Making your own soap at home is fun and easy! Plus, DIY soap making gives you control over the ingredients you introduce to your skin daily.
As you research how to make soap, you’ll likely get overwhelmed by options and terminology. Don’t let that discourage you. There are many ways to make soap, but it boils down to two main questions, 1) Which soap making technique suits your needs, 2) What ingredients — natural and synthetic — do you wish to incorporate or leave out?
For many beginning soap makers, the idea of working with lye (sodium hydroxide) can be intimidating. Lye is the chemical that induces saponification with fats and oils. If you are on the hunt for how to make soap without lye, you have two options. You can seek out melt and pour recipes or tutorials on milling/rebatching. You may find that choosing not to work with lye limits your soap making options. Rest assured, with the proper safety precautions, working with lye is safe. Always wear safety goggles, gloves and long sleeves when working with lye. Ventilate your soap making area. It’s best to keep pets and children out of your work space when lye is present and in use.
Hot and cold process soap making involves from-scratch ingredients, and gives you the purest product. All the lye and water are used up with correct saponification. What’s left are the natural ingredients you started with. With hot process soap making, the soap is available right away. That’s because the lye is eliminated rapidly by the hot temps.
It takes 4-6 weeks to cure cold process soap. However, cold process soap making is the preferred technique of artisan soap makers. This process allows them time to create an aesthetically pleasing end product.
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