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Crafts Last Updated: Mar 19th, 2010 - 11:39:35

Homemade Soapmaking Made Simple
By Calissa Leigh
Sep 9, 2004, 18:35

Last year, I received a Christmas present that included handmade soaps. These soaps were attractive in color and included my favorite fragrance. I loved those soaps so much that I simply had to ask my friend how she managed to make them, and it took me a luncheon at a nice restaurant before she would let me know. After much prodding, she finally revealed to me the secret to her soap making techniques.

I've attempted this myself and have found that it is really much more simply than I thought it was originally. Thankfully, most soap making suppliers have prepared kits, or even easy to use ingredients that would make soap making a piece of cake. So for people, like me, who still read the “Idiots Guides to Life” series, this was an easy craft to start making from home.

Clean, soft skin is a very attractive feature. Handmade soaps can come in all different fragrances and colors, and include many additional ingredients that would be highly beneficial to the skin. With the help of some simple soap making solutions, you too could be making cost effective soaps for pleasure, or even for profit!

I began by looking for soap suppliers and I found a reasonable source at Wholesale Supplies Plus (www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com) After drooling over all the options, I finally settled on some of the basic ingredients for soap making.

I gathered a collection of melt and pour silk and shea butter soap and a honey based soap. I also found some very cool molds and then selected a variety of colors and fragrances to play with.

Once I received the package, I started with the silk and shea butter soap. It smelled lightly of flowers and had a nice smooth feeling. It’s whiteness in color was a real cream looking color and in the end it was better for blending with the colors I had chosen.

Remembering my friends instructions, I prepared a mold with some spray on cooking oil. This is so that the soap would slide out easily after it was set. She also mentioned putting the soap in the freezer for twenty minutes, and then running hot water over the mold to loosen up the soap but this seemed much more simpler.

Using a double boiler, I turned the stove up to a low-medium heat. This system works to prevent dryness and scorching of the soap. Placing the soap in the double boiler, I replaced the lid to keep in the moisture. Waiting a few minutes, stirring occasionally, the soap was melted and ready for some fragrance. I added enough so when I stood over the pot, I could certainly smell the fragrance, just about two teaspoons for the eight ounces I was using. After other experiments I learned that the fragrance really depends on the strength of the fragrance itself, and you can make it more or less potent as desired just by a little experience.

After blending the fragrance in, I then choose a nice coloring for the soap. In this case, I wanted a light shade of pink so I put in coloring a drop at a time. After each drop I had to stir it completely, as I did not want too much for a darker pink. I had only gotten basic red blue and yellow colors with my package but later learned that there were many more colors to choose where such guesswork in color wouldn’t be necessary. But with the basic red I was using on my soap, it took about five drops and I had a really nice pale pink.

Once everything I wanted was in the melted soap, I then used a heat glove to bring the pot of soap to the mold, which was waiting on a level table. Being careful not to spill any, the molds filled to the brim. It was another hour before I came back to check and it felt finished when I attempted to touch the center lightly.

Because of the cooking oil I had applied earlier, the soaps fell out immediately after tilting the molds. The easy process had me at it again. Within a few hours, I had much soap in a variety of colors and molds. I was armed with enough gifts for the next two years for Christmas! And my whole family loved being able to pick their own favorite molds, fragrances and colors as well.

I was so excited with my accomplishment, that I thanked my friend for sharing with me her secret, with a nice gift basket filled with my own ‘private’ line of handmade soaps.

Written by Calissa Leigh calissaleigh@yahoo.com
Ask her to write an article for you.
She is published at: http://whisperenterprises.com
and http://midnightlily.com

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