Want to try making soap at home? Here are the 3 basic methods for getting started…
If you’ve ever thought about trying your hand at making your own soap but were too intimidated, maybe it’s time to put those fears to rest, and add soap making to your homesteading skill set!
There are a number of benefits to making your own soap, not the least of which is that you’ll know exactly what’s in it. The ingredients in commercial soaps contain numerous chemicals, fragrances, artificial colors, and more – which you may not want on your body. They can also be very harsh on your skin. When you start making your own soap, you may be surprised to find that it feels much gentler and more natural on your skin, and you are able to choose natural, nourishing ingredients to customize your soaps to your own particular needs and desires.
Not to mention, you’ll save money as well by making your own soap at home – and homemade soaps make unique and useful gifts!
This episode of the Pioneering Today Podcast describes the main steps for getting started with making soap at home:
There are 3 basic methods for home soap making:
- Melt and Pour– Using a base that has already underwent saponification (the easiest place to start)
- Cold Process– Mixing lye and oils together to create the saponification process, involving a curing time (very customizable)
- Hot Process-Mixing lye and oils together with heat to shorten the saponification process (faster but involves more caution)
Which soap making method is right for you?
The easiest method to start with is Melt & Pour. Melt and pour is when you purchase the base (someone has already done the saponification process for you) you can add your own additives from natural colorants, scents, herbs, or bentonite clay, then you pour it into your mold and you have usable soap with in less than 24 hours.
Benefits of melt and pour soap:
Making melt and pour soap is a project you can do with really small children and kids because you’re not dealing with active lye. It can be a great entry way for people who are nervous about the lye.
…It is still more frugal to customize a melt and pour base than it is to purchase this item from the store and you still can control the ingredients and create a customized bar. You can get goat’s milk base, shea butter, glycerin, etc. but make sure you read the ingredients listed on the base before purchasing.
Benefits of cold process soap:
Cold process soap is my current favorite because you really get to customize and control every single ingredient in your soap…
In general, cold process soap creates a smooth and creamy bar, with tons of options for customizing its scent, colors, and additives with herbs, spices, and essential oils.
Benefits of hot process soap:
Hot process soap is made in a slow cooker or a pot on your stove and it goes through the saponification process and the gel phase before you pour it into the mold. This means it’s in the pot and under heat for about an hour or so. It doesn’t have the longer curing time but it’s not thought to be as creamy and has a different finished texture…