We’ve put the original greeting to the website here for posterity………
Hello. Welcome to Wild Hedgerow Soaps
I like to make soap using all natural products. I figure if I’m going to rub it all over my body I want to know what’s in it. So one day I started reading the labels on the cheap shower gel we were using. It looked like a chemistry exam and didn’t make for happy reading.
I started to experiment with making my own soap. I decided to use only high quality oils and natural products. No petroleum products. No fragrance oils. No palm oil. No artificial colourants.
I also like to garden. It’s just a normal small back garden on a wee housing scheme, but I like to spend time out there – watching stuff grow. I like making things out of what I grow too; salads and veg, jams and chutneys, natural dyes. So I started making some oil infusions for my soap. I also constructed a home made still to make my own essential oils and hydrosols. I have already used some in my soaps and look forward to learning more. This is a work in progress. Watch this space.
I’ve enjoyed trying to keep my soaps as natural as possible. I have been playing with natural colourants and so far have had some success with turmeric, spinach and spirulina. It’s great playing with them. I’m thinking about using some mica for proper bright colours, but so far am too busy having fun with what I have. The resulting colours have so far been mostly muted and earthy. If you want bright artificial colours in your soap you may have come to the wrong place.
The first thing everybody does when I show them a bar of soap is smell it. Fragrance is a key factor in soap making. Ironically I have been blessed with a very poor sense of smell. No worries though, my lovely family and friends help me out and tell me when it smells right.
A lot of the scent generated when making soap is lost during the process. As I don’t use fragrance oils, most of my scents are subtle. This goes hand in hand with creating truly natural bars. I have been making my own oil infusions, something which I hope to do a lot more of. This allows me to get fragrance right into the body of the soap, as well as adding some essential oils just before pouring.
The oils I use are all high quality and food grade. I use organic where possible. The result is luxuriant bars of soap that are kind to your skin. Just because it’s home made doesn’t mean it’s not the best. Over the coming months I will write some pages about the oils that I use and the properties that they bring to the soaps.
Soap is made by adding Lye (a strong alkali) to oils. This process is called saponification and is the basis for all traditionally made soaps. Lye is actually Sodium Hydroxide and is used for household cleaning as well as an ingredient in traditional cold process soap making.
Lye is the only man made chemical I use in my soaps. It is an essential one because it is necessary for the whole saponification process. Back in the day soap makers would have used lye from wood fire ashes, however it can be difficult to get the concentration right with this and I want to be sure my soaps are kind to the skin.
So anyway, I can’t just keep making all this soap! I’ve given lots of soap to all my friends and still have a large tottering pile curing in the corner of the room. So here is my soap shop. Have a look around. Buy some soap. Leave a comment and tell me what you thought of it.
Postage and packing is a set price of £3.00, so it makes sense to buy a few bars while you’re here. I’m offering free shipping on orders over £25.
Oh, and I make Lip Balms too. Check them out here.