Why Make Soap At Home
Have you ever wondered what chemicals go into commercially made soap? When our oldest daughter was little she would get a rash after her bath. The doctor told me to try changing her bath soap so I tried a new brand. She would still get the rash. We didn’t have google back then so my research was a lot of reading. So I began by looking at ingredients something innocent sounding as fragrance were full of chemicals and toxins. I don’t remember all of the garbage I was putting on my baby. But I knew it wasn’t good no matter what the manufacturer claimed. Look here for just a few of the chemicals and toxins found in baby soaps today. So now I make soap at home using ingredients like goats milk.
In all that reading I had read about homemade soaps and thought I would give it a try. At first, I used lye in my soaps however I wanted a more natural soap for my family. I found that I could add natural ingredients like lavender, thyme, and peppermint for their antimicrobial effects. That’s when I found out about essential oils and using herbs and spices for general all around health. However, this post is about how to make soap at home the natural way not how I treat my families common cold. That’s for another post.
The Things You Will Need To Make Soap At Home
Let’s put safety first. If you decide not to use anything else make sure you have proper eye protection. The other items you will want to have on hand are.
- Rubber gloves the regular kitchen gloves will work just fine.
- Dust mask if you make soap at home using lye this is an essential piece of equipment.
- Fire Extinguisher, When you are working with any heat source, stove or hot plate keep a fire extinguisher close by.
In addition to the safety items above you will need the following equipment.
If you are going to get serious about making soap you want to purchase separate pots for the process. Stainless steel is the way to go. I use a double boiler and recommend you do too.
Either stainless steel or wood is my first choices for utensils stirring, measuring, and ladles for pouring into molds. A stick blender will speed up the process.
Natural Soap Base
A natural soap base is a basic soap with nothing added you add your own essential oils, herbs, and colorants to your specifications.
Essential oils are the where you get your fragrance and some of the antimicrobial properties of your soap. This is just my opinion. Forget the petroleum-based fragrances and add scent using 100% natural essential oils.
Herbs and Plants
My favorite is lavender use dried lavender flowers for a lovely colorant, roses also are a great addition. Plant powders such as oatmeal make an exfoliating soap, Turmeric for an orange color and other benefits to the skin.
Water is probably the most common liquid used to make soap at home. I mostly use water from our well but sometimes I will use a tea from herbs or goat milk.
Now let’s get down to actually making the soap.
First of all, you will grate approximately 8to 9 ounces of the soap base. I use a cheese grater but food processors work as well.
Put this in your double boiler or a crock pot with just a small bit of liquid. 1 or 2 teaspoons is all . Now heat on a low setting stirring often to prevent burning.
This can take a while usually about 15 minutes but can take longer up to 1 hour. When you see the soap is liquefied remove from heat. It will still be a little lumpy but it’s OK. At this point, you add your other ingredients and mix well.
Now just pour or spoon into your mold and allow to cool. Remove from molds and you have your soap ready to be used. If you used a bread pan or something besides silicone molds cut and shape now.
Allow soap to dry for a few days before using it.