How to Make Soap

Homemade soap recipes and instructions on how to make soap plus basic information that you should know about making soap and safety precautions.

Some people want to make their own soaps because they get allergic reactions to store brands. Some do it as a hobby and give out as gifts to friends and family members. There are also those who want to make some extra money by selling their homemade soaps in nice little packages. Whatever your reasons it's fun and interesting to try your hand on soap making. Once you've learned to do it, you can use your creativity and imagination to customize your soap to your own likings like adding herbs, essential oils scents, goat's milk or other stuff.

Before you start making your homemade soap, it's useful to have some additional information.

Soap is made with either veggie or animal oils and lye. Lye is also known as caustic soda which is a strong solution of sodium hydroxide or NaOH. This is the substance that causes the chemical reaction that makes soap. So it's a requirement when making homemade soap.

An alternative to caustic soda is using wood ash to produce the lye. But it is inconvenient and troublesome because you have to collect white ashes from your fireplace or by burning hard wood at high temperature. To get the lye, you have to add water and drain the mixture. Lye is caustic and will burn your skin upon contact so you must exercise caution during this process.

Basic soap recipes for homemade soap.

  1. 12 cups lye crystals
  2. 5 cups softened water
  3. 6 pounds lard or tallow

Here is one of the many soap recipes taken from the Internet. You can get more ideas and recipes on how to make soap by doing a search.

  1. 8 oz weight olive oil
  2. 8 oz weight coconut oil
  3. 8 oz weight rendered tallow
  4. 3.49 oz weight sodium hydroxide
  5. 9 fluid oz water

Instructions on how to make soap.

  1. Put water in a glass or plastic bowl. Carefully pour lye into water, stirring constantly with a plastic or wooden spoon. This should be done outdoors or in a well-ventilated area, because it produces caustic fumes.

  2. Mix lye and water to produce heat. When the lye is completely dissolved, set the mixture aside to cool.

  3. Place lard in a stainless steel or enamel pan. Melt over low heat.

  4. Allow both the lye solution and the lard to cool to room temperature.

  5. Slowly pour the lye solution into the lard, stirring slowly and constantly with the plastic or wooden spoon.

  6. Continue stirring after all of the lye solution has been added. Drizzle a small amount of the mixture into the pot periodically. When the soap keeps its shape for a moment before sinking into the mixture, you can add scent, color and herbs.

  7. Pour the soap into a mold greased with Crisco. Wrap in a towel, and let set for about 18 hours or until completely cooled. Uncover and let set for 12 more hours.

The soap may now be unmolded and cut into bars. Let the bars cure for 3 to 4 weeks before using.

How to customize your soap.

If you plan to use your homemade soap, ensure that you know your skin type. Then choose the right oil that suits. Some commonly used oils are olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter and shea butter. The correct amount or measurement varies depending on which oil you use.

Adding essential oils is good because they have therapeutic properties and add fragrance. Oatmeal, cornmeal and other grains can be added as exfoliants. You can also add skin-safe colorants to produce your desired color. These ingredients should be mixed together and added to a cup of the soap mixture, then stirred into the rest of the soap mixture immediately before pouring into the mold.

Consider your safety when making soap. Wear safety goggles and gloves when stirring the mixture of lye and liquid. Add lye to the water instead of the other way. Avoid inhaling the fumes so it is best that you do your soap making outside of your house. The utensils that you use for making your soap should not be reused for other things to avoid possible contamination.

For more specific details on how to make soap, using the correct measurements and other ideas, click on the links below.

Simple Soap Making

Soap Making Video

Natural Soap Making

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