Saturday, July 27, 2013

Lavender Honey Oat Soap

I really love summer because I'm not at work every day and it gives me a chance to really play around with all of my hobbies, and find some new ones!  I've been wanting to make the laundry soap powder I've been seeing on Pinterest for months, so this morning I finally did it!  Check out that adventure here.

Anyhoo, while I was bopping around the internet researching that recipe, I noticed some recipes for soap.  I'm starting to dabble in more natural products and I thought soap might be fun!  I've also been crocheting these soap coats, so I thought "what a fun christmas gift...homemade soap in its own coat!

So after looking around and finding a bunch of recipes, I decided to sort of create my own out of what I found.

First, I decided that I have WAY too many crafting supplies and such in this house already, so I wanted to make something from ingredients I already had on hand.  I needed a soap base and since I didn't want to buy anything new, I decided to use some of the 20 bars of Ivory I got for nickel on one of my extreme couponing trips.  Now, I know that Ivory isn't 100% natural or anything, but since I'm not starting from scratch, I'm ok with it.  Its pretty darn close.  Plus, it was unlikely that I would use the ivory for anything other than filling nail holes in walls (it works!) because I'm not a huge fan of its smell, so win win! My goal is to use my own stuff to create a better smell.  So here is my adventure...


2 Bars Ivory Soap
1/2 Cup Water
1 Cup oats (I used Bob's Red Mill GF Quick Oats because its what I had)
1 bunch of fresh lavender (I grew it myself!)
2 teaspoons oil of your choice (I used olive, because its what I have)
4 Tablespoons honey
Large pyrex bowl or measuring cup
Pot for boiling water
Cheese grater
Soap Mold (I was going to use the pringles can in the pic, but decided to use a silicone muffin pan instead so that my oats and lavender would be evenly distributed and not just float or sink)


I started by grating the soap using my Pampered Chef rotary cheese grater thing.  It went by quickly because that little tool rocks!

After I grated the soap, I put it in my pyrex bowl and added water.  I already had my pot of boiling water going, so I just set the bowl of soap on top of it and waited for it to melt.  I figured that after the research I did online about melting soap and people using ivory for similar projects, that this would fly by.  I was wrong.  I took forEVER.  I waited, and waited and waited and...well, you get it.  I'm serious, it took over a flipping hour and it never did melt all the way.

I added a little water, hoping that would help, it didn't.  It just turned into a big slimy, gloppy, icky, chunky mess.  Gross.  But I really wanted to do this soap thing, so I soldiered on.

I didn't get a picture of the gross melty glob, but here it is in the double boiler.  Looks like mozerella...mmmmmmm.

While the soap was "melting" I prepared my lavender by pulling all of the buds off the stems.  This took a very long time because if you've seen lavender, there are about a million buds and a million stems.  After 30 minutes of this I got enough buds to cover the bottom of a cereal bowl.  Booo.  Next time I'll just use lavender essential oil.

I took the soap it off the heat and added my other ingredients and stirred it all together.  This took some time because it was thick.  Think adding chocolate chips to cookie dough by hand.  As soon as I added the oats I could see that I had added way too much.  I also realized that my soap looked more like cookies than soap and that wherever I used the soap, there would be huge chunks of oats everywhere in the sink or bathtub.  (Note, I've been using it, there are).  

Once all of the ingredients were incorporated I glopped the soap into my muffin tins and squished it flat with the back of a wooden spoon.  I used a piece of parchment between the spoon and the soap so that it wouldn't stick.

The aftermath...

Then I put the tray into the fridge for a while to harden.  I took it out of the fridge and put the individual bars (pucks?) onto a wire cooling rack to dry out so they would harden up.

I will say that even though my soap looks hideous and didn't ever fully harden all the way, it smells delicious and makes my skin feel really good, even if I have to make sure I rinse all of the oatmeal off of my body.

Here is my ugly, chunky, cookie looking soap.  It smells and works better than it looks!

In retrospect I would have...

-Used less oats
-Ground the oats up in a food processor
-Used lavender oil instead of the real thing.  Maybe just a few buds for a visual pop
-Maybe added the oil to the melting soap...something has to make it melt faster.  Do you know???

So while this foray into soap making did not rocket me into hippy fame and even put me in a situation where I have gifts to give, it was fun and even though its weird and filled with breakfast and ugly, I do have some nice smelling good for my skin soap to use for awhile.  This recipe made 9 pucks of soap, by the way.  I put one in a handmade crocheted soap coat, in my shower, so I'm rotating it with  my other bath faves and keeping the oats contained as much as possible.

I wouldn't call this a total fail, but I wouldn't call it a success either.  Try try again!  Do you have a "Nailed It" soap story to share?

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