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How Can I Make My Own Soap?

Coconut oil may be used to create soap.
A bar of soap.
Distilled water, one of the main ingredients in soap.
A bar of lye soap.
Working with lye requires safety goggles.
Essential oils are often included in natural soaps.
Three bars of glycerin soap.
Article Details
  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Learning to make your own soap can be a fun experience. While the final product may not be cheaper than buying the store-made version, it is certainly worth it. People who make their own soap are known as "soapers" or "soapcrafters."

If you want to make your own soap, the first step is gathering all necessary ingredients. The basic soap, known as cold-process soap or “CP” soap is basically made by combining lye and fats such as coconut or hemp oil. Aside from these two basic ingredients, you will also need distilled water, essential oils and colorants, and containers for melting and shaping the soap. If you plan on adding herbs, flowers, or other additives, you will need to get those also. Finally, another thing you need to make your own soap is patience, as the whole process takes about six weeks.

Lye is a powerful chemical and should be handled with extreme care. Gloves and safety goggles are recommended, and working in a well-ventilated area is a must. Lye is caustic and can cause serious burns to the skin and eyes if splashes occur. Lye should also be kept out of the reach of children and pets.

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Once you have gathered all ingredients, you can start to make your own soap. To get the right proportion of water and lye, you can use a website tool like Soap-Calc or follow a sample recipe. Next, dissolve the lye in cold water, making sure you pour the lye into the water and not the other way around, as the combination may explode. Next, add the oils, stirring continuously until all elements are properly mixed.

When the mix begins to thicken, a couple of hours later, you can add any additives, including fragrances. If you want to use molds to make your own soap more fun, wait an additional hour or two for the mix to harden. Once the soap is ready, you need to wait an additional 3 weeks before using it. This process is called "aging" and is essential to the quality of the soap.

If you want to start slowly, you can make your own soap using Glycerin "melt and pour soap." This ready-made product can be melted in the microwave and then customized by adding coloring and fragrances. Once melted, this soap base can be pour into molds or set in trays and then cut using cookie cutters.

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Discuss this Article

LisaLou
Post 5

My nieces and I have fun making our own soap together. When I am making soap with them I use the "melt and pour soap" and have some great kid friendly molds they love to use.

I have molds in the form of familiar Disney and princess characters. They also love to add fragrances like strawberry and cherry to their soap.

This is an easy, fun project that is fun to work on with them. They keep some of the soap for themselves and like to package the rest and give to their friends.

When it comes to molds for your own soap, I would highly recommend using silicone molds. These are becoming more popular and are so much easier to use than plastic molds.

SarahSon
Post 4

When I was interested in learning how to make soap, I signed up for a local class. They taught us how to make cold-process soap, which can be kind of tricky. It took some practice before I felt like I had everything down, and still have batches of soap that don't turn out the best.

If someone is interested in learning how to make your own soap, I would encourage you to find a class like this. The hands-on learning was really helpful.

As far as soap recipes and tutorials, there are tons of them online. You can find a lot of great information on the internet if you aren't able to attend a class somewhere.

honeybees
Post 3

I don't really like using a bar of soap, and prefer to use a liquid soap in the shower and when I am washing my hands. When I was doing some research online I found a great tip on how to make your own liquid soap.

I simply take a bar of soap and grate it with a standard cheese grater. Then I add this to some hot water - hot enough so it will melt the soap. I pour this into a bottle with a pump and I have my own liquid soap.

I like this because I use a bar of organic soap that is much better for me than many of the liquid soaps you buy at the store. Even though it takes a little bit of effort, it is well worth it to use a liquid soap that has a luxurious feel to it without a lot of harsh chemicals.

myharley
Post 2

Making your own soap may cost you more in the beginning when you are ordering all your soap supplies. Once you have everything you need, it really doesn't cost much to make a bar of soap.

I started out doing this the easy way and ordered some glycerin soap from an online supplier. This was a "melt and pour soap" which is a great way to get started. There is nothing more simple that melting this in the microwave and pouring into a mold.

You can customize this with your own favorite scents and find cute molds to pour this in. Even though it is pretty easy to make, they do make great gifts for friends and family.

Maxmama55
Post 1

Can I make lye soap in an aluminum pan? Also, for a load of laundry, how much do I use? Thanks!

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