Have you ever thought about making your own soap? By choosing the materials and ingredients used in your soap, you can create a product with desirable emulsifying properties that are soothing, healing and safe to use on your skin. Homemade soaps also make unique personalized gifts.
No matter what your reasons are for being inspired to make soap, it is important to use quality ingredients and proven methods. Based on our research of client reviews and expert feedback, we have compiled a list of soap-making recipes, tips, and methods. But first, here are some basics about soap-making.
You can create different bases using various oils, but there are a few core ingredients used in making handmade soap.
- Sodium Hydroxide
- Distilled water
Gather the following base oils:
- Coconut oil – helps create good lather and produces a hard bar of soap
- Olive oil (sometimes with soy) – rich in vitamin E, makes soap feel silky
- Shea Butter – adds skin moisturizing agent and helps makes the soap feel smooth and slippery.
- Castor oil – makes the soap lather
Some special ingredients you might need:
- Dead Sea Salt/Mud – draws toxins out of body and reduces pore size
- Pink Kaolin Clay – makes soap slippery and treats dry skin
- Sweet Almond Oil – helps soothe redness, itchy skin and swelling
- Cocoa Butter – leaves skin smooth, creates a protective layer on the skin to hold in moisture, a natural antioxidant.
- Organic Hemp Seed Oil – helps make the bar silky, but it is also rich in essential fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
To make soap varietals, use the proper tools and add extra ingredients to modify the smell, feel and effectiveness of different types of soap. Some are made using a “hot process” method and other use a “cold process” method, so keep the procedures in mind when choosing which soap to create. The same ingredients used in a hot or cold process will produce different soaps. Both methods use a lye/water mixture with base oils added when the mixture reaches a certain temperature. It is then blended to the desired consistency (similar to a light pudding), and the soap maker moves forward using the hot or cold process of making soap.
During the cold process method, essential oils can be added to the soap. Because of the consistency, you can color different parts of the soap and create artisan designs. After the mixture is poured into the mold, let it sit for a minimum of 24 hours. During this time, it is becoming soap through a process called saponification, a chemical process where it heats up and turns into soap. After curing the soap for 24 hours, cut the loaf into bars of soap. Let the bars cure for another four to six weeks to make sure the bar has hardened, and all the lye has been processed into soap.
In the hot process method, blend the lye, water, and oils to the same consistency as in the cold process, but do not add the essential oils and color the same way. Instead, place the pudding-like mixture in a double boiler to cook until it has turned into soap in a short time period. Once it is saponified, remove the thick mixture from heat and immediately add oils and color before the mixture hardens. When ready, set the soap into a mold for 24 hours, cut into bars that should harden for a few days before being used.
Below we have outlined some general ideas for soap-making recipes. Always follow step-by-step directions from trusted sources when using any soap-making recipe.
10. Homemade Oatmeal Soap
Oatmeal is a natural exfoliate with a soothing impact on the skin, and it helps to reduce irritated and dry skin. Start with a glycerin soap base. Blend oats to get a fine consistency, and then add honey and almond oil. Stir that mixture into the heated soap base. Pour that mixture into a mold and let it harden for about five hours. Once the mold is hardened, cut into bars of soap.
- Gather the following ingredients:
- Shea Butter Glycerin soap base – 2lbs
- Organic rolled oats – 1 cup
- Almond oil – 2 tbsp
- Raw honey – 2 tbsp
For a greater emulsifying effect, sprinkle rolled oats on top of the mold before cutting into bars.
9. Coconut Oil Soap
If you are interested in creating quality homemade dry laundry soap, consider coconut oil soap. Once you have created the bar soap, grate it into a food processor, Shred the grated soap finely, so it will easily dissolve in the wash. Add baking soda, washing soda and kosher salt to the grated soap. Try to evenly distribute soap with the ingredients and slowly stir in the essential oil. Store the coconut oil laundry soap in a glass jar.
Additional ingredients needed for this soap include:
- Coconut oil – the type that has a melting point of 76 degrees
- Essential oils – such as lavender, rosemary or orange