Monday, February 6, 2012

Homemade Bar Soap

I was given a bar of homemade soap once. It was pumpkin scented and smelled delicious! It had coffee grounds mixed in as an exfoliant, and it felt great! I was shocked when I found out that it was homemade. Buying all the start up ingredients wasn't easy or cheap. The sodium hydroxide (used to make lye, which is used for saponification and makes the soap, soap) had to be ordered online and some of the ingredients weren't carried in the same store, so I had to make multiple stops. But once I had everything, the process was pretty easy. (And once I found a recipe I liked, like the grocery store soap, I could find most everything easily and in the same store.)

The cold process method is what I use. I found the link below to be very useful. It's a great tutorial. It also has a grocery store recipe (which I've used many times), so you can find all the ingredients you need in one place! With the exception of the sodium hydroxide of course. I buy that from along with any essential oils. Occasionally I will make a batch of specialty soap. But I dread having to buy extra ingredients and fragrances. I make soap for our everyday use and typically make a simple recipe with coffee grounds and call it good. One batch usually lasts many months.
I did the math and a simple bar of soap is about .50 cents per bar. A specialty bar is over $1 per bar. We usually bought Lever 2000 from Sams (because it was the best price). It's about .42 cents per bar. Just a tiny bit cheaper than homemade, and a lot less work. Store bought soap bars are a little bigger too. But ick! It makes my skin super dried out. And to buy something like Dove or Dial is almost $1 per bar, even from Sams.

I get so freaked out when I hear about the crazy ingredients in everyday things that end up being bad for your health. I know all the ingredients that I put in this soap.
A great resource is a book called The Soapmakers Companion. It's on my list of things to buy! It has everything you need to know about soapmaking and recipes.

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