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I've become a DIY junkie...
I'm addicted. I can't help myself. About a year ago, I started making my own cleaning products, like streak-free window cleaner, electric dishwasher soap, and laundry soap. Now I can't stop transforming everything from the laundry closet to the medicine chest and bathroom cabinet into homemade, all-natural, toxin-free zones.
A couple weeks ago, I went at it again. This time, I wanted to create an easy-to-make cream shaving soap that foamed up the way I'd become accustomed to with store-bought shaving cream. Like a made scientist, I cooked and stewed, mixed and brewed (and no, it was nothing illegal)! Then suddenly *poof* I held a fabulous shaving cream in my hands. (Okay, it was a little messier than that, but the fabulous part is true :-)
The truth is, it's exciting when you learn to make your own necessities. When I want to replace a store-bought product around here, you'll find me hanging out for hours in my "other kitchen" keeping notes until I'm satisfied. (We're still remodeling an old duplex into a single family home, so I have this funky "project kitchen" to play in for now. It's kinda weird and cool all at once).
I get a thrill out of each product I get to stop buying at the store. You'd be surprised how easy it is to concoct pretty much whatever you need from just a handful of basic ingredients, and all for cheap, cheap, cheap! But what I love better than the money saved, are the toxins I'm able to wave good-bye to each time. So I press on making things like toothpaste, roll-on deodorant, lip balm, and today's creamy shaving soap.
My DIY criteria...
When making any homemade product, my criteria is pretty simple. Here's what's important to me...
- It has to work as well or better than store-bought.
- It has to be easy to make. I'm not one to fuss too much with a complicated recipe (or I'll be tempted to head right back to the store). So I really try to keep things simple.
- It has to use basic ingredients. It can be inconvenient to have to order hard-to-find ingredients online, so whenever possible, I like my recipes to use basic ingredients you can find in most grocery stores. (However, sometimes to make a good product, you really do need those hard-to-find ingredients: That's why I include links for your convenience:-)
- It has to be frugal and save me (and you) money.
- It has to be all-natural and toxin-free. This is actually number one, now that I think about it!
So how does today's DIY recipe add up? Five out of five, folks! Who-hoo! You're gonna love this shaving soap. Just wait 'til you see how smooth and lathery it is for a super close and comfortable shave. And it smells soooo good! (Delicious enough to eat, but just for pretend, okay)?
Are you ready? Then let's talk shaving soap, shall we :-)
1 cup Dr. Bronner's almond liquid castile soap (or your choice, but almond is fab)!
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup baking soda
OTHER TOOLS NEEDED
Stock pot (8 quart or larger)
Small mixing bowl
Pint size jar (wide mouth)
STEP 1: Combine all ingredients in the stock pot and cook. Heat over medium-high, stirring slowly and consistently until a plume of foam reaches to just below the rim of the pot. (Watch carefully! This only takes a couple minutes). Turn off heat and remove the pot to an empty sink (in case it foams over, which I've had happen and it's rather a mess).
STEP 2: Allow the mixture to cool for about 4 hours. As it cools, the plume of foam will shrink down to a sticky thick crust with a shallow watery substance separated and hanging out at the bottom of the pot.
STEP 3: Scoop the solids into a bowl. Using a slotted spoon, collect the sticky mass of solids into the small mixing bowl. Discard the leftover watery substance that remains. (This substance has lost it's poop and it isn't good for much. I tried using it on dishes and the result were sad. Somehow, all the soapiness and lathering action is captured in the thick paste, so what's left is anti-climatic).
STEP 4: Whip it. Place about half of the cooled mixture into a wide-mouthed pint-size jar. Using the stick blender, whip the mix, moving the mixer up and down until you have a thick, rich cream that looks like something you'd glob onto a dessert. I like to use the stick blender and pint jar this way, because it just seems to work best for creating the right texture (very much like traditional shaving cream). The stick blender also makes for easy clean up.
Just look at the smooth creaminess...
STEP 5: Store and enjoy. Store your shaving cream in a separate pint-size jar, or the same one you used for mixing. You can keep your jar of shaving soap in your shower, but keep it sealed when not in use so it doesn't dry out. It's best used within two weeks, but it will last much longer. Over time, it may settle and become a bit stiffer than at first. You can try swiftly stirring it up with just a finger (you may be amazed at how well this creams it up again). Or you could simply give it another whiz with the stick blender to make it good as new.
How do I use this shaving soap? In the shower, spread onto wet skin, rubbing briskly to work up a nice thick lather and shave away!
Is this shaving soap good for both men and women? Well, that depends on how you like to shave: wet or dry. I like to shave in the shower. Wet. I love the way my legs feel after shaving with this cream. My husband, on the other had, shaves at the sink. Dry. He gives this a thumbs down when used in the dry application. However, my adult son who likes to shave wet in the shower, gives this cream two thumbs up. Bottom line, it works best over warm wet skin where there's enough water present to work up a good foamy lather.
This shaving soap is so lathery, can it be used as body wash too? Yes. Body wash, face wash, it's just soap that's super creamy and sudsy, so feel free to use it all over (I do). In fact, the baking soda can actually sooth skin and balance pH.
What razor do you like to use? For several years, I've used and loved the Shick Hydro with blade refills. (They make one for girls, but I use the a guys version. It gives a super comfortable shave, and that's what matters). The Shick Hydro is made of metal so it's weighted for a close shave. It's designed with a five-blade razor that has skin guards to smooth skin and reduce irritation. Use it with today's homemade shaving soap, and I bet your legs, face or whatever will thank you :-)
Have more questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!
Happy shaving, my friend!
Until next time...
Joy--Fearless Farm Girl,
"Farm girl: it's a verb, because it's what you do."
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