Soap is not exactly that expensive, but there are a couple of benefits learning to make handmade soap yourself. First of all, you will know just what goes into it. Things like soap are simply processed on a machine and sent to your local supermarket, so you can never be too sure just what is in there. You are putting this on your skin everyday, so it is worth finding something with ingredients that you can trust.
It's always nice to give something like this to friends and family at a time like Chiristmas or even as a Birthday gift. It is just something different, and knowing you went to the extra trouble to make it yourself is quite special.
Soap that you make yourself is really unique because you can mould it and use any type of flavoring that you want. You can make lovely fruity smelling soap using strawberries or herbs, which are also good for you. On top of that, making bar soap is also a fun thing to do.
Soap Without Lye - Is this Still Soap?
This question is debated all of the time, but basically the answer the answer is no. If there is no lye in soap, then it is known as a detergent, made with surfactants. Without lye, the soap is not able to stick to the grease and oil and get rid of it. A lot of shower gels you buy don't contain lye.
Most soaps you get in your supermarket are also detergents and these can be harsh on your skin because they are made of man made products.
photo credit: flickr.com/photos/madaise/120940358
If you want to make soap without lye, then you would use the melt and pour method. To do this you would grate soap into a pot and then fill it up with anything you want, like herbs or flavorings. You can even add things like seaweed or hemp to add moisturizing properties to the skin. Essential oils are also popular here. Use different colorings to make it pretty.
Next, place this on a gentle heat and keep on stirring until it has melted. Now, place it in a tray and cut it into cubes. You can use it when it is hard.
How to Make Lye Soap
A few safety measures -most people are put off by all of the guidelines, but if you follow these, you will be fine.
- Wear gloves - rinse your hands at once if you get any of this mixture on your skin.
- Don't use an aluminium pot
- Never do this when there are children or pets around - this is not a fun project for the kids. You can do that with the melting method.
- Don't leave this unattended for any length of time.
- Wear protective glasses
- Cover your countertops where you plan to be working
What you will need:
- Glass, Pyrex or Stainless steel mixing bowl
- Stainless steel saucepan
- Plastic or glass measuring jug as well as jug for your oils
- Plastic scale
- Plastic or Wooden spoon
- Plastic covering for covering the countertops
- 170g Lye
- 450ml Water
- 1 liter Olive oil
- 1 cup coconut oil
- colorings and essential oils (optional)
- Start with the preparation - get your safety gear on, cover the countertops and then measure everything out. Clip the thermometer onto the saucepan.
- Add the oils into the saucepan and heat up to 50 degrees celsius.
- Add the lye to the water and get it to the same temperature before pouring it into the oils.
- mix with a spoon or a blender at the same temperature until you reach the trace. This is when you find a small line when you drag a spoon through the mixture.
photo credit: flickr.com/photos/madaise/2257100884
photo credit: flickr.com/photos/madaise/2257053646
- Now is the time to add your essential oils or other goodies that you choose to.
- Have a mould or tray ready, but grease it first so the soap does not stick. Then pour it in.
- Leave this overnight and then flip it over. Now you can cut it into blocks.
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What You Can Color Your Soap With
- herbs - sage, mint, herbal teas, lavender
- orange and lemon rind
- dried orange rind
- essential oils
- cocoa - brown to very dark brown
- cinnamon - reddish brown
- certain flowers
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