Soap goes all over your body, your face, and even (accidentally, hopefully) into your mouth multiple times a day. With all the contact we have with soap, why wouldn’t we want to make sure that it is as natural and unprocessed as possible? Many people assume that because soap is such a general and obvious component that we use daily, that of course companies are going to make it as safe and as natural as possible. The truth is, however, unless we make it ourselves, we can never fully know what goes into or onto what we choose to put on our bodies. Many people also assume that they cannot make their own soap. It may seem as foreign or outdated as churning cheese, but it is actually quite doable. To help you keep your skin as safe and as natural as can be, we are going to provide you with a “how-to” on making your own natural soap at home.
Benefits of Natural Soap
We will get you up in a lather soon enough, but first, to get you in the mood, we are going to go over some benefits of using natural soap. Natural soap is…
- Free of toxins that can be harmful towards your skin and to the environment.
- Not tested on animals.
- Is good for people with sensitive skin, as it can help control and soothe reactions.
- Will not dry out your skin or leave your skin feel dehydrated and tight.
- Will keep your skin feel hydrated, clean, and moisturized to perfection!
Before you Begin
Before you begin making your natural soap, you may need to pick up a few things that you do not already have at home. Let’s go over the essentials.
You will need:
- 24 ounces of Coconut oil
- 24 ounces of Olive oil
- 38 ounces of Vegetable shortening
- 12 ounces of lye
- 32 ounces of water
- 4 ounces essential oils of your choice if you would like a scent (ie: lavender). You can also try different herbs and spices for a natural coloring for your soap (ie: 1 teaspoon of rosemary powder will create a speckled beige soap).
- Rubber gloves
- Goggles, glasses, or other protective eyewear.
- Two large mixing bowls that are either: strong plastic, stainless steel, glass, or enamel.
- Mixing spoons: one stainless steel, one that is made of heat-resistant plastic, and one wooden spoon.
- An electric stick blender if you do not want to manually stir the entire time.
- Measuring spoons
- A weighing scale.
- Two thermometers. Meat thermometers will work fine.
- A mold for shaping your soap once it is finished. Try to find one that is glass, plastic, or stainless steel. If you use cardboard or wood, line it with wax paper.
- Paper towels for cleanup or to help with any spillage.
- Put on your gloves and goggles. Before you handle your lye, make sure that you are aware of its dangers and know that handling it requires a lot of care and attentiveness. Always proceed with caution.
- Place a plastic cup on your scale pour 2.3 ounces of lye into the plastic cup and set it aside carefully.
- Take one of your pitches and put it on the scale and pour 6.1 ounces of distilled water in.
- Now, take your cup of lye and the pitcher of water pitcher and pour the lye into the water.
- Stir slowly. Your contents will steam, but do not breathe in the fumes. Make sure you are working in properly ventilated room, and keep the windows open.
- Once the contents are mixed, set the pitcher in a safe place and allow it to cool.
- Now, take your second pitcher and set it on your weighing scale.
- With a metal spoon, add 4.8 ounces of coconut oil, 4.8 ounces of palm oil, and 6.4 ounces of olive oil.
- Take the pitcher with the oil and microwave it for around 1 to 2 minutes until the contents are melted. Be sure to stir everything until contents are mixed, and set it aside to allow it to cool.
- Once both your lye pitcher and oil pitcher have cooled, check their temperatures with your thermometer. They should be between 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Now, place your pitcher of lye in the kitchen sink and carefully pour in the oils.
- With your blend (or manually if you wish) blend or stir your contents until they are fully mixed. Your mixture should have thickened.
- If you have any additional ingredients for scent or color, go ahead and add them now.
- Time to mold your soap! Pour it into a mold lined with freezer paper, cover with a lid, and then place a bath towel or blanket over the lid. Allow it to sit for 24 hours.
Molding and Curing
- Uncover your soap. By now, it should be firm and cool with a thin white layer on top that may appear “dusty”. If for any reason your soap comes out with a separated layer of oil on top, or shows signs of liquid pockets, you are going to have to give your soap-making an attempt #2.
- If all looks well, go ahead and cut your soap with a knife, scraping tool, or fine string.
- Place your bars upright on a cooling rack for about 4 weeks and allow them to harden and be exposed to air.
Do Good For You and The Environment!
Natural soap making is a long waiting process, but as soon as you know it, you will be lathering yourself up with your natural goodies. Be sure to share your soap with friends, family, or colleagues, and get them in the know about the wonderful benefits of natural soap-making. In the end, your wallet will be smiling and you will be doing the environment a good deed.