How To Make Soap
How to make soap at home is no more a big secret or to much trouble either. Anyone can make great soap at home today with very simple grocery-available ingredients. It does require a little practice before you go into a large scale soap making (even if it is only for personal use). Hence, the best advice would be that you practice at least two or three times before you do a large batch. This would help you understand the process, watch out for problems and recognize when is the right time to mix things and how.
The Process For Soap Making
The basic ingredients for making soap are fat, oil, lye and water. In order to improve it you may add color, scented oils and ever extra fat such as shea butter, olive oil or cocoa butter which would make the soap more lathery and soft on the skin. These ingredients could be found in any grocery store.
There are two ways to make soap – one using heat but avoiding the lye reaction (which could be scary and even dangerous for beginners) and the second one being the cold process using lye. In the method where heat is used, you would need to have a soap base which would be melted and to which you add your coloring and scent. This method is very simple and can be done by anyone – even children – at home. All you need is a good base soap, color and scent of your preference and then a good mold where you would pour the melted mixture.
This way of making soap is great for the beginners because it allows them the joy of making soap without any danger or worry of handling lye which can be a serious issue if you are not prepared well for it. The downside of this method is that you have no control on the base materials and hence your contribution is limited. The advantage however, is that you can use the soap much sooner than the one made with the cold process.
What Is The Cold Process?
The cold process of making soap uses lye for bringing about a chemical reaction and thence heat, instead of direct heating. Here the lye is mixed with water and then the fats and heat comes from the ensuing chemical reaction called saponification. You would need to be very patient with this method of making soap since the results would be based upon your capacity of keeping the temperature declining very slowly. Fast cooling would bring the lye out of the mixture resulting a horribly harsh soap.
The downside to this process is that you do have to handle the lye (and you would need some heavy duty equipment for that such as heavy rubber gloves and apron). You would also need to wait for at least 30 days before using your soap because it takes about that much for all the moisture to dry up in a natural unhurried way.
The advantage is that you can make your own soap exactly as you would like them – right from scratch which is great fun and of course fully customized to your taste.
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