Bird in Hand Farm

Bird in Hand Farm is an imaginary place.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Aloe, Tea Tree, and Peppermint Soap

I found some aloe juice in the back of the fridge.  It smells okay but I decided to make soap with it rather than drink or cook with it.  I found a good recipe in Essentially Soap by Dr Bob.  I am going to substitute the aloe juice for all of the aloe vera gel and part of the water that the recipe calls for.  Aloe, tea tree, and peppermint are all said to be good for nourishing and soothing irritated skin.  I also love peppermint soaps in the winter when I have a cold.

Tea Tree Oil Bar by Dr Bob
12 oz lye dissolved in 650 g of water
175 g olive oil
50 g jojoba oil
650 g palm oil
650 g soy oil
660 g coconut oil
50 g canola oil
25 g tea tree oil
50 g aloe vera gel

I lined the loaf mold and put out a big bowl to catch rain water on Wednesday night.   

On Thursday, the Farmer and I made the soap.  There was more in the aloe bottle than I thought: 546 g.  So, I used the rain water and half the aloe to dissolve  the lye.  I wanted to avoid "cooking" the aloe if I could.  The aloe-water-lye solution turned a bright yellow and then went to a beige yellow with a cream foam on top as it cooled.  

It came to trace easily and glopped into the molds.  Half an hour later it is hot and firm.  I bet when I go back in it will be in gel stage. I picked it up to feel the bottom of the mold.  When I put it back down it cracked open a little bit as you can see in the picture.

It hit gel stage before I went to bed.  This morning the loaf is still warm.  It is also really hard. 

I cut it tonight using a miter box and a scraper.  I don't remember the ash you can see being there this morning.  It's not bad.  The soap is the texture of firm cheese, just a tab crumbly.  I got 15 bars from the loaf mold and 9 small bars from the tray mold.

The house smells great! Maybe I should clean out the fridge more often. 

Update: 4 weeks later I love this soap.  It has great bubbles, smells good, and is rock hard.


  1. Ha ha ha ... the google ad is for Soaptopia!

    Do these soaps lather at all? Or are they kind of oily? I've made "kit" soap before, with all store-bought stuff. They made pretty soaps, but there was no lather. I emptied a tea bag into one for exfoliant, and just about removed my skin.

  2. Thought of you today at the farmer's market. There was a booth set up selling soap with all sorts of different scents and textures.

  3. Beth - This is a cold process recipe. Not sure what your kit was. This recipe has a good amount of coconut oil so it should lather well. Different oils have different lathers. Also, some recipes are way super-fatted and that can knock down the bubbles. I won't know for sure until it is finished curing in a month.