ORIGIN: Polly Pinder’s Home-made and at a fraction of the cost
1/2 cup cold water
2 tblsp caustic soda
1/2 cup melted tallow
1 teasp essential clove oil
1 teasp essential cinnamon oil
1/2 cup rape seed oil
1 teasp turmeric combined with 1 teasp cold water
3 medium sized egg shells
EGG SHELL MOULDS
Using a darning needle, pierce both ends of each egg shell and blow the contents out of the shell.
Rinse the shell well with cold water.
Bake in a slow oven (approx 120–140ºC) for 30 minutes.
When cool to handle, make the hole in the top of the eggshell wide enough for liquid to be poured.
Seal off the other end of the shell with masking or cello tape.
Place the shell(s) in egg cups.
Ensure you have covered your work surface with paper and are wearing protective clothing (rubber gloves and an apron).
Pour the cold water into a heat-proof (glass or pyrex) bowl and add the caustic soda.
Stir with a wooden spoon—the mixture should become quite warm (NB: this solution will burn your skin, so do not be tempted to dip your finger in … instead, you should feel the heat from the outside of the bowl).
When the mixture is lukewarm, slowly add the melted lukewarm tallow, stirring continuously.
Beat with an egg whisk for one minute.
Continue beating gently and add the essential oils, rape seed oil and the turmeric paste.
Beat for one more minute and then transfer the mixture into a jug.
Pour the mixture into the prepared moulds slowly. The mixture will reduce and settle as it dries, so top up the moulds as needed over the next 10 minutes.
Leave to set for 36 hours.
Gently peel away the egg shells and place them onto kitchen towel.
Leave them to mature and cure in a dry, airy place for at least two weeks.
Hints and tips
make sure that your preparation area is well ventilated as the fumes from the caustic solution can be quite overpowering
prepare more egg moulds than indicated as volumes can be variable, otherwise, pour any excess soap mixture into other moulds—silicon cake moulds are ideal
if you do get any caustic solution on your skin, apply liberal amounts of either vinegar or lemon juice
do not be tempted to use the soap before it has matured properly, as the caustic soda needs time to react with the other components in the soap and lose its inherent skin burning properties. One site I visited suggested that if you knock two bars of soap together and they make a hollow sound, then the batch is ready for use
Below: The tops and bottoms of the prepared egg moulds
Below: Some of the soap mixture—it almost looks like beaten eggs with paprika (essential oils and caustic soda in the background)