Soap Making Instructional: Bath Jelly
While on business in downtown Portland, I came across a lovely boutique store selling
Jelly Bath. It's exactly what it sounds like--a bath additive that thickens the water to a consistency something like half-set jello. The maker claims it to be as cozy as a "bath blanket" that keeps bath water warm for up to 2 1/2 hours. It should at $24 per soak. Each bath comes with a package of Jelly Bath dissolver. This product is unique to the US market. I must admit, I did find it just a bit odd that you have to click a pop up box acknowledging the company's patent rights before being allowed to enter the online store.
If you aren't willing to fork out the bucks for the upscale version of Jelly Bath, try making your own gelonious mixture. It's easy to make and a great summertime project to do with kids or grand kids.
The next hot, sticky summer day when all you want to do is chill out in the shower or tub, reach into your fridge for some nice cool bath jelly. With the below recipe, you can scoop it out and toss into running water, paint the tub (or yourself), glob onto a scrunchie or washcloth and yes, even bathe with it.
Here's what you need:
1/2 cup melted transparent melt and pour soap. You can also substitute the melt and pour for a liquid shower gel.
2 cups boiling water
1 envelope Knox brand unflavored gelatin
1/2 oz Germaben II (a preservative that prevents mold and available from many online supply companies). Only needed if you won't be using the bath jelly within a few weeks. A couple teaspoons of Vodka (yes, the kind you drink) will also help prevent mold and can be used instead of Germaben II.
1/4 to 1/2 ounce fragrance oil
Water based soap color
Several small containers, like empty yogurt containers, or plastic baby food tubs. I love the plastic baby food containers because they are clear (with no label) and have snap-on lids.
This recipe will make approximately 16 ounces of bath jelly. For firmer Jelly that you can slice, add 1 additional packet of gelatin to the above ingredients. Sliced jelly soap pictured below. I poured the gelatin/soap mixture into a Mold Market tray mold, let set up and then gently removed from tray with a plastic spatula. The tray is scored for easy cutting.
In a bowl, add gelatin to boiling water. Slowly (and I mean slowly; you don't want to create a bunch of foam) stir until completely dissolved.
Set the gelatin/water mixture aside. Using a glass measuring cup, melt the soap base on a low setting in the microwave. Be careful not to overheat.
Allow melted soap to cool down a bit before adding fragrance and color.
Pour melted soap into the gelatin/water mixture. Stir slowly and gently.
Pour mixture into clean containers. Allow to set up in fridge until firm (3-5 hours).
Store any unused bath jelly in the fridge until ready to use. Like any gelatin, it will melt if stored at room temp.
NOTE: You can revise this recipe using liquid soap or bubble bath. Substitute 1/2 cup clear shower gel or bubble bath for the melt and our soap and reduce boiling water to 3/4 cups.
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