How to Make Homemade Soap
We all use soap. In the old days, most people made their own. Today, we are much more likely to buy it from the store. There are lots of brands to choose from, and each brand has various formulations and scents.
But making your own soap has some definite advantages. One of the most significant is the price. We can make soap cheaper than we can buy it. Making it ourselves also gives us complete control over the ingredients, so we can create a soap in a favorite scent that’s perfect for our skin type.
Making soap is easier than you might think. It is, however, important to take certain safety precautions. Here’s a basic recipe:
* 12 cups lye crystals
* 5 cups softened water
* 6 pounds lard
- Put water in a glass or plastic bowl. Carefully pour lye crystals into water, stirring constantly with a plastic or wooden spoon. Do this outdoors or in a well-ventilated area because it produces caustic fumes.
- Mixing lye and water produces heat. When the lye is completely dissolved, set the mixture aside to cool.
- Place lard in a stainless steel or enamel pan. Melt over low heat.
- Allow both the lye solution and the lard to cool to room temperature.
- Slowly pour the lye solution into the lard, stirring slowly and constantly with the plastic or wooden spoon.
- Continue stirring as you add all the lye solution. Drizzle a small amount of the mixture into the pot periodically. When the soap keeps its shape for a moment before sinking into the mixture, you can add scent, color and herbs.
- Pour the soap into a mold greased with Crisco. Wrap in a towel, and let set for about 18 hours or until completely cooled. Uncover and let set for 12 more hours.
- The soap may now be taken out of the mold and cut into bars. Let the bars cure for 3 to 4 weeks before using.
Customizing Your Soap
There are lots of different ways you can customize your soap. To make the best soap for your skin type, you may want to use different oils. Some that are commonly used include olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter and Shea butter. The correct amount varies depending on which oil you use, so look for recipes online or in books until you get the hang of it.
Essential oils have therapeutic properties and add fragrance. Add oatmeal, cornmeal and other grains and use them to exfoliate.To produce the desired color add skin-safe colorants. Mix the ingredients together and add to a cup of the soap mixture, then stir into the rest of the soap mixture immediately before pouring into the mold.
Making your own soap is easy, and is lots of fun. Coming up with the perfect concoction for your skin is rewarding, and sweetly scented homemade soaps make wonderful gifts for any occasion.