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Making All Natural Soap With Fresh Herbal Tea

Homemade Soap With Fresh Spearmint


I made another batch of soap but this time I wanted to use some fresh herbs from our own garden instead of using essential oil. Essential oils are expensive and in order to have any lasting benefit in soap you need an entire bottle for a batch.


We have tons of spearmint and after reading up on the health benefits of spearmint, I decided to use this herb in my soap.


Spearmint has antimicrobial properties and can aid in healing of your skin. Spearmint can also help with various skin ailments. It can aid in the treatment of dandruf and boost hair health. There are so many benefits of spearmint that it would require a separate article to list them here.


Therefore I figured it would be perfect for homemade soap. I use my homemade soap in the shower and in my hair. It is all natural and has no harmful chemicals. Also homemade soap has moisturizing glycerin which occurs naturally.



Fresh spearmint for making homemade herbal soap




Prepare Spearmint For Soap Making


I had to figure out how to get the spearmint into the soap. Essential oils are concentrated so you need very little for a batch of soap. But spearmint would have to be processed in some way first.


I thought about blending it up in some way but to do this I need water.


So I put put the same amount of water I would use in soap making into a blender and then added a large handful of fresh cut spearmint. I am making a double batch so I used 15 ounces of water. I blended it into a fine pulp. This gave me a nice green color and made the house smell good.



Making spearmint herbal tea for soap


I then put the spearmint and water mixture onto the stove and heated it up. Just before it began to boil I removed it from the heat and let it cool down to room temperature. Now I have a very strong spearmint tea.


Making Homemade Spearmint Soap


Now it was time to make my soap. I used my good old time proven recipe. You can see how to make simple soap here: How to make soap using all natural ingredients


Soap Ingredients


16 oz oil (vegetable, coconut or olive oil)

7.5 oz water

2 oz lye


That is is. This is a very simple recipe using just three ingredients. You can use either vegetable oil, olive oil or coconut oil. You can use a combination of these as well but just keep the total amount of oil at 16 ounces per 1 lb batch of soap.


Use only stainless steel, plastic or glass when making soap. Lye will react with most materials and eat them away. I use a stainless steel pot and a silicone spatula. Pyrex glass is best for mixing lye with water due to the heat generated.


I am making a double batch which will give me a 2 lbs of soap. I put 32 ounces of oil into a stainless steel sauce pan and turned on the stove at the lowest setting. To make cold process soap you do not want to go over 100 degrees F or you risk boiling off the essential oils in your herbs. Hot process soap is usable right away but the high temperatures involved would break down the oils in your herbs.


I filtered the spearmint tea into a pyrex measuring cup using a reusable coffee filter from the dollar store. This makes the perfect filter for the job. Now I had just under 15 ounces of tea so I added some water to bring it up to the proper level.


Next I carefully measured out 4 oz of lye onto a piece of paper on top of a kitchen scale. Be very careful when working with lye. If it comes in contact with your skin it actually converts it into soap. You get a slippery feeling as your skin is eaten away. If this happens I just rinse my hands off with water and no harm is done. But you may want to use rubber gloves, goggles and protective clothing.



Measuring 4 oz of lye onto kitchen scale


Next I slowly stirred the lye into the spearmint tea. Always put lye into water. Never put water into lye or you could get an explosive reaction. Lye boils and heats up when it comes into contact with water. This is why you need the pyrex container. And I had a coffee coaster underneath to protect the table from the heat generated.


The glass will become hot to touch. Get a candy thermometer and measure the temperature of the lye and water. When the lye, tea mixture reaches 100 degrees F then it is ready to use.


By now the oil should be heated to 100 degrees F as well.


Slowly pour the lye and tea mixture into your heated oil, stirring as you pour. You will immediately see the color of your tea change to brown. And you should start to see some tiny soap particles being made as you stir.


Continue to stir until you get trace. This can take 1 to 2 hours when stirring by hand. You can use a stick blender and finish the job in only 15 minutes. I would advise using the blender found here: Stick Blender


For today I was making soap the old way with manual labor so I stirred the soap mixture. And stirred. And stirred. And stirred......


Eventually you will start to see some changes in your soap. The oil will change from transparent to opaque. The color will become a light tan or brownish color. The green color of your tea gets changed to brown by the lye.



Making all natural herbal spearmint soap


As your oil thickens you will start to see some swirly patterns forming behind your stirring spoon. After more stirring the patterns will become more visible and will not go away as fast. This means you are nearing trace.


To check for trace you dip a spoon into your soap mixture and remove it. The soap should sludge up and sort of hang off the spoon in a clump rather than run off like a liquid. When this occurs you have trace.


At this point, remove the soap from the heat source and pour it into soap molds. You can use decorative molds or a large rectangular mold for making soap bars. I am using small decorative molds. These little soap bars make great gifts and samplers. I give them to family and friends or potential customers.



Pouring homemade soap into molds


When you have poured the soap into a mold, give the mold a good shaking to get any bubbles out and ensure that the soap fills all the spaces in the mold.


Now all you have to do is wait. Set the molds aside in a room temperature area with no drafts. You want the soap to cool down slowly. You can also wrap the molds in towels to slow down the cooling process. The lye will continue to convert the oil into soap during this period.


Finishing Up And Curing Your Soap


After a day or two you can remove your soap from the molds. I use silicone molds so all you have to do is turn them over and press gently on the bottom. The soap pops out of the molds.



Removing homemade soap from molds


This is a cold process soap recipe. Cold process soap is made at 100 degrees F or less. In the cold process, the lye and oil need a long time to cure before you can use it. This process generally takes 6 to 8 weeks.


You can check your soap by using the ZAP test. This is a simple way to test your soap to find if all the lye has been used up. Touch your tongue to the soap for a second. If there is any lye in the soap you will get a small zap just like you get when you touch a 9 volt battery to your tongue. If you get a zap, then your soap is not yet cured. Leave it another week or so and check again.


When you no longer get a zap, your soap is ready to use.


Summary And Using Homemade Soap


You can use just about any herbs in this soap making recipe. You can also save the filtered out herb solids and mix them into the soap at the end just before you pour it into the molds. This will give you some texture and color. It will also give you more of the benefits of the original herbs.


I use my homemade soap in the shower, for washing hands, dish washing and laundry. For the last two, I grate the soap with a cheese grater and use it as you would with detergent. Using homemade soap in the laundry gives you cleaner clothes and a fresh scent.

You can watch today's video here: Watch the video now  How To Make Soap Using Fresh Herbs Instead Of Essential Oil


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Troy Reid


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