Thursday, August 19, 2010

Soap Making

After a long time thinking and reading about soap, I finally got up the courage to make it myself. This is my second batch and I was a bit more adventurous with this lot and experimented with different scents. I made plain olive oil but also one with added oats (a request from clever husband) and a cinnamon and poppy seed. The cinnamon mixed with the poppy seed gave me a nice pink colour which I didn't expect. I am not interested in artificially colouring or scenting soap but if I accidentally make some pretty ones then all the better!
It really isn't that hard and took me about half an hour. I now have enough soap to last us a good few months or so. Good soap has always been a luxury for me but it can be expensive to get the good stuff and I decided that the way to get the very best is to make it myself! I haven't done the figures yet but I got about 18 bars for about $5. (That's what it used to cost to buy just one bar)
I found the best tutorial here from one of my favourite blogs. Her instructions are great, just follow them step by step and you will have soap! I found that her soap calculator didn't come up so I found another one that is good and easy to use here.

I'm also making my own laundry powder. Again, I haven't done the figures but it would be heaps cheaper and something that you have to add into all of this is that you know exactly what is in your final product. All that is in there are the ingredients to do the job. There is no added super stain fighting this and that, but just what is needed, and with a toddler that seems to be sensitive to harsh laundry cleaners (he doesn't have the years exposed to all those nasties that we adults do) I feel that I am doing the right thing on a lot of levels.
I have a front loader and have been using this for about a month and have noticed absolutely no difference to the quality of the wash and I have a tradesmen husband and messy toddler. I also use cloth nappies and have definitely had no problems with it.
It's easy, takes about 10 minutes and you can find all of the ingredients in the cleaning isle of any supermarket.

4 cups grated pure soap or soap flakes (you can use a grater but I find I get the best results and it's much quicker by chopping the soap and putting in a food processor until in powder form)
2 cups borax
2 cups washing soda

Just mix it all together and use about 2 tablespoons per wash. If you have a really dirty wash then add some nappisan or something but I haven't found that I needed that.
I am going to try and replace the pure soap soon with some of my homemade soap and see how that goes, I will let you know!

I know that it all sounds hard and it's nice to dream about doing all these things ( I used to) but it really is easy and after you do it once it is so easy. I don't even see it as a choice now to go back to products that are full of all sorts of rubbish and when I see the adds in TV I feel so satisfied that I have seen through the marketing and don't get sucked in to crap products that don't do anything except cost lots of money.

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