Do you know what vitamins, minerals, and chemicals are in the soap you wash with every day? Few people do. You can take extra care of your skin by using organic soap or you can make your homemade soap.
To make your own soap you’ll need to know the basics. Soap is made by a chemical reaction created by mixing animal or vegetable fat and oils with alkaline solutions (lye). This is called saponification and it’s the base of all soaps. You can make these soap bases at home by mixing lye and oils (the cold process) or cooking the mixture (hot process). You can also grind existing bars of soap for a base or buy soap bases from a craft store.
The Right Soap Base
For soap-making novices avoid hot or cold soap processes as the lye can be dangerous. If you’re a beginner try buying soap bases. For the best results check for quality ingredients, it makes for better soap. Try finding soap bases at stores or from suppliers (Bramble Berry). They come in varieties like aloe, palm oil, goat milk, honey and Shea.
When you make soap you will need to add other ingredients to the base. For fragrance consider almond, cinnamon, green tea, jasmine, lemon, peppermint, or vanilla. To nourish your skin consider essential oils like coconut, olive, or jojoba oils. You can add herbs like rosemary or lavender and other natural ingredients like oatmeal, citrus zest, and cocoa butter.
All the tools you’ll need are probably at your fingertips already. You’ll need:
- A double boiler or microwave
- Plastic wrap
- A mixing spoon
- A microwave-safe bowl
- Soap molds or non-stick, small and square cake mold (there are a variety of molds you can purchase online)
- Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle
Here are some simple instructions for DIY homemade soap:
- Start by prepping the fresh ingredients (like herbs or zest).
- Melt the soap base in a double boiler or put the soap base in a microwave-safe bowl covered with plastic wrap.
- Once the base has melted add oils and other ingredients.
- Once you have mixed the ingredients pour the soap into a mold.
- Spray rubbing alcohol on top (to get rid of bubbles)
- Wait for the mold to cool and harden then enjoy!
Looking for a little inspiration? Consider these recipes like fruity soaps, herb and citrus soaps, milk and honey soaps, and lavender soaps.