#MakeItMonday – The perfect Pooch Shampoo!
To celebrate national pet month, we thought it would be appropriate to put forward a recipe in honour of our lovable, stinky balls of fluff that we call part of the family!
The additional ingredient in this basic shampoo bar recipe is the wonderful natural oil called ‘Neem’. Neem oil is produced from the seed kernels of the neem tree and then the kernels are crushed and pressed, and the extracted oil is purified.
Neem oil works wonders for pets, particularly dogs and here’s why…
Its anti-inflammatory properties are perfect for relieving and soothing most skin irritations such as dry skin, itching, bites and sunburn. It’s also been known to help treat nasty skin infections because it also contains anti-bac and anti-fungal properties.
If that wasn’t enough, Neem is also said to be a great natural insect repellent!
This Neem shampoo bar is not only the perfect pet wash but its brilliant and nourishing for ‘hoomans’ too. It’s great for the scalp and very soothing for eczema sufferers.
Please note – neem has a very particular smell and may not be to everybody’s preference. It’s not usually as noticeable once in soap but you may want to check it out first J
*This ingredient QTYs in this recipe are suitable for a 1kg Loaf Mould*
1kg loaf mould
Silicone baking sheet if using a wooden or cardboard mould
Two good size saucepans
Measuring utensils and accurate scales
A heatproof jug
A large towel or blanket
Protective equipment (Gloves, apron, eyewear)
125g sodium hydroxide (caustic soda)
227g olive oil (preferably pomace grade but virgin or extra virgin will do)
227g coconut oil
170g palm oil
170g castor oil (B.P. grade)
85g sweet almond oil
28g jojoba oil
1/4 tsp Grapefruit seed extract OR vitamin E (Preservative)
20g Neem Oil (Melted in advance as Neem is hard when cold and will need to be liquid to add to the soap batter)
Make sure you have all the ingredients and equipment listed above BEFORE you start and weigh them out into suitable containers ready to use.
Always wear safety goggles/glasses and use protective gloves when soap-making to avoid injury from spills and splashes.
Prepare your mould by lining it with silicone baking paper. If you are using a silicone mould, you won’t need to do this.
Measure out 340g of cold clean water into a jug. Weigh (accurately) 125g of sodium hydroxide (Caustic Soda). Carefully add the sodium hydroxide to the water, stirring all the time with a spoon or spatula. Be careful not to breathe the vapour that is initially given off, so hold your breath and stir until all the sodium hydroxide has dissolved and there are no lumps stuck to the bottom of the jug.
The solution (now known as Lye) will heat up to nearly 200oF and will need to be left to cool. Place one of the thermometers into the solution and leave to one-side.
If you want to speed the cooling, place the jug in a large bowl of cold water, being careful not to ‘float’ it.
Meanwhile, measure out exactly 227g of coconut oil and 170g of palm oil into one of the saucepans (the smaller if there is one) and gently melt it on the stove. Don’t overheat it, just melt it. When there are tiny pieces of solid oil still left to melt, turn off the heat and leave until completely liquid.
Whilst the solid oils are melting, measure out 227g of olive oil (pomace grade is best) into the other saucepan (this will be the soap-making pan). Then add your Castor oil, Sweet Almond oil, Jojoba oil and ¼ tsp of Grapefruit Seed Extract to the olive oil. The Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) will act as a preservative.
Once melted, pour the combined coconut and palm oils into your other oils and mix them all together.
Important… What you now need to do is keep watch on the temperatures of both the oils and the sodium hydroxide solution (Lye). Once both oils and lye are at near similar temperatures they can be combined. Don’t let everything get too cool. As a guide a minimum of around 80oF and a maximum of around 130oF are ideal limits of temperature. As long as oils and lye are both at similar temperatures between these limits your soap should turn out just fine.
When at the correct temperatures, slowly and carefully pour the lye into the oils, and start stirring (preferably with a hand (balloon) whisk to ensure the mixture all starts to chemically react and combine.
You should stir throughout the mixture fairly briskly. You will notice the solution start to turn more opaque and as the minutes pass it will start to thicken. The stage in the process you have to wait for is known as the ‘Trace’. This is when you can drizzle the mixture from the whisk (or spoon/spatula) onto the surface of the solution and it leaves a visible trace before sinking back into the rest.
Once you have reached trace, add 20ml of Neem Oil.
Pour in to your clean mould and cover with towel.
*Leave to saponify over 24 hours*
Your Soap will need to cure for 3-4 weeks in a dry warm place before you can use it!