Basic Steps In Making Handmade Soaps

Hand made soaps can be produced by mixing animal fats with a corrosive base like lye,which was dissolved in water.

The first step in making a basic handmade soap is to have lye or sodium hydroxide be poured on cold water.

Using bottled water is preferable and it should weigh at least 38% of the prepared fat. The lye must also be placed in a glass or plastic container since it is a very sensitive base. Always remember to pour the lye first in the water instead of doing it the reverse way since it could make the solution explode.

The solutions are stirred with an enamel or plastic spoon. This mixing would circulate heat, enough for the mixture to boil. It is continually stirred until the boiling ceases and the water becomes clear. The mixture must at least be 85 degrees Fahrenheit before it is added into the fat. Soapmakers use either animal fats like those from a chicken and plant oils like a coconut oil for producing different levels of bubbles. The fats must first be cleaned to remove foreign materials from it. They are first boiled for a few minutes in a pan.

Once it's done, the fats are then removed carefully by running hot water in the outside portion of the container to avoid the fats from sticking into it. Depending on the type of fat a harder one, like those from beef tallow, make denser soaps. In oils, like olive oil, it produces silky bubbles. The fats are then heated a little bit above their melting point. The oils are heated too. The lye, which was mixed with water, is then poured carefully into the fat. They are then mixed. Soapmakers keep on stirring them while they are under a stage where the soap starts to harden. This level is called a trace.

The soap must also exceed the melting point of the fat to prevent the fat from hardening. Once the soap starts to trace, the prepared oil is then added into it. After a few minutes, the soap is then dyed to the desired color using crayons, clays, etc.. If the soap needs a scent, either the fragrance or essential oils are added in the mixture. The soap is then placed in a tray, which was placed over a cloth.

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