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5 Refreshing Recipes for Homemade Soap

Believe it or not, store-bought soap is a modern invention that has only been around about 70 years. Before then, soap was made in the home with simple natural ingredients and scents, with the addition of lye or glycerin. Lye is another name for the chemical sodium hydroxide (NaOH) that causes soaps to harden and gives them their renowned cleaning abilities.
Warning: It is important when using lye to wear gloves, long sleeves and preferably goggles because the chemical can burn the skin.

You'll never have to purchase factory-made soaps again after you try these 5 fun and easy recipes for homemade soaps!

Castile Soap

Castile soap is a mild and pure soap that is super easy to make. This recipe will make 6 large bars that can also be decorated with your favorite herbs and spices.

What You'll Need:

20 oz. (580 ml) Olive oil
2 1/2 oz. (75g) Coconut Oil
2 1/2 oz. (75g) Palm Oil
8 oz. (240ml) cold water
3.3 oz. (90g) Lye crystals
1 oz. of fragrance or essential oils (optional)
Large pan
Plastic Bowl
Molds of your choosing
Stick blender or hand whisk

1. First prepare the moods by coating them with cooking spray and wiping off the excess. 
2. Gather together the measured ingredients. Put on some gloves to shield yourself from the lye. Pour the water into the plastic bowl and then add the lye, stirring with a spatula until dissolved. The water will heat up when it reacts with the lye, so wait for it to cool until it reaches room temperature. 
3. In the pan, melt the oils together over a low heat (do not add the essential fragrance).
4. Using the thermometer, measure the temperature of the water-lye mixture and then the oil mixture and wait until they are the same temperature. Then, stir together the lye and oil mixtures slowly, adding the lye to the oil and not the other way around. 
5. Using the stick blender or whisk, mix together until the mixture thickens.
6. Pour the mixture into the mold and smooth it out with a spatula. Cover the container or mold and wrap with an old towel to keep the heat in. Allow the soap to set for 24 hours until it has hardened. 
7. Once the soap is hard, let it sit out for 1-2 days before using it to let air circulate through it. Some even let the soap sit out for up to 3 weeks until they use it (not this is not necessary). Always test the soap on your hands before using it on your face. 

Once your Castile soap is done, you can dampen the top of the soap and add herbs or spices that you like. It is nice to add dried flowers like lavender or calendula.  
castile 2

Herb and Citrus Soap

This easy to make homemade soap is great for the hand washing or even as a body cleanser and has a refreshing and invigorating scent. 
                                  citrus         citrus 2

What You'll Need: 

Glycerin soap (sold in most craft stores)
Assorted herbs and citrus (basil, mint, rosemary, orange and lemon)
Food processor
Plastic spoon or scraper
Soap molds (plastic or cardboard containers can also be used)
Cooking spray


1. Melt the soap: put the glycerin soap blocks in a glass bowl and melt them in a microwave for 30 second intervals until it has melted. Stir the soap to break up the big chunks. 
2. Chop up or puree your herbs of choice and squeeze out any extra water with a paper towel. Zest and peel the citrus until you have about 1 tablespoon of additives for each cup of soap.
3. Prepare the mold containers by spraying them with cooking spray and wiping out theexcess. 
4. Add the herb and citrus to the glycerin once it has cooled. At this point, the soap will begin to set, so keep stirring the mixture to ensure that the puree does not float to the bottom. Once you have reached the desire color, add the mixture to the mold. 
5. Let the mold sit out for about an hour. Then put the mixture in the freezer for another hour. After around 2 hours, the soap should pop right out of the mold. To finish, slice the soap with a knife. 
The soap will keep for up to 3 months, so make sure you don't make too big a batch that you won't be able to finish. 
Enjoy the fresh and clean scent of your homemade soap!

Oatmeal Soap

This oatmeal soap is so easy to make, smells great, moisturizes and exfoliates! Oatmeal soap is great for people with sensitive or irritable skin, and is recommended for use in the winter time when our skin needs all the hydration it can get!

What You'll Need:

Goat's Milk Soap Suspension Formula (available at a variety of craft and health stores). If it isn't available, glycerin soap can also be used, but add some cream to it. 
Instant Oatmeal
Sweet Almond Essence
Glass bowls

1. Place the cubes of the Goat Milk formula into a microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave, stirring occasionally, for 1-1/2 minutes. If all you have available is the glycerin soap, also melt in on high and stir as needed. 
2. Once the glycerin cools, mix in about 40 drops of sweet almond oil, about 5 drops for every cube you used for a mild scent, and even more for a stronger scent. 
3. Add about 1/4 cups of oatmeal that has been blended to make the grains smaller to the mixture. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and then add them to the molds. 
4. Let the mixture sit outside for an hour, and then place it in the fridge for an hour until it hardens. Remove the soap from the mold and let it air out for a while before using. 
Now ways to make your homemade soap fantastic!

Marble Soap
These soaps are so beautiful that you won't want to use them. They are great as gifts or to put on display and impress your guests!

What You'll Need:

Ready soap bars, either the Castile soap above or a readymade soap of your choosing. 
Fragrance oil (if desired)
Rectangular slab molds
Colored mica powers of your choosing (can be purchased at craft stores or hardware stores)
Microwave safe container
Small bowls for each color used
Rubbing Alcohol

1. Chop up the bars of soap and begin to grate it with the grater. If you are lucky, in the craft store you can find soap shavings, but if not, begin shaving down the soap yourself.
2. Melt the shavings in a bowl in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring periodically. 
3. Separate the melted soap into the small bowls. Add the fragrance (if desired) and the mica colors to each one. stir together the fragrance and the color. If the mixture isn't coming together, add a bןt of rubbing alcohol. 
4. Drizzle the colored soap from one of the bowls onto the mold and then spritz it with alcohol. Leave lots of blank spaces to be filled with the rest of the colors. 
5. Once the soap is cool, but not yet solid, drizzle a final color on top. Spritz it with alcohol and allow the soap to cool for 24 hours before removing the soap from the mold. 
6. Once the soap has set (can anywhere from a few hours to a few days), cut the marbled soap blocks into rectangles with a knife. 
marble 2
This beautiful soap is sure to wow your family and friends!

Loofa Soap
loofa soap
This soap looks super hard to make, but it is really simple and useful for its exfoliating powers. 

1. Use one of the soap recipes mentioned above and add the fragrances, spices and herbs that you enjoy. Prepare the soap and once it has thickened into a smooth mixture, set it aside. 
2. Cut up a loofa into 2-3 inch circles and place them in a soap mold (preferably rectangular). Then, pour the soap mixture into the mold over the loofa. (If you'd like, it's possible to take one of the mica colored soaps and add it to the middle to highlight the loofa's circular shape and give it a professional look). 
3. Like with the other soaps, let them sit until hardened, or place in the freezer for about an hour to help with the hardening process. Set out an wait about a day before using.

Submitted by user: Kristina L.

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