Why I make soap

I started making my own soaps in an effort to acquire cleansing that was non-irritating and drying. While perfecting my formulas, I was looking for a creamy, nourishing and healing experience. I wanted to leave the shower not having to immediately use body lotions to save my skin from cracking. While, I still moisturize with my all-time favorites castor oil, shea butter, or sweet almond oil, soap made from natural 100% biodegradable natural ingredients makes my skin and me happy 🙂

Our skin is ever so slightly more acidic, and a spray with homemade vinegar prior to exiting the shower seems to help even further. I’ve heard of people who don’t use any soaps or detergents on their skin. I envy them! But for those of us who still like to get it all off, there’s my soap 😉

What is in my soap

The primary ingredients of my soaps are different kinds of oils and lye. I add essential oils and herbs after the saponification for their skin nurturing benefits. Many of the colors, herbs, and plant extracts I use come directly from my organically grown garden.

I’ve had people ask me to make them soap without lye. There is a misconception about the purpose of lye in soap making. Mixing the right amounts of lye and oil is what makes soap. They undergo several hour of cooking (saponification) in the case of hot-process soap, and several weeks, in the case of cold-process. But fear not! No lye is left in the final bars of soap. In fact, according to the FDA, you can’t call it “SOAP” unless it is made with oils and lye. Beware of chemical cleansers and detergents masquerading as soap.

What is lye anyhow

Some of its other names might be more familiar to you – sodium hydroxide or caustic soda. Traditionally, lye was made from hardwood ashes soaked in water. This lye solution is also known as potash, or “pot ash” (from soaking ashes in a pot). In fact, the name potassium comes from “pot ash” since that’s where it was first isolated.

Did you know

You can make soap by the camp fire! If you throw some white ashes from a hardwood fire into your oily frying pan — the lye in the ash will combine with the leftover fat from the cooking to make a crude soap. From my experience, the same is true for ashes from pine/soft wood — good enough to significantly reduce the effort it takes to clean at least your fireplace window.

Life is a miracle!