I love making natural handmade soaps and bath products for my family and I, so much so, that I started selling them after a while and found out that others also wanted to be able to use more natural products for their families but just didn’t have the time, equipment, or the patience to do it.
Today, I want to show you a step-by-step of how I make my natural cold process soap. In this post I am making one of my favorite soaps: Peppermint Soap, which is good for breaking down oils so it is great for people who suffer from oily skin, but this soap is also moisturizing so it will not dry out your skin because it naturally contains glycerin and can be used for most skin types.
Before you begin, make sure you are working in a clean, uncluttered area, and gather all of your supplies for making your soap. Get out whatever oils, and fats you choose to use to make your soap. Safety is important, so make sure you have gloves, goggles, and a face mask to protect yourself from fumes or accidental spills or splashes. You will also need Lye aka Sodium Hydroxide (click links to learn more about it) to make the soap, *PLEASE USE CAUTION WHEN WORKING WITH LYE*, it can cause serious burns if it comes in contact with the skin.
My soaps are all natural and I prefer to use essential oils and organic herbs for the scents and colors, the herbs and essential oils have added benefits for your skin which I really love.
In the photo below you can see that my wooden mold is lined and ready for me to pour the mixture of oils, fats and lye into. I always prepare my soap mold ahead of time by lining it with baking sheets so that it is easy to get out when the soap is ready to be cut.
I’ve already measured out all of my oils, and fats together in a plastic container and also measured my water, and lye into separate containers. Next, with my gloves, goggles, and mask on, I slowly pour the lye into the room temperature water and stir, NEVER pour water into the lye.
The photo below is of me pouring the lye mixture into the combination of oils and fats I’ve prepared ahead of time, again it is better to slowly and carefully pour the lye solution into the other soap ingredients.
Now that I have most of my ingredients ready, I will begin by mixing them together with a plastic spoon until it all melts and then I will use a stick blender to speed up the process (see two photos below).
This picture shows what the mixture of ingredients will look like right before I add my essential oils and herbs and pour into a soap mold.
This is what it looks like because I have now added organic ground mint leaves, peppermint, and eucalyptus essential oils. I use a wooden or plastic spoon to mix it all until it is well blended before I pour it into a mold. Some essential oils will speed up trace (thickening of the mixture of oils and lye) so you sometimes have to work faster before it gets too thick to pour in the mold.
These two photos are what my final mixture looks like when it is poured into the wooden soap mold. I will now cover the mold with a towel and leave undisturbed for a day or more until the mixture is firm enough to remove from the mold and cut into soap bars. I will then let my soap bars cure for 4-6 weeks in a well ventilated area before they are ready to be used.
This is a simple tutorial of how I make my cold process soaps. Most of my soaps are made with coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter and other types of fats and oils. You can however, choose any combination of oils you like to make a soap that will work for you according to what benefits you are looking for. In future posts, I will go more into detail about why I use certain oils, what their benefits are, and maybe talk more about the phases of the soap making process. What are your favorite homemade bath products and what do you like about them? Please feel free to share with us!