DIY Eco-Friendly Solid Shampoo Bar

Summer is in full swing and so is my desire to adventure through the mountains, swim in every body of water possible and sleep under the stars. From the endless beaches of the Gulf Islands to the beautiful mountainous hikes just north of Whistler, British Columbia, ensure you are prepared to get off the grid with this DIY eco-friendly solid shampoo bar that you can bring on any adventure.

What you need:
Glass one quart mason jar
Stainless steel pot or crockpot for warming oils
Candy thermometer
A soap mold
Digital scale
Immersion Hand Blender
Wooden spoon
Gloves and protective eyewear
10 oz coconut oil
10 oz tallow (or palm oil)
10 oz olive oil
6 oz castor oil
5 oz lye
12 oz distilled water
1.5 oz essential oils

After gathering all your materials, find a well-ventilated area, throw on your gloves and eyewear and start by pouring the distilled water into your glass jar for mixing. Slowly add the lye to the water (they must be mixed in this order). The lye will react with the water causing the mixture to become very very hot (be very careful not to splash!). Stir the mixture and let it sit so the reaction can take place and the mixture can cool back down. Use your candy thermometer to keep track of the temperature.

Measure all the oils (except the essential oils) using your digital scale and combine them in a stainless steel pot or crockpot. Slowly warm the oils, stirring frequently. You want to aim for your oils and your water/lye mixture to be the same temperature when you mix them, anywhere between 100 and 120 degrees will work.

When the temperatures are almost exactly the same, slowly add the water/lye mixture to your oils.

Next, use your immersion hand blender to begin mixing until everything is completely cohesive and the mixture has reached ‘trace’; the point when oils and lye water have emulsified.

Add your essential oils. I used .5 oz each of Rosemary, Tea Tree and Peppermint oils.

Pour your mixture into your mould. Make sure you are still wearing your gloves and eyewear as the saponification of the solid shampoo is not yet complete.

Cover your soap mold with cardboard box and a towel to keep it warm while it continues to saponify. Leave your solid shampoo like this for 24 hours.

While you still have your gloves and eyewear on, wash your utensils in hot soapy water with a dash of vinegar. The vinegar will help neutralize any lye remaining.

After 24 hours, remove your solid shampoo from the mould and cut it into bars with a sharp knife.

Separate your solid shampoo bars on a drying rack and let them cure in a well-ventilated area for 4-6 weeks. After the curing period has finished, grab one of your new solid shampoo bars and set off on your next adventure...

What are some of your favourite camping cosmetics? Let us know in the comments below!

Caley Vanular
Caley Vanular