I have decided to edit this post in light of recent comments made by a reader. Their comment was:
“Hello, we grow giant seed garlic and noticed your blog. There is a serious possibility of introducing botulism with this- “I would use a cold infusion method – mince the fresh garlic, add it to the oil and let it sit on a sunny window sill for several days.” Reference page:
Setting the garlic in a sunny window would raise the temperature up to levels where botulism would multiply. And windowsill temperatures (especially if a sealed jar were used) will go beyond the breakdown point of the most common garlic chemicals such as allicin and other organosulfur compound products of the alliinase reaction.”
Yesterday my blog stats showed that someone came across my site, twice, through a search engine – The search terms were “where can I buy garlic soap?” and “how to make garlic soap”. I am certain that my blog came up because both soap and garlic are topics I blog about. While I do use many types of plants and foods in my handcrafted soaps Garlic is not one of them. I would be lying if I said that the thought never crossed my mind, but whenever it has I have immediately dismissed it, thinking it was not a good idea.
Regretfully the person searching for information on garlic soap did not find what they were looking for on my blog, so today I want to fix that.
There are actually two things that come to my mind when I hear the term “garlic soap”. One is a soap that would remove the smell of garlic. For this purpose a coffee soap is commonly recommended. Truthfully you wouldn’t even need a coffee soap, just rub some wet coffee grounds onto your hands and the garlic smell should be eliminated.
I do, however, make a coffee soap and many of my customers love it. This soap is made with a triple coffee infusion. I use brewed coffee as the liquid in the soap. I infuse the oils with coffee by adding coffee grounds to the oil and heating it to about 190 degrees Fahrenheit, and I then leave the coffee grounds in the soap to add some extra scrubbing power. I do sell my soaps locally and am willing to ship within the U.S. but I feel that shipping out of the country would be cost prohibitive. You can view my selection of soaps and skincare products here and if you are interested in ordering please email me at email@example.com and be sure to put “soap” in the subject line..
The second thing that comes to mind when I hear the term garlic soap is a soap that is infused with garlic. This is the one that I thought was a bad idea. I can see some potential benefits to applying garlic to the skin. Garlic is said to be antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. It sometimes used as a pesticide and is said to ward off evil. All that being said, it is questionable whether any of the beneficial properties of the garlic would survive the chemical process required in soap making.
Considering the above comment and knowing that there is a the risk of botulism growing when garlic is in an anaerobic environment that had a acidic value above 4.6 I retract any statements or recommendations previously made about using garlic to make soap. Although botulism is generally contracted through ingesting foods that have been improperly processed or stored there is the possibility that botulism could enter the blood stream through open wounds as well. Thus garlic added to soap may pose a treat to the user.
I personally will not be making “Garlic Soap”.
Thanks for reading and have a great day 🙂