Do you know of the many harmful contents of commercial soap and their horrible effects on your body?
Making your own essential oil soap is the ideal solution to this issue.
Making your own natural soap gives you a lot of freedom to add various beneficial additives of your choice.
Essential oils are ideal candidates for this. First of all, because of their amazing scents. But also because of their many medical effects and various benefits to your skin.
In other words, if you want the perfect soap that smells and feels the best to you, making your own with essential oils is the way to go.
Making soap is cheap and simple and doesn’t require many tools or ingredients. Since soap is something you use so often, it’s worth the effort to make it good for you.
Read on to learn how you can do that.
What Essential Oil Soap is and How to Make it
What is soap?
In chemical terms, it’s the salt of a fatty acid.
Typical soap, like the kind you use for bathing, is made from oil or fat and potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide (lye). When you mix these substances in a liquid, they go through a reaction called saponification.
Saponification means “turning into soap.” This is a process that hydrolyzes the triglycerides (glyceride molecules each holding three fat molecules). The combination with the alkali (such as lye) creates a crude soap.
The crude soap has varying levels of excess water, fat, alkali, and glycerin. These can be beneficial, however, and it’s up to you whether you like a crude or more refined final product.
Industrial soap makers tend to purify the soap at high heat. This removes the fats and glycerin, which they reuse. This makes an inferior soap because these “byproducts” are what make it nice to your skin.
Purified soap saps the fat from your skin, making it dry and prone to many issues. The soap manufacturers often add strange chemicals to make up for the lacking glycerin. These introduce even more problems.
Cold Soap Making Process
This is the most popular way for artisans and hobbyists. It’s the simplest method and it yields the most natural result.
The only real downsides are that it takes longer and requires more exact ratios of the ingredients. You can use this ingredient ratio calculator to get it right.
Here’s how to make soap with this method:
- Dissolve the lye in water, milk, or wine
- Add the fat
- Stir until the mix thickens
- Add your essential oils and any other additives you like
- Keep stirring to make it even thicker
- Pour into casts and cover with a thick towel or blanket
After this process, the soap needs to finish solidifying. This can take anywhere between 12 and 48 hours. After this, it’s ready for use, but it’s best to let it sit for a month before using it.
Note that if you use a fat that’s solid at room temperature, like coconut oil or beef tallow, you must melt it before starting.
You get the best result if you mix different kinds of fat together. This improves the lather and overall feel of the soap, as well as the shelf life.
Hot Soap Making Process
For this method, you mix the ingredients at a temperature of around 80 degrees Celsius or 175 Fahrenheit. Other than that, the procedure is the same.
This speeds up the saponification process. With the cold method, your essential oil soap does most of the saponifying in the cast. With the hot method, it takes place before you cast the soap.
The big benefit of this method is that you don’t need to be exact with the alkali ratio.
If you heat it all the way to the boiling point, the soap will take on the lower-grade characteristics of commercial soap.
Things to Know About Essential Oils
Essential oils come in many different versions for different uses. Each oil is more than a mere scent, and the type of the oil determines if it’s suitable for soap making.
The oils can have different effects on your skin, some positive, others negative. It’s important to get a better understanding of the oils before making your essential oil soap.
Some essential oils really are better than others. You need to make sure that you get pure ones. These will have words like “pure essential oil,” “therapeutic grade,” or sometimes “food grade.”
Lower-quality essential oils are diluted with various adulterants. Some additives highlight specific scents, most are only there to dilute the oil so the seller can make a bigger profit.
Only use high-quality essential oils when you make soap. Otherwise, it can have harmful effects on your skin.
The different oils are more than different fragrances. Each one comes with a variety of medicinal or hygienic effects. Learning about these will help you make a soap that’s great for your skin and mood, and avoid irritated skin.
Since different oils have different qualities and levels of concentration, it’s important to adjust the ratio of each oil. A bit of basic research is all it takes.
Keep in mind that some oils can trigger allergies. They may also be irritating to babies and small children. If you plan to share or gift your soap, make sure to use safe options.
Selecting the Right Essential Oils for Your Soap
This is where it gets both fun and complicated. Mixing essential oils for your essential oil soap gives a lot of room for creativity. There’s a bit of a science to it, but it’s more like an art.
The aforementioned effects on your skin and mood are one part of the puzzle. Then there’s also getting a nice blend of scents. There’s no “right way” to do it, and no pressure, your soap will be nice either way.
There’s a certain formula used in perfumes and aromatherapy, where scents are sorted into three categories. These are top notes, middle notes, and base notes. Similar to a musical arrangement, in a sense.
If you want to learn how to mix essential oils for the best results, read this article.
What matters most is that you like the fragrance. Test different combinations and see what smells the best.
Dip a toothpick in each oil you’re considering, then smell the picks in different combinations. Keep your favorite combinations in sealed jars, so you can smell and compare them a few times to confirm your choices.
When you’ve decided on an essential oil blend, it’s time to start the soap making process.
Final Thoughts on Making Essential Oil Soap
Making your own soap is the ideal way to get high-quality soap that feels and smells just the way you like it. Essential oils are the perfect, natural way to scent your natural soap.
The process outlined in the article will make it easy to make your own perfect essential oil soap.
If you have questions about essential oils, contact us here.