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Have you thought about making your own soap, but been put off by all the jargon they use, making it sound too complicated and more trouble than it’s worth? Well, don’t be. It can be really simple. There are three different methods of making soap that are not that difficult. The cold process, the hot process and the poured and melted. The hot and cold process are a bit more complicated but not complicated and are very similar. The pour and melt method is the simplest and probably the fastest.

It’s a good idea to research the process and ingredients before you plan to start to see which one is best for your skills and confidence. When using hot and cold processes, you need to buy a product called ‘bleach’. This is also known as caustic soda and can be dangerous if not treated carefully as it has corrosive properties. Bleach can be purchased in different forms, granules, microspheres and flakes, but all must be handled with care and gloves and goggles must be worn.

Beef tallow is also used in soap making. This gives the soap its hard, creamy properties. It comes from beef or lamb fat that is transformed into tallow.

There are hundreds of recipes that can be found in books and on the Internet. All using a basic recipe, but with slight variations in fragrance and texture. You can go soft or wild to suit your own personal desire.

It is recommended to use three different oils, but one can be used. Different oils are used for different reasons. Coconut oil, for example, is used to make a creamy yet hard soap. Tallow is used to make a hard soap. There are several oils that can be used

– Palm oil, beef tallow, lard: used for a hard, stable and long-lasting soap.
– Coconut, beaver and palm kernel: it is used to produce a soap with good foam.
– Olive, canola, sunflower and soybean oils – used to moisturize and condition
– Cocoa butter, shea butter, almond oil, hemp and jojoba – used for luxurious and super hydration.

A basic and ideal recipe for beginners is

– 1 ounce of castor oil
– 6 ounces of coconut oil
– 26 ounces of olive oil
– 10 ounces of water
– 4.4 oz of bleach

If you don’t feel like using bleach, you can use the melt and pour method. This one uses a soap base that can be purchased at craft stores ready to go. This gives the same results but does not give the complete process.

A basic melt and for the recipe is

– Soap-based
– Fragrance oils
– Soap safe dye (Optional)

Once again, there are hundreds of recipes that can be found for this method.

At the end of either process, you’ll have a good supply of homemade soap that will last and you’ll know exactly what’s happened to it.

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