Friday, July 1, 2011

Making Soap ( Brief Explanation)

Ok, I haven't done this yet, because I just haven't had time yet, sorry.  But there was a reader who had questions about how to make shampoo/soap bars.  I did some quick research and decided that I would try the melt and pour process for making soap, because I really am just not interested in dealing with lye on my own.  It's a very sensitive process and dangerous ingredient to handle.  It's just not for me, lol!

I have however tried a cold process soap bar, that contained no sulfates and loved it.  See here.  I also have sample bars of Henna Sooq's Cocoveda, Argan Oil, Berhempsu and Morrocan Clay shampoo bars.  So depending on the M&P, I think the soaps should work well for both the hair and body.  Like any product some like it and some don't.  The bar I am currently using as a shampoo is great for me, it cleans my hair without stripping it!

Anyhoo, here's what I learned.  Below you will find a quick explanation for different processes and instruction links.  I urge you to use this as a reference and to continue to do some more research. 

Melt & Pour Soap
     This type of soap making is just as it sounds.  You get a block of soap and you melt it and pouring into desired mold.  Adding some ingredients is optional .  Done! 

     Now, with M&P soap, there is only so much ingredients you can add to it, otherwise your soap will come out wrong, i.e. too soft.  You can add oils, herbs, essential oils,color, fragrance but be aware that whatever you add will affect your soap.  For example, for each batch of soap you can only add about .25 ounces of oil or 1 tbsp.  So M&P Soap is not really that easy to personalize, in my opinion.  

    So, if your like me and don't want to use lye, I would also look for M&P that state they have no sulfates and use kosher glycerin and already have cool ingredients in them already like hemp seed oil, honey, shea butter, aloe vera, etc.  This way they already have desired ingredients and only need to add a few additions like EO's or dried herbs that won't mess with the end product so much!

You can find basic instructions here
Recommended Calculator for this method here

Cold Process Soap
     This is for those that really want to make them some soap, Lol!  This is a true DIY project.  It is basically the combination of lye, fatty acids(oils) and water.  This process takes up about 6 weeks.  Once the ingredients are mixed the period of saponification occurs, resulting in soap.  This is the binding of the oils, water and lye to create what we know as soap.

     I believe this method allows much more personalization using beer, ACV, etc.( FYI, this is usually a much more complicated process)

You can find basic instruction here

Hot Process
   This is basically the cold process with a twist.  You mix the ingredients and place over a heat source. This process basically speeds up the saponification period by allowing the excess water to evaporate and once cooled is ready for use.

Whipped Soap (Foaming Bath Butter)
   Very creamy soap, great for shaving and making ice cream soap, etc.  Very tricky process.  I haven't really found out how to make it, but there are books out there if your curious.   This soap sounds moisturizing since the one at Brambleberry uses Shea Butter, sound great!!  You can make this recipe, but it requires skill and/or you can buy the base. 

Liquid Bases
   You can use these to make shampoo or liquid hand soaps etc.  I tend to not like these bases because most contain sulfates, but you can use Castile soap as an alternative.  No need for added preservatives, etc.

Rebatch Soap
   Rebatch soap is very similar to M&P, but it is fresher and instead of coming in a block it will come in little "shreds'.  It is essentially the results of cold processed soap, that has not had water added yet.  It's like the best of both worlds, the soap is fresher and you don't have to deal with the lye yourself.  It also has the same ingredient restrictions as M&P.

You can find basic instruction here
Recommended Calculator for this method here

1 Bar at a time
Another quick method is to just buy a bar of soap(plain ivory or castile,etc) and add certain ingredients to that.  See post here for an ayurvedic shampoo "bar" I made.  Some will melt down a bar of soap and add castor oil or sunflower oil to make a shaving cream, etc. 

Recipe Example:
M&P Soap
1 tbsp Castor Oil
1 tsp Bentonite Clay  ( Adds slip; you can add more, but could irritate your skin) is a great source for learning about soap making and different ideas.  The forum is very helpful as well.  In my brief search I found people to be very helpful and I plan to order some soap from Brambleberry!

Some other resources I was given :

No comments:

Post a Comment