I’ve talked in my previous posts about the environmental benefits of using solid soap bars rather than liquid soaps and body washes.  They come in less packaging, use fewer resources to make, are often cheaper and can last you longer. However, it is harder than it should be to find plastic-free soap bars at a regular supermarket.  In fact, at my local shop there’s only one option.

So, I decided to give making my own a go! The recipe I used comes from the Down to Earth blog. It uses Lux soap flakes, which are 100% biodegradable, plastic-free, and are about $7 a box, rather than expensive soap bases or complicated chemicals like lye.

This recipe makes about six bars.

You will need:

  • 2 cups Lux soap flakes
  • 1/2 cup milk (This recipe seems to be forgiving – I used 99% fat free skim milk and it worked fine)
  • 1/4 cup milk powder (In the picture you can see mine is in plastic packaging, because we already had it in the cupboard. Next time I’ll buy it in cardboard)
  • 20 drops essential oils (optional)
  • Something to set your soap in (eg. mould, baking pan, tupperware etc)

luxxx

What you do:

  1. Get your mould ready. I used an old silicon muffin pan, but you can use pretty much any container you like.
  2. Measure out your soap flakes and put them in a big mixing bowl. Mix in 1/4 cup of the milk. Untitled design (2).jpg
  3. Bring a pot of water to the boil on the stove, reduce the heat, and place your bowl on top (like a double boiler).
  4. Stir the mixture constantly, adding the remaining milk as you go. Once the soap starts to melt, add in the milk powder.Untitled design (3).jpg
  5. Keep stirring until everything looks nice and smooth. Then remove from the heat and stir in the essential oils if using (this is just for scent).
  6. Quickly pour the mixture into your mould and let it cool a bit. Then stick in the fridge for an hour or so.
  7.  Remove it from your mould. If you’ve set it in one big piece, cut it into bars with a knife. Put the bars on a drying rack and leave for a week or so before using.  Don’t worry if they look a bit too ‘homemade’, once you’ve used them a few times they’ll look nice and smooth.
Untitled design (4).jpg
Left: Straight out of the molds, right: after a few uses.

 

And you’re done! This is really easy to do and uses cheap waste-free ingredients. There’s lots of extra bits and pieces you can add to make the soap more interesting too, this link has some ideas I’ll try next time.

Let me know if you give this a go 🙂