, according to the various websites I skimmed, but I'm definitely glad I used it).

(My camera was too flashy, so I turned the flash off, hoping to edit some light back into it, quite forgetting there is no program on this computer with which to edit the pictures...but at least they all match in their yellowy under-exposed fashion.)

(Note: The Electrolyte Enhanced Water was the only thing I had on hand that was not chlorinated, fluoridated and whatever other fill-in-the-blank-ated stuff is floating around in our tap water....sorry, John, I know you'll cringe.  I did, too.  Really.)

Once the soap had dissolved, I put the pot on the back of the stove for twelve hours, so it could cool and solidify a bit.  I remembered reading one online review that said a tablespoon of salt would cause the mixture to solidify before my very brown eyes, so I gave it a shot.  Didn't work.

Then the fun part, mixing essential oils and coming up with a pleasing combination.  I mixed three separate combinations and then asked myself, "Which of these do you like best?"  I love asking myself the questions, because I always get the answer I want to hear, which, in this case, was lavender and eucalyptus and peppermint.

Maybe my tacky green (but ever so warm and comfortable) sweat pants were part of my success. Then again, I can't prove it was successful, because I haven't actually used the soap yet.

As for what I can observe, the soap separates a bit, but I guess it's no big deal to give the soap pump a shake now and again.  I'll see if I can resolve the issue with batch #2.  

Next up...reusable disinfectant wipes.

And here was have an over-exposed picture of Joshua, who was happily drinking milk and munching on his QT snack during the whole soap-making process.  I love him.

1 comment:

Angela Wiebe said...

:) love the salt part that's funny it didn't work. Good choice in combinations!! Peppermint is one of my favorites