Ever since my adventure making soap last year (see here for the post!), we have made the switch to bar soap. Growing up, I assumed that most men required pump soap to bother washing their hands (sigh, obviously that was only in my family). Although Andrew did confess that he preferred the fun of foamy pump soap, he conceded to showcasing my ugly, handmade soap bars. And we just never went back. Now we buy local handmade soap- no plastic, no chemicals and no waste.
Well sort of. Ever wonder what you should do with all those bitty soap ends? For a while now I've been saving them. Weird, after a post about 'letting go', but I've had this strange collection of soap bits slowly amassing over the past six months. (rejected shampoo bars and soap ends) Initially they were dumped into a bright orange teacup next to the kitchen sink- supposed to be my 'kitchen soap'. Except no one wanted to use them. So they sort of sat there and looked a bit like beige grossness.
Recently I noticed that my BISH shampoo had gone rancid (trust me, it's pertinent). You may remember how excited I was to find a locally made, chemical-free shampoo in GLASS bottles. Well, a good two weeks of trial, and I gave up; high maintenance hair had won again. Over the past six months I've been using it periodically as body wash... and thank goodness I noticed the consistency change or I would have dumped rancid shampoo all over me! Guess it really didn't have preservatives (which is kinda cool).
As I was cleaning out the bottle, I wondered what it could replace. I really wanted it to replace something that I had a difficult time finding sans plastic, which handsoap really wasn't an issue. Also, body lotion, although a fun project, was a bit daunting in this busy time.
I know- BODY WASH! I have never been a bar soap body wash kinda gal. Having it chemical-free in a glass renewable container would be perfect. Even better- if I could make it from stuff I have at home!
After a quick (not very thorough) search, I realized that there was only one place I had read you could melt grated soap bits into water for instant, lazy liquid soap. On my friend Sarah's blog- Followingmearound. All other recipes called for liquid soap from scratch. I also really wanted this body wash to be moisturizing and to smell yummy. So, true to my haphazard style of cooking and baking (which drives Andrew crazy!) I just figured I'd dump a bunch of stuff in and see what happens.
Here's mostly her guidelines with a few of my comments:
1. Grate approximately 3oz of soap bits into a bowl. Don't know how much that is? Well, thankfully for myself, Andrew is a type A cook-er guy who loves gadgets. Including a digital scale! I'd guess it was about 1.5 to 2 cups. Also, grating soap is a lot easier than you'd expect, except for trying to avoid grating your fingers...
2. Boil 3 to 4 cups of water. I boiled four... not sure if I should have.
3. Dump grated soap bits into the water and stir. Here's where it started to fall apart, as Sarah didn't specify how long I should stir, and if it would thicken with stirring at a boil or all by itself.
4. The next step was supposed to be 'when it thickens, give it one last stir and let set over night'. Except, after 45 minutes of boiling, it had reduced sure, but was still pretty watery. I gave up and let it set overnight hoping it would thicken.
5. Nope, didn't really thicken. However, it was fairly soap-y, so I thought I could continue on.
6. I added a few drops of peppermint essential oil and a big squirt of jojoba oil (um, three tbsp maybe?). A few stirs and I poured into the bottle.
The result? Well, even though it was a bit watery, really it was fantastic body wash, lathered well and was relatively easy to make!
So there you have it, instant use for soap end bits! By the time I run out of body wash I should have a nice collection of new soap ends to boil down again- perhaps I should email Sarah and actually ASK her what I did wrong lol.
Happy Monday! Now it's time to go out, purchase some dirt, worm poo and lettuce seeds.....
article and photographs copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com