What You Should Know About Making Natural Soap

Posted on Friday 29 January 2010

There are several advantages to making natural soap at home, rather than relying on commercial soaps. One of the biggest of these is that when you make your own soap at home, you are in control of what goes into it. Both the soap making ingredients and sometimes even the processes used for creating commercial products are harsher than what is used at home. Not many manufacturers use all natural ingredients, and their methods tend to extract much of the glycerin. This is why you might have observed that if you wash with commercial soaps, your skin often ends up very dry, because glycerin helps you retain moisture.

The essential process for making natural soap, or for producing any type of soap for that matter, is to mix a fatty acid with a base, which produces the soap itself. The base is normally soap lye, and the fatty acids are either animal or vegetable oils. For some folks, the use of animal fats introduces concerns about ethics and how the animals are treated, so utilizing oils derived from plant based products including grains, nuts and vegetables is normally preferable and feels more natural. Soap made from those oils also is likely to be healthier for the skin.

Another thing that is avoided when making natural soap is preservatives, certainly the synthetic ones used in most manufacturing processes. But there are a few natural preservatives that contain strong anti-oxidants, which can help make the soap last a little longer. These are vitamin E, carrot oil and grapefruit seed extract, and they are especially valuable if you add materials such as vegetable or fruit substances to the mixture. You might use these in your soap making projects as natural coloring, using something like alfalfa or cucumber to make the soap green, carrots to make it yellow or orange, or cloves to make it brown.

When you do your soap making projects, even the extra moisturizers you add should be all natural. Things like a couple of tablespoons of hemp oil or avocado oil will do just the trick. And of course you’ll avoid adding synthetic materials to create fragrance or color to the soaps. Even if crayons are non-toxic and kid-friendly, for example, they still don’t make good dyes for this purpose. Making natural soap means just that, so every ingredient from the beginning to the end of the process should be chemical free and all natural.

If you are going to try soap making yourself, then why not go all the way and make your soaps all natural as well as homemade? It’s not such a big leap from creating your own soaps to begin with to doing so with ingredients from nature, especially if one of your incentives is that you do not completely trust the contents or the process of soap made commercially.

Soap making is really not that complicated. Find out what you need to know at our site on How To Make Soap, and check out the soap making FAQ for the answers to your questions.

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