DIY Room Refreshing Spray

Andrea Marah

DIY natural (well...mostly natural) room and linen sprays are all the rage in recent years for a good reason. Most people are looking to cut down on household toxins and questionable ingredients being inhaled throughout the home. This super simple 4 ingredient spray that you can make in literal minutes, is completely customizable to whatever scent your like. Keep in mind your mixture may be milky or opaque in appearance. Using a white or colored opaque bottle helps hide this. Fragrance ideas: fresh, linen, floral, perfume, fruity, earthy, and spicy.

Watch me make this recipe on YouTube here: 

 Materials & Equipment

  • an accurate kitchen scale
  • gloves (rubber or nitrile)
  • apron
  • plastic or glass 4-cup measuring cup
  • spoon
  • 4-ounce plastic bottles
  • fine mist sprayer tops

Room Refreshing Spray Recipe:

*This is not my original recipe. All measurements are by weight not volume. Be sure to test your recipes and use proper labeling guidelines before reselling to the public.

Version 1 (makes four 4 oz bottles):

  • 92% Distilled water - 14.72 oz
  • 5% Fragrance or Essential Oil - 0.80 oz
  • 2% Polysorbate 20 - 0.32 oz
  • 1% Preservative - Optiphen Plus or equivalent - 0.16 oz

Version 2 (makes four 4 oz bottles):

  • 92.5% Distilled water - 14.80 oz
  • 5% Fragrance or Essential Oil - 0.80 oz
  • 2% Polysorbate 20 - 0.32 oz
  • 0.5% Preservative - Liquid Germall Plus or equivalent - 0.08 oz

 

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Tahitian Orange Massage Oil

Andrea Marah

Monoi de Tahiti oil is a very fragrant oil made from soaking the exotic Tiaré flowers in coconut oil. Originating in French Polynesia, Monoi oil is believed to hydrate the skin (a plus for dry skin) and be anti-inflammatory in addition to its intoxicating scent. When looking to purchase, true Monoi de Tahiti oil will solidify at temps below 70°F. 

monoi flowers and oranges on blue table

Tahitian Orange Massage Oil Recipe:

All measurements are by weight, not volume. 

  • 1.60 ounces Monoi de Tahiti oil
  • 0.80 ounces Argan Oil
  • 1.20 ounces Sweet Almond or Apricot Kernel Oil
  • 4.40 ounces Jojoba Oil
  • 2 ml Sweet Orange Essential Oil
  • 3 drops Rosemary Oleoresin Extract

The Monoi de Tahiti oil in this recipe can be replaced by coconut oil. The other liquid oils can be substituted with an equal amount of the other oils, but the skin feel may change.

Materials & Equipment

  • an accurate kitchen scale
  • infrared thermometer
  • gloves (rubber or nitrile)
  • mixing bowl
  • mask
  • pipettes
  • several measuring cups or small containers
  • spoon
  • 8 ounce plastic or glass bottle with top
  • small funnel

Making The Oil

Before making your product be sure to sanitize your bottle, top, equipment, and work space. If the Monoi oil is solidified, place it in warm water to liquify it before starting.

  1. Suit up. Tie back any loose hair. Put on your apron and gloves.
  2. Place a measuring cup on the scale and tare the scale to zero the weight. 
  3. Weigh out each oil and pour into the mixing bowl one-by-one.
  4. Stir gently for a minute to make sure the oils are thoroughly mixed.
  5. Using a pipette, add the essential oil. Use another pipette to add the ROE.
  6. Stir for about two minutes to ensure all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  7. Pour your completed oil into the bottle using the funnel.
  8. Label accordingly.

 

Like this recipe? Grab my Tahitian Orange Massage Set recipe.

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How To Make Soap With Apple Cider Vinegar

Andrea Marah

If you've ever tried to make an apple cider vinegar soap the usual way you make soap, it may have been a soft mess. Let me tell you why.

Sodium hydroxide is a strong alkaline substance while ACV is a weak acid. Therefore, chemically, the acid content of the ACV is neutralizing a portion of your lye solution and lowering its pH. This means there is less lye to bond to the oils during saponification due to a now higher superfat content. So, you have to account for this when calculating your recipe and do bit of extra math. If you do not add the extra lye, it may result in softer bar with reduced lather.

The Math

For every ounce of apple cider vinegar that is added to the recipe, you will add an additional gram of sodium hydroxide. The final bar may still be a bit soft, but it will continue to harden as the soap cures.

For example, if you are adding five ounces (by weight) of apple cider vinegar, you add an additional five grams of sodium hydroxide to the total lye amount.

