Handmade Soap

How to Make and Buy Quality Homemade Soap
also Melt and Pour, and Cold Process

Christmas Gift Ideas

Make Handmade soap a part of your Christmas Gift Ideas. The luxurious feel and beautiful fragrance of these quality soaps are quite refreshing and exhilarating. Unlike commercial soaps, these soaps maintain high levels of glycerin, making for a smooth sumptuous feel.

Some experienced Soapers include additives such as oatmeal or cornmeal to provide a wonderful defoliating scrub.

  • There are many beautiful, aromatic, luxurious choices
  • These gifts are relatively inexpensive and can be combined into a gift basket or combination gifts
  • Handmade soap is a wonderfully unique gift that can be enjoyed, but gets used up, and then given in a slightly different fragrance, composition, and look.

Melt and Pour Method

The easiest way to make home made soap is the Melt and Pour method. You simply melt a basic soap and add other ingredients for color and fragrance as you like.

The base soap is available in most craft stores and is not very expensive. It is easy to add beneficial and fragrant ingredients such as moisturizing oils, milk or spices.

After melting the soap base in a microwave oven or a double boiler pan, you cover the bowl to keep the moisture from escaping.

Then you simply pour it into a mold of your choosing, which can even be ice-cube trays if nothing else is available. You can buy various attractive homemade soap molds in arts and crafts stores as well. You can also use a bread pan as a long mold, and then slice the hardened soap into appropriately sized bars.

It's fun, cool, and you'll really impress your friends with your creative talents.

We’ve got some great Melt and Pour handmade soap recipes that are fun and easy to try. Get the kids, (whether yours or someone else’s, or you might be a kid – fantastic!) and checkout a Melt and Pour handmade soap recipe.

They make great gifts for Teachers, Friends, Relatives, House Warmings, and the Holidays. Nothing says I care like something made by the giver’s hands.

Our Melt and Pour Soap Recipes can be found right here.

Cold Process

Today the most popular method of soap making is the cold process in which fats, olive oil in most cases, react with Lye. This reaction is also known as Saponification.

The beauty of handmade soap is that often, extra fat (like olive oil) is used and less of the Glycerin is removed. This ends up with a beautifully moisturizing soap rather than a heavy detergent soap that you would purchase in most stores.

We’ll try some basic soap making using the cold process. Find Cold Process Soap Recipes and information here.

Hot Process

In the Hot Process, Lye and Fat are boiled together until saponification occurs. Saponification is a chemical reaction between the fats and lye to form soap. One of the benefits of the Hot Process is that the handcrafted soap can be used right away. In the Cold Process, the soap needs to cure over a period of time.

Soap Making Supplies

On our Soap Making Supplies page, we’ll review all the supplies you will need to begin making your very own Soap.

We look at the equipment needed to get started as well as advanced soap making equipment. We also engage some of our soap making experts and get their spin on the best soap making supplies. Come join the fun on our soap making supplies page. It’s not very expensive to get started.

And what about soap storage? We cover that on our craft storage page.

History of Soap Making

Soap making dates back as early as 2800 BC when a formula for an ancient soap made of water, alkali, and cassia oil was discovered on a clay tablet in ancient Babylon.(Wilcox 2000).

An early medical document dating back to 1550 BC indicates that the ancient Egyptians bathed regularly and used a “soap” made of animal and vegetable oils, with alkali salts.

In the 16th century, Europeans were making soap using vegetable oils such as olive oil rather than animal fats.

And of course soap making was a big part of the Colonial Crafts that were so important to early American settlers.

Check out some more Soap Making (saponification) History here.

Soap Types

Let’s take a look a several different "flavors" of Handmade Soap.

Shea Butter Soap - Made from fat extracted from the fruit of the Shea Tree. Shea Butter has been found to be a wonderful moisturizer. It is also used as an emollient to soothe and soften the skin.

Click here for more information on Shea Butter Soap.

Glycerin Soap - Soap that contains glycerol and is produced by saponification of animal fats, e.g. a by-product of Soap making. Glycerin soap is pretty quick to make, and can be used soon after making it. It’s a great gift for any occasion. We’ll take a look at Glycerin Soap Making here.

Calendula Soap - Calendula, a flower in the Marigold family is often used to add beautiful colors to soap. It also may have some medicinal affects as well. See our magnificent page on Calendula soap.

Lemongrass Soap - Cymbopogen citratus or Lemongrass is in the same family as citronella. This makes it a natural insect repellent. You can easily recognize its lemony scent, and flavor if you have had some of those spicy Thai soups. The citrusy component gives you that fresh clean feeling when added to the soap making process. Checkout our Lemongrass Soap page for Lemongrass Soap, tips, recipes, and products.

Patchouli Soap - Made from the aromatic oil found in the Patchouli plant (pogostemon cablin). Patchouli has been used extensively in perfumes. It also is used in conditioner commonly used when conditioning dreadlocks. Interested? Visit our Patchouli Soap page.

Oatmeal Soap - Oatmeal has been used successfully in soothing dry and irritated skin when added to bath water. You can make or buy your own handmade oatmeal soap and benefit from its naturally soothing characteristics. See our page on Oatmeal soap, and make it happen. It’s great for use during wintertime dry air, as well as soothing for prickly heat and sunburn in the summer.

Dog Shampoo - Yes we even have a wonderful recipe to make Rover's fur shiny and oder free. It's a

quick and easy recipe for dog shampoo.

Handmade Mosquito Repellent
Want an alternative to DEET? Try your hand at making your own homemade mosquito repellent.

So sit back, relax, and browse through the pages of Handmade Soap. Pick a soap type and recipe or choose soaps already beautifully handcrafted by our Soapers. Explore the world of Handmade Soaps.

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