Introduction to Soap-Making
Learning how to make soap can be useful for several reasons. The nice thing about making soap at home is that you can control the ingredients, smell, and texture. If you find that you enjoy making soap, you could even start your own soap making business. Below you will learn to make soap two different ways: Using a Melt and Pour base and Making Cold Process soaps from scratch.
1.Find a Recipe
Finding a recipe for soap is as simple as a Google search, but you will find a lot more variety by searching on Pinterest or a website that has DIY soap recipes. One of the key ingredients involved in soap-making is lye, which is a caustic material. This means that it will burn through fabric and can even burn your skin as well. Due to this safety concern many people choose to use melt and pour soap bases. If you don’t want to work with lye you’ll want to find a melt and pour recipe. Most Cold Process Soap recipes will require you to use some type of oil such as Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, and Jojoba Oil. However, if you are unable to find a certain type of oil, you can always replace it with a more readily available kind.
2.Gather Ingredients & Set Up Your Workspace
Once you have gathered ingredients from the recipe, you will need to set up your workspace. Be sure to work in a clean area. It will also be helpful to lay down newspaper or towels to keep that area clean. If you are working with lye be sure to use gloves and protect your clothing. You may also want to wear a mask when working with the lye because there will be fumes. It is recommended that you use separate containers and pots for soap making to keep your soap sanitary and to help facilitate cleaning.
3.Make Soap Using a Base
If you don’t want to work directly with lye or want to make soap the easiest way, you’ll want to use a soap base. You can get it at your local craft store or from online. A soap base is basically a blank canvas in soap form, therefore, when making soap from a base, all you are doing is adding color, scent, or extra ingredients to a clear or white soap base. If your base is not separated into pieces, you’ll want to cut chunks of the base soap into 1-inch pieces. After putting the cubes in a pot, place the pot on the stove over low-medium heat to slowly melt the soap. Once the soap base is all melted, you can add the ingredients from the rest of the recipe you picked out or add any ingredients you want to make your own recipe.
4.Make Cold Process Soaps
After setting up your area, you’ll want to measure out the water and lye amounts according to the recipe. Always, be sure to add lye to water and not the other way around. Then, stir until the water looks clear again. Let this solution cool to about 100-120 degrees. Next, you’ll measure out your oils and then mix them together in a pot over the stove or a crockpot. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool to about 100-120 degrees. Then, add the lye/water solution to the oils. Place the stick blender in the solution fully covering the blade under the mixture and begin blending the mixture. Once the mixture is a pudding like texture, also known as a medium trace texture, you’re ready to the soap into the mold. Once you let the mold sit for 24-48 hours, you can remove the soap from the mold. Cut the soap into bars and then stand them up on a tray. Finally, you’ll want to leave the tray in a dry area for 30-40 days so that the soap can finish the saponification or soap-making process. After that, your soap will be firm and ready to use!
5.Customize Your Soap
There are many ways to customize your soap. You can change how the soap looks, smells, and feels. Soap without some sort of color added isn’t very appealing, therefore many choose to add a colorant to their soap. This can be done naturally or artificially. If you wish to color the soap naturally, you can add a spice or natural food powder such as cinnamon. However, many people choose to use mica as a colorant to get fun, vibrant colors.