How to prepare a soap base

Homemade soap recipes

Soap that you make your­self is much safer than the kind you buy in stores, be­cause you know for cer­tain what goes into it. Ad­di­tion­al­ly, in soap-mak­ing your imag­i­na­tion knows no bounds – you can add nat­u­ral oils, which have a ben­e­fi­cial ef­fect on the skin.

[Deposit Photos]

Ac­cord­ing­ly, home-made soap is more nat­u­ral. But if you want to make soap your­self, you should know about the base – the clean­ing com­pound. This ar­ti­cle will tell you about how to make a soap base.

Let’s have a look at the dif­fer­ent types of soap bases

Soap bases can be di­vid­ed into hard, liq­uid and soft types. The first type are used for mak­ing clas­sic hard soap, the sec­ond are suit­able for sham­poos, show­er gels and so on, while the third are used for mak­ing scrubs. If we look at the chem­i­cal for­mu­la, soaps are sodi­um salts of fat­ty acids, which are ob­tained by the al­ka­line hy­drol­y­sis of fats.

The clas­sic and most com­mon soap base con­tains the fol­low­ing com­po­nents:

  • dis­tilled wa­ter;
  • al­ka­li;
  • glyc­erin (a sub­stance which nour­ish­es and moist­ens the skin);
  • sur­face-ac­tive sub­stances (they have the ef­fect of form­ing a foam and re­mov­ing dirt);
  • es­sen­tial oils (se­lect­ed de­pend­ing on the de­sired ef­fect from the prod­uct).

Soap bases are also di­vid­ed into trans­par­ent, white and or­gan­ic types. The white base is ob­tained from ti­ta­ni­um diox­ide, which is used in the man­u­fac­ture of dec­o­ra­tive cos­met­ics. Or­gan­ic soap has a min­i­mal chem­i­cal com­po­si­tion.

The unit cell of rutile [Wikipedia]

The ready soap base has prac­ti­cal­ly no smell, so es­sen­tial oils or per­fumed wa­ter are added to the soap for scent. The base cools quick­ly, which makes the work process eas­i­er.

Mak­ing a soap base at home

Method 1: use ready soap

To make a soap base at home, you can sim­ply use chil­dren’s soap. Novice soap-mak­ers of­ten use this method. It’s eas­i­er to work with chil­dren’s soap from the safe­ty stand­point, but mak­ing a prod­uct from it is quite hard, be­cause it takes a long time to melt and has a spe­cif­ic smell.

Work pro­ce­dure

Re­mem­ber that you shouldn’t work with­out rub­ber gloves! Buy chil­dren’s soap with­out dyes or scents, grate it with a grater and melt it in the mi­crowave (30-40 sec­onds) or in a wa­ter bath (from 10 to 30 min­utes). The main thing is not to let the soap boil: there shouldn’t be bub­bles on the sur­face of the base. You need to achieve the con­sis­tence of liq­uid yo­ghurt. Then add liq­uid to the soap base and re­move it from the heat. Then comes the process of adding var­i­ous oils and mold­ing the soap into shape.

Method 2: make a soap base from scratch

Some­times we may won­der: how can we make or­gan­ic soap? You need to learn to make a soap base at home. Al­though some stores of­fer a wide as­sort­ment of ready bases, or­ga­niz­ing the soap-mak­ing process your­self is much more in­ter­est­ing. More­over, you can do amaz­ing ex­per­i­ments and use their re­sults in your ev­ery­day life!

[Deposit Photos]

You should boil the soap in a well-ven­ti­lat­ed room and in spe­cial pro­tec­tive cloth­ing, be­cause you’ll be work­ing with al­ka­li, which is very caus­tic, and it can make your skin turn red on con­tact, or cause burns and bleed­ing. So you need to neu­tral­ize the al­ka­li.

The fol­low­ing sub­stances neu­tral­ize al­ka­li:

  • acetic essence;

  • cit­ric acid;

  • pick­le or cab­bage brine;

  • juice of sour fruits.

When mak­ing soap, don’t use a metal­lic ves­sel and don’t stir the mix­ture with a met­al spoon, but use a wood­en stick in­stead. In work­ing with an al­ka­li, pour the chem­i­cal into the wa­ter, and not the oth­er way around, be­cause it is easy to over­do it with the sec­ond method: if you add a lot of al­ka­li, the soap will be crumbly. And the re­ac­tion will be very strong. You also won’t make good soap with a lit­tle amount of al­ka­li – the base may not thick­en. So you need to cal­cu­late the amount pre­cise­ly. Now de­ter­mine the ef­fect you want to achieve, and pre­pare the oil ba­sis, weigh­ing the quan­ti­ty with pre­cise scales.

The soap base should also con­tain su­per­fat – the oils which help to moist­en and nour­ish the skin. Hard oils melt, and liq­uid oils are com­bined with them. Then the al­ka­li so­lu­tion is added to the oils (the tem­per­a­ture of the oils and al­ka­li should be iden­ti­cal). Care­ful­ly stir the mix­ture. Then place the soap base in a wa­ter base and com­plete the heat­ing process. You can test whether the base is ready by a spe­cial pH me­ter, or you can care­ful­ly taste the soap, on the end of your tongue: the base will be ready when it stops sting­ing your tongue.