It doesn’t have to be gardening season for you to enjoy this natural gardeners soap recipe. In fact, you don’t need to be a gardener at all! Formulated to quickly and easily wash away tough dirt and grime, you’ll find that this natural gardeners soap is also a great option for mechanics, artists and kindergarten teachers. So if you know how to get good and dirty, then this soap is for you.
One of my favorite things about spring is that sense of revival, hope and growth. I love strolling through our local farmer’s market and choosing plants for my garden or new flowers for my yard. This year however I won’t have the opportunity to grow a garden.
While I’m sure my roommate wouldn’t object to me putting a garden her yard, it’s simply not practical. Her home’s backyard is wooded and incredibly shady. The front yard on the other hand, while it does get full sun most of the day, is literally only about the size of small garden.
So this year I think I’ll create a container garden for growing herbs instead. With limited real estate, it makes more sense. And as we are always cooking with fresh herbs, it also has a positive impact on our grocery budget.
One of our favorite herbs is cilantro. Not only is it easy to grow, but it’s one of my favorite toppings for tacos. Luckily for me, I am not part of that percentage of the population that thinks cilantro tastes like soap. We’re also huge fans of fresh sage, basil, mint and thyme.
As such, I’ve found that this Indoor/Outdoor Herb Garden Kit is perfect for starting an herb container garden. It’s small size makes it perfect for apartment dwellers as well as anyone else, who like me, just doesn’t have the right conditions for a traditional outdoor garden.
Alternately, if you have woodworking tools, give this DIY indoor herb garden a try!
Whether you’re planning to grow a garden this year or not, my natural gardeners soap recipe is a must for your next weekend project. It’s made using a combination of naturally exfoliating ingredients like flax seed powder, shredded loofah, calendula flower powder, poppy seeds and fine ground pumice.
However, you don’t have to use the same exfoliants as I did for scrubbing power. If you’re on a budget, I recommend the Exfoliant Sampler from Bramble Berry. It contains 1 oz. each of eight different natural exfoliants for just $15.
Or simply sift through your own cache of soapmaking supplies to see what other ingredients you can use. (You can even make an inventory list while you’re at it so you know just what you have on hand and accidentally order supplies you already have.)
In addition to the exfoliants used to remove tough caked on dirt, paint or motor oil – dealer’s choice! – this homemade soap is highly cleansing to help rinse away stuck on grease, grime and sweat.
To balance out those cleansing suds, I did give my natural gardeners soap recipe a higher super fat. It also ranks pretty high as a conditioning soap as well due to the addition of baobab oil, mango butter and fractionated shea oil.
Finally, I rounded off my natural gardeners soap recipe with an earthy essential oil blend of ylang ylang, patchouli and blood orange. But feel free to swap out my essential oil blend recipe with your own favorite essential oil blend.
Natural Gardeners Soap Recipe
4 fl. oz. distilled or filtered water
2.15 oz. sodium hydroxide/lye
1/2 teaspoon fine ground pumice
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon flax seed powder
1/2 teaspoon calendula flower powder
1/2 teaspoon shredded loofah
.35 oz. ylang ylang essential oil
.25 oz. patchouli essential oil
.15 oz. blood orange essential oil
.025 oz. bergamot essential oil
.025 oz. petitgrain essential oil
soap colorant, as desired
As my natural gardeners soap recipe yields a somewhat softer soap bars, I used a steep water discount. The water weight for this recipe is 25% of the oil weight. Additionally the super fat is 8%.
You can use this information, if desired, to resize my natural gardeners soap recipe using a lye calculator. It’s also useful if you’re wanting to make changes to the super fat or water percentage.
Learn more about using a lye calculator to adjust a homemade soap recipe or to craft your own custom cold process soap recipes with the information found in this tutorial.
For an extra, extra super scrubby soap, you can double the amount of exfoliants called for in the recipe to 1 teaspoon each.
My natural gardeners soap recipe yields six bars of handmade artisan soap when using this round silicone mold.
Begin by gathering the materials you’ll need for this soapmaking project. You will need a digital scale, a digital thermometer, an immersion blender and a 6-cavity round silicone soap mold. (I used this mold for my natural gardeners soap recipe.) Additionally, you’ll also need aluminum free, heat safe containers and utensils for mixing your soap.
You should also take all necessary safety precautions when working with lye. If you are unfamiliar with making cold process soap from scratch, I recommend this soapmaking tutorial to get you started. I also offer several beginner soap recipes to try before attempting this soap including this beginner soap recipe and my palm free olive & babassu soap recipe.
Begin by preparing the lye solution for my natural gardeners soap recipe. To do this, measure out the distilled water into a heat safe container. In a separate container, weigh out the lye called for in the recipe. Then pour the lye into the water – I recommend a well ventilated area – and mix until the lye has completely dissolved. Now set the lye-water solution aside in a safe location to cool.
While the lye solution cools, weigh out the carrier oils and butters called for in the recipe. Combine in a stainless steel pot. Then gently heat the soapmaking oils on the stove over low heat just until the solids have melted.
Remove the soapmaking oils from heat and allow to cool.
In the meantime, if you’d like to color your natural gardener soaps, measure out the colorant. (The usage rate for micas is typically 1 teaspoon per pound.) Then weigh out the essential oils and combine in a small glass beaker.
Once the oils have reached 90°-95°F you are ready to make soap.
Check the temperature of both the soapmaking oils and the lye solution before you begin. Both of these ingredients should be within ten degrees of one another.
Now add your choice of colorant, if using, to the soapmaking oils. Mix briefly with an immersion blender to incorporate the colorant throughout the oils.
Next, pour the lye solution into the soapmaking oils and mix with the immersion blender until you reach a light trace. You’ll know you’ve reached trace when you drag the blender through the soap batter and it leaves a visible trail behind. It’s a little like pudding.
Add the essential oils to the soap batter, then continue mixing until thoroughly combined.
Once you bring the soap to a medium trace, pour the soap evenly into six of the cavities of your round silicone mold. Then gently cover the soap with plastic wrap or parchment paper.
Set the soap aside for 24-48 hours. After this time you can unmold your natural gardeners soap bars.
Allow your soap to cure for four to six weeks in a cool, dry location. After that, your homemade soaps are ready to use.
More Natural Soap Recipes with Essential Oils
If you love my natural gardeners soap recipe, then you may want to also try these other natural soap recipes scented with natural essential oils.
- Summer Citrus Soap Recipe with a Natural Essential Oil Blend
- Natural Calendula Soap Recipe with Essential Oil
- Egg, Milk & Sea Salt Shampoo Bar Recipe with Ginger Essential Oil
- Natural Shaving Soap Recipe with Lavender & Patchouli Essential Oils
- Natural Aloe Vera Soap Recipe with Neem Oil & Essential Oil
- Plantain Soap Recipe with Date Sugar & Frankincense Essential Oil
Or find more homemade soap recipes by way of my DIY Bath & Body Pinterest board and my Simply Soapmaking Pinterest board. Alternately, you can explore all my cold process soap recipes here. Or, if you prefer melt and pour soapmaking, you can find my melt and pour soap recipes here.
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