Making cosmetics ourselves can be very fulfilling, from the selection of raw materials to creating the product. Today, we're having a closer look at soap making.
What's great about homemade soap is that one has the option of using food-grade plant oils and fats, thus guaranteeing a high-quality product. The oils supply the skin with a moisture and conditioning boost. Glycerin is added to the composition which binds water and transforms homemade soaps into a first-grade cosmetic product. What's more, you can let your creativity run wild when it comes to selecting the desired scent for your homemade soap.
Preparation is Key
Prepping your work area and ensuring you are wearing protective gear is vital when it comes to the making of soap since essentially, you will be working with lye. We have listed a few useful tips below:
Clear and clean your working area thoroughly. Spread newspaper on the surface to protect it.
Running water is necessary to quickly wash away any slip-ups.
Choose a well-ventilated room to work in to ensure that the vapours resulting from the making of soap are not inhaled.
Ensure that you have all required utensils and ingredients in reach.
It is vital to wear protective gear since you will be working with lye. We recommend safety goggles and lye-proof gloves to protect your eyes and hands. An apron will guard your clothing against any possible staining and a mask for your mouth is also favoured.
Lye damages metal, thus the contains and utensils used should either be made of plastic or stainless steel.
A pot with a capity of 4 - 5 litres
A smaller pot
A wooden spoon
Moulds (made of plastic or silicone - metal moulds react negatively with lye)
Warning: the equipment used to make the soap should no longer be used for cooking.
Olive Oil Soap Recipe
500 g olive oil
64 g NaOH
150 g water
Mix all ingredients, slowly pouring small amounts of NaOH into the water and not the other way round to avoid the risk of an explosion from occurring. Then, pour the mixture into the desired mould and leave to mature for 8 weeks in a cool, dark and dry place. The longer the soap is stored, the better.
*Approximately 4% deficit of lye
Fragrant Soap Recipe
200 g coconut oil
200 g olive oil
70 g hemp oil
30 g shea butter oil
71 g NaOH
160 g water
30 drops neroli essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
Warm the coconut oil until melted. Add the remaining ingredients to the melted coconut oil keeping in mind to slowly pour small amounts of NaOH into the water and not the other way round to avoid the risk of an explosion occurring. Pour the mixture into the desired moulds and leave to mature for 8 weeks in a cool, dry and dark place.
*Approximately 6-7% deficit of lye
Important to note: each oil type has its own saponification factor. When swapping out oils it is essential to recalculate the amount of caustic soda used. Here is a link that will assist with the necessary calculation: Lye Calculator