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How to make your own soap at home

How to make your own soap at home

There are plenty of reasons to start making your own homemade soap. The food we eat and the water we drink has a great impact on our health and beauty. Yet despite this, we often need other skin and body care products to nourish and clean our skin and body. Commercially produced goods can contain dangerous chemicals and irritate our skin.

Therefore, more and more people are looking for homemade care products such as homemade soaps. In addition to its attractive appearance, homemade soaps are made from natural ingredients and fragrances that will only bring benefits to your skin. Besides, commercial soaps are often overpriced and put in a luxury package that costs more than the soap itself!

Homemade soap will save you money in the long term and make your skin healthy and soft like never before! And if your family and friends like it, you might consider starting a new business and selling home-made soap! If you wonder how to make home-made soap and where to start, follow our simple steps!

Photo by R G5 on Unsplash

Learn some chemistry first

Even if you didn’t have A in chemistry, you’ll still be able to make home-made soap. But to make home-made soap you need to know something important about chemical processes. Soap is the result of a basic chemical reaction between fats/oils and lye. The formula for soap: Alkali base (lye) + water + acid (your oil/fat) = soap. The key ingredient in soap making is lye - sodium hydroxide. No commercial or homemade soap can be made without it. Sodium Hydroxide is your base and when combined with oil (considered the acidic part of this equation) it goes through the process of saponification.

When you mix the two they start a reaction that converts it into glycerin and your soap. Soap is made when your base ingredients go through the chemical process of saponification. Once the soap is made, there’s no lye left in the finished bar, just the natural ingredients, so it can be used safely.

Soap making equipment you’ll need

When learning how to make soap, you need to know which equipment to get and how to use it. As many people use their kitchen appliances for making home-made soap, we don’t recommend it. While you could clean everything really well, it’s best not to take a risk. For mixing bowls, you can use some made of stainless steel, tempered glass, and enamel. Don’t use copper or aluminum, they will react with the lye. 

Make sure not to use plastic bowls, too, as it may melt. Use styrene plastic or silicone spoons to mix ingredients. When it comes to shapes, you can use soap molds or silicone baking pans. You’ll also need a pint and a quart canning jar, newspaper, gloves, protective eyewear, face mask, a stainless-steel thermometer that reads between 90° and 200°, an old cloth/towel, and of course, ingredients.

Photo by sheri silver on Unsplash

The homemade soap ingredients

Now that you've got all the equipment you need to make home-made soap, it's time to look at what you can use as ingredients. Although you can use more, if you are a beginner, try to use the basics of additives. Here are some examples!

1. Water

Water is an essential ingredient of a home-made soap. The water helps the oil and lye complete the saponification process. Once the soap hardens, most of the water will have evaporated. Experts recommend using distilled water.

2. Lye

Probably the most important ingredient when it comes to making soap is lye. Sodium hydroxide, known as lye, is originally derived from ash. No soap can be made without it. Lye reacts with water and you should be very careful while using it. First, you should always use 100% sodium hydroxide, or lye in crystal form. Don’t substitute liquid lye or drain cleaners such as Drano. What’s important to know, is that the chemical reaction produces an invisible gas and heat. When you mix the lye with water, it will heat up and fume for about 30 seconds to a minute. This is why you need to wear protective gloves and a mask. Lye can eat holes in the fabric and cause burns on your skin. Be patient and extra careful with lye. Lye may cause a choking sensation in your throat, but it’s not permanent and will go away after a few minutes. And always remember to add slowly lye to water, not water to lye, because it immediately gets as hot as boiling water and can cause a chemical reaction like a volcano.

3. Herbs

Yes, you can use all herbal material for making a home-made soap, but it must be dried first. As a beginner, you can try with lavender or chamomile. But you can use lemongrass or oakmoss, or some other herbs. If you decide to add herbs, use about ¼ cup of dried plant material per batch of average size. 

4. Scents

Although soap doesn’t need a scent to clean the skin, we all like to use beautifully scented soaps. If you want to add a pleasant smell to your soap, you can choose between essential oils and fragrance oils. Essential oils are mostly plant-based and you can combine them to create custom aromas. On the other side, fragrance oils are synthetic so you can look for skin-safe options in this case.

