How To Make Your Own All-Natural Soap
Making your own soap is easy, cheap, and fun. The best part is, you don't need a lot of toxic chemicals to do it if you buy blocks of "melt and pour" soap.
Here are the things you'll need:
- Melt & Pour soap base (I recommend Goat's Milk or Honey)
- A heat resistant bowl, metal would be preferred.
- A large sauce pan
- Fragrance or essential oils (not required)
- A mold to pour your soap into
I have bought my melt and pour bases at http://www.naturesgardencandles.com/, http://www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com/, or http://www.brambleberry.com/. Out of the three, I prefer http://www.naturesgardencandles.com/; they're usually the cheapest and most of their bases are all-natural. You can also buy fragrances, essential oils and molds on this site. Now, after you have all your ingredients together, you are ready to melt your soap base.
- Start out with a 1lb of soap base, put it in a heat resistant bowl (ie, not something that will melt).
- Fill your sauce pan half way with water. Place the bowl with the soap on top of the pan; this will act like a double boiler. If the water overflows out of the sauce pan, dump out some, but not too much. You don't want all your water to evaporate before it melts your soap.
- Turn the heat on high and closely monitor your soap. The heat from the water should completely melt the soap within 15 to 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the water level too, as to not burn your pan.
- Once the soap is completely melted, remove from the heat. Now, if desired, you can add your fragrance or essential oils according to their dilution ratio. Let me take a moment here to explain the pros and cons of using fragrance oils vs essential oils.
Fragrance oils: They are man-made, so obviously not all-natural. HOWEVER....
Essential oils: Are all-natural plant oils, which are great, but very concentrated! You need to have some knowledge of each kind of oil and their dilution ratios, otherwise you can develop a very serious health reaction.
Tea tree and Lavender oils are probably the best oils for beginners; MOST people can apply these two oils "neat", i.e. directly to their skin without irration. If you want to use essential oils, my advice is to educate yourself about them first. I highly recommend: "Aromatherapy, A Lifetime Guide to Healing With Essential Oils", by Valerie Gennari Cooksley.
If you don't want to bother with all that, I suggest you stick with the fragrance oils. Be careful here too, because some fragrance oils have higher diluation ratios than others. Typically, the best body safe fragrance oil is 5%. I typically don't use more than 2 tsp of oil per 1 lb of soap.
5. Now pour the soap into your molds. It doesn't have to be fancy, you can use a muffin tin or bread pan. For easier release, lightly spray the pan with Pam first.
6. Wait until the soap completely dries and take out of the mold.