Hello there! Here’s a quickie of a post – my very first!
Over the past few months, I’ve been getting more & more intrigued by DIY bodycare products. One of the easier ones to make is body wash from a bar of soap. You can use a scented soap or a basic one and add in soap fragrances. I’ve toyed with the idea of using essential oils (EOs) to scent soaps but you need a LOT of EO to get a decent amount of fragrance & I did not care to empty entire bottles of precious EOs to that end! Most craft stores carry soap colorants and fragrances, but they can be pricey. While my primary reason for wanting to make my own body wash was curiosity & the joy of crafting, it has the added advantage of being very cheap. I used 3.17 oz bars of Dove soap (in fig & orange scent, if you must know) and each bar yielded 18 fl oz of body wash – just enough to fill an old container of Softsoap body wash to the brim. So here it is!
Bar of soap – 1, 3 oz bar
Water – 2 cups (note: if using any soap other than Dove, use 3-4 cups)
Oil of your choice (optional) – 2 tablespoons (I used coconut along with the contents of two Vitamin E capsules)
The process itself is painfully simple.
Step 1: Grate up the bar of soap as finely as you are able to. Larger pieces are okay too, but will take longer to dissolve. There are two ways you can go about the second step.
Step 2.1: Bring the water to a boil and pour immediately over the grated soap. Stir continuously until the soap dissolves completely and the liquid looks smooth. Add in the oil and fragrance/colourant (if using).
Step 2.2: Add water to the grated soap in a pot (I recommend using a pot you don’t cook in) and simmer on low heat. Stir and keep simmering until all the soap melts and the mixture is smooth. Take off the stove and add in oil and fragrance/colourant (if using).
The mixture will be somewhat (very, if using the first method of pouring boiling water on the soap) runny at this stage but will thicken as it cools. Don’t fret if you see some graininess at this stage; it should eventually dissolve right in as it sits.
Step 3. Allow the mixture to cool over the next 24 hours. As it cools, the mixture will thicken. After about 12 hours or so, it should be thick enough to confirm that it is, indeed, body wash and not a science experiment gone wrong!
Pour the mixture into a container of your choice after 24 hours and you’re ready for a bath/shower!
As it cools further, the body wash will get thicker. I have read on various blogs that if you wait too long to pour the liquid into a container, it may thicken so much that it becomes challenging to do so. I have never waited long enough to experience that, but I’ll update you if I happen to experiment with different time frames in the future. Also, before I embarked upon this adventure, I had read that the body wash did not lather for some people & that you need to add in vegetable glycerine for suds. I am happy to report that mine lathered quite nicely. How much it lathers may depend on how hard the water in your area is and the best way to figure out what works for you is through trial & error.
FYI, one 18 fl oz bottle full of body wash cost me $1 to make, using Dove soap bars. This is definitely a fun and simple project and is perfect for those days when you want to be productive and still have some fun!