How to make homemade eco-friendly soap

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By Rachel

homemade soap

Respecting the environment also means changing our everyday behaviour, such as the soap we use at home: you can make homemade eco-friendly soap with simple and natural ingredients without using industrial products that can cause allergies and irritation.

One way to make homemade soap is the cold method. This the more simple method, especially when compared to the hot technique. In the cold process, the caustic soda is not heated directly, whereas in the hot process it is.

The three basic ingredients necessary for the production of soap (hot or cold), are oil (any kind: olive oil, sunflower, coconut, beeswax), caustic soda and water.

Homemade eco-friendly soap recipe: ingredients

You will need to use these ingredients in the following quantities:

  • 1 kg oil (if you use olive oil)
  • 128 g of caustic soda
  • 300 g water

Please note that caustic soda is a dangerous product and must be handled with extreme caution. Here are a few essential precautions: keep caustic soda out of the reach of children or pets and avoid contact with eyes, skin and mucous membranes, as it is highly corrosive and burns the skin. It is, therefore, necessary to use plastic gloves and swimming goggles (or transparent eye goggles) when using caustic soda and when mixing it with water and oil.

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Similarly, a headscarf wrapped around the nose and mouth is highly recommended because of the steam produced by diluted sodium hydroxide. It is also advisable to use disposable containers which you use only for the production of soap.

Homemade eco-friendly soap recipe: step-by-step preparation

Put the weighed oil in a non-stick metal saucepan. Heat over low heat to 60°C (you can help yourself by using a kitchen thermometer). Slowly pour the soda in the water (never the other way round). Mix well and check the temperature of the water as it tends to rise rapidly to 80-90°.

Cool the soda and water mixture down too 45-50°C and pour slowly into the saucepan with the oil in order to get a homogenous mixture. Pour into a glass jar. The circular movement generated from pouring should trigger a hydrolysis reaction which could be verified after 3-4 minutes.

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Once the mixture has changed color and consistency and it sticks a little in the pot, you can add essential oils or spices to your soap while mixing with a wooden spoon.

Pour the obtained mixture in a mould (made of wood, cardboard or plastic) and cover well as the soda will continue to react with the oil. Finally, after 24 hours, you can turn out the solid soap with gloves and then cut into desired shape.

Leave the soap for 4 to 5 weeks in a cool, dry place before using. Only after this time will the caustic soda have disappeared.

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