The Q&A Archives: Herbal Soap Recipe

Questioner's Location: Chattahoochee, FL
Date: June 5, 1998

Question: Do you have an herbal soap recipe? I am looking for alternatives for excess herbs..already make essential oils.

Answer: For making soap from scratch, I'd get a book and read up on it first. Though it's not that complicated, it does require the use of lye, an extremely caustic substance. The other main ingredient is fat--usually beef or pork fat. The reference I consulted says that up to 20 percent of the fat can be from vegetable oil. You can add fresh or dried herbs to your soap; the essential oils you've made will add even more fragrance to the soap.

For a simpler process, you can simply use glycerine or castile soap. Here's a recipe:

Grate two 4-ounce bars of glycerine or castile soap; put the soap flakes in an enamel saucepan. Heat slowly, stirring until soap has melted. Stir in about 10 drops of an essential oil, and remove from heat. Immediately put the mixture into soap molds that you have greased with petroleum jelly. Press the soap into the mold to remove air pockets. Allow to harden overnight, then remove from the molds. Allow the bars to harden further before using.

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