Learning how to make organic soap at home is not as difficult (or as expensive!) as you may think.
There are a lot of good reasons to use organic ingredients when making soap at home.
Using organic ingredients means that you avoid the chemicals used in non-organic growing processes. This includes synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. These chemicals can carry a lot of the same risks as the chemicals found in commercial soaps. I believe that it is especially important to use organic ingredients in soap that you’ll be using on children.
Another important reason to make organic soap at home is the fact that organically grown ingredients tend to have less negative impact on the planet. Organic growers don’t use harsh chemicals and tend to use more sustainable growing practices than non-organic growers.
If You Make Organic Soap You Need Lye…
When making organic soap at home, the first thing you need to know that there is no such thing as 100% organic soap. All soap requires lye, and there is no such thing as organic lye. So if you see soap for sale that is labeled “100% Organic,” it is not true.
I get a lot of questions about using lye, especially from people who want to make organic soap. They are very concerned about the fact that a harsh chemical is used and want to know if they can make organic soap at home without it.
The simple answer to this question is “no.” You can not make organic soap at home (or non-organic soap for that matter) without lye. Lye interacts with fat in a process called saponification and turns it in to soap. No lye = no soap!
That said, there is no reason to be concerned with the fact that you are using lye in your soap. Yes, you do have to take precautions when handling it because it is very caustic and can cause injury if it’s spilled. But when you’re making organic soap at home, once the lye is mixed in and the saponification process is complete, the caustic properties of the lye are completely neutralized.
My Favorite Oils To Make Organic Soap…
Although you need to use lye when you’re making organic soap at home, all of the other ingredients can be organic. This comprises the oils used for making soap, the aromatherapy essential oils used to scent the soap as well as any dried ingredients you add for texture and color.
When choosing organic oils to use when making organic soap at home, I have a few favorites I like to use.
The first is olive oil pomace. If you’ve read my blog at all, you know I love using olive oil in my soaps because it creates such a wonderfully moisturizing soap that is great for everyone including children. You can get organic olive oil pomace from a handful of different places online. Otherwise, consider the use of organic extra virgin olive oil, but make sure you indicate in your lye calculator that you are using olive oil and not olive oil pomace because the amount of lye will be different.
Coconut oil is another type of oil for organic soaps that is readily available. Coconut oil will make your soap bar hard as well as increase its cleansing qualities. If you buy a large amount of organic coconut oil it can be used in a variety of other body care products including lotions and moisturizers.
Palm oil is another one I use regularly when making soap and it’s one I would recommend if you want to make organic soap at home. Organic palm oil will give your soap a rich and creamy lather as well as creating a harder bar so that it doesn’t dissolve as quickly.
Organic cocoa butter is another one I would highly recommend. There are a lot of reliable sources to buy organic cocoa butter and a lot of uses for it as well. Cocoa butter will give your soap a pleasant aroma and great lather. Note that you can’t use cocoa butter in a soap you plan to melt down into liquid soap because it will make the bar too hard and the liquid soap will solidify too easily. If you have any leftovers of organic cocoa butter, it is great to use in lotions and moisturizers.
There are a lot of other organic oils you can use if you want to make organic soap at home. These include:
- Avocado oil
- Castor oil
- Canola oil
- Shea butter
- Sunflower oil
Adding Scent When You Make Organic Soap…
When you make organic soap at home you will likely want to add scent to it. There are a lot of organic aromatherapy essential oils available so you will have no shortage of scents to choose from.
Finally, there are a lot of dried add-ins that you can source organically. There are a lot of organic spices available that are wonderful in soap. These include cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Also look for organic teas (I love green tea in my soap!) and organic coffee. Finely ground organic coffee adds a lovely scent to your soap and provides wonderful exfoliating action. Organic oatmeal will be moisturizing and exfoliating.
As you can see, there are lots of options for organic add-ins to your soap. You are only limited by your imagination!
Making organic soap at home will be more expensive than making non-organic soap. It will still be a lot less expensive than buying it though, and you’ll be getting a product that you know for sure contains high quality organic ingredients. Overall, it is definitely worth the effort and time and I hope you’ll make something wonderful… Click here to learn how!