Welcome to our ultimate guide which we will give you information everything about soap making at home from the soap making methods to soap making supplies list. But, let’s take our time and start from the beginning.
We all know that soap is one of the most important inventions for personal hygiene. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, we all remembered once again how important soap is. If you want to save money and have fun while being creative, soap making at home is definitely for you. So, let us help you.
How Do You Make Your Own Soap at Home?
Making soap at home is a very practical hobby. You don’t only have fun but also you make a product by using your creativity to use later on your personal hygiene. It will be a totally new experience for you and learning how to make soap at home is not even that hard.
Soap is actually what we get as a result of a chemical reaction between lye which is an alkali and oil that comes from plants or animals. After these acid and base get mixed with the help of heat, you get the soap. This chemical reaction is called “saponification”. If you want to make bar soap, you need to use sodium hydroxide as the lye we talked about. On the other hand, liquid soaps consist of potassium hydroxide. This is basically how you make soap.
However, working with lye is very dangerous, especially for a beginner. It can seriously burn your skin and even create holes in your clothes. Since lye is one of the major elements of soap-making supplies list, and without it, there is no saponification process and therefore no soap, what should you do as a beginner?
You can still use lye if you follow safety procedures such as wearing eye protection and gloves. Yet, if it sounds extremely dangerous and you don’t want to get hurt for a hobby you are new to, there is a solution called soap base. The soap base is a simple soap bar that you can buy and this soap base is already a combination of oil and lye. So, the only thing you have to do is melt it and decorate it by adding colors or scents. It’s up to your imagination.
To give a proper answer to the question “How do you make your own soap at home?”, you should know soap making methods and soap making supplies list. So, keep on reading the article.
We had previously published an article on candle making. It is a similar process. You can check it out here.
What Is the Easiest Way to Make Soap?
As we mentioned before, soap is actually a result of oil and lye. You can’t make soap without lye. This lye is sodium hydroxide if you are going to make bar soap, or potassium hydroxide if you are going to make liquid soap. However, working with lye might be extremely dangerous if you are a beginner or you don’t follow safety rules. This is why soap making can be hard.
The easiest way to make soap is, without using lye, to buy soap bar which is also called melt-and-pour soap. This kind of soap bar is already been through saponification, meaning it’s already a mixture of oil and lyre. For a beginner, it is the safest and easiest way to make soap. All you have to do is, melt the soap bar. Then you can add the fragrance and color of your choice. The last step is just to pour it into molds and you are done. Easy, right? Don’t worry, it is as easy as it sounds.
These soap bars which have been through saponification comes in various types. You can use these and still be free to be as creative as possible. You can pick what kind of oil and lye the bar includes.
Don’t think that making soap out of a melt-and-pour soap base doesn’t count as making a real soap. Remember that safety is always first. After you do a lot of practice with these soap bars and make beautiful smelling soaps, you can decide if you are going to start use lye or not. Until then, just try to enjoy your hobby.
Soap Making Methods
Making soap at home is a very creative hobby. When you think about it, you would be surprised how free you actually are because it’s all up to your imagination.
You can make a plain soap bar with only a soft scent or you can make a colorful, heavily scented soap bar with a shape you choose.
When you are making soap at home, there are a few methods that will help you get the result you want. Don’t worry, you still have a lot of opinions. There are primarily four soap making methods.
After you understand all of these methods’ advantages and disadvantages, you can easily pick the method which will suit you most.
1. Melt and Pour Soap Making Method
We have mentioned about melt and pour soap making method before in this article so we won’t talk about it much here. You already know that it is a very easy and safe method for soap making at home. It is the most efficient method for beginners since they don’t have to deal with lye. It also shortens your soap making supplies list, so you can say that it is also a cheap method. Let’s come to the pros and cons:
- It is easy and safe because you don’t need lye.
- It is great for beginners.
- Only a few supplies needed to make a soap by this method.
- There are limited soap bases.
- It doesn’t have high quality as other methods.
2. Cold Process Soap Making Method
The cold process soap making method is more complex than melt and pour soap because you need to mix oil and lye by yourself. Because of this reason, it takes longer. However, this method is the most common one for advanced soap makers at home.
In this method, you are making soap from scratch while you are using oil and lye. After the saponification process, you just add colors, fragrances, and herbs of your choice.
- You can easily customize the ingredients you are going to use.
- With this method, you can make long-lasting soap with higher quality.
- It requires lye, so it can be dangerous.
- It needs to take some time to be done.
3. Hot Process Soap Making Method
The hot process soap making method is almost the same as the cold process method. The only difference is, in the hot process method you are using heat to speed up the saponification process.
- You can make a high-quality soap in a little time.
- Just like in the cold process method, the ingredients can be easily customized.
- You need to take extra precautions due to heat and chemicals.
- This method is not suitable for children and you can’t use this method around them.
4. Rebatched Soap Making Method
The rebatching soap making method, which is also known as the milled soap method is actually very similar to the melt and pour method except you don’t use a previously-made soap base. This method is used to make soap out of other soaps. All you have to do, melt the soap and follow the same steps that are used in cold or hot process soap making method.
- Easier and safer than cold and hot process soap making methods.
- It gives you an opportunity to use and recreate your old soaps.
- You need to know the cold and hot process soap making methods to use this method.
- You can’t be very creative since you are already using a soap to make a new soap.
Soap Making Supplies List
One of the most important steps on your journey to soap making at home, to know what is in your soap making supplies list. Luckily, we are here to help you.
1. Gloves, Mask, and Goggles
3. Steel Pot and Steel Saucepan
Steel pot is the most important supply of soap making at home because this is what you are going to use mainly to make soap.
Remember that, it should be steel and not aluminum because you are going to work with chemicals.
Again, because of the same reason, you need a steel saucepan to heat oils.
4. Heat-Safe Glass Measuring Cups
6. Mixing Spoons and Spatulas
Soap Making Kits For Beginners
Soap making kits for beginners usually weren’t designated for cold and hot process soap making methods. Instead, there is a soap base in these kits which is a base that already has been through the saponification process. So, these kits are available for the melt and pour method.
Apart from the soap base, which is a mixture of oil and lye, soap making kits of beginners usually includes fragrances, essential oils, crushed flowers, and colors.
Safety Tips and Things to Know
Before you jump right into soap making, you need to follow some safety procedures so you don’t get hurt from chemicals or heat.
While you are making a bar of soap at home, be sure that you are in a room with a lot of air because lye can be toxic. You should know how dangerous lye can be. You should protect your skin with gloves, long pants, and your eyes with goggles.
Also, always have a bottle of vinegar with you. If you touch any lye, you can pour vinegar to neutralize the chemical.
Soap making can seem dangerous and you may think that why people choose such a hard hobby for themselves but don’t worry. As long as you follow your safety procedures everything will be okay. Also, at first, you won’t even use lye. When you get used to making soap and be aware of the dangers of lye, you will still have fun while making soaps.
Nazlıcan Ay is a freelance writer for hire who creates original content for websites and blogs. She studies American Studies at university. When she is not working, she is reading poems and her biggest dream is to run her own boutique hotel one day.