How to Make Your Own Soap
If you are wondering why you would even want to make your own soap in the first place, let us inform you that there are quite a few advantages. The most important and interesting benefit of making your own soap is, of course, the fact that you can control and experiment with the ingredients and their proportions. As a result, you will be in full control of the actual smell, feel and effect of the soap on your skin. If that got you interested, then you will be happy to know that it isn’t even that hard! All you will need is a particular recipe to follow and some quality soap making supplies to be on your way towards completing your first batch. On that note, let us now take a look at one of the more simple methods of making soap which will serve as a great way to start things off.
Before You Start
The points below are useful tips to keep in mind before you start.
- Do not use your cooking equipment; soap making and cooking equipment should be kept completely separate
- Copper, aluminum and plastic equipment (bowls and pots) cannot and should not be used for making soap
- Enamel, tempered glass and stainless steel are usually perfect for making soap because they neither react with the lye, nor do they melt
- Lye is caustic and particularly hazardous when mixed with water. It will burn you if you touch it, so use gloves!
What You Will Need
- Mixing bowls made of steel, enamel or tempered glass
- Styrene plastic or silicone spoons
- Soap molds
- A pint canning jar and a quart canning jar
- A stainless steel thermometer
- A towel and some newspapers
Ingredients You Will Need
- Coconut oil, olive oil and almond oil (sunflower oil or grape seed oil will do too)
- Distilled water
- Lye (100% sodium hydroxide crystals)
- Essential Oils
- Aloe vera gel, milk powder, salt, clay and other ingredients as per your own wish.
How to Do It
- Wear a pair of gloves and put on a mask and eye protection, because the fumes can irritate the skin and the eyes.
- Use newspapers to cover the space where you will be working.
- Add ¾ cup of water to the quart canning jar and carefully pour ¼ cup of lye into it.
- Start stirring the forming mix in the jar slowly with one of your spoons while pouring in the lye. Wait till it clears and the water settles in.
- Add the coconut oil (2/3 cup), olive oil (2/3 cup) and almond oil (2/3 cup) into the pint jar at the same time (NOT into the quart jar where the water is settling in with the lye).
- Heat the pint jar in a microwave or a pan of boiling water until the temperature reaches roughly 120-degrees Fahrenheit (F) and then wait for it to come down to roughly 95-degrees to 105-degrees F.
- Now measure the temperature of the lye-water solution and wait for it to come down to the same temperature as the oil mix (95 degrees – 105-degrees)
- Now pour the oil mix into the mixing bowl and then add the lye into the bowl slowly.
- Stir for 5 minutes or more until the whole thing becomes thick and vanilla colored. Once that happens, you now have trace.
- This is the point when you are supposed to add everything that you want, like the herbs and the essential oils. Once you add them, mix thoroughly to blend in everything.
- Pour the mixture carefully into the molds and then cover them up with plastic wraps. Then wrap the entire thing in a towel.
- Check every 24 hours to see if the saponification process is complete. If the soaps are soft and warm, it needs more time. If they feel cold and hard, then your first batch of soaps are ready for curing.
- Cure them for a month while making sure that all sides of the soaps get enough air.
- Either wrap them in wax paper or store the bars in an airtight container to stop dirt from accumulating on the soap.