Making soap at home can be a fun and rewarding hobby. Once you’ve learned the basics, there are lots of experiments you can do with scents and other things. But it’s important, first, to understand the basic steps of how to make soap at home. After all, soap making has become a lost home craft because there can be difficulties and dangers involved. But when you’ve created something useful from scratch, the work can be well worth the effort.

The main ingredients you’ll need for homemade soap are water, lye, and some kind of oil-even lard can be used, like your great-grandmother probably did. Lye is a caustic material so you’ll want to handle it carefully. Don’t get it on your skin and make sure you wear eye goggles and work in a well-ventilated area. You might even want to use a respirator. You’ll also need a couple of containers in which to heat the ingredients-glass or plastic for the lye and a metal pot for the oil. Plus you’ll need a mold into which you’ll pour your soap for cooling and shaping.

A wax paper-lined cake pan will do the job, but you’ll have to cut the soap after it hardens. That means you’ll need a large, very sharp knife, or you might be more comfortable rigging a soap slicer out of fishing line. If you’d rather not mess with cutting then smaller, soap bar-size molds work better, like muffin tins or a similar-sized container. Inexpensive cooking thermometers are needed so that you’ll know exactly how hot your lye and oils get. Finally, you’ll need measuring cups and stirring implements, preferably wooden ones. Whatever materials you use when you are learning how to make soap at home, make sure it’s dedicated to soap making. Don’t plan on using any of it for cooking food.

There are plenty of soap recipes available, but basically you’ll heat the lye with the water-a chemical reaction causes the mixture to heat as the lye dissolves. Once that is done, let it cool to 110 degrees. At the same time, heat your chosen oil-coconut, olive, lard, or other-to the same temperature. When they are both 110 degrees, slowly pour the lye mixture into the container with the oils. Mix everything carefully with your stirring implement, using gentle but constant strokes. You can use a stick blender if you like, but many people prefer wood.

When the soap begins to thicken, start paying really close attention to avoid losing control. Lift your stirring implement and allow a little bit of the mixture to drizzle back into the rest. If the soap maintains its shape before sinking, then it’s ready. If you wait too long, you might not be able to get all of the soap mixture out of the container. That’s an important less in how to make soap at home-if not done properly you’ll ruin your container for future attempts.

Carefully pour the thickened soap into the mold. Then wrap it with a towel and put it aside for 24 hours. This gives the ingredients time to meld properly and for the soap to “set”. Once that is done, the soap can be turned out of the mold and cut into the desired size. Then you should store it on brown paper in a cool area of the house. Turn each bar after it has set for two weeks then allow it to set for another two or three weeks. Basically it is ready to use after one month.

For more details and some great recipes that include various scents and other techniques on how to make soap at home, visit http://www.soap-making-tips.info, or click here!