Discover soap science facts! Are you interested in making soap? If
so, you've come to the right place. You'll find an abundant amount of
"in the beginning, I researched the chemical qualities of different oils, the active properties of botanicals, the result of saponification and the physical properties of lather and bubbles. The result of all my research is now known as Spencer's Farm Goat Milk Soap".
(-- Sydne Spencer --)
Sydne did her science research before making soap. She goes on to say, "I was hooked on making soap when I could use all the stuff I learned in college biochemistry to improve the quality of my soap."
Make homemade soap, with caution. Chemicals can react, negatively, with each other and you could have a big explosive soap mess in your kitchen!
You'll be working with hazardous materials when making soap including: lye, essential
oils, sharp knives and soap cutters.
Lye can burn and blister
unprotected skin. Essential oils are
concentrated. They should always be diluted in some type of buffering
agent. Know all about lye and essential oils before making soap.
Store sharp knives or soap cutters properly when not in use. Keep all
hazardous materials away from children and pets.
There are lots of essential and soap making oils. Decide what
properties you want from your soap.
There are lots of things to consider. Do you want a: soft bar? hard bar? creamy
lather? fluffy bubbles? Do you want it to be: moisturizing? acne fighting? for sensitive skin? Do you want it fragranced or unscented? Discover what soap
making oils and essential oils blend well together.
SCIENCE FACTS/SCIENCE LESSONS
-- Handmade soaps are formulated using a combination of emollient oils and butters with lathering oils. Olive and Avocado are popular emollient oils. Cocoa and Shea butters are wonderful! Coconut and Palm Kernel oils are super for lathering. All of these oils are mixed with liquid saturated lye.
-- The chemical reaction between oil and lye is known as saponification. Once saponification is complete there is no lye left in the mixture. Each type of oil requires a different amount of lye to produce the complete reaction. Today's savonnier has tools to calculate exact ratios of specific oils to lye, but the result is always soap and glycerin in approx. 3:1 ratio.
-- A simplified explanation of soap making chemistry is, one molecule of fat added to one molecule of lye yields three molecules of soap and one molecule of glycerin.
-- Use soap science definitions as a reference guide.
Great grandma had to make her own lye. Today we have standardized lye available commercially. Grandma rendered animal fats to get oils, so she was limited to tallow or lard. Today we have all kinds of terrific oils to choose from! Lard with olive and coconut oils makes wonderful, basic, castile soap.
Before great grandma, history tells of soap-like materials tracing back
to 2800 B.C. found in clay cylinders of ancient Babylon. Soap formulas
were inscribed on the clay. Inscriptions mentioned fats were boiled
with ashes, (a way of making soap), but there was no reference to the
purpose. Learn about the history of soap making!
Learn how to make soap with
homemade soap recipes!
Follow proven homemade soap recipes. Discover soap making tips; words of wisdom and cautions to heed. Do you have a favorite homemade soap recipe? Share it with us!
FUN ACTIVITY with SCIENCE FACTS
Play Science Trivia
and test your knowledge. Questions are posted about making soap.
They're updated frequently so check back periodically. All answers are
given after you play.