Making soap at home is a very rewarding experience. It is also a way of reducing home expenses since it is inexpensive, could be used in making worthy gifts for friends, and loved ones. A natural soap is one that is manufactured with natural ingredients such as vegetable oils and animal fats. One of the easiest ways to make soap at home is using the cold process method. The method enables you to decide on the ingredients you want to use and make it in a way that fit your needs. Making a natural soap has three main steps namely gathering the ingredients and equipment needed, making soap, as well as curing and cutting the soap.
Gathering the ingredients and equipment
The first step is to gather all the equipment and ingredients that you will need. For instance, to make 450 grams of natural soap, the following materials will be needed. Ensure that 65g of lye (sodium hydroxide), 136g palm oil, 181g olive oil, 136g coconut oil and 172g distilled water are readily available (Kinai, 2013). The equipment needed are a measuring scale, digital food thermometer, disposable plastic cup, and two heat-resistant pitchers. Besides, two serving spoons that are stainless steel and long handled, measuring spoons , rubber spatula and immersion blender are also needed.
Once all these are in place, the process can begin. Make a soap mold using a small cardboard shoebox that has a lid. Once the soap mixture is ready, it is poured into a mold to enable it to settle. The box has to be lined with a freezer paper and wrapped by old towels. Safety has to be of concern and the process has to be done carefully.
The second step in making the soap is where lye is mixed with water. While measuring the correct amount of lye and distilled water, lye is slowly added to the pitcher with water and stirred using the serving spoon for them to mix. The mixture is then left to cool (McDaniel, 2010). The step is followed by mixing the oils. Measure the correct amounts of coconut, palm and olive oils respectively and put them in a pitcher. The oils are then heated in a microwave until they melt and then stirred well to ensure they combine.
The oils are then added to the lye but must be at the same temperature in order to mix them. Use the digital food thermometer to closely monitor the temperatures and when they are at around 100 to 105 degree F, mix them (Kinai, 2013). Finally, the oil and lye mixtures are blended together. Using the stick blender, stir the mixture until the mixture begins to look like a thick pancake. This takes approximately three minutes. Once the soap has emulsified, add any scented oils like lavender, cinnamon or natural food coloring before the soap thickens. The soap is then poured into the mold.
Curing and cutting
The final step is to cut the soap. Pour the soap into the mold and make an even layer by spreading it. Leave the mold for 24hours and uncover it the next day and there you have your homemade soap (Letcavage, 2013). Cut the soap into shapes and sizes that you desire and leave them to cure for about a month before they are ready for use. Let air circulate into the bars for them to harden during the month. After one month, the soap will be ready for use.
The making of soap is a fun process and there will be gifts to give out once you have the perfect soap.
Kinai, M. (2013). How to hake natural soap. Bloomington, India: Booktango.
Letcavage, E. (2013). Natural soap making. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stockpole Books.
McDaniel, R. (2010). Soap maker’s workshop: The art and craft of natural homemade soap. New York City, NY: F+W Media.