Ways & How

How to Make Natural Soap from Scratch

How to Make Natural Soap from Scratch

There are several ways to make natural soap at home. You simply need some tools and ingredients. Oftentimes, what you need to make soap is already available in your own kitchen. One of the most popular ways to make natural soap at home is the cold process method, which doesn’t require heat, except to warm the oils. Here are the steps on how to make natural soap from scratch:

  1. Gather the following tools and equipment:

    A: Scale to weigh ingredients

    B: Pair of rubber gloves

    C: Pair of safety goggles

    D: Stainless steel or heat-resistant plastic pitcher with lid

    E: Large plastic or stainless steel spoon

    F: Stainless steel pot with lid

    G: Large glass or plastic bowl

    H: Two glass or candy thermometers

    I: Set of measuring spoons and cups or beakers

    J: Stainless steel or plastic ladle

    K: Stick blender

    L: Two rubber spatulas

    M: Plastic soap mold

    N: Dishcloths or paper towels

    O: Sharp knife

    P: Piece of parchment paper

  2. Gather the following ingredients and use a scale to measure out the correct weights:

    A: 32 ounces of distilled water

    B: 24 ounces of coconut or castor oil

    C: 12 ounces of lye

    D: 38 ounces of vegetable shortening

    E: 24 ounces of olive, canola, sunflower, or soybean oil

    F: 4 ounces of essential oil of your choice (lavender, peppermint, lime, etc.

    G: 32 ounces of cold water

  3. Put on goggles and gloves for protection; wear them until you’re done making soap.

  4. Pour the cold water into the large glass or plastic bowl, and then slowly add the lye while stirring the solution gently with a spoon. Make sure that the area is well-ventilated, as the lye fumes are dangerous. Turn your face away from any fumes.

  5. Set the lye mixture aside to cool and until the fumes dissipate.

  6. Combine the coconut/castor oil with the olive/canola/sunflower/soybean oil in a stainless steel pot over low-medium heat. Stir until the oils melt and blend with one another. Remove the pot from the heat once the oils have mixed together.

  7. Monitor the temperature of the oil mix and the lye with different thermometers. The lye should be 35 to 36 degrees Celsius, and the oil should be the same temperature or lower.

  8. Slowly add the lye to the oil mixture. Stir using a spoon or stick blender for 5 to 15 minutes. You will eventually notice your stirrer making a trail behind it while mixing; this phenomenon is called “tracing.” Once it happens, you can stop stirring. If tracing does not occur within 15 minutes, leave the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes before attempting to stir again.

  9. Add the essential oils. You have to add them last because they set quickly. Stir quickly.

  10. After stirring, immediately pour the mixture into the soap mold. Use a spatula to get all the clinging soap mixture from the pot into the mold.

  11. To remove any air bubbles, drop the mold onto the table several times to shake it up. Just hold the mold two inches above the table and let go. Avoid spilling since raw soap can burn your skin.

  12. Cover the mold with cardboard. Add towels on top of the cardboard to insulate the mixture and help the saponification process. Leave it undisturbed for 24 hours.

  13. Uncover the mold, and let it sit for another 12 hours. It should have a layer of a white-ash substance on top, which you can scrape away with a spatula. Discard the soap if it has an oily film on top, as the soap did not set or has pockets in it. These things mean that the measurements are inaccurate, you did not stir properly, and the soap is caustic.

  14. Turn the mold upside down to get the soap out onto a towel or clean surface.

  15. Cut the soap into bars with a sharp knife.

  16. Put the soap on top of parchment paper for two weeks to continue the curing process and let it dry. After two weeks, turn it over to the other side to let it dry as well.

Learning how to make natural soap from scratch can take a lot of time, but it will be worthwhile once you have the finished product in your hands. Just remember to take careful note of the measurements and stir the mixtures properly so that your soap turns out as it should.


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