Monday, September 07, 2009

Soap Day

August afforded some much needed time to make soap. I have finally had a chance to re-stock my sad soap supply.
Stack o soap 2
This is all 100% natural, hand-made, Lye Soap Goodness.
If you have never given your skin the treat of a bath with good old fashion lye soap, you have been really missing out.
I got started making lye soap about 12 years ago when my daughter Sarah was born. Her soft sweet baby skin was so sensitive we couldn't you any commercial soaps or detergents or even wet wipes on her. She would break out in a bright red lumpy rash.
So my friend Vea taught me how to make my own soap and we have been making our own soap and laundry soap ever since.
Lye soap is PH balanced very similarly to your skin so it is very gentle on your skin. It takes away the dirt and germs without drying your skin out like commercial soaps.
During the soap making process, you take a weak acid (the oils used are fatty acids) and a strong base (the lye) and mix them together. When measure properly there is a chemical reaction that converts the lye and oils into new product = soap and glycerin molecules.
The soap does a great job of cleaning you while the glycerin moisturizes your skin.
Commercial soaps remove the glycerin and then re-package it in lotions to help sooth your skin that is dry from using the commercial soap. Tricky huh!?!
There have also been studies done of lye soap and have found it to have better anti-bacterial properties that the liquid soaps without the harsh chemicals that are bad for you. Lye soap seams to repel the germs better and longer.
Another interesting thing we have noticed with our own use of the lye soap, is that the bugs around here (namely chiggers and ticks) don't like it and you get less bug bites, and when you do get bites, they seem to heal up faster with the use of lye soap.
We have also had a lot of success in treating our poison Ivy with the scrubby Oatmeal soap. My husband gets Poison Ivy really badly and now only uses the oatmeal soap. When he knows he has been exposed to the plant, he comes in and takes a cool shower with the lye soap which helps close the pores and removes the poison ivy oils. This usually prevents the rash. If that fails though and he gets a rash, he scrubs it with the oatmeal soap which opens up all the blisters quickly and dries them out and the rash is usually gone in a couple of days instead of lingering for weeks. He hasn't had to take the steroids in years now. He used to puff all up and look like a lava monster before he broke down and gave the soap a try.
We also use the soap for laundry. The plain lye soap bar works great as a stain stick. You just get the stained clothing wet with warm water and scrub the stain with the soap and wash as usual. It takes out most stains. My husband got out mud from my daughter's brand new white and rainbow striped leggings once. He had allowed her to scoot around the garden in them while he was working one day (I was not at home) and to my horror on returning home they were covered with our lovely red brown dirt. He scrubbed those pants with a bar of plain lye soap and washed them and they came out white with bright rainbow stripes. He was so lucky!
We also grate up the soap and make our own laundry soap. It works great for getting the cloths clean and costs so much less than commercial soaps and is better for you and the environment.
Oh..... one more thing. Lice don't like lavender soap. That was a wonderful find with three daughters. We wash their hair with bar soap and rinse it with a little lemon juice in water and they have soft, clean, sweet smelling hair, free from lice and the chemicals in shampoo.
Have I convinced you yet? Hee hee
Sorry, I love hand made soaps and love to share the wonderful information I have learned about it with others.
If you would like to get some of my soap for yourself, check out my Etsy shop.
****edited to add the list of scents for convenience *****
Oak Leaves & Acorns
Orange Mint
Goat's Milk and Oatmeal
Morning Bliss (citronella, lemon, Lavender and Cedar)
Mint Magic
Facial Blend (Peppermint, Lavender, Tea Tree, and Patchouli)
Peach Nectar
Gardener's Blend (citronella, lemongrass, lavender, etc)
Spearmint & Eucalyptus
Basil Lime
Red Clover Tea
Desert Sage
Fudge Berry Brownies
Almond Biscotti Scrub
Tropical Fun
Plain Old Lye Soap


Jeanne said...

So what yummy flavors did you make?

Shelly said...

I love lye soap! My brother-in-law makes lye soap and it is all that I will use on my eczema skin. Right now I have the most delicious cinnamon and orange swirl soap. Keep up the good work on your soap, it DOES make a huge difference in how skin feels!


Ells said...

mm, so convincing! Reading about the soap and hearing your gorgeous music on the player relaxes me almost to sleep! Thanks for posting about such wholesome stuff.

Clara said...

I love your soaps, Lucy! Can't wait to smell your new scents!

Just an FYI from a science teacher: the acids in oils are called fatty acids. Amino acids make up proteins, not fats, oils, or lipids.

Lucy said...

oops. I thought that sounded funny. I will fix it. Dad would totally croak over my faux pas.

Darlene said...

Hi Lucy, I just found your Blog when I googled apron patterns. Thanks for the wonderful pattern. I made the laundry one! It turned out great can't wait to try it out tomorrow! I would love to try some of your homemade soap. What kind do you use for laundry or is it all multi purpose? I am enjoy
ing your Blog and learning lots along the way!!!
Thanks again,
Darlene in PEI

Lucy said...

Darlene, Thank you! I use the plain old lye soap for laundry. There is a post here somewhere where I list my recipe for laundry soap. If you look under soap in the archive list you will find it.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...