Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks: Herb Soap Concentrate

This homemade herbal soap will have you and your house smelling fresh and clean.

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Makes about 1/2 cup

By incorporating essential oils into an oil soap concentrate (I use Murphy’s Oil Soap paste, available at hardware stores), then diluting the mixture with the herbal infusion described above, I get a double shot of herbal cleaning power. I usually use lemon or orange essential oil because they are relatively inexpensive, but many other oils may be used (see “Household Herbs” for other suggestions).

• 1 tablespoon essential oil or combination of essential oils (about 1/2 ounce)
• 1/2 cup or more concentrated oil soap paste

1. Wearing gloves and using a stainless-steel spoon and glass measuring cup, stir the essential oil into the soap paste. Tilt the cup to the side. If oil separates from the mixture around the edges, add more paste and stir. Larger quantities can be made with a mixer or blender.

2. Store the concentrate in a wide-mouthed glass jar. Label it well (it looks like apple jelly). This quantity will make up to 30 quarts of cleaning solution. To use, dilute it by adding 1 to 3 teaspoons of concentrate to 4 cups of water or herbal infusion.

 


Louise Gruenberg gardens as much as possible and cleans house as little as possible in her Oak Park, Illinois, home. She also writes and teaches about herbs. Due to popular demand for reprints of this article, it has been reprinted from our February/March 1997 issue with the author’s permission.

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