Soaps, Bath Salts

Soap Balls (Washing Balls)

The advantage of these little balls is that you can make them to suit your own skin and purposes, and they can be made out of all the little soap scraps that end up in the bottom of the soap dish. I keep my soap scraps in an empty ice-cream container till I have enough, or if I can't wait I grate up a cake of pure unscented soap to add to the scraps.

Oatmeal and Honey Soap
Put a cupful of grated soap scraps into a saucepan, add enough cold water to cover, and let stand for 24 hours. Add about a tablespoon of honey and simmer gently, stirring now and then, until the soap has melted.
The mixture should be just a little thicker than thickened cream.
Take off the heat and stir in a tablespoon of glycerine and about 1/4 cup of finely ground oatmeal, mixing well. Add a few drops of any
essential oil; I like orange or vanilla. The mixture should be malleable enough to work into balls. Cover your hands with ground oatmeal and shape.
Put aside for about a month in a dry place before using. It's best to wrap the balls in unbleached calico or cheesecloth until they're hardened.

Oatmeal and Camomile Soap
Make the recipe called for above, but use camomile infusion instead of water. Dry the camomile flowers used in the infusion and pulverise.
When you add the oatmeal, include the pulverised camomile as part of the 1/4 cup.
Herb Soap
Pulverise finely 2-3 tablespoons of dried herb. Put a cupful of grated soap scraps into a china basin and set the basin in a pan of boiling water.
Add a little boiling water to help the melting process and let the pan of water simmer until the soap has become a gel. Add the dried herb gradually and mix well. Let cool enough to handle and form into balls, or pour into a mould (cut-down milk cartons are good). Let it harden for a few weeks before using; the scent of the herb will improve and increase with age. You can add a few drops of essential oil to
the mixture.

Suitable herbs to add to this soap:

Lime flower (linden)
Rose petals (and use rosewater instead of plain water to soften) Mint (eau-de-cologne mint is lovely)
Orris root powder

You can also add dried milk powder, powdered meals such as oatmeal and almond meal, or resins such as powdered benzoin. Just be sure everything is finely powdered with no sharp twigs, leaves, etc.

Bath Salts

You can make your own bath salts simply and economically, and formulate your own scents from essential oils for therapeutic or beautifying purposes.
Here are four basic recipes to which you can add essential oils (or perfume) and food colouring. Be sure to add the colouring drop by drop and to stir well after every drop! It takes only one or two drops to colour a cupful of salts.

Bath Salts 1
Mix 2/3 cup sea salt (ground to even sized crystals) with 1/3 cup
Epsom salts. Add 1/2 tsp glycerine.

Bath Salts 2
Mix kitchen salt and bicarbonate of soda in equal quantities.

Bath Salts 3
Mix 1 cup Epsom salts, 4 drops glycerine.

Bath Salts 4
Grind washing soda crystals to small, evenly sized crystals.

Bubbling Bath Salts
Combine several drops essential oil with 1/2 cup cornstarch.
Add 1/2 cup citric acid and 1 cup bicarbonate of soda.
This mixture will froth and bubble when added to water.


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