New Spice (Simple and Affordable Bodywash)

Most of the projects I opt to tackle, particularly in the winter, stem from a combination of laziness and curiosity. First I look at something I need and think, “It’s way too cold outside; I really don’t feel like going to the store,” which is quickly followed by “I wonder if I could make this at home.”

This is the thought process that led to trying my hand at homemade body wash. I was out of my regular brand, it was very cold outside and since we already make laundry soap and some other soap-type things, I figured I’d have at least some of the ingredients.

A quick scouring of the internet led to a fairly standardized recipe:

Here's what I used, for reference
Here’s what I used, for reference

1 bar castille soap, grated (alternatively soap flakes may be used)

12 cups water

2 Tbsp glycerin

A few drops of essential oil

(optional) Color

The process is simple: Boil the water and add the grated soap, then bring the water down to a simmer. Stir occasionally until the soap has melted, then remove from heat and add the glycerin and essential oil(s). Cover and let sit for 24 hours to set.

This is what it looks like when someone cooks soap... the excitement is palpable.
This is what it looks like when someone cooks soap… the excitement is palpable.

That’s it; Now you have an abundance of body wash! As far as initial investments go, the first batch of body wash will save a person money, but not a lot if they are buying all of the components. Here’s the math as it relates to my expenses:

The batch makes 3 qt., which for me is approximately $24 or so. A small container of glycerin is approximately $6, as is a small bottle of essential oil. A bar of castille soap ranges from $1.50 to $4.00 depending on the brand. So, on the low end the initial expense is $13.50 to make $24 worth of product, and on the high end it’s $16 compared to $24.

The silver lining here is that the recipe only needs 2-3 drops of essential oil and 2 Tbsp of glycerin, so the initial investment will deliver a lot of soap.

The other soaps are just random pour soaps that I made with my sons :)
The other soaps are just random pour soaps that I made with my sons 🙂

The photo above is how much soap I obtained from a single batch. As I mentioned briefly in the ingredients section, I used a few drops of blue coloring to obtain a color similar to the soap I had been using. Comparatively, the homemade wash creates less of a lather than its store-bought brethren, however it smells amazing and I feel clean after using it on my hands. So, I’m going to note this project as a success and take one more item off of my “buy from someone else” list. Making soap is a ton of fun, and even if this isn’t something you do regularly it is a fun project, particularly with kids. In the next few weeks I would be surprised if a few more soap-based projects don’t pop up around here.

Please try it out yourself, leave some feedback let me know what you think!


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