The history of soap making has been traced back to the ancient Mesopotamian culture. In those times, soap was prepared by combining ash with cypress oil or sesame oil. Even the ancient Egyptians used to make soap from animal fats or vegetable oils combined with alkaline salts.
Today, soap making industry is really huge, and soaps are available in several types. However, homemade soaps are always preferred to store-bought ones. Coconut oil is commonly used for making soaps. Soap bars made with coconut oil are hard and produces a fluffy lather.
Homemade Coconut Soap
As soap making involves handling lye, the procedure has to be done carefully, with proper precautionary measures. In order to prepare coconut soap at home, you need 2.5 ounces of lye, 16 ounces of virgin coconut oil, and five ounces of water.
Before starting with the cold process method of soap making; make sure to wear safety gear, like goggles and gloves. Choose a well ventilated place to work. Mix water and lye in a Pyrex bowl, and keep it aside. It is very important to add the lye to water, and not the other way. The lye will release fumes, as it is mixed with water. Avoid inhaling the fumes.
In another bowl, melt the coconut oil. The next step is to mix the lye and oil. While mixing, the lye must have a temperature of 105° F, and the oil must have a slightly lower temperature. Slowly pour the lye to the oil, and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon, till it starts solidifying.
This stage, wherein the soap-lye mixture starts thickening is called the trace stage. You may also add essential oils at this stage. The next step is to pour the mixture into soap molds. After five to seven days, you can take out the soap bars, and let them cure for around two months. Once cured, your coconut soap is ready to use.
In short, making soap at home is an easy task, provided you know the right methods. This soap can be prepared through melt and pour method too. In that case, all you have to do is to melt the soap base, and add the desired additives.
In order to prepare a citrus coconut soap, you require a transparent melt and pour soap base, half a tablespoon of coconut oil, along with a few drops of lemon oil and other essential oils of your choice. Melt the soap base and add the coconut oil, just before removing from heat.
Whisk the mixture well, and add three drops each of lemon oil, orange oil and grapefruit oil. If you wish, you may add a few drops of lemon color to the mixture; and combine well, before pouring into molds.
Traditional soap making involves use of lye, and fats derived from animal or plant matter. Combining fats with lye leads to a process called saponification, which results in the formation of soap. Compared to the different types of industrial soaps, handmade ones are rich in glycerin as well as fats. Homemade soaps are usually made in three ways.
The simplest among them is the melt and pour method. You have to buy a soap base, and add the fragrance as well as other additives. Others include cold process and hot process, that are comparatively difficult. These methods are best done by people with a sound knowledge about these procedures.
Soaps are made of lye and fats, and the most commonly used fats include cocoa butter, palm oil, lard, shea butter, coconut oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and olive oil. Even grape seed oil, hemp oil, almond oil, and wheat germ oil are used for making soaps.
Soaps made from coconut derivatives, like coconut milk, cream, and oil are called coconut soaps. Apart from moisturizing the skin, coconut oil is also good for preventing the signs of aging. This oil is also antifungal and antibacterial in nature. So it is used in a whole lot of skin care products, including soaps.