How I Formulate With Liquid Ingredients

When creating a soap with a liquid ingredient, that liquid is usually used to replace the distilled water in the recipe. While this is common practice among most soap makers, my personal preference is to use at least a 1:1 amount of lye to distilled water and replace the additional water over that amount with my liquid of choice.

CAUTION: Before trying this, become familiar with the safe lye handling and good manufacturing practices to be as safe a possible. Lye is a caustic substance that can and will cause severe burns if handled improperly. Be sure to work in a clean and ventilated area free of children, pets, and distractions. Have all of your materials, equipment, and ingredients gathered together before you begin.

Rosemary Lavender Facial Soap Recipe (yields about six 5-ounce bars):

All measurements are by weight, not volume. 

Oils & Butters

  • 8 ounces olive oil
  • 5 ounces coconut oil
  • 5 ounces palm
  • 1 ounce shea butter
  • 1 ounce castor oil

Lye Solution

Additives

  • 0.30 ounces rosemary essential oil
  • 0.30 ounces lavender essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon French green clay
  • OPTIONAL: lavender buds and rosemary leaves

Materials & Equipment

*Make sure your mixing equipment is heat resistant.

  • an accurate kitchen scale
  • infrared thermometer
  • gloves (rubber or nitrile)
  • safety goggles
  • apron
  • mask
  • stick blender
  • 6-cavity round soap mold
  • large stainless steel pot, plastic, or glass bowl*
  • several measuring cups or small containers
  • stainless steel spoon
  • silicone spatula
  • plastic or glass pitcher* with lid

Mixing The Lye

CAUTION: Lye is a caustic substance that can and will cause severe burns if handled improperly. When mixed with water, the solution can exceed 200°F and produce fumes. Be sure to work in a clean and ventilated area free of children, pets, and distractions. Have all of your materials, equipment, and ingredients gathered together before you begin.

Making the lye solution is by far the most difficult (and stressful) part of the soap making process. Be sure to measure accurately and carefully. Before beginning, turn on the scale and make sure it is measuring ounces.

  1. Suit up. Tie back any loose hair. Put on your apron, gloves, mask and goggles.
  2. Place a measuring cup on the scale and tare the scale to zero the weight. 
  3. Weigh out the distilled water and pour into the pitcher.
  4. Repeat step 2 for another container or cup. Carefully open your lye and weigh out both amounts of lye into the container. Immediately close the lye and set aside.
  5. Take the pitcher of water and slowly add the lye into the distilled water (DO NOT pour water into the lye). Avoid splashing and breathing in the fumes. I prefer to run a fan during this step but you can also work near an open window.
  6. Without splashing, slowly stir the lye and water with your spoon. It will get VERY hot and cloudy and may produce steam or bubbles. Continue gently stirring until the lye is dissolved and mixture goes clear.
  7. Weigh, pour, and mix the ACV into the lye container without splashing.
  8. Rinse your spoon. Use the lid to cover the lye solution and set it aside on a stable surface. We will use it once it cools to between 100-110°F.
  9. You can now remove your mask.

NOTE: I like to change my gloves or wash my gloved hands after this step in case there is any lye dust on my hands.

Making The Soap

  1. Prep your mold and set aside.
  2. Hydrate your clay with 1 tablespoon of distilled water. Set aside.
  3. Place a measuring cup on the scale and tare the scale to zero the weight. 
  4. Melt (if necessary) and weigh out each oil one-by-one on the scale into a container or cup.
  5. As they are weighed pour them into the large pot or mixing bowl. Scrape your containers well.
  6. Measure your fragrance into another container and set aside.
  7. If using a pot, place on the stove on LOW and gently heat the oils to about 100-110°F. If using a heat-safe bowl, place your container into the microwave and gently heat to between 100-110°F. Check frequently so your oils do not get too hot.
  8. Check your lye temperature. When both oils and lye are between 100-110°F, slowly pour the lye solution into the melted oils.
  9. Using short blasts from the stick blender, begin stirring.
  10. Continue mixing until your reach "thin trace", also called "light trace". Thin trace is when the oils and lye solution are blended and there are no oily spots left in the mixture. It should resemble a thin batter.
  11. Add your green clay slurry.
  12. Add your essential oils and stir your batter until the oils and clay are completely blended.
  13. Carefully pour your soap batter into each cavity of the soap mold. Divide as evenly as possible. Very gently tap the mold against the surface of the table.
  14. Decorate the tops of the soaps with your lavender buds and rosemary leaves if desired.
  15. Place your molded soap on a level surface for 24-48 hours to cool and harden.
  16. Unmold your soap.
  17. After the soap cures and dries about 4-6 weeks it will be ready to use.

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Easiest Homemade Soap From Scratch

Andrea Marah

Easy As 1-2-3 Oils!

