Cooking soap

One of the things I love about Pinterest is the craftiness it has returned to my life. I grew up making all sorts of things. Little Sheri loved crafts, cooking and sewing. She made cookies, pies, hook rugs, doll clothes and all sorts of things with her grandma when she was 10. When she was a teenager and had many more responsibilities, she reveled in making dinner from the Lincoln County Home Extension anniversary cookbook she found in her dad’s cookbook collection.

Strangely, that all went away in my 20s when I got married and started my family. I think the “making things” for me was less about domestication and more about how I expressed my creativity. When my “spare” time was filled with matrimony and children (and the rise of The Internet), I got diverted from making things. Then I started my career path and any spare creativity at that point was spent at work.

Fast forward through several years of life shifting. Fast forward all the way to last year when Pinterest sprung onto the social-whatever scene.

I LOVED IT!

And because of it, I’ve rediscovered and just-plain-discovered new things to create.

And 9 months ago I created a big batch of body soap for about $3. I just now ran out. So…this weekend…I made another batch. I love that I can save so much waste and avoid a teensy bit of the plastic bottle consumption that is too big a part of my life.

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Cast of characters! 2 bars of soap, bottle of glycerin, a stock pot and a gallon of distilled water.

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Grate the soaps on a cheese grater.

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Pour in the water and turn on the burner to medium or medium low. You won’t be boiling anything. You’ll be heating the water and occasionally stirring the mixture until the soap melts. At some point, add the glycerin. Preferably add it in the beginning so you don’t forget.

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The recipe I found said to get vegetable glycerin but I just bought the first bottle I found and it works just fine. For all I know it is make from virgins and kittens.

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Heat and stir occasionally until you don’t see any soap bits. Just a soapy soup the color of whatever you put in your pot.

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Look, Ma! No hands!

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Look, Ma! Extra hands!

Once slightly cool (only so you don’t burn yourself), pour your soap into containers. I reuse a bodywash bottle and then the rest have in the past gone into glass jars. This time I’m trying the used gallon jug for storage to see how it fares. I’ll keep you posted.

Body Soap
1 gallon distilled water
2 bars grated soap 
2 Tbsp glycerin oil

Put all this in a stock pot over medium heat. Stir occassionally until soap is melted. Pour into containers and dance a jig that you’ve just saved yourself about $40 in soap expenditures and kept at least 7 new plastic bottles out of the whole waste system.

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