collaborative post // Soap is a standard household product, but it’s also quite puzzling. It’s only natural that you want to know what you’re putting on your skin. Ingredients lists get confusing quickly, and even veteran soap makers can only sometimes put a name to every ingredient.
What is soap made of? Most people buy soap without knowing what it’s made from. According to the American Cleaning Institute, 80 per cent of consumers are either unsure or need to know what their bar of soap is made of.
Here is a quick guide to some of the most common soap ingredients, with information about different types of soap and how to make them:
Several Ways To Make Soap
The cold process, the hot process, liquid soapmaking, melt-and-pour, and re-batching are only a few inventive methods for making soap at home introduced here. If you want to produce soap at home, you can use one or all of these techniques.
The cold process method is an excellent way to make soap. Handmade soap starts as a recipe with whole ingredients like oils, essential oils, lye, and water. Through the magic of creative chemistry, these ingredients are turned into soap.
are several steps, but the most important is mixing the liquid oils with the lye solution. One of the problems is that some people are afraid to use lye, also called sodium hydroxide. Cold-process soapmaking is very convenient since you can make soap from scratch. There are many ways to colour, decorate, and scent your bars naturally.
In cold process soapmaking, you mix oils and butter, including coconut, olive, tallow, lard, and shea butter, with a lye solution in a stainless steel pan to trace. Sometimes use a spoon or whisk, but usually with an immersion blender.
Melt And Pour Soap
Pre-made soap bases make soapmaking the easiest. Melt-and-pour soap comes in cubes or blocks in clear (glycerin), goat milk, or standard commands. Before you open the package, all the chemistry is done.
Cut it up and melt it in the microwave or on low heat to use it. After thawing, add perfumes, flowers, and exfoliants (like pumice, oatmeal, or ground coffee). Melt-and-pour soap bases can be conditioned with small amounts of melted shea butter or sweet almond oil.
Before pouring the batter into moulds, melt-and-pour soap can be coloured. Alcohol sprays reduce air bubbles and smooth the tops. Once hard, remove the bars from the moulds and use them.
Hot Process Soap
In contrast to its cold counterpart, the hot process is cooked after being brought to trace, generally in a crockpot. With this extra time, the soapmaking process is done by the end of the cook.
The cold process takes about 48 hours for most of the lye and fats to turn into soap. When the cooking part of making hot process soap is done, you can add more ingredients and mould the soap by pouring it into the soap batter. After it gets hard, you cure it the same way you do with the cold process.
Different Kinds Of Soap And How They Are Used
Moisturising soap has an ingredient that helps keep your hands moist as you wash them. Hands can get dry from washing them often every day, but it’s essential to do so. Aloe, cocoa butter, and shea butter are moisturising ingredients in these soaps. If your hands feel extra dry after washing them, a soap that moisturises them might help.
Antibacterial soap has grown in popularity because, when appropriately used, it destroys all bacteria on your hands. However, studies reveal that antibacterial soap is no more effective at eliminating germs than regular liquid hand soap. However, antibacterial or antimicrobial soap is frequently used in healthcare facilities, where it is beneficial and necessary.
Natural hand soap is made with natural ingredients such as essential oils. It does not contain harsh chemicals such as parabens, sulphates, phthalates, artificial perfumes, or synthetic dyes. Natural hand soaps are equally effective as standard hand soap in killing germs through good handwashing. It usually is more expensive than regular hand soap. Still, it is a good compromise between regular and chemical-free hand soap.
Common Soap Ingredients
Lye / Sodium Hydroxide
Soap is primarily a chemical reaction between oils, lye, and sodium hydroxide when making cold soap. Together, and thanks to the magic of chemistry, they will make something new: soap. Lye is a key ingredient in soap. Lye is a base, also referred to as an alkali. Because lye is so caustic, it should be handled with caution—and kept away from children—at all times. When working with lye, we recommend wearing gloves and long sleeves.
In making soap, you use distilled water to get the lye to work and spread it through the oils. During the curing process, most of this water will evaporate out of your bars. This means that your finished bars might be slightly smaller than when you first took them out of the moulds. You shouldn’t use tap water or spring water to make soap because they can contain minerals and other things that hurt your soap’s quality and shelf life.
Oils & Fats
Soap can be made with any oil or fat. Most soap recipes have between 3 and 6 oils, but some have a lot more or a lot less. Soaps like Castile (olive oil) soap, made from a single oil, are rare because very few single oils make good soap. Soap gets its hardness, lather, creaminess, and conditioning from the oils it is made from.
White beeswax is the most frequent type of beeswax used in soap production since it increases the bar’s durability. Because of its mild fragrance, it won’t stand out in the final product.
Since beeswax forms a protective layer on the skin and blocks moisture evaporation, it is fantastic for warding off dry skin. It’s crucial to note that the quality of beeswax can vary widely. Some producers use cheaper wax with more contaminants and less efficacy. Check the label before buying a soap with white beeswax.
Mild soaps preserve your skin’s pH balance and are suitable for sensitive skin. Thus, your skin gets cleansed without irritation. Before creating soap, you must learn the terminologies. You’ll communicate better if you start a soap manufacturing business or work with an experienced soap maker.
Thanks for explaining the differences. We actually didn’t know a lot of this.