About the Ingredients

Oil or Fats - Almost any natural oil or animal fat can be turned into soap. Some examples are corn oil, canola oil, olive oil, vegetable shortening, tallow, bacon grease, lard etc.. (more information is provided about the different kinds of oils and fat at the link below referencing Oil Properties.

Red Devil brand 100% lye (NaOH) sodium hydroxide - This is the ingredient that converts the oil or fat to soap. It used to be extracted from ashes in earlier times but now is widely available. Try home improvement, grocery or hardware stores. Usually comes in 12 oz. cans for aprox. $2.00/can. Their are other brands besides Red Devil that are just as good but not as commonly found.

Water - Preferably distilled water or bottled water. Minerals in hard tap water aren't good for soapmaking.

Essential Oils and Fragrances- These are not required, but can add a nice fragrance to your soap. Stay away from any scents that contain alcohol. Also, avoid potpourri and candle scent oils and especially commercial perfumes. They can cause unforseen problems and are best avoided. Essential oils and fragrance oils are commonly available at health food stores and are generally used for aroma therapy.
Other additives - Oatmeal, spices, herbs etc.. can also be added to soap at the trace stage.

Soap Colorants - These can be purchase from a soap supply store or you can use crayons made from stearic acid (most are) If you use crayons melt a piece and add it at the trace stage.

What you will need

(almost everything you will need can be found at at Walmart and your local Grocery Store)

-Pair of safety goggles and a long sleeve shirt or coveralls. (Important)
-Pair of Neoprene rubber gloves or dish washing gloves.
-Half gallon Rubbermaid type pitchers (dishwasher safe). One for water, one for lye.
-Sturdy plastic stirring spoons, one for oils, one for lye/water mix.
-Glass (not aluminum) candy thermometers.
-Large enameled or stainless pot to melt oils in. (16 qt. would work). (Do not use aluminum pots, only stainless steel or enameled.)
-Old blanket, preferably wool. (For insulating molds after pouring)
-Kitchen food scale or postal scale.
-Saran type food wrap. (For lining molds)
-Stick Blender is optional (creates a faster trace)

For blender soap you will also need:

-Standard Kitchen Blender with lid

Click here for information on safely working with lye.
Click here for information on ingredients and tools you will need.
Click here for information on how to make soap from scratch.
Click here for information on making soap in a blender.
Click here for information on making liquid hand soap in a blender.
Click here for information on rebatching soap.
Click here for information on soapmaking oils and their properties.
Click here to Troubleshoot your Soap problems.
Click here for other great soapmaking links !
Click here to go back to the main page.

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