Friday, July 20, 2012

Civilization begins with soap

Men like to smell... good. Not like flowers. They like to smell like men. It's really easy to make a great smelling man soap from a regular bar of soap. It's the perfect quick gift to pop into a man's stocking.

I used the instructions found in Soaps, Shampoos & Other Suds. I bought a bunch of soap to try, but Ivory soap and Castile soap worked the best. 

Rebatching allows you to add all sorts of scents, oils, herbs, and scrubs into premade soap. Before you begin to melt the soap, gather your add–ins. I used almond oil, liquid lanolin, dried rosemary, rosemary essential oil, honey, coconut oil, and cheap cologne. 

The soap melts quicker if it chopped or shredded. I chopped bars of Ivory and Castile soap using a food processor.

Ivory soap for rebatching

Ivory soap chopped in food processor for rebatching

Put the chopped soap into a pot over low heat and add ½ cup distilled water. Keep stirring the soap until it becomes stringy and translucent. Actually, it will look like mashed potatoes. Ivory soap melts much quicker than the Castile soap. 

Remove the pot from the heat and add your additions. I added 1 tbsp almond oil and 1 tbsp honey to this batch of soap.

Stir the honey and oil until they're evenly incorporated into the soap.

Pack the soap into a mold. I used my silicone brownie pan with ridged bottom. I just hand–formed the soap into bars. Other possibilities include a shoebox lined with plastic wrap, plastic storage boxes, candy molds, and large–diameter pvc pipes. Anything can be a mold. I put reject food–coloring disaster soap into Jell–O egg molds. My nephews should love them.

bar soap ivory castile soap honey tea rosemary almond oil

In one evening I made:
1. Ivory soap incorporated with almond oil and cheap men's cologne.
2. Palmolive soap (which didn't completely melt) incorporated with moss green food coloring, almond oil, and cheap cologne.
3. Castile soap incorporated with a strong infusion of chai spice tea and coconut oil.
4. Ivory soap incorporated with dried rosemary, two droppers of rosemary essential oil, and 1 tsp liquid lanolin.
5. Ivory soap incorporated with honey and almond oil.

After an hour or so, the soap will be hard enough to handle but soft enough to trim with a knife if necessary. If you rebatch several bars of soap at once and pack them into a box, you can slice your bars instead of forming each by hand. I trimmed the chai spice tea bar before I wrapped it.

To package the soap, simply wrap it in tissue paper like a package. Label with a handwritten sticker or get all fancy and print it out or stamp it.

Most of these soaps are for my son, who has discovered that girls don't like stinky boys. He defined the soaps as 1. coconut bar, 2. gelatin cup, 3. ham, 4. corn bread,  and 5. sour dough bread. He did approve of the scents. He's just always thinking of food.


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  1. Lol, your son cracks me up! The soaps are great! You should sell them on Etsy.

    1. Thank you so much for your vote of confidence on the soap!

  2. So happy to get your procedure (esp for men). I omce made soap balls for gifts, incorrectly, plus wanted to be unusual so scented them with essence of *grapefruit*. Hard as rocks and kinda whiffy and ugly as homemade sin, but our old aunts kindly kept them on display anyway - sweet ladies. PS: Your son's a hoot!
    Thanks once again!

    1. Thanks, Anne. I have a few funky blue green egg-shaped soaps that even my little nephews may reject. I'm going to convince them they're real dinosaur soap eggs. Thank goodness for old aunties. Mine made mostly square dishcloths that I loved.

  3. Wow. This is so much fun but I wonder is it hard to clean the pots after your done? :) Thanks for linking up and have a nice day!


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