Soap making can be a lot of fun for just you, or as a family activity. It is a traditional process that can be very practical and economical, but can also help you to decide exactly what goes into your skin washing products, can allow you to choose precisely what your soaps will look like so that they can become decorations in themselves, and they can make a very special personal gift, too. Of course, to do this, you need to know how to make the handmade soap in the first place.

Once you know how to make handmade soap, you can start to experiment with colors, shapes, textures, fragrances, and other ingredients. Generally, though, you’ll want to start simple, and work your way toward more complex recipes so that you don’t become frustrated along the way.

There are four main ways to make Homemade soap:

1 Melt and Pour this is the most basic type and is the one most often used by beginners and people who don’t want to work with lye. It’s also ready to use right away and works very well with shape moulds.

2 Re-batching this is often also called hand-milled soap or crafted soap. It starts with a cold pressed soap that has been grated, melted, and mixed with either milk or water before additives such as fragrance and color are added and they are poured or cut into shapes.

3 Cold Process this combines lye with a liquid such as water, goat’s milk, or coffee which is then added to a fat or oil before color and fragrance are added. It then must undergo saponification, which takes around a day, after which molds can be used and setting occurs within the next four-to-six weeks.

4 Hot Process this is similar to cold process except that cooling is not required between stages and it is ready to use as soon as it is cooled within the molds.

Geraldine Jensen

Publisher and Editor of Families Online Magazine. Our experts provide warm, loving, and generous advice for you, your family and children, no matter their age -- infants, school age, 'tweens, and teenagers. Features include:Parenting, Ages and Stages of Child Development, Child Support, Cooking, Health, Children's Books, Nutrition, Christian Parenting, Relationships, Green-living, Education and School

Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
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