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:
1 bar castille soap, grated (alternatively soap flakes may be used)
12 cups water
2 Tbsp glycerin
A few drops of essential oil
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.
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 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!