How handmade soap is made – the process.
All soap is made with a chemical process called, Saponification.
Simply put, a liquid mixture containing sodium hydroxide (a.k.a. lye) is mixed with choice oils/fats/butters. It then goes through the chemical process called saponification. Mixed in the correct proportions and all of the lye mixture molecules and all of the oil/fat molecules pair up, leaving no extra lye molecules. Once the process has completed, the end result is soap.
No soap can be made without the use of sodium hydroxide. If sodium hydroxide was never an ingredient, it is a detergent bar, or similar – this is what you’ll typically find on the grocery shelf.
Unlike our great ancestors, who made soap using ash and fats over an open fire, we are able to use recipes and scales which measure our ingredients exactly – thus, done properly, result in soap that will not ‘burn the hide right off ya’.
Make your own handmade soap using our tutorial: Instructions for Making Crock Pot Handmade Soap.