The Blissful Blueberry

a journey into mindful living and wellness

Category: All-natural Cleaning

All-natural homemade face & body soap (microwaved!)

Handmade all-natural soap bars for the face and body

Well, I always start a hobby–then I never finish it. I purchased goat’s milk, shea butter and aloe vera glycerin soap bases  more than 5 months ago and they had been sitting in a box somewhere wasting away. Meanwhile, I would pin, pin, pin recipes on Pinterest for homemade soap.

Pinning is really great for browsing and shoveling away to-do lists. But not really great for getting anything done. It is really relaxing though! :)

One day,  over a month ago, I did a trial run. It turned out gross. I added too much rose petal and let it sit in the base too long before adding it to the mold. Color leached out and the bars came out an icky murky brown. Not good for looking pretty! :(

It took me a while to decide to try again. The real reason I took the plunge: I hated having the soap bases lying around. I am an organizing fool!

Here is how it went this time around.

Supplies used:

  • Some additives (honey, lemon and orange peel, rose petals, essential oils, etc.)
  • Soap base
  • Big bowl for mixing
  • Molds (I used cut plastic milk cartons, but cardboard ones work well too.  So will anything that has a shape basically that you wouldn’t mind your soap looking like.)
  • Additional item if you want/need: alcohol in a spray bottle to spray after you put the soap into the mold. It pops the bubbles.

Chopping soap base with a saw

I chopped the soap base with a saw. :) Man tools? Pshaw!

Place chopped soap into microwaveable bowl

Always use a microwaveable bowl when using the microwave, kids. 😉 Also, I don’t mind using food bowls because it’s just soap. I use that on bowls all the time to clean them. So, duh.  Microwave in 30 second intervals and stir between intervals. It needs to be completely melted.

Add in the fun stuff! Rose petals and hips (mine are from the co-op), local honey and any essential oils you like! I used Peace & Calming for its zen qualities, and lavender and frankincense for their skin-cleaning properties. Essential Oils Kit to get you started!

Rose petals and hips for the soap

Add in local honey

Essential oils used in soaps

Then you just pour it into the base. Make sure to stir it extra well so nothing settles at the bottom!

Pour the soap mixture into the mold

I did mine in rounds: used one base type with an oil and some citrus, one with a different oil, blah, blah. I was able to layer them in the same mold because of the time delay between batches (5 minutes or so with chopping, microwaving and mixing).

You can add the soap in layers in the mold

For the amount of soap base purchased, it really doesn’t give you all that much, does it? :( If I do this again, I’m buying in bulk! (And going with the shea. It looks the best!)

Carefully cut the soap out of the mold

Cut the mold off carefully if you didn’t grease it first with cooking spray.

Cut them according to your own desire for size

More sawing! :) I cut them into halves after making the initial length cuts. 

Saw the bars with a hacksaw

^ Top right two are aloe vera base, lemon peels, rose, and lavender bars.

Rose, orange, and Shea bars

^Shea base, orange peel, rose petals, lavender, and Peace & Calming bars.

Goat's milk and honey soap

^Goat’s milk, honey, rose, lemon, and frankincense bars.

Handmade all-natural soap bars for the face and body

Now, it’s time for packaging if you’re looking to give them away or to sell. New supplies list!

Supplies used:

  • Any form of wrapping (parchment, packing paper, etc.)
  • Twine
  • Scissors
  • Writing instrument

Materials used for packaging the soap

Now, those fancy pens I have pictured didn’t work on the parchment paper. Bummer. :( So I pulled out my handy chalkboard pencil! Finally! I knew I bought it for a reason.

Wrap the soap in paper and twine

You don’t want to put down the entire ingredient list, so just write down the major points based on what it looks like :)

Write on the paper anything related to what you put in it

Shea and citrus

The motherload of homemade all-natural soap

So, there it is! A successful attempt at soap making–but not the crazy Fight Club way. The simple microwave way.

Anyone else try making soap before? Success? Waste of money for ROI? Cool recipes? Keep me in the loop. :)

If you’d rather buy local than make it yourself, check out The  Mustard Seed’s awesome natural soaps. I did a spotlight on them a few months ago.

 Making homemade soap in the microwave

Green Cleaning: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Vinegar

Green Cleaning Supplies

Yay! My sister is here from Virginia. Wootity woot! I love the holidays mostly for the family time–and a little bit for the presents. (I might be lying about the “little”.) She and her husband flew in a few days ago and it has been non-stop driving around to the parents’ house and back to my house. So, this post I meant to do forever ago has been in my queue for a while.

If you’re anything like me, when you know someone will be staying in your house, you go a little crazy with cleaning. Now, my house is generally very picked up and clean. But, with a dog and two kitties, the floors become hairy and dirty quickly. :( Blech. I try to keep up with it. Try. It is nearly impossible.

When someone comes, it is such a welcome event because I’m forced to do a ceiling to floor cleaning adventure. This one included heating grates, walls and windows. It took two days to do it all. It also took a dust mask. My allergies had been acting up because of the kitties–and I didn’t want them to get worse. Dust mask! Oh.my.word.  it gets hot under it.

Because I’m a hippie freak, I like all of my cleaning products to be natural, homemade and easy. So here we go!

Wood Floor Cleaner: 

1/2 cup vinegar

1 gallon water

A few drops of essential oils. My preference for oils is Purification (or any clean-the-air type), lavender, Peace and Calming (for ambiance), and Thieves (for removing icky stuff).

Put it all in a bucket and start mopping. 

Green Mopping

All-purpose cleaner:

2 tbs. vinegar

1 tsp. borax

Pure-Castile soap

A little hot water

A few drops of essential oils–preferably Thieves.

Shake it up in a spray bottle and go!

 

Furniture polish:

1/4 cup vinegar

A few drops of essential oils–any will work.

A few drops of grapeseed oil

(Can also do oil, vinegar and vodka if you’re feeling frisky.) :)

 

Green Furniture Polish

Window and Wall Cleaner:

1/2 tsp. pure-Castile soap

3 tbs. vinegar

2 cups water

Stir into a bucket and use rags for cleaning. (We have a “rag bag” above the dryer.)

 

Bonus cleaner!

Soft Scrub:

Baking soda

Pure-Castile soap

 

So, those are my go-to cleaners. And here’s my go-to look for cleaning. A creepy dark selfie with terrified eyes.

Dust mask for allergies

And here’s what the animals do while I clean:

Cute animals

What are your favorite all-natural cleaners? I’d love to expand mine in case any items aren’t in the cupboard. (I always have vodka though.) 😛

Our local place, the Mustard Seed, has TONS of green cleaning products that don’t require time to make. :) I trust them when I’m feeling lazy. I spotlight them in a previous post. Check them out, for sure!

 

Green Cleaning