Your soap is made to be put on your skin, so it can’t possibly be harmful, right? The unfortunate truth is that the average soaps that you’ll find in the store have chemicals in them that are actually damaging to your skin. Often those soaps aren’t even legally allowed to call themselves a soap because they’re technically detergents due to all the chemicals that are in them. Not to mention the fact that they’re wasteful. Sweet Grass Farms makes homemade, natural bars of soap that are good for your skin and use minimal ingredients, therefore better for the environment and better for you. In this blog, we’ll break down how homemade soap is made, and just why it’s a better investment for you.
When it comes to homemade soaps, they always begin with lye. Lye is another term for sodium hydroxide. This ingredient is necessary for soap production because the chemical reaction between the lye and the oils used creates the soap itself. Once the soap is created, in the final product, there is no lye leftover. The only ingredients in the finished product are the natural ingredients used to make the soap (oils and herbs).
Next, water is essential in the soap-making process. Water is used to activate the lye and disperse it throughout the oils. However, by the time you use the bar of soap, there won’t be any water left. When soap is made, it is cured for four to six weeks, during which the water will evaporate from the soap mixture. In addition to water, a primary ingredient in soap making is oil. Any oil, or fat source, can be used to make soap. The oils that are used in the soap combine with lye to create the hardness of the bar while also helping to cleanse, moisturize, and condition your skin. The oils used in Sweet Grass Farm’s natural soaps are:
- Olive oil - soap made with olive oil is conditioning, soothing, and perfect for all skin types.
- Coconut oil - coconut oil helps create a hard bar with lots of fluffy lather and cleaning.
In addition to lye, water, and oil, homemade soaps are made with herbs, fragrance oils, and essential oils. Essential oils are known to have healing properties to them (each one is different), and herbs give your soap a light and refreshing fragrance. Fragrance oils are blends of essential oils that enhance the soap’s fragrance. All herbs in homemade soap must be dried. The most popular herbs used are lavender and chamomile.
The soap starts with coconut oil and olive oil. The two oils are measured out in separate bowls. After that, the lye is measured out and combined with water. This begins a chemical reaction. The coconut oil and olive oil are heated and combined. Once the temperatures of both mixtures are within about one or two degrees of one another, the lye solution is poured into the oils. Then, the mixture is emulsified for about five to 10 minutes. Once the soap is thickened, the essential oils and herbs are added and the mixture is poured into molds. The mixture then sits for about a day before it is removed from the molds and cut. After this, the soap is cured in a cool and well-ventilated area for four weeks. This process allows the soap to finish being formed chemically, and the water to evaporate.
With Sweet Grass Farm, our handmade soaps are made with care, and treat your skin with the nourishment it deserves. The soap making process can be lengthy, and at Sweet Grass Farm, we get to know each and every bar of soap we create. We hope you see the care we put into our soaps when you buy them. Shop our collection of handmade soaps in 12 different refreshing scents today.