We Know: All About Soap Making

What is soap making?

Soap making is the process by which soap is made. Soap comes in many forms, such as bars and liquids. While soap is produced in large factories nowadays, it used to be quite an at-home process. In fact, many people today try to keep the spirit of old fashioned soap making alive by following old instructions and making soap right in their own homes.

How does soapmaking work?

Soap can be made in several different ways. A few of the more popular processes for making soap include:

  • Cold Process: This type of soap making involves mixing together several ingredients including oils, lye, fragrance and color dye with a stick blender and then pouring the mixture into a soap mold to set up. The soap will set up on its own and will get very warm in the process. Once hardened, the soap can be removed from the mold and cut for use. However, the soap will not be ready to use until a few weeks because the ingredients are quite hazardous until completely cured.

  • Melt and Pour: The melt and pour soap making process is the simplest of them all. All you need to do is purchase a block of soap at your local craft store, melt it down in a pot on the stove, add fragrance oils, color dye and pour the melted soap into a mold. Once it hardens, the soap is ready for use.

  • Hot Process: This type of soap making is very similar to the cold process in that you use the same ingredients, however, the mixing of the ingredients is done in a crock pot. It works just as well as cold process, but requires quite constant stirring and may be a bit more dangerous since you will be working with a mixture that is stove hot.

What materials are required to make soap?

The most common ingredients used when making soap from scratch include lye, fat, oils, fragrance oils, color dyes or other coloring agents such as bits of crayons, a handheld blender, heat-safe bowls, measuring cups and a scale.

What are some precautions to be aware of when making soap?

Lye is a very caustic material. You should always wear rubber gloves and a safety mask when handling the chemical. Likewise, as anytime when using the stove, caution should be taken when handling the soap mixture as they will be hot, especially once the chemical reaction between the lye, water and oils begin, creating an even hotter temperature.

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