The process of soap making can be quite complicated, but there are ways to simplify this process, and for those genuinely interested in mastering the art of handcrafted soap, there are many wonderful resources available online to get you started and to help you refine the craft as you learn. Here, we will focus on some basic handcrafted soap recipes that beginners can try in their homes. These methods make soaps that are great for personal use or to give as handcrafted gifts.
What is soap, anyway?
Soap is a combination of lye, or sodium hydroxide, water, and fats. These separate materials combine to form an entirely new compound, which we call soap. Water acts as a catalyst for the lye, allowing it to disperse throughout the fat, but it will evaporate from your soap during the curing process. A good soap will have a combination of materials that provide excellent lather, moisturizing properties, and a pleasing scent. There are other things you can add to soap, such as essential oils, fragrances, exfoliants, and color, but the necessary ingredients should be present no matter what type of soap you are making.
For that are uncomfortable handing lye and mixing a soap base, you can purchase what is called “melt and pour” soap, which is premade soap sold in blocks or cubes that you can melt on your stove or in the microwave, add your ingredients and touches, then pour into molds. This simple, DIY soap recipe we share uses this type of starter. Once you’ve made soap a few times, you can decide if you prefer this method or want to move to the more advanced Cold Press soaps that involve handling lye.
Making a Melt and Pour Soap
This beautiful and rich Turmeric Soap from The Soap Queen is a great first soap to make, with just a few ingredients. First, melt 60 ounces of Goat Milk Melt and Pour Soap Base in the microwave. In a small container, combine 2 teaspoons of Turmeric Powder with 2 tablespoons of 99% isopropyl alcohol. Once the soap is melted, add the turmeric power solution and 0.8 ounces of Orange 10X Essential Oil, stirring well to combine all the ingredients. Pour the soap into molds and let harden.
When starting out with soap making, it is not necessary to spend a lot of money on molds. You can reuse many different types of containers as molds, including milk cartons, tuna fish cans, Pringles containers, etc. If you use a larger bowl, you can cut the soap into smaller bards after its hardened using a sharp knife or dental floss.
Turmeric is an excellent addition to this rich and creamy soap. Turmeric is thought to have skin benefits, and it contains curcumin, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. It also lends a lovely orange color to the soap.
Handcrafted soap is a great gift or an excellent addition to your home. By using simple techniques such as these, beginners can try their hand at soap making without too much fuss. Soap is easily customizable to meet many different needs and tastes, and it’s a gift everyone can use.