Fresh, scented rosemary adds to the cleansing properties of this soap, which also includes gently exfoliating oatmeal to smooth roughened hands. Green clay and spirulina lend color. If you want, sprinkle some dried rosemary flowers on top of the soap when it is semi-set as a decoration.
- 11⁄4 cups inexpensive olive oil,
- 3⁄4 cup coconut oil,
- 1⁄2 cup cooled, boiled, or distilled water,
- 2oz (60g) caustic soda (lye crystals),
- 1 tbsp green clay,
- 4 crushed spirulina tablets,
- 1 tbsp bran or oatmeal,
- 30 drops rosemary essential oil.
Makes 16 bars
- Whisk the olive and coconut oils in a saucepan over low heat until the temperature reaches 140°F (60°C). To make the lye mix, pour the water into a stainless steel or glass bowl placed in a sink in case the contents froth over when you add the caustic soda. Put on protective goggles, gloves, and an apron, then add the soda to the water and stir with a wooden spoon until the crystals dissolve completely. Allow to cool.
- Combine the cooled lye mix and the hot oils in the saucepan and mix with a wooden spoon thoroughly. Then whisk with a metal whisk for about 20 seconds. The consistency should now be like that of thick custard so that a line is visible if drawn on its surface. Mix in the green clay, crushed spirulina tablets, bran or oatmeal, and rosemary essential oil.
- Pour the mix into a 6in (15cm) square stainless steel dish 2in (5cm) deep and greased with olive oil. Cover with a cloth and leave for 24 hours. While still soft, remove the soap wearing plastic gloves, and cut into bars using a knife. Move on trays and allow to dry out fully and harden; this will take a couple of weeks. Check the pH of the finished soap before using (it should be about 10–10.5).