It's becoming more and more popular nowadays than ever. Homemade soaps can be a wonderful experience not only to your eyes and nose, but your skin will appreciate it. No industrially-produced soap can come close to the softness of a natural soap since homemade soaps do not have any chemicals which over-dry your skin. Let's walk through the steps you'll need to take to learn this rewarding craft. soap bar box
Soap is the result of a chemical process between lye, a chemical that occurs in nature, and any kinds of oils or fats. In a method of soap making suitable for beginners called cold process soap making, you heat the oils and fats enough to get them warm and mix them with lye. After adding the desired essences and fragrances, you put it into a mold to set.
The whole process for making one batch of soap takes around two hours, but then it has to set in the mold for around 24 hours. In addition, the soap is not ready to use before it's completely cured - and this takes around four weeks. So if you learn to make soap this month, you could be using your own soaps already in a month!
You will need containers and tools, most of which you'll have to set aside exclusively for making soap with. This is the initial investment you need to put in, but after this is done, you could be making soap for years and saving on the money you would otherwise have spent on chemical-laced store-bought soaps.
Here's a general overview of the tools you need: safety equipment for handling lye (rubber gloves, old shirt with long sleeves, plastic goggles, vinegar in case you need to neutralize the lye), heat-proof pitcher for mixing the lye, kitchen scale, steel or ceramic pot, cooking thermometer, rubber spatula. A stick blender is also strongly recommended as without it, you could be cooking the mixture for one or two hours longer!
And after you're done, you're also going to need a mold, which you can make yourself out of a cardboard box lined with wax paper, for example, and a rack to leave the soaps to cure on at the end. And the most important of all - as lye is a strong caustic, it can burn your skin when you spill it, so you need to be careful and follow all the safety procedures. Make sure you feel confident handling lye before you attempt to make your own soap.
But once you've learned the steps, everything is easy and quite rewarding. Imagine how your own soap with sweet fragrances could feel on your skin. Or the look on your friend's face when you give a handmade soap as a gift! There are so many good reasons to learn how to make soap bars.