Thursday, 10 March 2011

Soap Making

I know I know! don't look at me like that .. i'm trying to get the next skirt tutorial together but in the meantime, i've had to make some soap.

When you use handmade cold pressed soap, made with natural oils and without the goodness taken out, it is very very very hard to go back to using shop bought commercial soap.  

Infact, it's impossible. 

Not least because it's almost impossible to find soap which hasn't been made with palm oil in the supermarket but also because commercial soap is so drying and so harsh.  One's skin notices the difference immediately.

I've been making my own for about 2 years and after successfully keeping myself in soap for all that time, I ran out  a few weeks ago and haven't had time to make more in months.  I had to buy 'handwash'! Oh how dry my skin is!  How my hands hurt :(

So today, I am making soap.   And LOTS of it!

Next week, I shall make more.  

If you want to know how to make soap - and other natural bodycare products, then read this new fantastic blog called

It is written by a lady who is a very big noise in the soap world.  Last year, she went on a soaping mission to Nigeria to teach women how to make soap in order that they could make a living.  This year, she is doing something similar in Spain.

She is my friend, and she taught me how to do it!  I'm just about to try the Castille Soap recipe, using nothing but olive oil (from Sainsburys), water, and caustic soda (from the local hardware shop).

Honestly, it's easy when you know how, why don't you give it a whirl?


ashley0107 said...

ooh, I might just have to give it a try! The recipes on the site sound good enough to eat! :)
My only problem would be sourcig the oils. Where do you get your oils and things from?
Thanks :)
Ashley x

Vanilla Rose said...

I may try it to. The last person who told me about making soap went on about calculating the number of moles (yes, I have an idea what that means, I did O-level chemistry*, but surely there is a recipe?) and safety glasses. You make it sound easier than he did ...

* If a molecule of a particular substance has an atomic weight of, say, 58 (ie a total of 58 protons-plus-neutrons per molecule), then 58 grammes is a mole of that particular substance.


Billie Jane said...

aw shucks thanks for the plug Julia - been making soap for donkeys but have never had to deal with moles before(?)... but it is chemistry so I suppose.... well cooking is chemistry too but we don't worry about that. Sourcing ingredients is always a problem... if you want basic then supermarkets are fine...just oil soda and water will make lovely soap - if you want more sophisticated ingredients I would suggest internet shopping but keep tight reins on your purse - so easy to go crazy!

Rachel said...

Thanks for the link, Julia - I love your site, Billie! You have such a friendly style of explaining things.

dubgirl said...

I've always wanted to give this a go, it does sound easy x

Anita said...

I want to give this a try at some point. Have you ever tried the 'hot method'? I've heard it isn't as fiddly as cold.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

It's on my to-do list...I've even saved my old hand blender to help with the process. Sainsbury's have most of the ingredients, but not the caustic soda...have you found a good place to get that? Also...while I'm asking questions...what do you like to use to mold your soap?

Susie said...

Love your soap! I make it too but I haven't done it for a while, I need to get some done. You're so right that once you've had homemade soap you can't go back.

I buy mine online (The Soap Kitchen) but I'm pretty sure Homebase sells caustic soda (Boots might even have it).

Suzy said...

I might have a go at this as my hands are almost always pretty dry, which is uncomfortable and looks awful.