My journey into soap making began a few years ago, though I didn’t start making soap right out of the gate. I started by making my own household cleaning products. I used to have a specialty cleaning product for every surface in my home. After a while, I began to question the need for so many different products. Mostly due to a lack of storage space and my growing disenchantment with the idea of surrounding myself with harsh chemicals all of the time. I spent a ridiculous amount of time researching cleansers, disinfectants, and chemicals. I was able to cut more than half of the cleansers I was using and replace them with my own simple recipes. In the end, it was about balance. A balance between using modern detergents when needed and cutting out the extra chemicals when it wasn’t.
So Much Research…
While researching cleaning products, I found a massive community of folks who were making many of their own beauty supplies, including soap. I always liked the idea of using more earth friendly products. Using bar soap in the past had always made my skin feel squeaky and dry, so I shied away from using it. I would be lying if I said I found many earth friendly products to feel super great on my skin. However, I really enjoyed watching soap makers concoct really creative and cool looking soaps. There had to be a way to balance the feel of a luxury product while being earth conscious too! In the spirit of learning new things, I decided to see if I could learn how to make really cool looking soap and create a formula that didn’t leave my skin feeling dry.
I read countless books, watched innumerable hours of videos, and purchased supplies to make enough soap to bathe a small army. I was ready. It was time to start soaping. My first batch of soap was both ugly and really really drying. My second batch wasn’t as ugly, but I messed up the ingredients and it became ugly as it cured. The third batch was the turning point. It was simple, but not as drying. I started making small changes to that recipe and formulated a few more recipes to try out.
Now I get it….
Many online shops carry great soaps and there are some really talented soap makers out there! Most soap makers create soaps they enjoy using. That is why the community is so huge and the variety is so plentiful! Everybody is different and has different soap needs. When you find a soap that works well for you, it is likely because you and the person making your soap have similar preferences. I opened my shop because I know there are people who have similar needs to my own and I realize not everyone wants to make their own soap. Now I can help others AND keep making soap!
I have been having a great time making soap! I feel really great about my soaps and I hope you will too. But there is more that can be done! I am currently working on recipes for body butters and some artist friendly products. Who knows? There may even be some balms and hair products in the future.
Resources and Recommendations
Soaping Calculator (SoapCalc)
Favorite Soapmaking YouTubers: