DIY: Make Herbal, Eco-Friendly Soap Bars

http://www.motherearthliving.com/Natural-Health/diy-make-herbal-eco-friendly-soap-bars.aspx

A.FaiolaAnne-Marie Faiola owns Bramble Berry, a company specializing in raw materials to manufacture soap and toiletries, and has been making soaps, lotions and all manner of bath and body products since she was 16 years old. She lives in Bellingham, Washington with her husband and son, and when she's not blogging here or for Soap Queen or filming free soapmaking videos for Soap Queen TV, she loves to read, scuba dive and hike. 

Using your leftover soymilk and tofu cartons was never this fun! The environmentally conscious can now recycle in a new and creative way using handmade soap or pre-made organic oil melt and pour base. This project can transform even the most novice crafters into mini, environmentally-friendly Marthas.

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Here's what you'll need:

• Herbs, oatmeal, coffee, spirulina, clay, or food-grade charcoal
• 1 pound (16 ounces) Bramble Berry melt-and-pour soap, organic base
• 1 ounce essential oil (we used lavender, orange and eucalyptus)
• “Soap mold” (a clean, used plastic food dish, like an empty yogurt container)
• Rubbing alcohol

1. Prep your herbs and make sure they are the right size for exfoliating gently. Sharp herbs may be too abrasive on the skin.

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2. Cut the organic melt and pour blocks into 1-inch by 1-inch cubes.

3. Melt the soap in 30-second increments until the soap is fully melted.

4. Add 1/4 ounce to 1/2 ounce essential oil. Remember, if you use a yellow- or orange-colored fragrance, your soap base will look less clear and more yellow/orange.

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5. Mix in your herbs or additives. Stir until the herbs seem mostly suspended. The cranberry seeds are very light and will float to the surface of your soap so make sure you keep stirring until the soap is thick enough to suspect the seeds.

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6. Pour your scented and herbed soap into the make-shift mold.

Tip: Don’t fill your make-shift soap mold all the way up. It helps for easy release to fill it 85 percent of the way to the top and not the entire way.

7. Do one finishing touch of rubbing alcohol to finish off your soap and give it a nice smooth surface.

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Photos courtesy Anne-Marie Faiola  

8. Wait for the soap to harden, get the soap out, wrap with saran wrap, label and enjoy the compliments you get on your innovative way to help save the earth.

Click here to browse Bramble Berry to buy your own soap supplies.