Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Basic Handmade Soap Facts
Soap making is a handicraft with its own set of enthusiasts. The process involves the mixing of ingredients such as lye or sodium hydroxide, fats and oils (derived from animals or vegetables), and water. A process called saponification ensues when the lye and oils combine, neutralizing the harsh effects of lye to produce a substance called glycerin in the soap.
The fun part comes in the selection and addition of ingredients for the soap’s color and scent. Commercially manufactured soaps usually have artificial coloring and fragrance, but with handmade soap, you can add natural ingredients such as flowers, fruits, and other plant extracts. Not only do these components feel and smell good, many of them actually have aromatherapy benefits.