Homemade Soap Making

There are no artificial chemicals in the homemade soap and that really is the first step in being chemical-free. The ingredients are simple and there are only a few tools involved. You will need a wooden spoon; a wide-mouth, glass, half-gallon jar; several flat containers that you can line with plastic wrap (you could use several shoe boxes if desired); an enamel or iron pot in which to "cook" the soap; and a photography or dairy thermometer. The temperatUre is important when making soap, so get a good thermometer that registers as low as 95-98 degrees.

There are several rules to follow when making your soap:

  1. Get your containers ready by either greasing them or lining them with plastic wrap. Do this first so that they are ready when needed.
  2. Never use aluminum to prepare your soap. Always use enamel, stainless steel, or iron containers. You use the wide-mouth glass container to mix your lye solution in, but you will need a container of enamel or iron to "cook" your soap.
  3. Never allow your curing soap to sit in a drafty area as this will make your finished product hard and,flinty. I cover mine with several thicknesses of newspaper and then cover with a folded blanket for several days.
  4. Make sure your molds are at least 11/2to 2 inches thick. If the mold is too thin, it will cause the soap to curl. If it is too thick, it will make the soap too big and it will be difficult to hold. To add scent to your soap, add the scented oil right before you pour the soap into your molds. Any of the scented oils will do. I like to use the vanilla scent for my own personal use, but any that you prefer will do great. Try using a fruity or flower scent. Sometimes kids like the smell of peppermint and this works great too.
    You will need to add about 2 tablespoons of the scented oil to each batch. Add more if stronger scent is desired. The scented oils that you add can be of help in treating skin disorders. Lavender oil is an excellent astringent. Adding olive or almond oil is great for dry skin. Thyme oil acts as a deodorant aid. If you prefer, you don't need to add any oils. The plain soap alone is great for your skin because it has no artificial additives in it.
  5. When adding the lye to the cold water, please do so slowly and carefully. I never would make it when the kids were around because I was afraid that they would get into the solution when my back was tUrned. I have since learned that kittens are very curious and you need to watch your pets when you make it. I had a very close call with one of my kittens, so please take certain precautions. Wear rubber gloves and do not breathe in the fumes. The mixture will heat up when you are pouring the lye in the water so be sure to use very cold water. Stir very slowly to avoid splattering and burning yourself. The splatters will also cause damage to countertops so you may want to do this procedure outdoors. Making the soap outdoors will also cut down on the fumes.
  6. If you happen to splash any of the solution on your skin, rinse off immediately with water and then rinse the area with vinegar. Vinegar will neutralize the lye some what. Continue stirring until the lye crystals are completely dissolved. You will need to place the jar in a pan (or sink) filled with cold water to bring, the temperature of the lye solution back down to 90-95 degrees. After that temperature is reached, slowly add the lye solution to the oil.

Ways to make your Homemade soaps more attractive

In addition to carving, there are many ways to make your soaps more attractive. You can make "soap on a rope" by forming the soap around a knotted cord. To make the soap prettier, select a glass with an attractive design on the bottom and press the bottom of the glass into the soap.

Wrap the seasoned soap in pretty tissue paper, tie with a bright cord or ribbon, and then store it or give it as gifts. I like to line a small' box with tissue paper and place three to a box. It's handy to have around if you need to unexpectedly give a gift. If you plan on using your own herbs to make the soap, you would need to make a strong tea from the herb desired and cool it completely after straining. You can make it the night before and store in the refrigerator overnight. It will not make as strong a scent as the scented oils will. And the scent does disappear completely while you are using the soap.

For a coarser texture, try adding cornmeal or oatmeal that has been ground in the food processor, or grains of pumice to the mixture. This is good for people working on cars or others who need a grainy soap to remove oils from their hands. Try adding powdered herbs or spices to the soap mixture. This creates interesting colors and textures. Soap making can be fun. If you keep records of your soap making recipes, you will be able to recreate a good idea.

To create a wonderful gift for yourself or others, put together a basket with homemade soap, a bath salt or oil mixture, and then add a luffa sponge that you have grown yourself. Sources to purchase the seeds for luff a sponges are as close as your favorite seed company or store.

Luffas are a relative of the squash family and would need a trellis to climb on. The fruit is fast-growing and great to use. Right before the autumn rains start, bring the luffa indoors to dry. You might want to wipe the outer gourd with a weak bleach solution to keep black spots from forming on the outer shell. When completely dry, soak the gourd in warm water overnight so the shell will be easy to peel away. If you wish to whiten the fIber of the sponge, soak the gourd in a weak bleach solution. This will also soften the outer shell.

To soften the sponges, use them for household tasks, such as wiping down counter tops or scrubbing out sinks. When the sponge has been softened by this hard work, it will be soft enough to use for your bath. These sponges last forever and you need never buy another sponge. They are a handy gift from mother nature, if we but take the time to plant them.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...