Handmade Soap, Want Some?

damien's picture
Submitted by damien on

How do you keep clean in the backcountry? My wife (Renee) has been making all of our own soap now for the past year-and-a-half. She has recipes for everything from hand soap, to laundry soap, to dishwasher soap, and everything else in-between. We originally started this venture due to the fact that I have very sensitive skin and we were also getting concerned about all of the chemicals that are being put in beauty products these days. It turns out that homemade soap actually has quite a lot going for it:

Winter Woods Soap
  • Made with natural ingredients: There are no dyes, artificial fragrances and colors, or toxins with unknown long-term harmful effects. The only known long-term effect of using natural soap is cleanliness!
  • Safer for the enviornment: Biodegradable. Less packaging. No detergents, chemicals, or other nasties that cause fish to birth young with three heads. You should still be responsible when disposing of your suds in the backcountry however, making sure to keep our water sources as clean as possible.
  • Effective: We have a friend who is a mechanic. He says that he has never found a soap that get's his hands cleaner that the homemade bar we gave him. Our experience has shown that natural soap is more effective at eliminating body-odor than commercial soaps with strong perfumes.
  • Multi-purpose: Use it to wash your body, your hair, your dishes, or your clothes. You could even brush your teeth with it if you can put up with a soapy taste in your mouth.
  • Locally made: Support local businesses. You can always find locally-made homemade soap. Better yet, if you are crafty, you can learn to make it yourself.
  • Free: You can get it for free. Actually, normally it costs money, but not if you are one of the lucky ones this week. I have two bars of our Winter Woods flavor (don't try eating it though) homemade soap to give away so you can try it yourself. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post before the end of the day on Sunday April 12th. I will make the drawing for the winners next week. Tell all your friends... or maybe on second thought, that would reduce your chances of winning... oh well, do whatever you want.

Update: And the winners are... Robert and Pamela! Congratulations! I just sent you an email message asking for your mailing address, if for some reason you didn't get it, please get ahold of us using the Contact page. Enjoy!



Testimonial for the soap

I've won some of Renee's soap before so am not submitting this comment to enter the draw. However, I am endorsing these skin and function-friendly soap products Renee makes. The lucky winner will indeed be hooked on handmade soap.

I love homemade soap although

I love homemade soap although i've never ventured to make my own (i don't count glycerine) Becky passed on one of Renee's bars this fall to us....and it's WONDERFUL!!! I'm so inspired by your creativity!

Why Use Backcountry Soap/Shampoo?

When I use commercial soap/shampoo on outdoor excursions,mosquitos and bees & wasps LOVE ME. So I am left with two options. 1. Don't bathe....ugh!! 2. Use a homemade soap/shampoo that has natural mosquito/bee repellent odors to it. If the soap has natural skin softeners in it, that also eliminates the need to put lotion on. (Less to pack for backpacking and the lotions tend to be bug magnets too.)

your soap looks wonderful, I

your soap looks wonderful, I am also a soapmaker and just love to look at others creations and I love using other peoples soap, just wanted to say your soap looks very very nice. Janis


[...] I know everything is about spring right now so please forgive the wintery forest photo. But we're giving away a couple bars of homemade Winter Woods soap over at ADVENTUREinPROGRESS. [...]

i would love to win! learning

i would love to win! learning to make soap has been on my list for awhile, but with time constraints, i have learned to depend on other people's amazing soap-making skills! renee, would you post your homemade laundry soap recipe? make laundry soap from store bought ingredients, but if yours is all homemade, i would love a copy to share with a friend who makes soap, travels a lot, and is really eco-aware.
thanks for your generous offer!
which name?

homemade laundry soap recipe

My pleasure to share. I have it posted here over at FIMBY. Basically you make a cold process soap, using the usual soap making techniques, you can find links for that at FIMBY on my soap posts and also under Urban Homestead. Then you grate it and mix it with borax & washing soda to make the laundry mix.

I love the idea of making my

I love the idea of making my own soap...is it something that you would consider doing with the kids?

Off topic - I have a honey farmer down the road where we get our honey - I picked up some beeswax a couple months ago and so last week made beeswax dipped candles with the kids. It was very fun, and we all loved it! Jayden wasn't so sure he ever wanted to do it again though, when he had to help scrape wax off EVERYTHING!!!

Anyways, thanks for your creative input into our life!


Not for kiddos

Nicole, Because of the lye in the soap (it changes by chemical reaction by the time you use it for washing) you cannot make cold process soap with kids. You could make melt and pour glycerin soaps but that's not my kind of soap making.

Soap!! i don't want to be a "wanna-be dirty hippie!"

Free soap . . . natural soap??? Sounds good to me!!

Laurent will have to come down to the house soon (of course the whole family is ALWAYS welcome) - But Laurent especially will dig our new project. We have been collecting turkey eggs (actually EVERYTHING is laying right now) to put in the incubator. i am cleaning it today, and by Wednesday i suspect we will have twelve little eggs incubating!! Fun with nature in the house!

the soap

I am torn between putting my name in and letting somebody else try your soap sort of sharing the wealth since I already was given some. The soap is awesome. With so much going in your life how will you have the time to make enough soap for everybody who will want some after they try it?