Hard Times Honey Soap

I am a soap hoarder.  Not only do I make soap, I buy handmade bars of it (like the two more bars I bought Thursday at the farmers market), and I have a gallon of Dr. Bronner’s lavender soap as well.

I don’t know how this started, but I do that know I hate running out of soap, and at this point, it’s fairly unlikely that I will within the next several years.

I also cannot help but save the ends and bits of soaps when they get too small to use, and I store them up in a little dish in the back of my bathroom cupboard (does anyone else out there do this?).  There they sit and dry out and hang out for, oh, maybe a year, maybe two.

I use soap made from vegetable–especially hemp–glycerin; it’s not terribly expensive and is very gentle.  So most of what was in the dish was Jen‘s Hemp, Hemp Hooray (which I now make for myself, since she split for Swaziland and the Peace Corps), oatmeal and coffee gardener’s soap, and possibly some Patchouli Goodness (also Jen’s recipe).

Today I took that dish of soap bits and set them to melt on the stovetop in a Pyrex saucepot.  I used the lower than Low setting, and I added the top crust of what was in my jar of raw unfiltered honey.  It was basically a mix of honey, beeswax, and pollen.  I also added just a smidgen of olive oil.

It was all melting rather slowly and nicely, but I got impatient, as I often do, and I turned it up a little to get those last little bits melted, and then I promptly forgot about it when my friend Gail showed up to chat.

When I returned to the kitchen maybe half an hour later, I had a quite hot and incredibly sweet-smelling caramelized soap-soup in my pot. Not wanting to waste it, I immediately poured it into the cleaned-out glass bowl I’d been using to save the soap bits.  I’d planned to add rosemary oil, but the scent of the caramelized honey was fantastic in itself.

Hard Times Honey SoapObviously, I won’t sell this soap, since it’s made out of the leftovers I’ve been using in my bathroom for the past more-than-a-year.  I’ll let the pretty seven ounce bar cure and dry slowly and put it up against the unlikely event that I run out of soap, soap-making ingredients, and money…

…or, you know, “civilization” ends or something silly like that.


One response

  1. Hi!
    Although I’m not affiliated with either group, I was thinking that you might want to check out Clean The World ( http://www.cleantheworld.org ) and perhaps send the remnants of your used bar soaps to them via Central Care Mission. I’m a big fan of fun bath products, but any that don’t suit my fancy, or the last bits of the soap bars, get sent to them to help prevent disease and death in Third World Countries.

    Central Care Mission
    4027 Lennox Blvd.
    Orlando, FL 32811

    Thanks, and have a great day!

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