The Things You Need To Know About Soap Making

For many, soap making is an art and a hobby. To others, it is a science. To some, still, it is a passion. But for many others out there, it is still a complex mystery.

But in truth, soap making is not actually all that complicated. This is no rocket science thing and you can do it right in your own kitchen. All you need are some knack for creativity, ingenuity, research, and maybe, love for soaps.

And with the help of the internet, which is, pretty much everywhere, you can access easy-to-do soap making recipes online in a snap of a finger.

Basically, there are three major kinds of natural soap making processes: the cold process, the hot process, and the melt-and-pour.

  • Cold Process

The cold process is not exactly ‘cold’ as in freezing cold, but it does not involve as much heat as the other two. Instead, soaps are made at room temperature. It is done by simply mixing the core ingredient, lye, with the fats/oils required for by the recipe. The process takes several weeks of curing.

  • Hot Process

This method has been known to be the process used since the early days of soap making. Like the cold process, lye is mixed with the fats and oils used in the recipe. The only difference is the use of high temperature in mixing the key ingredients.

  • Melt-and-Pour

Perhaps the easiest process, the Melt-and-Pour is the method used by most beginners in soap making. As its name indicates, it involves melting a ready-made soap (many soap makers prefer Ivory soap for this) and other ingredients. The pouring part is when the liquefied soap along with its other ingredients is poured onto molds.

The materials and ingredients needed in soap making are not all that hard to find as well. They are available in all local craft shops, online soap making shops, and some are even in the supermarket! The most common and basic ingredients include:

  • Fatty Acids that could come from animals or vegetables/grains/other plants. This makes half of the equation that forms the soap. The more preferred ones these days are made from plants because it reacts better with the skin.
  • Lye or sodium hydroxide reacts with the fatty acids when combined. The reaction is a ‘salt’ that becomes the salt.
  • Natural preservatives, like in food items, expand the lifespan of your soap. The most common ones are made from grapefruit seed extract, Carrot oil, and vitamin E oil.
  • Molds/Moulds can be made of wood, plastic, or aluminum. It could also be made of cardboard, like milk cartons. Moulds of tin and copper are highly discouraged since it could cause a reaction on the acid ingredients of the soap.
  • Essences, scents, and other oils are the “flavors” and “spices” that give your soap that distinctive scent and therapeutic effect. Make sure you research first for adverse effects on acid mixtures that might ruin your soap.
  • Mixing bowls, heat-resistant containers, measuring spoons and other measuring device, meat thermometers, and protective gear to avoid direct contact on skin with strong acids. Craft papers and ribbons too for packaging.

Like many other hobbies and crafts, soap making requires ample amounts of interest and several tries and re-tries before achieving total success. There are many varieties and processes to choose from, you just have to find the one that suits your skill level. And of course, find the fun in doing it. That shouldn’t be hard!