How is handmade soap made

Natural soap - production
An overview

"Come to the edge." - "We can't. We're afraid."
"Come to the edge." - "We can't. We will fall!"
"Come to the edge." - And they came.
And he pushed them. And they flew.
- Guillaume Apollinaire

Theoretically everything is clear: water + NaOH + fats give soap, fragrance and color are used for beautification. How does that look in practice?

FIRST I wait until the children are asleep, until they are picked up by their father or are reliably busy for a longer period of time ... and then I get a work coat, rubber gloves and whatever else I need ... here is a concise list, maybe right away to print out and go shopping?

Maybe to cheer you up: even if it looks a little complicated and / or expensive at first glance, appearances are deceptive: as soon as the budding soap maker has all the utensils and ingredients together and the 1st soap block behind him, everything runs like clockwork soon your shelves will bend under the fragrant soaps ... not to mention the bathroom that will fill up with more and more types of soaps every week ...

I only use fine vegetable oils and fats, which are saponified at approx. 38 ° - 55 ° C with pure sodium hydroxide (I actually think the term "lye stone" is nicer ...) and then in wooden molds (plastic works too, there are a few Possibilities) stand in a cool room for one to three days. How exactly does that work?

Then the soap block is divided into pieces - as evenly as I want or can - which are allowed to mature in the air for at least 4 to 6 weeks. During this time, the saponification process is completed - without any action on my part! How convenient !! - and the excess water evaporates. The result is mild, slightly moisturizing vegetable soaps with natural glycerine content, gently scented with essential oils or scented oils. However, it should be clear: essential oils * volatilize * over time ...

In any case, stirring soap is the nicest hobby I've come across so far, I can only warmly recommend it ... but there is no way around observing all soap safety rules ... women have to be a little * careful *. .. and yet: sometimes the result and the idea do not quite agree - breakdowns and bankruptcies are unfortunately possible, but very often the soap can be saved.

[Tools] [Soap molds] [Making soap - step by step] [Saponification table] [Simmering soap in the oven] [If something goes wrong ..]

Simple cardboard boxes from the supermarket are good for letting the soap dry - simply line them with clean, white paper. Kitchen roll is also good for this. Pay attention to stackable cardboard boxes, this saves space once the "production" has really started. :-)

Maybe a word about "quality assurance":

To make good soaps, you need a little care, accurate scales and proper recipes - either do the math yourself or check them with the soap calculator. It is also important to assess the finished soap block - does it look good - no dubious leaking liquids, no strange smell, no splintering or crumbling when cutting? Then a lot has been gained - and if one of these symptoms does occur, look for the right solution.

Yes, and of course there is the pH value, i.e. the measurement number for the strength of acids and bases ... the scale ranges from 1 to 14:

The pH value of the skin is therefore in the acidic range, the body's own lecithin and cholesterol combined with horn fat form a natural protective film that keeps the skin supple and resistant. During washing, this protective film is of course strongly attacked or removed, depending on ... freshly made soap after the cold process is more or less strongly alkaline if it were not given the required maturing time of approx. 3 - 8 weeks, depending on the type / production method , admit and use them immediately - be it out of curiosity, be it out of pursuit of profit - you risk dry and / or irritated skin. Soap that is too young does not foam well (of course the recipe also plays an important role) and has little firmness - it is used up quickly. By the way, the pH of a finished soap is somewhere between 8 and 10.5 - my creations seem to be around 9 for the most part. How do I know that exactly? Quite simply, I got myself a bulk pack of ph test strips from the drugstore, they look pretty nice in my opinion.

REAL soap can NEVER be pH-neutral ... and the measurements with the test sticks do not give 100% exact values ​​either, I just want to mention that; deviations are possible depending on the measurement method and make. Exact results can only be obtained with a pH meter, these things are expensive and even those who have one must first find out the standard test procedure for soaps. The pH test strips are, however, well suited for comparative measurements - take a commercial soap (a little bit of it will certainly be found somewhere) and one that you made yourself and compare the results. In addition, women see how the pH value of the cold-stirred soaps drops a little over the course of the ripening / drying time.

Paths clear before those who know where they're going and are determined to get there.
- Leonard Roy Frank