Ages ago I was living in the house of my grandmother who was on holiday for 6 months. At that time war broke out in Iraq. Personally I don’t think you can call it war if people with rifles are fighting people in tanks and jet fighters, but that is another story.
When the war began my grandmother called me and told me to buy soap. As much as I could. I thought it was a very strange request so I checked with my mother what I should do. She also did not understand so we decided not to do anything.
About 2 years ago I read a book about a group of Jews living in Amsterdam during WWII. They tried to make a living by starting a soap factory. Since they did not know how to make soap this turned out to be very difficult.
I finally understood why she wanted me to buy soap. I never realized that soap is so important but apparently it is even more important than being able to check your facebook page….
I decided that I wanted to learn a little bit more about it. To my surprise I found that it is very simple to make soap so I wanted to try it.
A small word of caution: One of the ingredients is very aggressive and therefore this is not something that you should try with your children, even though it looks like fun.
Ingredients for 12 pieces of soap:
- 500 gr. Olive oil
- 64 gr. Drain cleaner pellets (Check the label. It should be 100% Sodium hydroxide (NaOH))
- 178 gr. Water
- Carefully add the drain cleaner to the water. This will become warm.
- Warm the olive oil until it is approximately the same temperature as the water / drain cleaner.
- Add the water / drain cleaner to the oil.
- Mix for about 2 minutes with a blender. The mix becomes a bit creamy.
- Pour the soap in moulds (I used disposable sauce dishes)
- Wait for 4 to 6 weeks.
This is the basic recipe for soap. Could it be more simple? It smells and feels like old fashioned soap. (And it even cleans like soap.) So far this was a great success.
The next step was to add some scent and some health. So I made a second attempt with dried lavender flowers (25 gr.) and a few leaves of my aloe vera. It takes some time but after some months the soap starts smelling more and more like lavender.
The cream starts to smell soapy
Mixing in the lavender and aloe vera
12 pieces of soap
The result after a few months
When they are finished I will definitely make it again. But I think that I have enough soap for a few years now. So no new episodes in the near future.