Garden Soap

Have you ever got back home from working on the allotment, or inside from being in the garden, and you just don’t seem to be able to shift the ingrained dirt? Well I have moved away from food for this post to give you something else you can do with your herbs to really help in keeping clean and removing those tough to move stains. How about soap, everyone?

There are a few interesting soap making techniques in this, and a few bits to buy, but it will make enough soap to last you through the growing season and may lead to a secondary interest in soap making.  I was surprised at how like cooking the process is.

During the last summer I got coated in a sticky yellow substance from my courgette plants. I spread manure mulch in the spring and shifted rotten fruit in the autumn.  Cleaning the mud from under the nails was particularly difficult.

Being able to make soap is useful for a multitude of reasons. Firstly you create a product that you can use. Secondly, you create a product that you can give away as a gift.

It is also a good way of using ingredients you might not get round to. I have a glut of lemon balm every year, lemon balm soap is great! Or how about using your rose petals, or your cherry blossom?

The Soap Recipe

The below recipe for garden soap is fragrant and good for cleaning.  You want to use the suspension soap as it allows for a thicker pour and means pieces do not just sink to the bottom. The poppy seeds, powders and apple peel all help with removal of dirt through abrasion. The mint and lemon balm impart a beautiful fragrance.

I hope to do a recipe for a cold processed soap soon. Melt and pour is perfect for this recipe, but if you want to go the next step, then cold processed it is!

Gardener’s Soap

This soap is perfect or removing that ingrained dirt from under your finger nails, and for a good exfoliating clean of your skin.
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr
Keyword: Mint, Poppy seed, Soap
Servings: 1 Loaf of soap
Cost: £5-£20

Equipment

  • 2 pouring jars
  • Microwave
  • Thermometer
  • Silicone loaf mold
  • Isopropyl alcohol spray (99.9%)

Ingredients

  • 2 kg white suspension melt and pour soap
  • 20 g white sokol poppy seeds
  • 20 g black poppy seeds
  • 20 g mint powder apple mint works really well for this
  • 20 g lemon balm powder
  • 2 teaspoons of dried grated apple peel

Instructions

  • Place half of the soaps into each of the pouring jars. You need to slice it into small cubes to allow for an even melt without it boiling.
  • You want to melt them slowly, so while one jug is in the microwave for 30 seconds, the other is out and swap them around every 30 seconds until you get a nice smooth molten soap.
  • In one of the soaps mix in the powdered mint and lemon balm. Leave the other soap pure white. Stir until thoroughly mixed in and the soap has turned a uniformed light green. Then add the poppy seeds and the grated apple peel. Again, mix well.Start layering the soaps.
  • To begin with put your first layer of white soap into the loaf mould.
  • Spray the isopropyl alcohol over the top to remove any bubbles forming.
  • Allow this layer to cool slightly, forming a thin skin, and then spray the alcohol again and pour over the green soap mix in a sort of S shape.
  • Between each layer you want to ensure that the soap is maintaining a regular temperature. It needs to be between 48°C and 54°C in order for it to be poured without being too thin(soup gets thinner the warmer it is). You also do not want the new warm layer to melt the previous layer.Continue to layer.
  • To create swirls in the soap you can run a small thin stick through each layer in a zigzag pattern. Basically, the world is your oyster!
  • Once you have completed all of the layers leave to cool down. Don’t cool in the fridge or freezer, just let cool naturally for 24 hours. Then take out of the mold and slice to your thickness/need.

If you like this recipe please say so! And write a comment below with thoughts and ideas.