The pandemic has made DIY-ers out of all of us! Personally, I’ve become a pro at making macrame planters, thrift flipping, and candle curating but now I’m looking for thoughtful gifts that I can make for my friends to share some love (and keep myself busy, too).
If you’ve been following along with Appalachian Botanical Co’s blogs, you’ve probably come across many of our essential oil DIYs from bath bombs to multipurpose cleaners. Now, you’ve got another! Beautiful, eco-friendly, chemical-free lavender soap bars.
Bar soap is a great sustainable alternative to liquid soap and body wash. Liquid soaps, which are packaged in plastic bottles, take 450 years to decompose. Today, there are an estimated 250 million people using bottled body wash in the United States alone. Estimating that the average person uses about 6 bottles of liquid body wash every year (this does not include shampoo, conditioner, or hand soap) this amounts to a staggering 1.5 billion bottles ending up in landfills every year! Many bottled soaps also use artificial fragrances and ingredients that can be harsh on the skin and detrimental to waterways.
Chemical-free bar soap is an easy sustainable swap you can make to help reduce your “plastic footprint”.
Need another reason to make the switch? Here are a few:
- It’s cheap to make
- It’s clean and chemical-free
- It leaves skin feeling soft and moisturized
- It’s pretty
- It leaves no waste
- It makes a great gift
- It smells incredible
Here is an easy and affordable recipe for chemical-free lavender soap that your Galentines (and our planet) will love!
DIY Chemical-Free Lavender Soap
Before we dive in, there are a couple of things to note. If you’re looking for a sustainable soap base, avoid palm oil which is a major driver of deforestation. Instead, look for shea butter or coconut oil! Goat’s milk is another popular choice but as the name would suggest, this is not a vegan source. For a vegan soap recipe, look for a base that uses vegetable glycerin. Make sure to test it on your hand before you use it as a body wash. Lastly, make sure to buy an unscented base so you have greater control over the finished product! Thank you Happy Money Saver for the great recipe!
- 6 ounces (Palm Free) Melt and Pour Soap Base*
- 10-15 Drops Organic Lavender Essential Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Chemical-Free Dried Lavender Buds (look for culinary grade)
- Silicone soap mold of your choice (here is a nice honeycomb mold)
- Small saucepan
- Isopropyl alcohol (optional)
*The amount of soap base you need will vary depending on the size of your mold
- Fill a small saucepan half full with water. Place a large metal bowl over the top of it and bring the water to a boil.
- Slice your soap base into small chunks and place it in the metal bowl once the water is boiling.
- Allow soap to slowly melt into a liquid state, using a plastic spatula to break up the soap chunks.
- As the soap is mixing, use a knife or mortar and pestle to grind the lavender buds into smaller pieces. Save some for sprinkling at the end.
- Once the soap is fully melted, remove it from heat.
- Add in 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil and the crushed dried lavender buds. Stir to combine.
- Pour into silicone molds and top with a sprinkle of lavender buds for decoration.
- Optional: Spritz the freshly poured soaps with a small amount of isopropyl alcohol to remove any bubbles that rise to the top of the mold
- Allow to dry and harden for 2 hours or until the entire bar is solid.
- Gently remove from the molds and they’re ready to be gifted!
Lavender soap bars make lovely gifts for birthdays and Valentine’s day. You can wrap them in leftover butter wrappers or wax paper and then wrap them furoshiki style in excess fabric scraps or a scarf for a unique, thoughtful, and eco-friendly package!
If you’re a lavender lover and want to win someone over to the purple side, consider purchasing them an Appalachian Botanical Co. lavender gift set! Our essential oils are 100% organic and have wonderful piney notes mixed with the homey, comforting lavender smell that you love. This essential oil serves at the base for many of our products within the gift set, including our Lavender Sage Massage Oil and Lavender Body Cream. It also includes a 5 ml bottle of pure lavender essential oil so they can get started on their own DIY lavender recipes! And to sweeten the deal, we’ve also included chocolates from our Sarris Candies, based just a few hours from our farm in Ashford, West Virginia.
Did you give this DIY recipe a try? We’d love to see the results! Head on over to our Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter page for a chance to be featured!
MEET THE AUTHOR / ELIZA TALVOLA is a writer from Pittsburgh, PA who considers herself to be a conscious consumer and traveler, slow fashion advocate, and devoted foodie. She is a firm believer in creative reuse and putting people over profits, and is a long time lavender enthusiast. Her favorite product: Lavender Hand Sanitizer Spray