To make your own soap is not only a fun activity, it is also one that can come in handy if you cannot purchase soap because of a natural disaster or other emergency situation. The good news about making your own soap is that it comes from three basic ingredients;
- Fat (or Oil)
If you add lye water to the fat, it creates a chemical reaction that results in making soap. This process has been in use for thousands of years and making soap today is not much different.
How to Make Basic Soap
Start with the lye which should be free of any additives. The water should be bottled or purified so that there are no minerals or other elements that can upset the soap-making process. The fat or oil can come from many different sources that include, but are not restricted to the following;
- Coconut, Palm, and Caster Oil
- Vegetable Shortening
To make the soap, start off by measuring the water as well as the lye before adding it to the water. Then, heat the lye water to 100 degrees and separate heat the oils or fat to 100 degrees. When both are 100 degrees, pour the lye water into the fat or oil and stir until the mixture is ready to be poured into a mold for setting. It will need to cure for up to eight weeks after being removed from the mold.
This is another popular method that actually uses finished soap as the base element. You start by grading the soap and then dissolving it into a small amount of water through heating. When the soap is soft enough, you can add colors, fragrances or other ingredients to the mixture to make the soap better for your needs.
Once the soap and the other materials have been blended, you can pour it into molds and let it harden again. This is actually a good method if you have several slivers of soap around and want to make a larger bar. This helps prevent wasting the soap you have made and you can add different colors and fragrances if you like.
Melt & Mold
An easier method, although one that cannot be done from scratch is simply purchasing a soap base from your local hobby supply company. This is soap that will easily melt in your microwave where you can add different essential oils for fragrance and colors which makes the kids happy. Once melted and the materials added, all you need to do is pour it into a mold and let it set.
The big advantage of this method is that you do not have to wait for weeks for the soap to cure and you can store the soap for a long time. The big disadvantage is that this method is rather expensive when compared to other ways that come from scratch.
These are the three basic methods of making soap which are easy to do. Remember that you can add essential oils for fragrance purposes as well as different coloring agents if you desire.