Making your own soap can be very rewarding. Not only is it fun, but also gives you the satisfaction that you created your own natural product for you and your family.
I put together a fun, family friendly recipe using dandelion flowers. I've seen a lot of talk about the health benefits of dandelion. You can eat the whole dang thing and be fit as a fiddle. So what about skin care? Can we take this seemingly magical plant and apply this to a topical use? This was something I wanted to try out for myself.
I have concocted a recipe that uses dried dandelion flower heads infused in olive oil. Simple enough, right? This is a basic Castile soap recipe using 100% olive oil. This results in a gentle cleansing experience.
Gathering dandelions is a chore in itself, so I asked my children to join in the fun. They are eager helpers, and I am thrilled they like to help out!
I picked flower heads every few days and placed them in my greenhouse to dry. I ended up with about a couple of gallon bags stuffed with flower tops.
I used the ratio of 1 oz dried plant to 10 oz oil. The number of dandelion heads almost seemed too much. They are super fluffy when crushed and are difficult to mix in the oil. I used a 64oz vintage mason jar. So I ended up fitting 4-5 oz in the mason jars and 50 oz oil with a little room on the top.
I placed the jars back in my greenhouse to infuse using the power of the sun for about a week. I removed it and strained out the oil with a fine mesh bag. (nut milk bags work great) Making sure to squeeze every drop out.
Now the fun part, making the actual soap.
LYE & LIQUID
LYE (Sodium Hydroxide) 8.0 oz.
Ounces of Distilled Water 7.13 oz.
*Ounces of Oak Milk 7.13 oz.
ORGANIC OLIVE OIL 60.00 oz.
Total batch yield 82.26 oz. (A little over 5lbs)
Super fat amount 3%
(This is the percent of oils still present after saponification)
1. Measure out the water into a heat-safe container.
2. Add the lye granules one tbsp. at a time to the liquid in a well-ventilated area. Outside preferably. Set aside until the temperature drops to 105° F The temperature will spike and it will take awhile to cool down.
3. Prepare your soap molds and fragrances at this time.
4. Fragrances are really up to your preference. 2 oz. Lavender essential oil 1 oz. Eucalyptus essential oil - peppermint would be great also.
5. Gently heat the olive oil to 115° F
6. Once both the lye water and the oils are within 5° of each other near 105° F, pour the lye water down the shaft of your stick blender to prevent bubbles.
7. Once a very light trace has been achieved, add the oat milk to the mixture. Stir in until thoroughly combined.
8. Add in the fragrance and stir until combined.
9. Pour the mixture into your prepared soap molds.
10. Spray the top of the soap with isopropyl alcohol to prevent soda ash from forming. Wrap the soap mold with a bath towel to promote gel phase.
11. Unmold and cut after 48hrs. Then let cure and harden for 4 weeks before use.
* Oat milk can be made by mixing 1 cup organic rolled oats to 4 cups water and blending in a mixed until smooth. Strain out using a fine mesh nut milk bag.