Ingredients needed for making soap

Yield: 1 servings

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You can add emolients to soap for their desirable qualities. Such ingredients include cold cream, lanolin, cocoa butter, or even powdered oatmeal. Add emolients in appropriate amounts, so as to not affect the soapmaking process. Also, you should add most emolients after the soap has saponified while it is still cooling, Remember to always add fragrances as the very last ingredient. You can also add special ingredients to soap, such as aloe vera, vitamin E, wheat germ oil, jojoba oil, vitamins A and D, and baking soda. Do not add cornstarch to soap. Cornstarch can leave a thin film on your skin that might attract bacteria. Do not put in your soap any ingredients that might be poisonous. Poisons Can be absorbed through the skin.

Some people like to add buttermilk (in liquid or powder form) to their homemade soaps; others like to add lemon juice. Coconut oil is a favorite ingredient for people who really like suds. Do not add any ingredient that you are allergic to unless you do not plan to use the soap yourself. There are only three ingredients essential to making soap: grease (fat), lye and water. Other ingredients are added to give certain desired qualities to the soap. Although soap making is fairly simple to do, it is critical that you follow instructions carefully. Lye is a caustic substance. If mishandled, it can burn skin or even cause blindness. Add lye only to COLD WATER. Never add lye to hot water, because it might cause a violent chemical reaction.

Most commercial lye is either a caustic soda, such as sodium hydroxide, or a mineral salt known as potassium hydroxide. Hard soaps are made with sodium hydroxide or caustic soda; soft soaps are made with potassium hydroxide.

Lye is commercially available with instructions for its use on the can. You also can make your own lye water by soaking a bucket of wood ashes overnight. The water that you pour off in the morning will be lye water. This is the way colonials made their soap. Use only wood ashes. Do not try to make lye water from coal or coke ashes. Coal ashes contain chemicals that might irritate or damage the skin. Some people add salt to help curdle the soap, but it is not necessary. You can add baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, to soap. It is an inexpensive ingredient that contributes desirable qualities, including deodorizing and cleansing. IMPROVING SOAP Most soaps made at home will need to be improved before they are suitable for personal use. To improve soap, you might wish to remelt it and add more fats and oils. This process helps to harden soap and also makes it gentler to the skin. Naturally, you will need to keep everything in proportion. Too much oil might create a slushy, ineffective soap.

The purpose of soap is to aid in removing grease and grime, not to leave a layer of grease on you, although a good soap will have a slightly oily feel to it. You must add perfumes only after the soap has started to cool. Add them before the liquid soap is poured into molds, however, so that the finished bars have a uniform scent. Of course, you do not need to add fragrances to your soap if you prefer them to remain unscented. If you wish to color your soap, you can use a vegetable coloring. The colors will be more pastel and variable than those produced by chemical coal-tar dyes. The latter will produce uniform colors of a brighter hue. If you want bright colors, you can use food dyes. Be careful to not add so much color that it comes off as you wash, however. SOURCE: MAKING POTPOURRI, COLOGNES AND SOAPS by David Webb. There are also candle, shampoo, bubble bath, deodorant, room freshener, perfume, cologne, aftershave, toilet water, sachet and potpourri recipes. Shared by: Fran McGee Submitted By SHARON STEVENS On 10-07-94

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