These things…

IMG_20121029_160248Are my favourite!


Homemade soap part 3.


My soap is working out pretty well, I think. In only 3 more weeks it will be properly cured and I can use it. Already the bars feel fairly firm and not crumbly at all, unlike my last batch.

Here’s my recipe.

How I wash my hair.

Not with shampoo. Not with conditioner. Not with soap.

I use baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

It’s a bit weird, I know. Very crunchy.  It’s one of the reasons my brother calls me a hippy.

The thing is, it works.

I’ve never had nicer looking hair. It lasts a lot longer between washes (4-ish days), when I used shampoo I had to do it every second day. I got my hair cut a week ago after almost a year of no trims, and I had hardly any split ends!

Apart from working well, it’s cheap and involves no nasty chemicals.

I store my baking soda in a shaker container in the shower. Whenever I want to wash my hair I pour about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar into a plastic jug I keep in the bathroom. Sometimes I add a few drops of lavender essential oil for a nicer smell.

Shampoo (baking soda): 

  1. First, I wet my hair and comb it through so there are no tangles.
  2. Then I shake about 3 tablespoons of baking soda into my palm. I sprinkle a little water onto it to make a paste.
  3. Then I rub the paste into my hair and scrub really well for a few minutes.
  4. When my hair feels nice and clean, I rinse my hair and comb it again.

Conditioner (vinegar): 

  1. Hold the jug with apple cider vinegar under the shower and fill with water. 
  2. Pour apple cider vinegar/water mixture over hair.
  3. Leave in for a few minutes.
  4. Comb hair, then rinse out.

I’ve never noticed a vinegar-ey smell after my hair dries, so don’t let the thought of having stinky hair put you off. I do sometimes miss the nice scent of shampoo, and sometimes I miss the fluffy lather of shampoo. But  I don’t miss the oiliness or lankness of how my hair used to be. I’ve been doing this for about 2 years now and I’m never going back to normal shampoo!

Check out these sites for more information about the no poo method of hair care:


Homemade soap.

I made soap today.

I’ve made it once before, about a year ago. It was an olive oil-coconut oil-goats milk-oatmeal soap. It turned out ok, but not very hard, and the lather wasn’t great, and each bar didn’t last too long.

Sam wanted me to make a soap with rosemary scent. And I wanted it to be a lot harder, last longer, with more lather.

I followed the basic soap making instructions from here, and made my recipe with the help of this soap calculator.

Olive, coconut, shea and castor oil soap with rosemary leaves and essential oil.


  • 32 oz olive oil
  • 16 oz coconut oil
  • 12 oz shea butter
  • 4 oz castor oil
  • 21.12 oz water
  • 8.75 oz lye
  • handful of rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 50ish drops rosemary essential oil


  • Large saucepan/stock pot
  • Large plastic/glass container
  • Small glass jar
  • Scales
  • Wooden spoon
  • Stick blender
  • 2 candy thermometers
  • Towels
  • Tray to mould soap in


  1. Weigh water into tall container.
  2. Weigh lye into glass jar.
  3. Slowly add lye to water.
  4. Gently stir the mixture until the lye is completely dissolved. The mixture will start to get hot, and may begin to steam or bubble. Just continue to stir until fully mixed.
  5. Put the lid on the lye-water container and put it in a safe place to cool. The lye will be ready to use when cooled down to about 100°F.
  6. Measure solid oils into pan.
  7. Place pan onto stove on medium heat. Slowly melt oils while stirring gently. Monitor the temperature. Turn off the heat when the oils get to about 110°F.
  8. Once the solid oils are melted, add the room temperature liquid oils to the pot. This will bring the overall temperature down.
  9. When the temperature of the oils is about 100°F slowly add the lye-water mixture to the soap pot. The oils will immediately begin to turn cloudy.
  10. Use the stick blender as a spoon, blend the lye-water into the oils. Slowly begin to turn the stick blender on in short bursts, then stir some more. Keep blending in short bursts until the oils and lye-water are completely mixed together.
  11. Once the soap mixture is completely blended, but before it gets too thick, slowly add the rosemary essential oil, and mix using the stick blender as a spoon.
  12. Then add in the rosemary leaves, gently stirring into the mixture with the stick blender.
  13. The soap should have thickened quite a bit. Slowly pour the raw soap into the mold evenly, smoothing out the top with a spatula. Gently tap the mould on the counter to dislodge any air bubbles.
  14. Put the soap in a warm, safe place, wrapped in towels to begin curing.
  15. After the soap has set for 24 hours, it should be hard enough to unmold and slice.
  16. Set the bars aside to cure for about 6 weeks, then it’s ready to use!


This is it curing. I think it looks a bit like lemon slice.

I’ll put another picture up after I’ve cut the soap into bars.

Have you made soap before? What was your experience like?