During my first wet-felting course a couple of years ago, my instructor squirted dish soap in a sprayer filled with hot water and sent us to work. I wasn't even paying attention so I have no idea how much soap she used. What I know now is, through trial and error, olive oil soap is the best for my hands and for most of my projects. Some wools require more soap than others, and the olive oil variety usually fits the bill. Except the liquid stuff isn't cheap! So, here's a simple "how-to". All you need is a bar of olive oil soap (I get mine at my local grocery for $3-$4), a standard kitchen grater, a container, water, elbow grease and a little patience. One 8oz bar will make over a 1.5 liters of soft-gel!
See? Nothing to it and now you have a nice, inexpensive, olive oil soap gel. Happy felting!
Shana's Edit 7/6/14 - Ok, I've learned a couple of things since I first posted this.
1. Forget the grater! If you have a food processor, you can skip the elbow grease altogether and clean your blades at the same time.
2. In a rush for soap gel one day, I put the soap flakes in a glass bowl and slowly added boiling water until I got the consistency I desired.
Hooray for laziness efficiency!!
**If you liked this post, you might really enjoy this one: 12 inexpensive felt studio tools.**