5. Essential oils

To add beautiful scents to your home-made soap, get quality essential oils. Essential oils are safe, as they are coming from the roots, stems, flowers and plant seeds. Most oils can be used at the rate of 15-20 drops or around a teaspoon per batch of average size. If in doubt, we will recommend some essential oils to get you started. Palm oil is not always harvested responsibly but it creates a good lather and a hard bar. Olive oil creates a creamy soap and nourishes the skin with Vitamin E and K. Coconut oil is a popular home-made soap ingredient and is a great skin cleanser. Avocado, Castor and Lavender oil are also popular ingredients.

How to add colors

In addition to the scent, the appearance of the soap, more precisely, its color, is a very important part of home-made soap. Adding shapes and colors to home-made soap will make it more beautiful. For natural colors, you can use cinnamon or cocoa powder. For green colors, use powdered chlorophyll, turmeric for yellow and beetroot for orange. Although many use food colors, they don’t hold up well in soap.

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

Other additives

There are endless items you can use ass soap additives, such as coffee beans, sea salt, dry milk powder, clays, aloe vera, oatmeal, etc. If you’re a beginner you should start with basics. Once you get better, you can explore other various ingredients and additives.

Methods of making soap

Now when you have all the equipment and ingredients you need, it’s time to speak about methods of making home-made soap. Before we begin, whichever method you choose, you can make fine soap. Just work patiently and follow the instructions closely. Once you’re familiar with the basic steps, you’ll be able to experiment further. There are four basic methods for making soap at home:

  1. Melt and pour: melting pre-made blocks of soap and adding fragrance

  2. Cold process: the most common method of making soap from scratch with oils and lye

  3. Hot process: a variation of the cold process method, where the soap is cooked in an oven.

  4. Rebatching: grinding up bars of soap, adding milk or water, and re-blending

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

Melt and pour soap method example

Whichever method you choose, be extra careful to follow the rules. We’ll give you an example of a home-made soap making method called melt and pour. This soap-making method is like making a cake with a cake mix. You’ll free to choose ingredients and make your recipe, but take care of safety first. To get started with melt and pour soap making you’ll need: a heat-resistant bowl for the microwave, spoons and measuring spoons, melt and pour soap base, the mold, ingredients, colors, essential oils, clean workspace and other things if you wish to add. When it comes to this method, you need to buy pre-made blocks of uncolored, unscented soap “base” from a craft store or soap supplier. Then, melt the soap base in the microwave or a double boiler. Once the soap is fully melted, add ingredients, colors, essential oils or fragrance. When finished, put soap in a mold and it will be ready to use as soon as it hardens. This is the simplest home-made soap making process you can try.

Soap for your smartphone

Scientists have found that the surface of the smartphone is 18 times dirtier and contains more harmful bacteria than a public toilet! Though cleaning your phone with a dry microfiber cloth can wipe the dirt and germs off the phone screen, it won’t actually remove the bacteria. It would be great if we could make homemade soap for our phone as well! Although we can’t, the phone soap does exist! PhoneSoap is our favorite among the best mobile phone gadgets for 2020. Not only can you disinfect your phone, but also other gadgets that cannot be washed with water and soap.

Read also: Things you can do to spring-clean your phone

This gadget with an interesting name is the first and only device to feature vacuum-plated aluminum inner shell, adding additional reflectivity for disinfecting phones and other devices such as phone cases, earbuds, and others. PhoneSoap has enhanced sanitizing experience, killing 99.99%† of bacteria in just 5 minutes!

With this amazing gadget, you can get rid of the bacteria, fingerprints, and grime on your phone. It’s built for large phones, too, so you can put your phone easily and clean it with just a click of a button. Besides, PhoneSoap can charge and clean your phone while you’re sleeping, and you’ll still be able to hear your alarm in the morning. This amazing gadget but also more unique products can be yours if you hurry up and take our spring subscription box!  

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