Friday, August 23, 2013

Update: Homemade Body Wash

Since my post about Homemade Body Wash in February, I've continued to make and use it. I've developed some tips and tricks after making it a few more times that I thought I'd share with you. Heaven knows the first time I made it turned out to be kind of a disaster so hopefully some of these tips might answer some questions you might have or make the process a little easier.

1. Grate the soap using a food processor
Put the round multi-blade attachment so the smallest holes are facing up and push the soap down into it. Grating the soap as fine as you can makes the melting process much faster. Trying to break it up in the food processor with the normal blades around the bottom of the container doesn't work. The soap will just get stuck to the blades and won't break up. Trust me. Using the food processor dirties a few more dishes, but it's so much faster and it won't give your hand a cramp.

2. Use 3 cups of water per bar of soap
The original recipe I followed called for 2 and I accidentally added 3 the first time I made it which worked out great. I thought I'd give 2 cups a try this time to see how it turned out. Once it cooled, it was too solid. I could have poured it into molds while it was still hot and would have ended up back with bar soap again! It's supposed to thicken up. Really, it is. But there was no way that would break up in my blender (see #5). Maybe it's the type of soap I'm using. (My wonderful mommy bought me Caswell Massey Almond Cold Cream Bath Soaps. Yuuuummy!! I'm super spoiled.) If you're unsure of how much water to add, try making it with 2 cups and see how it turns out. If it's too thick once it cools, simply add another cup of water and put it back on the heat. It will melt in a matter of minutes at this point because it's already watered down.

3. Stir as you're waiting for the soap to melt in the water
In the past, I've always tossed in the grated soap and walked away. I'd come back every few minutes and very little progress would be made as far as melting is concerned. I'd stir it and walk away again. I'd do this for upwards of an hour and a half! Ain't nobody got time for that!! I tried stirring it today and, what do you know, it went so much faster. A matter of 15-20 minutes or so!

Bring the water to boil and then turn down the heat so no bubbles are surfacing
 before you put in the soap. The soap will burn to the bottom of the pan if you melt it at 
too hot a temperature. 

4. Wait for the soap to cool completely before putting it into your container
The soap will solidify a lot which leads me to my next tip...

5. Blend it
In a blender. Or if you happen to be one of the lucky ones, use your immersion blender. The blender will break it up so it's no longer solid and make it so nice and creamy and rich. And it will stay that way when you put it in your body wash container.

I hope this helps. Making body wash used to be stressful for me because I never knew how it was going to turn out. But now I know that by using these tricks, the process will be easier, faster and the end result will be so worth it.

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