In this article, we are discussing how to make soap at home and few simple and easy steps. Making soaps at home is really an amazing activity, moreover, it can be gratifying too if done properly. You can use these homemade soaps for daily usage and even you can gift it to your loved ones on special days.
Making soap at home is an inexpensive and satisfying way to show your creativity. You can make soap by using a kit, but making it from the first level enables you to know and choose your own ingredients and modify the soap to fit your needs. So read this article to make soap at home by using the cold process method.
Simple Steps to Make Soap at Home:
Step 1: Preparing to Make Cold Process Soap to Make Soap at Home
To make your own favorite soap bar, you need all the following ingredients to make a soap, follow all the steps given below:
- 24 ounces of olive/coconut oil.
- 38 ounces of vegetable oil or shortening.
- 12 ounces lye or sodium hydroxide.
- 32 ounces distilled or spring water.
- 4 ounces of your favorite essential oil, such as lemon, peppermint, lavender or rose.
- Collect all the ingredients such as oils, water, and lye. Making of soap is also known as saponification method when all these ingredients mixed together, they get solid and takes a form of a soap. You can get all these ingredients at your local grocery shop, or a local craft store.
- Set up your soap-making workplace. Make some space in your kitchen, since you need to heat some of these ingredients. In this process, you will be dealing with lye, which is a harmful chemical, it can burn your skin if comes in contact with your skin. So make sure pets and children are not there while you work on this process.
Now, spread a newspaper over the table and collect all the following equipment:
- Rubber gloves and safety goggles, to protect your skin from lye.
- A weighing machine to weigh the ingredients.
- Get an enamel kettle or stainless steel. Avoid using aluminum, and do not use a pot with a non-stick surface.
- A plastic or glass wide-mouth pitcher, to preserve the water and lye.
- A measuring plastic or glass cup.
- Wooden or plastic spoons.
- A stick blender, also known as an immersion blender. This is not that necessary, but it helps reduces time by about an hour.
- Two glass thermometers that record between 80-100 degrees F. You can also get candy thermometers for this purpose.
- Get some plastic molds that are appropriate for the cold process of soap making, or shoe box, or a wooden mold.
- 2-3 towels for cleanup.
Before you start the process of soap-making, read the safety cautions given on the package of your box of lye. Keep the following in mind during the whole process of soap making.
- Wear safety glove and goggles at all times while dealing with lye and raw soap.
- Avoid inhaling the fumes of lye while working outside or inside.
Step 2: Mixing the Ingredients to Make Soap at Home
- Take 32 ounces of water in a large and stainless steel using a measuring scale. Make sure you measure the exact amount of water.
- Now, add the lye to the water. Mix the lye slowly until it dissolves completely. Make sure you keep the container under exhaust fan or ensures that your room is well ventilated and windows are open. Mix the lye using a spoon slowly and gradually until it mixes properly.
- It is essential to add the lye to the water and not water to the lye because if you add water to the lye, the reaction between these two substances is too quick, immediate and can be dangerous too. Once you add the lye to the water, it will heat up the water and release fumes. So keep your face away to avoid breathing the fumes.
- Now, keep the mixture aside. Let it to cool and let the fumes dissolve completely.
- Measure the oils. Measure 38 ounces of vegetable shortening, 24 ounces of coconut oil, and 24 ounces of olive oil.
- Combine all your favorite oils together. Place a large stainless container on the stove on low-medium heat. Add all the oil combined together and stir it until it melts properly. Then remove the container from the heat.
- Next step is to measure the oils and lye. Use two different thermometers to measure the temperature of lye and oils. Make sure the when the lye reaches 95-98 degrees Fahrenheit and oil at the same temperature or lower can also do the job. Now, add oil to the lye and slowly stir to blend oils and lye together using a wooden or plastic spoon. Avoid using metal spoons.
- While mixing you will notice tracing, your spoon will leave a visible trace behind it just like while making pudding.
- Next step is to add 4 ounces of essential oil once you find the tracing. Some fragrances and essential oils will help your soap to set quickly, so be ready to empty the soap solution into molds as soon as you mix in the essential oil.
Step 3: Pouring the Soap
- Pour the soap into the molds. Use an old plastic spoon to fill the molds.
- Make sure you are still wearing your safety gloves and goggles during this step also since raw soap is harmful and can burn the skin.
- Carefully hold the mold above the table about 1-2 inch and drop it to avoid bubbles in the soap. Repeat this a few times to avoid any air bubbles inside the raw soap.
- Cover the mold with a piece of cardboard on the top before adding several towels.
- The towels help protect the soap to allow the saponification process carefully.
- Leave the soap covered, uninterrupted, and out of air drafts for 24 hours.
- Check the soap. The soap will go through several stages during this heating process during this 24 hours. Check out the soap and let it assemble for another 12 hours.
- If you have followed the process correctly and measured accurately, the soap may have a light layer of a white ash-like material on the top. This is basically harmful and can be scraped away with the edge of an old ruler or metal spatula.
- If the soap has a deep oily film on top, it cannot be used, because it has separated. This will occur if your measurements were not correct or you did not stir long enough, or if there is an extreme difference in the temperatures of the oils and lye, when they are mixed.
Remember, If your soap did not set at all or has clear or white pockets in it, this means it is harmful and cannot be used.
Step 4: Curing the Soap to Make Soap at Home
- Unmold the soap. Turn the box down or mold over and let the soap fall on a clean surface or on a towel.
- Cut the soap into several bars. You need to use force to cut soap of this type. You can use a sharp knife, or heavy fishing line or nylon string.
- Allow the soap to cure. Keep the soap to set for another 2 weeks and allow it to complete the saponification process to dry completely. Set the soap on top of a flat surface or a ventilation rack for two weeks to allow the saponification process to complete and the soap to fully dry.
Now, when your soap is all set you can keep it for a month and let it exposed to air to cure completely. Now your soap is all set to use or to present your loved ones.