Soap making is not an art, but a science that requires practice and patience. Some wonder why they should fuss with soap making when they can get them from the stores. There are a few good reasons: Your homemade soap is cheap and far better in quality than your company-manufactured soap. You can scent or color or shape the soap in the way you want. If you prefer natural ingredients, you can make them completely natural without any trace of synthetic company products. Homemade tallow soaps last longer than commercial ones as they are devoid of impurities or chemicals. Above all, when you learn to make soaps, you can apply the same skills in making other cosmetic items like shampoos, lip balms, lotions, perfumes etc.
Soap recipes: Soaps are generally formed when animal fat (tallow) is combined with caustic agents like lye (sodium hydroxide) with water as a catalyst. Since you are using a caustic agent, you need to be careful during the soap making process. Here are a few easy recipes for making soaps:
1. Basic Soap: Before you start, get to know the basic procedures involved in soap making. This includes preparation of lye water and then blending it with the melted tallow. To prepare the basic soap, you need the following ingredients:
- 32 oz of blended vegetable oil or olive oil
- 74 oz tallow fat (beef fat)
- 3 oz cocoa butter
- 14 oz lye
- 41 oz cold water (rainwater or distilled water)
To make this basic soap, follow the usual soap making instructions. Prepare your lye solution and then slowly pour it into oils while stirring. Then allow to cool and follow the other saponification instructions. You will get a soap that has creamy bubbles and rich lather, but is mild and soft. If cured, this soap will turn hard.
2. Clear soap: To kick start soap making, you will need the following:
- 1 cup of beef tallow
- 2/3 cup glycerin
- 1 cup of melted coconut oil or olive oil
- Adequate water (rainwater or distilled)
- lye flakes
- 1 cup isopropyl alcohol
Start with melting the tallow and coconut or olive oil. Cool to a lukewarm temperature and float the pan of oil in a warm bath. Then, prepare lye solution by stirring it into cold water. Once the lye solution is ready, pour it slowly into the melted tallow and allow it to emulsify. Add glycerin and then pour into mold greased with petroleum jelly. After about 3 or 4 days, grate the formed-soap into top of double boiler and begin heating soap over gently boiling water with some alcohol. If you find traces, remove from heat and pour into molds. You will get a clear soap that cleanses everything pretty well.
3. Pure Tallow Soap: This would bring a pure white tallow soap with rich and creamy lather. Your will need the following for this soap:
- 64 oz tallow
- 24 fluid oz distilled water
- 8.5 oz lye
Making a tallow soap is the easiest. You need to follow the basic soap making procedures and prepare your lye solution. Once that is done, heat your tallow and pour lye water into it slowly. When the soap starts to saponify, you can find trace formation. The end result: you will get a pure tallow soap with good cleansing properties.