How To Make Soap At Home
With people now paying more attention to the unhealthy and potentially dangerous additives found in things we use on a daily basis, learning how to make soap at home, which was once a lost art, is becoming popular once again. There are many variations of homemade soap, such as scents, textures, etc., but the first order of business is to learn the basics of how to make soap at home. There are precautions you’ll need to take regarding safety, but nothing really involved. Safety glasses or goggles, rubber gloves and an apron or smock pretty much cover what you’ll need to protect your eyes, hands and clothing. Homemade soap making is a lot of fun, so the little extra work involved can be well worth the effort.
How To Make Soap At Home – What You’ll Need
The basic ingredients of homemade soap are water, lye and some type of oil. Vegetable or plant based oils are recommended, but you can even use lard if you like. Lye, also known as caustic soda, is a corrosive material, so be sure to handle it carefully. This is where your goggles and rubber gloves come in. Also, work in a well-ventilated area. You’ll also need containers for heating your ingredients. I suggest using stainless steel pots for everything. You’ll also need soap molds that you will pour your soap into for cooling and shaping.
If you don’t want to go to the expense of homemade soap molds, you can also use a cake pan lined with wax paper, but then you’ll have to cut the soap after it hardens. You will also need a meat or candy thermometer so you’ll know exactly how warm your lye and oils get. And finally, you will need measuring cups and wooden spoons. Note: all the materials you use when you are learning how to make soap at home are for soap making only. Don’t use them for any other purpose.
Basic Soap Making
There are many soap recipes available on the internet, but the basic steps are pretty much the same regardless of which recipe you use. You actually heat the lye with the water. When they are mixed, a chemical reaction causes the mixture to heat up as the lye dissolves. Once all the lye is dissolved, let it cool to 110 degrees. At the same time, you want to heat your oil to the same temperature. When they are both at 110 degrees, slowly pour the lye mixture into the container with the oil. Mix everything very carefully with your wooden spoon using a figure eight motion.
You have to pay very close attention to your soap when it starts to thicken, or you risk losing control of it. Lift your wooden spoon and allow a little bit of the soap mixture to drizzle back into the pot. If it maintains its shape before sinking, it’s ready. If you wait too long, you might not be able to get all of the soap mixture out of the container, and you will have to replace it before making another batch. This is probably the trickiest part of learning how to make homemade soap because it’s more of an art than a science.
Learning How To Make Soap At Home Takes Patience
Carefully pour the thickened soap into your molds or into the wax paper lined cake pan. Then wrap it with a towel and put it aside for 24 hours. This gives the lye and oil time to finish neutralizing and allows your soap to set. Once that is done, you can turn your soap out of the molds. If you opted for the cake pan, pull the wax paper and soap out together and cut it into whatever size pieces you like. Then store it on brown paper in a cool area of your home. Turn each bar after two weeks and allow it to set for another two to three weeks. Patience is the final ingredient in learning how to make soap at home, because it’s very important that it cures for one month.