Lovely Soap

Welcome to our website, Aroha Organics, which is devoted to recommending some of the best organic soaps available for purchase online. Aroha is a is a Maori term that many translate as meaning “unconditional love.” If you have never tried handmade soap before, you are in for a surprise and you will very likely fall in love with it! I learned a lot about making my own cleaning products when I worked for a green cleaning company (http://kitsapclean.com).  Once you start making your own cleaning products like soap it will be hard to go back to buying them in  a store!

There are few things in life more pleasurable and luxurious than a fine quality crafted handmade soap. But how is soap made? There are actually many different methods that can be used to make soap from home, depending on whether you are making bar soap or liquid soap. However, regardless of the type of soap you are making, there are some simple basic procedures. In all types of home soap making, you will heat oil or fat, mix lye with water, and then add the lye mixture to the fat to create the soap. The mixture will then have to be stirred well, until it reaches a certain stage known as the trace stage. This is the stage when the soap will set properly, and for bar soap it is the stage in which it is poured into soap molds and allowed to set for a couple of days before being cut. After being cut, handmade soap is usually allowed to age a few more weeks before being sold, although this depends in part on the ingredients and the method used to make the soap. Probably the most popular method to make handmade soap at home is what is known as cold-processing. This is not called this because of a lack of heat during the process, but instead because it is not heated while being mixed and because of this, it takes longer than industrial and other types of home soap making methods. Probably the easiest way for beginners to learn how to make soap, however, is the melt and pour method of soap making. With this method, you take pure glycerin and then solidify it using a certain mixture of chemicals.

Glycerin soap, however, can not be considered natural or organic since a glycerin base is synthetic by nature. It is also a fairly expensive method to make soap at home, but it is very quick and convenient and easy for beginners to make. Another benefit is you can use glycerin soap almost immediately after it is made and there is no need to wait weeks for the soap to properly cure before use. Another fairly easy way to make soap is known as rebatching. With this method, you take scrapes of soap either produced by a soap manufacturer or left over from your or other homemade soap making, and then melt them and mold them once again. Rebatching soaps specifically refers to the process of remelting these soap scraps. If you make soap yourself at home, you will find that there are times when the soap doesn’t turn out the way you want them, and rebatching is a great process to reuse these scrap pieces and create better soap. It is also a very quick method to make soap, since it will not need to cure once again since it is made from soap that has already been cured once. Once it hard cools, rebatched soap is ready to use. There is also hot processed soap, which differs from cold-processed soaps in that the soap is heated even after the lye mixture is added and there is no waiting for saponification or the trace stage during mixing. Instead, the process of making soap – saponification – will happen after you pour the soap into the molds.

Nearly all these methods of soap making relies on commercial lye formulas, but of course there are natural forms of lye as well. In colonial and earlier times, lye was made from potash – or wood ashes. If you decide to use this natural lye formula, you may want to try using it with hot processed soap instead of cold processed soap, since saponification is less likely to occur if something is out of proportion in cold process and natural forms of lye are hard to measure precisely.With the hot process method of soap making, you will combine oil, water and lye in a double boiler (or some people actually use a crock-pot for this!), and you literally cook the soap. You will be able to use the soap as soon as it has cooled and hardened as well, unlike cold process soap. Still, you may want to let it cure a little, since it won’t become truly hard for a few days or week and might not lather as well as it will once it has aged a bit. There is actually a third method some people use called the “warm method” of soap making that falls somewhere in between hot and cold soap making, as you might guess. With this method, an oven is usually used to create a warm environment while the soap is setting up in molds. It helps make sure that saponification occurs and also speeds up the time necessary for the soap making process to be completed.

Another method of making soap is known as the full boil method. This is the method used by many commercial soap making companies, and during it all the ingredients are added at once. Glycerin, which we spoke of earlier for melt and pour soaps, is a by product of this process of soap making. The glycerin is removed using sophisticated equipment since it is necessary to do this with this kind of soap making process, however this is actually unfortunate when it comes to the quality of soap since glycerin in soap adds moisturizing and skin-conditioning properties. Finally, you may be interested in transparent soap making. During this soap making process, alcohol is actually used. The alcohol causes crystallization to occur when the soap cools, creating the neat look of transparent soap. Transparent soaps can make great gifts, especially when there are neat things contained inside the bars of soap. However, the alcohol is also drying, and so the quality of soap is a bit inferior than what you would find in the best quality cold-processed handmade soaps. Quality soap is a wonderful addition to any home environment. I hope you found this explanation of home soap making methods and process of use and that you try a bar of quality organic, homemade soap yourself soon someday (if you haven’t already).

 

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