Wednesday, January 12, 2022

We Eat Oatmeal; I Make Soap


I have several different cold-process soap recipes that I want to try, but we don't really *need* several simultaneous batches of soap, nor do I really have the space to store several simultaneous batches of soap... so somehow I've convinced myself that it makes the most sense if I get to make a new batch of cold-process soap every time we finish a canister of oatmeal.

Seriously, though--that waxed cardboard oatmeal container is the perfect size and shape for a batch of soap!

This is eucalyptus olive oil soap, and it smells AMAZING.

Back when Will was earning the Girl Scout Homesteading badge (don't worry if it doesn't sound familiar to you--we made it up!), I checked out every single soapmaking book from every single library I have access to, and I fell in love with this one:

Olive oil is the base for all the soaps in this book, and the variety of recipes comes from playing around with different natural additives, many of which I already own. It turns out that I really like olive oil soaps, and I REALLY like soapmaking recipes that call for a fairly limited number of ingredients, especially not fourteen different oils! Olive oil soaps are also supposed to be pretty hard, and I like how long each bar of soap lasts. 

So far, I've made the basic olive oil soap twice--once just the way the recipe was written, and once with eucalyptus essential oil added. It was super easy to plug the soap recipe into this essential oil calculator and get the correct amount of eucalyptus oil to add, and I'm SUPER happy with how scented the soap is! It's all sliced and curing on the ledge behind my bathroom counter right now, and the whole bathroom smells delightfully refreshing. No clogged sinuses for me! Syd and I made the rosemary soap with similarly pleasing results, and today, thanks to cooking the last of our oatmeal for breakfast on Monday, I made the cinnamon soap in the 45 minutes between finishing hand-sending course descriptions to each of the colleges Will is applying to NOT through the Common App and getting the kids to help me clean the house:

SO much olive oil! The recipe also calls for cocoa butter, ground cinnamon, and a teeny bit of cinnamon leaf essential oil. Cinnamon leaf essential oil is a skin irritant, but you can use it at 1% in soap since it gets rinsed right off.

I wish I'd taken another photo after I stirred in the cinnamon--this will be my first dark brown soap!

I currently have a lot of bottles of essential oils with miniscule amounts in them, so I'm thinking that my next batch of soap will involve some serious essential oil calculator machinations and odd combinations--does cedar wood and lemongrass sound good to you? Or maybe rose absolute and jasmine?

First, though, we have to eat more oatmeal!

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