How To Make Your Own Soap
Earlier processes of making soap
Till 1916, soap was made out of animal fat (pig fat and cow tallow). But during First World War, fat was in short supply. So an alternative was searched for. It became easier for soap making because of the availability of a variety of oils which are vegetable and plant based which are superior soaps than the ones produces with animal fats. Also vegetable oils are easily absorbed by the skin.
According to chemistry, soap is a salt which forms as a result of the reaction between an acid and a base. Simply speaking, oils/fats combine with Sodium Hydroxide or “Lye” in a process called saponification to produce soap.
But natural ingredients are hardly used in commercially manufactured soap. So if one wants to have better quality, one should make one’s own soap.
The Soap Process
The oil or fat is heated a little. A mixture of Lye and water is made with a desired consistency, and then is poured into a mould. When it takes a shape of a bar, they are then removed from the mould after approximately 24 to 48 hours. They are kept for further hardening which takes about 3 to 8 weeks
A good soap always has accurately weighed ingredients, a good formula and a proper technique.
Home soap makers use cold process method in which the neutralization takes place during the molding stage.
In the semi-boiled method the mixture is given heat over a double-boiler to cause the soap to neutralize before being molded.
In large commercial methods all ingredients are prepared in one large container and heat is added causing neutralization: this called full boiled method (Glycerin is a by-product).
A transparent soap takes place r by adding solvents such as alcohol to prevent crystal formation while cooling. But it is to be understood that glycerin is not needed to produce a clear or transparent soap. If glycerin is added, then the resultant soap can dry the skin.
Melt and Pour Soap is produced when pure glycerin, animal or vegetable derived, is solidified by the addition of plastizer chemicals. To produce a foam, detergents are added.
Preservatives can slow the decay of soap
Oxidation occurs within fats/oils. To slow that process Carrot oil, Vitamin E oil, and Grapefruit Seed Extract are added which contain powerful anti-oxidants such as vitamin A, E and C, which can help prevent spoilage.
One large stainless steel mixing bowl to mix the ingredients without splatter is needed for mixing. A heat-resistant container is needed to hold 2 cups to mix Lye and water, enough so that rapid heat loss doesn’t happen. Another container is required to heat oils. Glass and stainless steel thermometers are needed each one for lye and the oil.
One should protect self with long sleeved shirt, pants, shoes, glasses and rubber gloves. A bottle of vinegar to neutralize lye spills can be handy. Soap moulds made up of plastic, cardboard and wood can be used. Other equipments needed are measuring spoons, pot holders or oven mitts, and plastic spatulas, digital scale accurate to at least two grams.
VISITOR COMMENTS on "How To Make Your Own Soap":
Bookmark This Page: