Herbal Soap Making
Soap making has become a very popular hobby. A lot of people are attempting to make home made soap either from scratch or from melt and pour soap mixtures available in craft stores. Soap making generally involves the use of three main ingredients – the lye, water, and oils or fat. Using all three together can produce simple home made soap; however, if you want to add more to your soap and make it more special, you can do so by adding other ingredients to the mix.
Herbs and Soap Making
There are also other items you can use as additional ingredients for your home made soap aside from the ingredients mentioned above. Herbs and other botanical items may also be used as soap making ingredients. Most soap makers who use herbs add ground tea leaves into their soap mixture. Adding a few tablespoons of these dried leaves is typically done as the soap mixture comes to trace. You can use any type of tea leaves you like; some of the more popularly used herbal additions to soap are chamomile and green tea.
Soap Making Tea and other Herbal Infusions
A new trend in soap making using herbs and other botanical ingredients is slowly emerging – the use of brewed tea in the lye solution. The same principle used in brewing drinking tea is applied to this method. You drop your tea bag into the hot water and let it steep to allow the essence of the herbs to seep into the water, giving it flavor, color, and scent.
You can also make soap using infusions of herbal oils. This allows the healing properties of the herbs to seep into your soap. To do this, you will only need to place your herbs in a pot, heating it slowly. You can also place the oils in a warm window and leave it for about a day or two – this will work the same way as when using a pot.
Allow the temperature to go up to about 120-130 degrees and let it simmer for about an hour. After doing this, let your herbs go back to room temperature and stir for about an hour. Do not let your herbs cool completely, strain the oil, making sure no herbs and leaves are mixed in. You can then use this oil as you would any other oil you use in the soap making process. Lavender, peppermint, chamomile, and calendula are great herbs to use for oil infusions.