Soap recipes

The following soap and natural product recipes are a small selection from the over 100 recipes found in the book, Soaps, Bubbles and Scrubs.

Hand-made body butterBody butter

This recipe contains rosewater and cocoa butter – which produces a thick, nourishing cream base that can be used as a substitute for any aromatherapy recipe in this book that requires “thickened carrier cream” as a base cream. This hand-made body butter contains no preservatives and has a shelf life of 4 weeks.

Makes approximately 350 ml

24 g finely chopped or grated beeswax
120 ml rose water and witch hazel
60 ml coconut oil
250 ml sweet almond oil
40 g cocoa butter
20 g soya wax
5 ml vitamin E oil

Watch step by step video

1. Place the beeswax and rose water/witch hazel in a saucepan and heat gently until the beeswax has melted. Note that the beeswax will float on top of the water and will not mix with the rosewater/witch hazel solution. Remove the saucepan from the heat as soon as the beeswax has melted.
2. In another saucepan, heat the coconut oil, sweet almond oil, cocoa butter and soya wax together until warm. The oils should be melted and the mixture should be warm, but not too hot.
3. Switch on the food processer (on a low setting) and add the beeswax/rose water mixture and blend for about 1 minute.
4. Very slowly (with the food processer running), add the warm oil mixture and blend for another minute until it thickens. Stir in the vitamin E oil.
5. The mixture will thicken more as it cools.

Rose petal bath fizz balls

Bath fizz ballsThese bath fizz balls are great fun to make. Rose petals and rose geranium essential oil give the fizz balls a subtle rose aroma and they look stunning when using dark red rose petals. (White or light pink petals tend to turn a bit brown when added to the fizz ball mixture.)

Makes 8–10
500 g bicarbonate of soda
100 g citric acid
50 ml dried rose petals (torn into small
30 drops rose geranium essential oil
30–60 ml filtered water

Watch step by step video

1. Place the bicarbonate of soda and citric acid together in a plastic bowl.
2. Mix and crush the powder with a metal spoon until lump free.
3. Add the dried rose petals and essential oil and mix.
4. Add 30 ml of the water and mix, stirring and crushing the mixture with the spoon until you have the consistency of wet sand. Add more water if needed.
5. Scoop a generous amount of mixture into each half of the empty table tennis balls and push them together. Squeeze to combine the two halves.
6. Carefully remove each half of the table tennis balls and place the bath fizz balls on a dishcloth to dry out. Once the fizz balls have hardened completely and are safe to handle, place them in empty egg trays to dry.
7. The fizz balls will be dry within an hour – package and decorate as you like!

How do I use the bath fizz balls? Add 1 bath fizz ball to your bath water or try using a bath fizz ball in your foot spa water for an extra treat.

Spirulina, basil and peppermint soap

Makes 8 soap bars
250 g white margarine
250 g coconut oil
250 g palm oil
250 g olive oil
340 g filtered water
144 g caustic soda (sodium hydroxide)
10 ml peppermint essential oil
10 ml eucalyptus essential oil
10 ml basil essential oil
50 ml spirulina powder
1 peppermint tea bag (optional)

Watch step by step video

1. Cut the white margarine, coconut oil and palm oil into small blocks. Add these blocks and the olive oil to an empty soap bucket.
2. Weigh off the correct amount of filtered water (using a digital scale), and add to the second bucket.
3. Line the digital scale with some wax paper and weigh off the correct amount of caustic soda. Wearing protective eye goggles, gloves and face mask, carefully add the caustic soda to the filtered water.
4. Stir the caustic soda/water mixture with a long-handled spoon until the caustic soda is dissolved in the water – be careful, as this mixture gets very hot because of the chemical reaction.
5. Carefully add the caustic soda mixture to the bucket with the oils.
6. Mix with a whisk and then use a stick blender, using short bursts, until the mixture resembles thin custard and starts to trace.
7. Add the essential oils, spirulina powder and dried peppermint tea leaves to the soap mixture and mix again.
8. Pour the soap into the lined soap mould/or plastic container and cover with plastic wrap.
9. Cover with piece of cardboard (or a stack of newspapers) and then cover with a blanket or an old towel.
10. Allow to set for 2 days and then remove from the soap mould. Remember to wear gloves when handling the soap as it is still caustic.
11. Place the soap on a plastic cutting board and cut into blocks. Allow the soap to cure for 6 weeks. Turn the soap every week or so and keep covered until ready to use.
12. After 6 weeks the soap will have no traces of caustic soda and will be the correct pH for your skin.
CAUTION: Do not use the soap until after 6 weeks as it will still contain traces of caustic soda.

French lavender soap

Makes 8 soap bars
1 kg white glycerine soap, roughly
chopped into blocks
15 ml dried lavender flowers
10 ml lavender essential oil

Watch step by step video

1. Melt the glycerine soap in a saucepan. Allow to melt slowly over low heat and do not stir the soap too often as this will lead to too much froth and bubbles in the mixture.
2. Add the dried lavender flowers and essential oil and stir gently.
3. Pour into a soap mould (I use a plastic square container that holds 1 kg of melted soap) and allow to cool completely.
4. Turn out and cut into 8 individual soap bars.
5. Wrap the soap bars in cellophane paper or tissue paper to preserve the fragrance.