I'm allergic to just about everything.  I can use some store-bought shower gels but typically after a week or so, my skin responds with either a rash or itchy spots that drive me crazy!

I'm making homemade Olive Oil Soap, figured I'd share how I go about it.

Lye:  I make my own

Basically, it's the white ash from burning hardwoods.  If you have a fire pit, you're half way there.  I collect hardwoods all summer, burn them in the fall and start collecting my rainwater during the rainy season.

Soft Water:  Rain, best way to get it in my opinion.  Soft water is basically water that hasn't hit the ground and picked up trace minerals.  Put out a pail and just collect it.

The contraption:   I use an old Djembe I have without a drum head. It's perfect for this but you can fashion your own contraptions from a big clay pot.  I save those tins from that holiday popcorn you get, they are great size (metal) and have a lid.  I drill a hole at the bottom of the tin and put it right inside my drum.  (I will add photos at a later date)

Stuff:  I fill the tin at the bottom with small rocks, and some old leaves/grass clippings.  Perfect time to collect this stuff is at the end of the summer season.    This also allows for a slow drop to make Lye water.  Place your ashes in the tin, leave about 2" from the top.  If you don't have enough rain water yet, just put the lid on and save them. 

Once you have your white ash and rain water, the next part is pretty easy.

Boil the rain water. I usually go a gallon at a time. 

Pour slowly over the ash.  Ideally you want the hot water to flow through the ash and drip slowly out of the hole.  You'll need to collect the Lye, so I usually place a gallon sized plastic container in the bottom of the drum to catch it.

20 oz. of Virgin Olive Oil makes a decent amount of soap. (8 or so bars)

7.5 oz. of Rain Water poured over the ash will produce about 2.5 Lye - I use a gallon to get about 8 oz. of Lye Water.  That's what you need for this batch.

You can call this one 'batch' of soap.  If you want to make all your Lye at once and store it, you can do that and just measure out how much you need.  Wear rubber gloves and don't get any in your eyes!  If you're clumsy like me, just use protective goggles for any up splash.

Once you have your finished Lye, you heat both products to 110*, I use a cooking thermometer.    Once both are at precisely 110 yo can stir them together slowly.  Stir until the consistency is smooth.  Pour into molds and refrigerate. 

After 24 hours, you can release from soap molds and store in a cool place to cure.  30 days is plenty, some people prefer longer.

Enjoy!

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Replies to This Discussion

Sure thing, after it cures (about 3 weeks left) I can send you some.

This is a super-easy method using chemical Lye vs. making your own Lye Water. 

This video is pretty straight forward.

That's something I want to try sometime, and using peppermint oil and similar in the soap.

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