We use it for washing our hands, which get very grubby and stained, and for showering and washing our hair too.
We can make natural soaps from pure ingredients that we have at home or are cheap and easy to buy from the supermarket OR we can make elaborate pieces of artwork soaps. The choices are there for us, but I tend to stick to simple and frugal.
We kill our own meat here on our farm, so I generally base my soaps around beef tallow or lard that I've rendered down from the fat from the carcasses. I love to use a percentage of oils too because I like to experiment and try different mixtures.
Liz from Eight Acres blog recently sent me her new soap making eBook which I can heartily recommend to anyone wanting to have a go at making soap.
I never knew I could use beeswax as one of the ingredients, so this is what prompted me to whip up a batch, using beeswax, beef tallow, lard, whey and coconut oil.
Included in the eBook is the link to Brambleberry Lye calculator which is the one I use for calculating the amounts of fats and oils to water and caustic, and fragrance.
I also learned more about "Superfatting" which always confused me until I read Liz' clear description of how it works and what it means. Duh..!! It's simple really, but why doesn't everyone explain it as clearly as Liz does?
I love Liz's previous eBooks on Chickens and Cows, and this one is also superb, at a mere $5 it's certainly good value.
I didn't used to be a fan of eBooks, but realistically, although I love the printed book, I also don't like spending lots of money on books that increase the clutter in our home. I'm starting to move ahead with the times and find it very simple to follow them on my iPhone where lots of my recipes are too.
So if you've been thinking about making your own soap, get Liz's eBook and get started. You will never go back to using store bought soaps again; I can promise you!
I'm off to whip up another batch using beef tallow with olive oil and eucalyptus oil for the fragrance. Simple, frugal.... and the extra bars of soap in my stash will make lovely small gifts for friends who are tired of getting jars of jam.