Saturday, January 28, 2012

Health and Beauty: Make Speciality Soap Out of Repurposed Soap!

This is for those who have written me totally freaked out at the idea of working with lye with their kids in the house, but also don't want to invest in melt and pour soap because of the "iffy" ingredients they'd have to add to make it "melt and pourable".  I totally understand, so I wanted to share with you folks a third option that will work no matter what your view on the soap you use in it.  It's called "re-batching" soap (or repurposing soap), which is essentially taking already made commercial soap, grating it down and re-melting it, adding things you like TO it and then remaking it into your own type of soap.  It's pretty fun, ridiculously simple to do, and for those of you without contact allergies (where you don't have to make your soap from scratch) it makes a GREAT "wow" type of gift for someone.

First I do encourage you to find "real" soap for this...most commercial soaps available aren't soap, just detergents (Ivory is a good easy found least from what I've heard, although I haven't checked the ingredients.  It also has a pretty strong scent and you might have to get creative with essential oil scents there and Kirk's Castile soap is good :).  Some ideas for additions to you new soap?
  • Herbs...Calendula and Lavender are ALWAYS good choices there.
  • in the tea bags, not the liquid form (my sister-in-law LOVED the tea soaps I made for using on her feet as it had just enough exfoliating power to scrub down callouses)
  • Coffee grounds (coffee soap is great for the kitchen to get nasty smells off your hands)
  • Essential oils (watch these as some, like clove oil, aren't recommended for use when pregnant or nursing)
  • Get Creative!
Some ideas for soap molds?
  • Old frozen juice concentrate containers (with one end still on, of course, and well washed, double of course).
  • Old Refrigerated Paper Juice Containers and/or milk containers (well washed, just the bottoms cut off about 3 or so inches from the bottom or so so you have a nice "box" to contain the soap in, get it?)
  • Rubbermaid or Gladware Containers (it'll give you an odd, "not square" look but it'd work just fine)
  • Mold it into balls (not my fave as it's hard to hold onto a ball of soap when it's wet)
  • Store bought soap molds and/or chocolate molds (if you want to get creative)
If you want a good idea of a recipe to try to start out with, go HERE where Ecobites gives you a really nice recipe for milk and honey soap using repurposed soap bars :).


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