Congratulations to Mary H! You are the winner of my mystery photo contest! No one guessed the picture correctly, but hey, that's ok!
So, let me fill you in on what this substance is by giving you a little background information. One of the first products I started making under essential8 was homemade laundry soap. I researched for hours on what was considered the best recipe. The basic ingredients in a powdered laundry soap are all pretty much the same - Washing Soda, Borax and a grated bar of soap, such as Fels Naptha. From there, different recipes call for baking soda, added softeners or fragrance agents or different types of soap. I knew that I wanted my recipe to include only natural ingredients - no chemical softeners of any kind or artificial fragrance. Fels Naptha, while I am sure it is a great product, has lots of nasty chemicals in it (a no-no for me). I love castile soap, so I knew I wanted to use that in my recipe.
Now came the hard work...how to grate the soap. I have a hand-held cheese grater, and that worked fine, BUT... it was taking way too long. Back to the computer for more research.... After trolling many blogs with recipes for the laundry soap, I saw posts from several people stating you could put the bar of soap in the microwave as an alternative to grating it. Hmmm.... what would that do?? Wouldn't it explode??
I tried it. I cut the remaining bar of soap (that wasn't yet grated into soap cheese) into a few smaller pieces. I put it into the microwave for about 20 seconds at a time to see what would happen. The soap started puffing up into these strange looking pillows. I pulled the soap out of the microwave and let it dry and cool. Once the soap has come back to room temperature, you can basically crumble it in your hands. SO COOL!
Once the bar of soap has been fully microwaved, I crumble it into smaller pieces and run it through the food processor with the other powdered ingredients in my laundry soap (Borax, Washing Soda, Baking Soda), and then I add the essential oils. It works great because everything is the same consistence, and the soap is able to dissolve completely in the laundry.
So, there ya have it folks. The answer to the mystery photo. It is a microwaved bar of castile soap. :)
Have you tried making your own laundry soap? What recipe do you use?
Oh, and BTW, if you'd like to purchase my hand made laundry soap, please visit the "Shop" tab at the top of my page, and you will be directed to my Etsy site. The soap has the most AMAZING lavender scent (from organic lavender essential oils). Enjoy, and happy laundering! :)