Looking to experiment with cold-process soap? There are lots of recipes with only three ingredients total: one oil, lye, and water. Single oil soaps can actually be more tricky to work with, so this is a basic and balanced recipe that should behave itself for even novice makers. In my opinion, if you are going to make your first soap it should at least be good, right! As a warning, before trying this, become familiar with the safe lye handling and good manufacturing practices to be as safe a possible. Lye is a caustic substance that can and will cause severe burns if handled improperly. Be sure to work in a clean and ventilated area free of children, pets, and distractions. Have all of your materials, equipment, and ingredients gathered together before you begin.

Here is the oil break down:

  • 35% Olive Oil
  • 35% Coconut Oil (solid at room temp)
  • 30% Palm Oil

3-Oils Basic Soap Recipe (yields 3 lbs of soap):

All measurements are by weight, not volume. 

  • 11.20 ounces olive oil
  • 11.20 ounces coconut oil
  • 9.60 ounces palm
  • 4.50 ounces sodium hydroxide (lye)
  • 11.50 ounces distilled water
  • OPTIONAL: 1 ounce fragrance or essential oil (try lavender, sweet orange, geranium, tea tree, or frankincense)

Only purchase fragrance and essential oils from reputable distributors. Read the manufacturer's notes to see if it causes acceleration or ricing.

Materials & Equipment

*Make sure your mixing equipment is heat resistant.

  • an accurate kitchen scale
  • infrared thermometer
  • gloves (rubber or nitrile)
  • safety goggles
  • apron
  • mask
  • stick blender
  • soap mold
  • large stainless steel pot, plastic, or glass bowl
  • several measuring cups or small containers
  • stainless steel spoon
  • silicone spatula
  • plastic or glass pitcher* with lid
  • sharp knife or handheld soap cutter

Mixing The Lye

CAUTION: Lye is a caustic substance that can and will cause severe burns if handled improperly. When mixed with water, the solution can exceed 200°F and produce fumes. Be sure to work in a clean and ventilated area free of children, pets, and distractions. Have all of your materials, equipment, and ingredients gathered together before you begin.

Making the lye solution is by far the most difficult (and stressful) part of the soap making process. Be sure to measure accurately and carefully. Before beginning, turn on the scale and make sure it is measuring ounces.

  1. Suit up. Tie back any loose hair. Put on your apron, gloves, mask and goggles.
  2. Place a measuring cup on the scale and tare the scale to zero the weight. 
  3. Weigh out the distilled water and pour into the pitcher.
  4. Repeat step 2 for another container or cup. Carefully open your lye and weigh out the lye into the container. Immediately close the lye and set aside.
  5. Take the pitcher of water and slowly add the lye into the distilled water (DO NOT pour water into the lye). Avoid splashing and breathing in the fumes. I prefer to run a fan during this step but you can also work near an open window.
  6. Without splashing, slowly stir the lye and water with your spoon. It will get VERY hot and cloudy and may produce steam or bubbles. Continue gently stirring until the lye is dissolved and mixture goes clear.
  7. Rinse your spoon. Use the lid to cover the lye solution and set it aside on a stable surface. We will use it once it cools to between 100-110°F.
  8. You can now remove your mask.

NOTE: I like to change my gloves or wash my gloved hands after this step in case there is any lye dust on my hands.

Making The Soap

  1. Prep your mold and set aside.
  2. Place a measuring cup on the scale and tare the scale to zero the weight. 
  3. Melt (if necessary) and weigh out each oil one-by-one on the scale into a container or cup.
  4. As they are weighed pour them into the large pot or mixing bowl. Scrape your containers well.
  5. Measure your fragrance into another container and set aside.
  6. If using a pot, place on the stove on LOW and gently heat the oils to about 100-110°F. If using a heat-safe bowl, place your container into the microwave and gently heat to between 100-110°F. Check frequently so your oils do not get too hot.
  7. Check your lye temperature. When both oils and lye are between 100-110°F, slowly pour the lye solution into the melted oils.
  8. Using short blasts from the stick blender, begin stirring.
  9. Continue mixing until your reach "thin trace", also called "light trace". Thin trace is when the oils and lye solution are blended and there are no oily spots left in the mixture. It should resemble a thin batter.
  10. Add your fragrance and stir your batter until the fragrance is completely blended.
  11. Carefully pour your soap batter into the mold.
  12. Place your molded soap on a level surface in a cool place for 24-48 hours to cool and harden.
  13. Unmold your soap and using a sharp knife, or soap cutter, slice the soap into chunks or bars.
  14. After the soap cures and dries about 4-6 weeks it will be ready to use.

Congratulations--you have made your first cold-process handmade soap! Now, you can stock your home and give a thoughtful gift. Happy soaping!

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