Have you ever wanted to make your own homemade salve? Several years ago I made my first jar of salve and became hooked. There’s something very satisfying about picking flowers in your own garden and turning them into a lotion you can use to calm itchy skin and soothe tired muscles at night. If you have been curious about how to create homemade salves but think it is too hard, I’ve got some super simple steps to help you get started.
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Beginners Guide to Making Homemade Salve
The most important thing to remember about making homemade salves is that you can’t really do it wrong. Sure, there are some best practices and recipes that will help ensure success but this is a process where you can learn and experiment as you go. Feel free to try something new and see if it works. You might just discover a salve you love.
The great thing about homemade salves is that you can use what you have. You don’t have to have all the ingredients on this list.
- Carrier Oil of your choice (most common are olive oil, almond coconut or grapeseed)
- Flowers and flower petals
- Beef Tallow
- Shea Butter
- Essential Oils
- Measuring Cup
- Food Scale
Most salves start with some infused oil which simply means you fill a jar with the flowers or petals of choice and then cover with a carrier oil like olive or grapeseed oil. You let it rest in a windowsill for several days up to several weeks and let the oil become infused with the flowers. The heat of the sun will move the process along and create the infused oil.
You can speed up the process by placing the jar in a pot of warm water on the stove and letting the oil heat slightly over a couple of hours. You don’t want the oil to boil so watch it carefully and let it heat slowly.
Once the oil has been infused for a sufficient time then you can make your salve.
- Melt beeswax or tallow in a pot on the stove on low till it becomes liquid. Do not let this boil. You simply want it warm enough to melt into liquid so you can add your infused oil.
- Add your infused oil and essential oil drops as desired.
- Pour into small jars or tins and let harden for a few hours.
What could go wrong?
When I am experimenting with homemade salves, I often think about what is the worst that can happen and go from there.
- If you cook the beeswax, tallow or oils too long, you might burn them and get a strong smell. For best results, melt on low heat and keep them on the stove for the minimal amount of time possible.
- Getting the perfect consistency is a learning process. If your salve is too hard, you used too much beeswax. If it’s too soft, then you used too much infused oil or shea butter. I have had several batches that I wasn’t satisified with the consistency so I simply melted it back down and added a bit more of the beeswax or oil.
Keep a record of how much you use of each ingredient so you can reproduce it later. Trust me, this is important. I’ve had family members tell me they want more of a batch and I can’t remake it because my records weren’t detailed.
Things to Know
- Most salves are going to be pale yellow when they harden even if they are using rose petal infused oil.
- Salves will typically have a very subtle earthy smell unless you use essential oils.
- You can buy small tins on Amazon and use them for perfect gifts!
Where to find your supplies
Some of the basic supplies can be found in your local grocery store. Simply buy an extra bottle of olive or coconut oil the next time you go out. Since most of us don’t have our own bees, then purchase beeswax from a company like Beeswax.com.
Beeswax Co. is proud to offer our naturally filtered, 100% pure Texas Beeswax in bulk. If you need one ounce or hundreds of pounds, our Beeswax is the finest available.
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Ready to try your own homemade salve? Check out these recipes and get started with your new adventure! I can’t wait to hear what you create first.