Did you know that the soaps we buy can be made at home, with just a few tools and ingredients, and be much better for our skin? It's true! With a few moments of preparation, your residents can be making their own soaps, enough for the entire community!
Soap making from scratch generally can be made with two processes: cold process & hot process. The two are exactly the same except for an extra heating step of the soap mixture before leaving it to set in the hot process. Consequently, the hot process produces ready-to-use soap in only a few days, while the cold process takes 6 weeks for the soap to fully cure and be ready to use.
Soap is made with only 3 basic ingredients: liquid + fat + lye. Yes, you have to use lye to make soap. It is the magic ingredient that mixes with fats to create soap. And, with the right safety gear, ventilation and precaution, everyone making soap can stay safe and enjoy the activity! For more information about lye in the soap making process, read this article.
The tools you need to make your own hot process soap, and which can be purchased used for very little and kept for all residents to use, are the following:
Here is an article describing every step of making hot process soap by yourself. It details everything you need to know and do to make soap correctly that can be used in just a few days to a week! It also touches on a soap recipe you can use, but you can always change the mixture yourself.
Remember too to always run your recipe through a lye calculator to assure you're using enough fats to neutralize all of the lye in your soap!
Alternatively, for an easy and quick activity involving soap, have residents combine, colour and shape their own soap form soap scraps! No cooking or lye involved. Click here for instructions on this fun activity.