Soaps are an essential hygiene product. They are a mandatory product in every washroom. They act as the first line of defence between you and microbes.
However, soaps are not just great for cleaning. The soap making process can be pretty engaging and therapeutic for many. Although the first few batches can be tedious, making soaps becomes second nature once you get it right.
From using different fragrances to creating different shapes using a silicone mould, read on to find everything you need to make your soaps.
Basics of soap making
Before you head into the fun bits, you should know the basics of soap making.
For making soap, you combine caustic substances with oils or fats. If you do not know the ratio of caustic substance to fats, you get a harsh bar that may be great for laundry. But it does not do much for your skin.
Thankfully, a fixed caustic is used today: lye (sodium hydroxide). You can use online lye calculators to find the correct ratio of lye to fats to get it perfect.
Now, you will need some basic equipment to make soap. Here are a few essentials:
- Digital scale
It is crucial to weigh out the ingredients while making soap. A digital scale is recommended to get the proportions of lye and oils accurate.
While melting lye and oils together, you need to bring them to a specific temperature. A candy thermometer is perfect for keeping track of the temperature.
- Heat Proof pitcher
This pitcher is used for mixing lye and water. The process is exothermic, and hence, you need to make sure that the pitcher is heatproof.
- Safety gloves and goggles
For any process, safety is of utmost importance. While making soap, you deal with many hot substances and processes. Hence, it is best to use safety gear, including gloves and goggles.
- Silicone mould
A silicone mould is used to cool down the soap mixture and make soap bars of different shapes and sizes. The mould is made of high-quality silicone rubber and does not melt in high heat.
To add a little bit of scent to your homemade soap bars, you can use scented oils: Lavender, sandalwood, and cedarwood. Using fragrance oils is beneficial for your skin and can be refreshing.
Fragrance oils are also much more preferred over essential oils because:
- They are much more economical as compared to essential oils. This is because you will be using these in lesser quantities.
- “Single note” fragrances are full-bodied blends by themselves. Hence, they will be an excellent fit for your next combination.
- Nowadays, soap scent producers are manufacturing scents that are more suitable for your skin and gentle.
Additionally, you can add herbs and dried flowers to your soap bars. These add extra fragrance to your soaps and can sometimes give them medicinal properties.
Soap making is a therapeutic and enjoyable process for many. To switch up your soap batches and add some variety every time, you can:
- Use a different fragrant oil in each batch. Try subtle scents like sandalwood and cedarwood for a few, and switch to citrus scents like tangerine for the next.
- Use a different shaped silicone mould each time.
- Try experimenting between fragrance and essential oils to see which one works better for you.