How to make soap at home
Homemade soap can make a wonderful holiday gift.
During the holiday season, it can be frustrating and expensive to come up with unique gifts for the people on your Christmas list. Giving homemade holiday crafts and gift baskets is a good way to give something special. It shows that you took time to do something creative for your friend or loved one, and it can help you save money, too. By learning how to make soap, you can create some wonderful holiday gifts.
Making soap from scratch using lye and animal or vegetable fats is a lengthy and somewhat hazardous process, since lye is a toxic material. You don't have to expose yourself to toxic fumes, though, if you learn the melt and pour method for how to make soap.
Melt and pour soap base – you can purchase this at a craft store
Essential oil for fragrance
Large glass measuring container
Spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol
Soap dye from the craft store, if desired
First, look at your soap molds. How much soap will they hold? Weigh your glass measuring container, and then add chunks of the soap base until you have added the amount of soap your molds will handle.
Next, cover your glass container with plastic wrap and place it in the microwave. Heat the soap base for one minute, and then stir. Repeat this process until the soap is completely melted and there are no chunks left. Be very careful – completely melted soap base is extremely hot.
Now, figure out how much essential oil you will need to add to your soap. A good guide is .4 ounces of fragrance oil for every pound of soap. Weigh your essential oil to measure the correct amount, and then stir it into the melted soap base, stirring thoroughly.
Next, add your soap-safe dye, if desired. Stir the soap completely, but not too quickly. If bubbles form in your soap, spray it with the rubbing alcohol to get rid of them.
Now, pour the soap very slowly and carefully into your molds. Again, spray the soap with rubbing alcohol if bubbles form. Cover the soap with plastic wrap and put the molds somewhere out of the way. Allow the soap to harden completely – this will take several hours.
Finally, take your soap out of the molds. The bars should slip out easily with a tap of the hand, but if they are stuck, you can run the bottom of the molds in warm water for a few seconds. This should help the soap release more easily.
Your soap is now ready to use! Wrap the bars in decorative wrap and place in baskets for wonderful homemade holiday gifts.