Lemon Eucalyptus scented hand soap

I continue my journey in the "soap land" with a hand soap.
I cannot forget my grandmother, who was living in the countryside, how she was managing everything in her household. Everything was natural, everything was homemade, everything was recycled and there was almost no garbage left. Of course, the world evolved since then, new technologies appeared and they came with good things but also bad things. Sometimes, when advanced or over processed things hurt you, it is inevitable that you are thinking to go back to the basics and you're recalling how our ancestors were doing those things.
One of the things that my grandmother was doing regularly was soap. She was making big batches so she had enough for an year. There were big blocks of soap as I remember them, cubes of maybe 15-20cm wide. Small pieces were used for washing hands, while the big cubes were meant for washing clothes. How can I forget the big wood trough, cut from a tree trunk, that was serving for making a bath or for washing clothes outside during the summer. And that smell of basic homemade soap she was using is still with me today.
She was doing the soap from lard... only lard as oil. At that time there was no fancy oil available. In Romania there is a tradition that for Christmas a pig is sacrificed. Nothing was thrown away from the pig, not even the greasy lard. I also recall that poor families were passing the winter eating only lard on a slice of bread. Others, like my grandmother, were using it for making soap. Nowadays, I hear many people staying as far as possible from lard. If you want to go on the vegetarian side, I can understand that. However, our ancestors proved lard to be very effective in soap so, it would be difficult to convince me that it is not a good option.

For this particular soap, I have 2 main basic ingredients and some fancy ingredients to adjust and improve the properties of the soap. Lard and sunflower oil were the basic ones. The fancy ones are castor oil, almond oil, coconut oil, palm oil. Maybe in other areas these oils are not so fancy, but for me they are. Ah, and by the way, do not hit me for the palm oil ... I bought one made from sustainable agriculture.
Just for fun, I have added some food coloring. It is totally optional.
As for scent,  I picked a combination of essential oils that was (funny) effective as insect repellent. This gave to the soap a strong citrus smell and I simply love it!

  • sunflower oil - 40%, 400g
  • castor oil - 5%, 50g
  • almond oil - 5%, 50g
  • coconut oil - 20 %, 200g
  • lard - 25%, 250g
  • palm oil - 5%, 50g
  • whole milk - 380g
  • NaOH - 139g
  • Essential oil mix- 5ml (Eucalyptus citriodora oil, Litsea citrata oil, Cymbopogon martini oil, Cymbopogon winterianus herb oil, Pelargonium graveolens oil, Eugenia caryophyllus bud oil, Zingiber officinalis root oil
  • Food colorant (violet)


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