Sometimes it’s hard to find the right soap. Everyone has different skin, so what works for some people doesn’t work for others. Store-bought products often have more chemicals in them than you can count on both hands. The safest bet would be to make your own! And believe it or not, making your own soap is easier than you’d think. This article will help you find the right scent, ingredients, and feel for the perfect soap.
How to Make Soap
To start, you should cover your work area. Newspaper will do. Put your gloves and other protective wear on. One ingredient in that cannot be substituted is lye, which can eat through clothing and leave burns, so be sure to prepare your body accordingly. Measure water into the small jar and have a spoon ready. Measure the lye and make sure you have exactly ¼ cup. Carefully pour the lye into the water, meanwhile stirring. Stand back while you stir to avoid the fumes, again as lye can be dangerous.
Once the water starts to clear, let it sit while as you move to the next step, which is to grab another jar and mix together your oils. You should heat both your oils and water mixture and wait until they’re 120°. Once they’re cooled somewhere between 95° and 105°, you can begin the next step. Please note that this is critical for soap making, should you want your soap to come out perfectly.
When both the lye and oils are at the right temperature, you can pour the oils into a mixing bowl. Add the lye, stirring until it’s entirely mixed. Next, stir the mixture for five minutes. After this, you can continue stirring or use an immersion blender. The soap mixture will lighten in color and become thicker. Once it looks like vanilla pudding, it’s at its“trace”, and you’ve completed this step!
Add your herbs, essential oils or other additions and stir everything together. Pour the mixture into molds and cover them with plastic wrap. You can set these in a towel and wrap them up, which will keep in the residual heat and start the saponification process.
Coconut Oil Soap
33 oz coconut oil
4.83 ounces lye
12.54 oz water
This soap not only smells amazing, but it’s extremely simplistic to make, thanks to what little ingredients are necessary to make it. Rubbing this directly on your skin creates a very dense effect, so for something bubbly, a loofa or sponge is suggested.
1 1/2 cups basic or shea butter soap base, cubed
4 to 6 drops lemon essential oil
dried lemon zest
If you’re looking for an easy recipe, then try using a goat’s milk soap base, which can be found at most craft stores. The citrus scent of this soap is so appealing, you might want to take a bite out of it!
1 1/2 cups basic or goat’s goat’s milk soap base, cubed
4 to 6 drops lavender oil
organic lavender flowers
The great thing about this soap is that not only does it clean your body well, but it’s aesthetically pleasing, thanks to the flowers. However, the flowers are not necessary and can be taken out of this recipe, should you be saving this soap for later or just don’t like the texture.
Chai Latte Soap
3 oz palm oil
3 oz coconut oil
3 oz olive oil
1 oz cocoa butter
1 oz castor oil
1 1/2 oz lye
3 1/2 oz water
This is a more complex recipe, but it’s worth the extra effort for its scent and overall effectiveness. If you’re a chai tea lover like me, this soap is a must. Not only does it smell heavenly, but it cleans your body better than you could imagine.
Cocoa Mint Soap
1 1/2 cups shea butter soap base
1 to 2 tbs cocoa powder
1 to 2 tbs chopped fresh mint
6 to 10 drops peppermint essential oil
While the texture of this soap may be one that you’re not used to, it’s bearable if you want to smell lovely and look clean as a whistle. You can even sprinkle a bit of cocoa powder on top, but be careful not to mistake it for a dessert!
4.19 oz lye
8 oz water
16 oz olive oil
8 oz coconut oil
3 oz sunflower oil
3 oz cocoa butter
2 oz canned pumpkin
Just in time for the holiday season. This pumpkin soap could be put to good use at a gift exchange, or you could keep it all to yourself and take a warm shower, leaving your body smelling wonderful. In addition, you could put in a vanilla swirl to the soap by mixing in some vanilla extract, however if you decide to do this, be sure to increase the amount of oils slightly so that the vanilla doesn’t dilute the color.
Aaron Phillips is a writer and journalist based in mid-Michigan. He has been writing for Smokable Herbs since January of 2014. Aaron has a long list of publications under his belt, and is currently working on a book series for Smokable Herbs. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook for updates.