Gentle Minimalist Soap

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I’m really excited to share this recipe with you from the nerdy farm wife.  She has a booklet on how to make soaps. This is a very easy and enjoyable winter project. My grandmother used to make soaps for a long time as a family tradition, soaps with different shapes and colors.  It is a great gift to give since it’s frugal and allows for a lot of creativity.

In the spirit of minimalism, this soap recipe has only 4 ingredients — one of which you already have! Besides being a pleasurable hobby, it is very straightforward and simple.  I like to keep few ingredients in my skincare because it keeps my skin soft and luminous.  You can add an essential oil or even rose water, but I get best results on my skin the more pure my cleaning products are.   These bars of soap are affordable, and something great to look forward to.  You can even use them as hand soap.

Ingredients for 8 bars of soap:

  1. 8.75 oz cold chamomile tea (two tea bags + 10 oz water to start)
  2. 3.7 oz lye
  3. 26 oz chamomile oil (see how to make below)
  4. 3 oz castor oil

Hand blender, scale, 16 oz mason jar, two soap molds, baking spatula, measuring cup, gloves, bucket (should say 5 at the bottom, or PP, meaning it is made out of polypropelyne, better to get a bigger than smaller size)

Prepare oil:

Fill small mason jar half way with tea bags.  Top off with olive oil (from Costco) a couple of inches over tea bags.

Heat a pan with a few inches of water over low heat.  Put mason jar uncovered in the center for 2 hours.

Prepare both chamomile tea and oil.  Set both aside.

Make soap:

Put on gloves.  Take your bucket outside.  You don’t want to get lye anywhere.  Measure slowly. Don’t let your skin contact any of the soap on this day (wear gloves throughout).

Weigh 3.7 oz lye and put it into the 8.75 oz chamomile tea that is already in the bucket.  Work quickly to breathe as little of the fumes as possible (takes less than 30 seconds).  With a baking spatula, mix quickly and leave the mixture in the bucket outside for an hour.

One hour later:

Combine the chamomile oil and 3 oz castor oil, and put it all in the bucket that you’ve brought inside.  Use your hand mixer and turn it on and off intermittently (to avoid air bubbles).  You will develop a thicker cake-like batter called trace, and once it reaches trace, it is perfect.

Pour into your molds and smooth it out so it will have a flat surface when it dries.  Cover it with foil or parchment paper, and put a towel on top.  Leave it in a cool place for 24 hours before you remove the soaps from their mold.

Clean off all things immediately and keep together in the bucket outside.

End result: excellent minimalist soap at a great price!

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