Although it’s easy to buy soap at any pharmacy or even body care store, there’s nothing quite like making your own — whether it’s for yourself or for someone else as gift.
Not only is it a heartfelt gift to give, it’s incredibly affordable. Fancy soap stores will force you to shell out a huge amount for their soaps. Why not make your own at the fraction of the price? For the price of one bar of soap at a specialty shop, you can make 10 (or more!) bars of your own.
At the very basic level, soap-making is the combination of fats (either vegetable or animal) with a strong alkaline, most commonly: lye. Saponification, or the chemical reaction between these two elements, is the official name of this process.
Beginners typical start with the “melt and pour” method, as it is the easiest way to start. You should start with a pre-made base, which you’ll melt down in the microwave or stove, then add the rest: color, fragrance, minerals, herbs, or anything else you’d like. Next, you pour the mixture into a mold and let the whole thing cool for several hours. The soap can then be used once it has hardened completely.
The more traditional and advanced way of making soap involves the “cold process” method. This process involves mixing oils with lye or other base solutions. Lye is dangerous to work with as it is caustic and burns skins, so it is important to work with the proper safety measures. The benefits of using this process include having more control over ingredients and also creating much longer lasting soap. On the other hand, these soaps take about 4 to 6 weeks to cure fully, so you’ll need some patience!
Here are some DIY recipes for amazing homemade soaps.
Lavender Oatmeal Soap
- 9-10 oz melt and pour goat’s milk soap
- 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
- 1/4 cup quick cook oats
- 1/4 teaspoon lavender essential oil
- Cut the soap into chunks and melt in the microwave. Add in lavender and the oats. the melt and pour soap into chunks and add the oats and lavender. Melting everything together should take about a minute.
- Mix in the lavender oil, making sure it’s thoroughly mixed in. Pour into your desired molds.
- Let the soap completely cool before taking out of the molds. You may chill in the refrigerator but do not freeze the soap.
Pink Himalayan Salt & Grapefruit Soap
- 1 pound goat’s milk soap base
- 1/4 cup Pink Himalayan Salt
- 20 drops Grapefruit essential oil
- Silicone soap mold
- Soap Stamp
- Melt the soap base in the microwave.
- Place stamp right side up inside the mold.
- Remove soap from heat and stir in grapefruit essential oil.
- Mix in the pink himalayan salt to the melted soap and pour into molds immediately after.
- Allow soap to harden completely before removing it from soap mold. This should take about two hours.