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Old 03-19-2005, 10:51 PM   #2
Abinsmom
Climbing Rose
 
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,319
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Default Re: Natural Cleaning Recipes

I make my own soap -- not sure if this is appropriate here or not, but I'll throw it out there!
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SOAP

INGREDIENTS
8 oz coconut oil
8 oz olive oil (pomace)
¼ oz beeswax
2.6 oz lye (Red Devil brand)
¾ cup cold water
1 TBS nutrient oil (jojoba, aloe, shea butter, etc.)
2 tsp essential oil (the 'smellies'!)
¼ cup oatmeal, cornmeal, or herbs (I stopped doing this – got tired of cleaning it off the shower floor!)

I make this in at least a quadruple batch (and actually usually a quadruple-quadruple batch) which makes it more worth my time and gives me more options for different types of aroma combinations. If I make the quad-quad batch, I end up with 8 diaper-wipe containersful, 2 of each ‘flavor’. Each diaper-wipe container cuts up to about 8 bars of soap.

PROCEDURE
Prepare soap molds by greasing well with shortening or by lining with plastic garbage bags (I use cellophane grocery bags in diaper-wipe containers, but be careful the print side is facing the surface of the diaper-wipe container or it will leech onto the soap!).

Melt solid fats (coconut oil, olive oil, and beeswax) in non-reactive pan over low heat.

Meanwhile, in plenty of ventilation (I do this outside), dissolve lye in cold water. Stir to completely dissolve the lye – and don’t use a wooden spoon! This is a volatile reaction and creates heat – use caution!

When both the oils and the lye water reach 95-98 degrees F (I actually fudge this a little and allow both to be as high as 115 degrees – the important thing is that they are relatively the same temperature and close to the target temp of 95-98 degrees), slowly drizzle the lye water into the oils while stirring. Stir continuously for at least 15 minutes.

When the mixture thickens to the point that a drizzle stays suspended a moment on the surface before sinking into the mixture, it is said to be ‘tracing’ (I've found that this can take a VERY long time! To speed up the process, you can use a hand-held blender for 20-30 seconds at a time and check for tracing). Once tracing, add any dry ingredients (oatmeal, cornmeal, etc.), then nutrient oils, then essential oils.

Pour soap into molds.

Put soap in a protected location and cover with a blanket or thick towel (I usually cover my molds with plastic wrap so the towel doesn’t come into contact with the soap surface). Leave undistrubed for 18-24 hours.

When firm enough to handle, turn out soap onto a cutting board and slice into bars.

Let soap cure in a well-ventilated location for 4-6 weeks, turning bars over halfway through curing.
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