So you want to learn how to make soap from scratch? The process really isn't too hard at all and can be very rewarding. The soap you make can either be for personal use or potentially to sell at the local markets or even online at various sites to make a very tidy profit.
The first thing you have to decide when making your own soap is the process you want to use. The common methods are cold process, melt and pour, and finally hot process soaps.
To make cold process soap you mix different fats such as olive oils with lye (which you may know as sodium hydroxide. When mixed at the right ratio a reaction occurs between the lye and the fatty acid which turns them into soap. This process is called saponification and can take up to 6 weeks before it has become your new soap. By using different oils you can create different types of soaps. All you need is access to some recipes and an imagination to try your own.
Melt and pour soap uses clear soap or 'glycerin soap' cast into different mould to create an easy to perform pass-time. Melt and pour is actually simple enough that children can do it! The clear soap can either be bought in bulk or you can make your own by performing a few more steps after with the cold process.
Hot process is a relatively new twist on the cold process where the ingredients are combined over heat to remove any excess water. The soap will then be ready to use once it has finally cooled down.
You don't have to stop at soaps either. Once you learn how to make soap from scratch you can also explore the opportunity to make all sorts of spa and bath products such as bath bombs, soaks, aromatherapies, balms. The list is endless.