Try Soap Making for a Fun New Hobby!
Making your own soap is a fun hobby that anyone can try and it is also very affordable. There are many advantages to making your own soap; one is that you can control the ingredients if you have allergies or sensitivities to store-bought soap. When you make your own soap you can start from scratch and leave out all the chemicals and perfumes that are added through manufacturing, so you are left with a pure type of soap that will not irritate your skin.
Another advantage is that you can add in extra oils or fragrances so your soap works for you and gives your skin a scent you love. If you want to add in certain fragrances or thicker oils, you can do this when you make your own soap, and you can do so more affordably than if you purchased special soap at the store. Often soaps with lots of healthy oils and natural scents are marked up unnecessarily when on the store shelves, so you can indulge in a luxurious soap without spending extra money by making your own.
Soap is actually just a mixture of fats or oils and lye. Extra ingredients are added when manufactured to make it soft and smell good, but you can control the ingredients you add when you make your own. The easiest way of making your own soap is called melt and pour; this is when you start with a store-bought soap base which is a mixture of lye and fat, then melt it down and then add your own ingredients. To create a melt and pour soap, first purchase some plain soap base, usually available at health food stores or even craft stores.
You will need a large, heatproof measuring cup. You will also need a mold for your soap, fragrances, and if you prefer, skin-safe dyes. To make your soap, cut down the amount of soap base your mold will hold and put it in your heatproof measuring cup. Put this in the microwave, cover it with plastic wrap and heat it, one minute at a time. After each minute, gently stir the soap to break down any chunks. The soap will take usually two to three minutes to melt completely; it should not be bubbly and hot but should have all the chunks gone.
Once the soap base is melted, you will add fragrance or essential oils to this. Typically a good amount is 1/4 ounce per pound of soap. If you want to add colouring, you can mix the colours and oil together before you add this to your soap. Mix the soap base and fragrance or oil completely, then pour into your molds. Be careful that you do not splash the soap or get bubbles. Cover the mold with plastic wrap and let it sit; it takes usually two hours for the soap to harden, and you have your own homemade soap!