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.
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
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.
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.