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Keeping Clean by Making Your Own Soap
Written by: Greg Wiszniewski
Making your own soap has become more popular in recent years. Many people are moving towards this option as a way to save money. Other people want more control over the ingredients put into their soap. Many people find that the homemade soap is not as harsh on your skin as soap that you buy from a store. You can also create a signature scent for your soap by using essential oils. Making soap is not a difficult process, but you do use some dangerous chemicals to create it. It is important to follow the instructions exactly and to wear the recommended safety equipment as you make the soap.
People have been making their own soap for hundreds of years. Traditionally people would begin by making their own lye out of ashes. Today you can buy the lye in the store. Many people made their own soap because they did not have easy access or the ability to buy the soap from a store. Soap making has become popular again as people begin to want greener alternatives, and more control over the materials included in their soap.
Supplies & Materials
- 6.9 ounces lye
- 2 cups distilled water
- 2 cups coconut oil
- 2 cups olive oil
- 2 cups palm oil
- Essential oils
- Wooden stirring stick or spoon
- Soap molds (can be boxes or other items)
- Large glass bowl
- Large saucepan
- Two cooking thermometers
- Freezer paper
The lye can burn your skin, and it can splash when you mix it with another substance, so you need to wear old clothes, the gloves and goggles the entire time you are mixing the liquids together.
- Combine the lye with the distilled water. This will heat up naturally. You need to stir the mixture until the lye is completely dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool until it is about 110 degrees.
- Slowly heat the oils together until they mix into one liquid and are well combined. Do not turn the heat higher than medium heat. Allow this mixture to cool until it reaches 110 degrees. Add the essential oils here.
- Combine the oil and lye mixtures together by slowly pouring in the oil while stirring constantly. Stir until the soap mixture begins to thicken and is near pudding consistency. This is called the trace stage, and a line drawn across the top of the soap should stay. This can take as long as an hour.
- Pour the soap into the molds lined with freezer paper and let it sit there four about 24 hours. Remove the soap from the molds and put it in a dark cool space to age for at least four weeks before using.
One of the benefits of using homemade soap is that you have more control over what goes into your soap. People with allergies often react better to homemade soap. With essential oils and fragrance oils you can make the soap smell the way you prefer it. It is also less expensive than buying soap at the store. The process does take a bit of time, but you can make large batches, which allows you to make more without spending additional time on making soap.
- Making Soap from Forest Resources: This website talks about making the soap completely from items you can find in nature.
- Soapmaking: This is an extensive look at the different processes people use to make soap. It provides several recipes and methods for making your own soap.
- DIY-Make Your Own Soap: This article takes you through each step of the process of making your own soap.
- Making Soap: This article explains how to make soap in 1955. It is very detailed and interesting to read.
- The Miller Farm Guide to Cold Process Goat Soap Makin’: This article explains how to make soap using goat’s milk as one of the ingredients. It is very detailed.
- Soap Maker: Information: This gives you the basic instructions to make your own soap.
- Making Lye Soap Is Economical and Fun: This article explains the benefits of making the soap and provides a basic recipe.
- Daily Life in a Mission – Making Homemade Soap: This is a lesson plan that outlines how to make soap as a class. It also explains why and how people used to make soap.
- Getting Started – Selling Soap: This article looks at how you can turn making homemade soap into a profitable business.
- Herbal Organic Homemade Soap: This National Geographic article outlines the basic steps you need to take to make homemade soap.