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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Liquid Soap and a Soil Test.


I finished the Liquid Soap this morning.Last night I had used only part of the the tea for the liquid and it made a jar full of goo that was like lard so I added the rest of my reheated tea, mixed it again and we now have almost a gallon of liquid soap.
First what I did was grated up one bar (about 4 oz ) of natural soap.The soap grated was neat looking,little tiny curly ques in a bowl.The bar of soap I had was an Oatmeal bar.
Next I made a tea out of a large handful of mint leaves.You only have to get the water to the temp where it is steaming. You can also use plain water for no scent or the scent of the bar.
Add the water/tea to the bowl that has the grated soap,let it sit for 15 minutes.Now using a hand mixer blend the soap mixture.Careful it will foam up . The liquid in the bowl will feel like soapy dish water and seem very thin,don't worry it firms up to a snot like texture.Sorry I could not think of a better word for the texture and it was something everyone would get.
Now let it sit.I had left the first try over night but this morning I left for about 4 hours and it was ready.As the soap cools it goes through several changes.The first change I noticed was there were milky swirls and slowly the swirls became more of a mass.
Once the soap was ready I poured it into a recycled milk jug and a Mason jar.I plan on storing away the milk jug and keeping the jar under the sink.
My friend at Acorn Cottage had tried a different recipe for liquid soap with some goofy results,we kept singing the theme song from the movie The Blob because it was a big slimy, rubbery blob that takes a bit of manhandling to use. This flop is what inspired me to try a different recipe.I liked this one it had only two ingredients and actually worked.

Chance started a Soil Test (the last 2 photos) today to check our clay content to build the Cobb Oven.He took the soil from the soon to be building site in the back yard.He filled a Mason jar about 1/4 of the way with the soil, added about 3 tablespoons of Salt ( the salt helps it to settle faster) then filled the rest of the jar with water,now shake it up to mix. He let the jar sit for about 10 minutes.During that time you could see the different layers of soil components appearing.
The bottom of the jar is sand and gravel ,then silt followed by clay,a layer of water and the top is organic matter.
We are needing 75-85% sand and 15-25% clay for the Cobb. The Soil Test is looking good,we may have to add a bit more clay which we will figure out after the test has set over night.Chance is also going to do a Ball Soil test.You make a ball out of your soil and drop it from waste high and depending on what it does when it hits the ground you can determine your soil make up.I will post again when he dose this test.
I know there are other uses for the first soil test we did.It can give you a good idea of your soil make up for gardening and what you may need to add.I like knowledge that carries over into many areas,it makes thing easy.
So it is looking like while the garden is growing we will be starting the Cobb Oven soon.Chances goal is to have the oven ready to use by August.Looks like the community bake days I was dreaming of will come sooner than I thought.I can't wait for the pizza's,breads and goodies to come.


  1. Now I am wondering if the glycerine that the recipe I used called for is what made my soap "blob-like" When I have used up the gallon+ i already have I will try your recipe and see if that makes a difference. I like the idea of herbal tea instead of just water.

  2. Hey Alison,Beware of the blob it reaps and creeps and slides and glides across the floor and right out the door!

  3. Hi Rois
    How much water do you use? I have not had much success with other recipes as they have left scum in the sink and I end up using more water to wash it away! Your mint idea sounds great!

  4. I used a full gallon of water/tea that was heated until it was starting to steam.When you first pour the water in the soap will look to thin and watery.Don't worry you just let it sit for several hours and it will thicken.
    I am getting ready to do another batch and in hindsight I think I may use a bit less water.The soap I have is a little bit thinner than I want.