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How to Make Soap at Home

A Simple and Practical Method of Making Soap At Home Itself

Here are the soap making basics explained and simple recipes that you can try out at home to make rustic handmade soaps.
HobbyZeal Staff
Last Updated: Mar 13, 2018
Do you enjoy using handmade soap? Then, instead of spending a lot of money on buying handmade soaps, why not make some exotic soaps yourself. The soaps made at home by you can also be given away as gifts. Also, you will be in control of what goes in the soap, and can make a natural soap which is free of chemicals.

Soap Making Basics
Every beginner when learning to make homemade soap, should be aware of the soap making basics. All soaps are made using a basic formula which is - fatty acid + base = salt. Fatty acid can be animal fats or can be vegetable oil, and the base used is lye or sodium hydroxide, when these two ingredients reach with each other they create a salt which is soap. However, the soap making process needs to be properly followed to make the perfect soap. You need to maintain the right temperature and the right proportion of ingredients.

The procedure for making soap is to heat the oil or fat gently, then lye and water are combined separately. When these two main ingredients reach the appropriate temperature they are combined, and once the mixture reaches a desired consistency it is poured into a mold. After 1 or 2 days they are removed from the mold and stored and allowed to cure, till they become hard.

Different Types of Soaps
There are different types of soap and different types of soap making methods. You can make a natural soap or you can add some colors or fragrances or other stuff to your soap. You can make glycerin soap, lye soap, liquid soap, bubble soap, laundry soap, etc. There are various kinds of soap making processes like cold process method, boiling method, transparent soap method, and melt and pour method. Here is a basic soap making recipe to make a small batch.

Basic Recipe
For beginners it is advised to buy the soap making kits, as they contain the right amount of ingredients to make soap and provide detailed instructions too. However, if you wish to make a soap from scratch then here is a simple recipe. Lye is caustic and hence you need to maintain proper safety while handling it. Wear safety gloves, full-sleeved clothes, apron, shoes, and safety goggles when handling lye. The ingredients you will need for this recipe are:
  • Lye - 6 ounces
  • Distilled water - 12 ounces
  • Vegetable shortening - 1 can
  • 8 × 8 inches container
Take vegetable shortening in an enamel pan and melt it in a stove, and in another pan heat the lye. Now in a glass bowl, take cold distilled water and add lye to it slowly. Keep continuously stirring with a wooden spoon till the mix is almost clear. Then in another glass bowl take vegetable shortening and add the above mix of lye and water to this, pour slowly, and keep stirring continuously. Make sure both the mix are warm to touch. Once it starts to thicken pour the solution in the container and let it sit for 24 hours in a warm insulated place. Take out the soap from the container and cut the soap into small soap bars, let it cure for 3 weeks. This basic recipe can be altered for making natural soap by using natural vegetable oils instead of the shortening.

Once you are done making the basic soap recipes, you can add more ingredients to the recipe to create different interesting soaps. You can add essential oils, loofah, colors, ribbon colors, carrier oils, scrub particles, dried herbs, etc.
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