Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tea Tree and Eucalyptus Soap

The inspiration for this soap came out of a very real need to help my husband fight back against athlete's foot. Or in his case, carpenter's foot. He builds custom tiny houses for a small operation here in town and his work boots can lock in a lot of heat and moisture (the ideal environment for fungal growth). With this record breaking summer we've been having, I took pity on his poor feet and concocted a batch of fungus-fighting soap with the power of tea tree oil and eucalyptus! And really, that's about it. Other than the basic soap ingredients, it's just a whole bunch of tea tree oil, eucalyptus essential oil, and dried eucalyptus leaves. The scent is invigorating and refreshing, and I find it helps me wake up in the morning. Oh yeah, and it's not just for feet! The tea tree and eucalyptus have antibacterial and deodorizing properties so it makes for a good all around warm weather soap.


1.5 pounds distilled water
236 grams lye
2 pounds olive oil (or one 33.8 ounce bottle)
12 ounces coconut oil
12 ounces palm oil
8 ounces vegetable shortening*
1 ounce dried eucalyptus leaves
4 teaspoons tea tree oil
4 teaspoons eucalyptus essential oil

*If you don't like using vegetable shortening you can leave it out and just increase the amounts of coconut and palm oils so that you have the same ratio of fats to water/lye. I like to use a small amount of shortening sometimes because it helps the soap go to trace faster. Using this amount of veg shortening doesn't make the bars slimy, which can happen with soap that contains a lot of shortening.

1. Measure out tea tree and eucalyptus oils and cover tightly so that they don't evaporate while you make the soap. Measure out dried eucalyptus and set aside as well. Prepare your soap mold(s) by lining with parchment paper if needed (this depends on what type of mold you are using).

2. Follow basic soapmaking instructions (here!) with the above listed ingredients.

3. At trace, stir in tea tree oil, eucalyptus essential oil and dried eucalyptus until well combined. Immediately pour soap into mold and wrap in towels or blankets.

Here's to happy summer feet!

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