Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm Soap Surprised And Soap Excited

For Mother's Day, my daughter Jeanne (Kat's mom), bought me some bars of hand-crafted vegan soap that I believe came from Whole Foods. After a couple of times using it for my body and my hair, I was hooked! I bought a few more bars (pictured...different brand from a different store) and loved those, too. 

It took about a month for me to convince Shane to try it, but after one shower, he said we should throw out all of our other soaps and shampoos because the handcrafted soap made him feel truly clean instead of just "covered up with a scent".

So, yay us! We're about to jump off the commercial soap/shampoo/body wash bandwagon. But here's the drawback. Those handcrafted soaps cost $1/per ounce or more! That's more than we want to spend on it. So we're going to start making our own. I'm not sure when we'll make our first batch, but I'm going to start with this recipe and tutorial at the Down To Earth blog. Then I'll probably try another recipe or two, adding some essential oils for fragrance, until we find something that really suits us.

I'm really excited about this.  I've been wanting to make soap for some time, but I didn't think I could get Shane on board with it because he was afraid the oils in it would cause his already oily skin to break out.  He's finding that just the opposite is true and now he's all for it.  He's even agreed to make the first batch with me so that we both know how to do it.  I'll keep you posted about when we'll take on this project and how it turns out.  (It probably won't happen until after the July 4th weekend.)

Search & Win


Annie Jones said...

I didn't really mean to post this until tomorrow, but since it's up, go ahead and tell me what you think. Do any of you use handcrafted soaps? Would you ever try making it at home?

Sheila said...

I would try making it at home--I've thought of it often. I am allergic to so many soaps and lotions etc that it is hard to find one I can use. Same thing with shampoo--there are only a few I can use. Maybe I'll wait till you try it and tell us how easy or hard it is!!

Anonymous said...

This is definitely a "want-to-do" thing for me. Time has not been on my side, though. I do love the handmade soaps I have purchased over the years, but they are expensive and I've only done that a few times. My favorite is almond oatmeal. I've purchased it at a local health food store. I will be looking forward to your efforts!

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

I love homemade soaps. I have a cousin who makes it and sends it to me. I am so lucky! She lives in Hawaii. She sometimes sells on Ebay.
Have you tried homemade laundry detergent? I've used it for almost 2 years now. It's such a savings!
I wish we had a whole foods store!

SonyaAnn said...

You two are so cute!!!! Awww, making soap together. Den and I couldn't be in the same room long enough to fart together!!
Please take pictures of your first batch!!

Leanne said...

I love handmade soap. I've really sensitive skin and always seem to take odd reactions to commercial stuff probably because of the additives.

Its yet another one of those things that I always meant to try but just never found the time. I have felted bars of soap though, that's fun and Chloe loves doing it. Handy really cause if you're doing a whole pile of them it can be back breaking;)

McVal said...

Good luck to you guys! My girls went on a soap making frenzy a couple summers in a row. But you can only use overly colored purple soap overly scented with lilacs a few times before you go back to Dial...
I think they needed to be a bit more moderate on the scents and colors. If you find a good set of instructions, please post them! I'll make my own.

Annie Jones said...

Sheila: It looks pretty easy, but yes, I'll definitely post about it when we decide to do it.

Jinmo: What? You mean you haven't tried making soap yet? ;) I bought those round bars at Nature's Pantry, which isn't too far from you.

OBQuilter: Yes, I do make laundry soap. I prefer the powder kind. Do you make the powdered or the liquid?

SonyaAnn: Oh, we fart together, too. You know what they say, "The family who farts together, ♥♥♥♥♥ together." Or something like that.

Leanne: Ok, enlighten me. What is felted soap?

McVal: Oh, lilac soap for us. Shane is allergic to lilac. Real oil would make him sneeze and wheeze. He's so allergice that even synthetic oil might cause psychosomatic sneezing and wheezing.

slugmama said...

Making soap is not so hard. I guess I was ahead of my time b/c I made soap for an 8th gr. Science Fair project.
There are 2 different processes, one takes longer to get your soap cured than the other but neither is 'hard'(meaning difficult). Unless you are buying in quantities the ingredients can be pricey so you really won't save much money making small batches....but small batches are best to learn the process on.
BUT even if you won't save money, you can get the product you WANT....w/out the stuff in it you don't want.
Goat's milk makes some of the best soap so be sure to buy a goat.lolol
Ok...I will stop as I am rambling...AGAIN!!

slugmama said...

Oh, forgot to mention in case you aren't aware yet....soapmaking involves the use of lye so wait until Katy is at her mom's or something to make it....or tie her up and throw her in her closet or something..... ;-)

Jean said...

I just wanted to chime in my 2 cents. I'm happy that you liked the soap!

As you know, SIL and I have been using these all natural soaps for a couple of years now. SIL has super oily skin and his pimples have calmed down dramatically, whereas my dry skin/excema/rashes/hives/etc have nearly disappeared. I've gotten in touch with other EDS'rs who also exclusively use them for the same reason. I have the theory that instead of fighting the chemicals in the commercial soaps, people except the natural oils into their specific body chemistry. What do I know, though?

Annie Jones said...

Sluggy: No goat's milk soap, either. I've tried it and didn't like it. Maybe it was just the kind I tried, but I didn't like the way it smelled or the way it made the towels and wash cloths smell after using it. Ours will probably be vegan. As for the closet, I routinely (and accidentally) lock one or another of the cats in the closets for hours on end. I guess I could put Kat in with one of them. ;)

Jean/Jeanne: VERY simply explained (I didn't take chemistry classes), the oils in soap attract and attach to the oils in your skin (or on dishes, in clothing, etc.), then they can be rinsed away with water. Natural soaps do that in a natural way. Commercial "soap" is actually detergent in most cases, and strips oils from skin using chemicals.