I have a standard and very easy gardener’s hand soap recipe. I use ground pumice and ground orange peel as the scrubby elements. These natural and gentle abrasives, along with Calendula petals and some strong antibacterial essential oils are what makes this recipe a winner. Orange peel in your bar soap recipe gives your soap a nice scrub without hurting the outer layer of your skin- it also anchors the scent of your essential oils, making it smell delicious right down to the last bubbly scrap.
The cocoa butter in this recipe adds a nice bit of extra conditioning properties for your skin and also speeds up your trace time. The stir time for this batch was less than 8 minutes!
Adding cocoa butter to your soap also has the benefit of adding a little extra hardness to your end product.
Besides being great for dirty, muddy gardener’s hands this works very well for removing grease. I once had a young man sneak up to my market table to secretly buy it because he loved it so much for cleaning his hands. He didn’t want his other friend who made soap to know!
I usually make most of my soap in lovely starfish molds that my husband makes for me but for this batch I used a plain old plastic bin greased up with some olive oil. Really— sometimes I get tired of starfish ( tough for a company called Starfish soap company- poor me!)
To give the bars a nice rough looking edge I cut them with a wavy vegetable cutter that I picked up a second-hand store.
Starfish Soap Company’s Gardener’s Hand Soap
Weigh out all of your ingredients in grams except for the Calendula and orange peel
1 cup of calendula petals
2 cups of ground orange peel
50 grams ground pumice
70 grams beeswax
100 grams of cocoa butter
932 grams of palm oil
1060 grams of coconut oil
1410 grams of olive oil
56 grams of tea tree oil, 8 grams of lemon, 18 grams lavender, 38 grams lemongrass, 14 grams lime.
Distilled water- 1358 grams
Lye- 486 grams
In a well ventilated space stir in your lye into your measured water. Cover and set aside to cool. I like to set my lye outside on these cool days to allow the hot mixture to cool down quickly.
Melt your oils and beeswax. Stir in your olive oil and set aside until both your lye water solution and your oils are the same temperature. I usually stir at about 100 degrees F. Hand stir quickly for about 5 minutes. Then use a stick blender for one minute, hand stir for one minute- keep alternating until you reach trace. First time making soap? Find my basic soap making instructions in this blog.
At trace quickly stir in your essential oils and pumice, Calendula petals and your orange peel. Pour into your mold, put a piece of waxed paper on top and then insulate for 24 hours.
To help get it out of the mold, I usually put the soap in the freezer for 2-3 hours. I then pry the sides with my straight edged soap cutter and push it out on a clean piece of packing paper.
In a few hours or even the next day, cut the bars with your funky wavy vegetable cutter and air dry at least 3-4 weeks.
These are lovely gifts to give to your favourite garderner or mechanic, or I like to set my big old chunky bar on the edge of my kitchen sink to wash my hands after tackling some greasy pots and pans. This bar also feels great if someone is in the shower with you to scrub your back.