natural soap is just better!

© 2010 by KV5R — Rev. Nov. 24, 2010.
The author accepts no responsibility for your use or misuse of the information presented.

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I wanted to start using natural soap, so I started reading several Homemade Soap Pages, and I got the bug! Yes, I could have bought a lot of homemade soap for what I paid for my tools, but I just wanted to learn how to make soap. So if you’re like me, but haven’t taken the plunge, this article is for you. This is just about how it will go, step-by-step, all nice & concise. In the following pages are notes and photos I made while studying soapmaking and then making soap, fixed up a bit for public consumption. I will proceed in a logical manner, and hopefully not skip anything important:

  • Soaping Terms Defined: Before you can learn soaping, you need to learn the terminology. That makes all subsequent study much easier and more productive.
  • Soaping Safety: Don’t let lye (caustic soda) scare you away, just handle it with care and common sense.
  • Tools and Supplies for Soaping: You’ll already have some, but you’ll need some more.
  • Overview of the Procedure: Get a feel for how it will go, and it will go well.
  • The First Batch - Castile: Avoid the mistakes I made and do it right the first time.
  • The Second Batch - Classic 3-Oil: Now that’s more like it! An excellent, creamy, no-scent bath bar.
  • The Third Batch - With pine tar, citronella, and cornmeal: a camp soap, and the challenges of wacky-smelling additives…
  • The Fourth Batch - With 4 oils, lard, and baked bread fragrance, this new recipe designed on my new soap designer soapsheet has an almost perfect balance of all 7 important soap properties!
  • The Fifth Batch - Winter Soap: Pushing the conditioning and suds way up, and the cleansing down, I attempt to design and make a soap that pampers dry winter skin. It uses four oils, Clary Sage, and a bit of cinnamon.
  • The Sixth Batch - 3-oil soap with a video tutorial!
  • Laundry Soap Basics - for best results, design what your water needs!

You can make soap much better than you can buy. You can make soap exactly like you like it. You can make soap for yourself, soap for the baby, soap for the teens, soap for granny, soap for the laundry, and soap for the dog. You can make it super-cleansing or super-moisturizing. You can make aromatherapy soap. There’s nothing quite like bathing with a soap that’s custom-made for your water and your skin! Yep, it really is worth it.

Soap making is a basic skill that everyone should acquire, but more than that, it’s a fun hobby! There are many ways and many reasons to make soap:

  • You can make your own custom soap from scratch (“soaping”), or you can buy bulk soap base and melt it, adding fragrances and colors, and pour it into fancy molds (“melt & pour”).
  • You can make soap just the way you want it, or for gifts, or for sale. Or all three!
  • You can made specialty soaps for bathing luxury, greasy hands, pets and farm animals, and even insect repellent.
  • Best of all, you can master a new, desirable, and useful skill. You might even make a little money!

My goal in writing these articles is to pass along some knowledge and give you the confidence to give soaping a try.

2 thoughts on “Soaping
  1. Many thanks for your soaping info and instructions, you enabled me to make the 3-oil soap for my first soaping project and it turned out great – can hardly wait six weeks to test the product.

    I got my oils together and went rummaging through the kitchen drawers for the equipment I needed to make a batch. Found everything I needed but a wand mixer so improvising I put one beater from a hand mixer that’s too high speed and is never used in my battery operated drill motor – voila! A prefect variable-speed soap stirring machine! And it doesn’t overheat after running for twenty minutes.

    The only problem I encountered was that once the mix started a strong trace phase I couldn’t seem to get it any thicker so after a twenty minutes I quit and poured the soap into a sacrificial loaf pan and called it a day.

    This morning the soap was all set up and seeping the pan in a little warm water allowed the soap loaf to pop right out. I’m going to let it cure for another day then cut it into bars and count the days of the curing period.

    Thanks again for the info and for giving me another prepping skill.

    Regards from SE Tennessee

    • Hi! Glad you found my articles useful.
      The last batch I made used equal parts of olive, coconut, palm, and castor oils, and it’s just wonderful! Good cleansing, conditioning, and creamy lather. Best of all, using equal parts (25% of each) means no waste oils left over.
      I haven’t written a page for it yet (I messed up the video), but will on the next batch.
      Happy Soaping,

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