Grapefruit Rosemary Bath Soap
Truly homemade soap is one of those DIY projects that not only takes a very long time, but could potentially harm you. Not the best introduction to a do-it-yourself project, eh? Well, that’s why I’m showing you this super-easy, half-homemade soap recipe first. This is the boxed-cake version of homemade soap, and it skips the month-long, potentially skin-eating, stage of soap making, and skips straight to the fun, add-your-own-scents-and-ingredients stage. While I do plan to show you how to make soap completely from scratch eventually, let’s start with this delicious (delicious smelling – please don’t eat this) recipe for almond oatmeal soap.
How do we skip the lye stage? By buying a glycerin soap base from your local crafts shop. What’s the benefit of this? For one, you get to choose your own scents and ingredients, and two, you’ll save yourself a big chunk of change by making these instead of buying fancy soaps at some fancy soap shop – if you can’t tell, I don’t often buy fancy soaps, so I’m not sure if a fancy soap store is even a thing. I just like making fancy soaps.
This soap is all about the citrus. Citrus essence oils are great for the senses and help wake up the mind. They are also loaded with vital nutrients for the skin. The added rosemary sweetens the aroma with an earthy twist.
Since this is the cake-box version of soap, there really isn’t much I need to tell you. The steps include: melting the soap, adding the ingredients, mixing, and letting the soap harden again. It’s that easy.
As for tools, you’ll need a pot to melt the soap (or a large bowl if you do it in the microwave), possibly a large bowl or measuring cup for mixing, a spoon or two, and then a mould or pan. Now, I suggest using tools that you don’t use for food. Safe, nontoxic, and organic, or not, I’d rather not risk getting soap into any of my food down the road.
Glycerol soaps come in numerous bases. You can get plain white, plain clear, and then both white or clear with various other ingredients, usually goat milk, honey, olive oil, or other oils.
In this soap, we’re adding three citrus oils and finely chopped rosemary. The rosemary adds a delicious smell and will help exfoliate the skin. You can omit the rosemary if you’d like.
Like almost all food recipes, this recipe is scalable. I work with 1 pound of soap as a base and go from there as it’s easy to work with, and most glycerol soap is sold by the pound. I find, in a 9 x 4 inch mould or pan, this will make about five, 1/2 inch tall soap bars.
- 1 pound clear glycerin soap
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1½ dried tablespoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Grapefruit Essence Oil
- ¼ teaspoon Lemon Essence Oil
- ¼ teaspoon Orange Essence Oil
- Melt the soap in a heavy-bottomed pot, over low heat, stirring constantly.
- Once completely melted, pour the soap into a large bowl or measuring cup. Add the rosemary leaves, grapefruit essence oil, lemon essence oil, and orange essence oil.. Mix to ensure everything is evenly distributed.
- Pour the soap into a mould or lined 9 x 4 inch pan.
- Set the mould or pan out at room temperature to let the soap cool and harden, about 2 hours.
- After the soap has cooled and set, release it from the mould or pan and cut it into the desired number of bars.
- For gifting or presentation, wrap the soap in parchment paper and tie it shut with twine.
Have you tried making soap at home before? Share your favorite varieties with us in the comments!
Photography by Russell van Kraayenburg. Styling by Trevor Rex