Many of us think over the thought, “How awesome would it be to make our own soap, right?”. Well, it would be pretty awesome. But, it is not as simple as it seems to be. The benefits of handmade, natural soap are many, but there is a risk involved in the process as well. Let’s explore the benefits first.
A quick DIY, take a look at the bar of soap currently in your bathroom shower. If it’s commercial “soap,” it’s probably called something like “bath bar,” “deodorizing bar” or something like a “beauty bar.” It isn’t really a ‘soap’.
In reality, its a detergent made with synthetic ingredients like petroleum products, foaming agents, and lather chemicals we can’t pronounce. We all do realize that detergent is extremely harsh to our skin, stripping it of natural oils and skin’s moisture.
We all know that our skin is the largest organ in our body. And is also called our first layer of defense against germs, diseases & pollution.
Fun fact: skin absorbs anything that’s put on it, whether it’s natural, organic or toxic. Now, simply imagine what all it would have been going through if you’re putting chemicals directly onto it.
Advantages of Making Your Own Soap
Now that you do realize how important a bar of soap is. You must also know that there are endless recipes for soap; from castile soap made from olive oil, to recipes with seven or more varieties of fats, oils, and butter.
- Do note that each oil has differing properties and recipes are employed to customize the nature of soap by adding ingredients that will suit your unique skin.
- One can craft soap with luxurious lather and skin-nourishing vitamins by using certain oils and butter (that why some people claim luxury soaps!).
- Adding clay to your soap recipe will absorb toxins and impurities from the skin.
- To your surprise, oils can be infused with herbs before using them to make soap. How about a soap that fights symptoms of skin cancer?
Some people who use handmade soaps find that it relieves their psoriasis, acne and other major skin problems. A moisturizing bar of handmade soap won’t dry out the skin as a commercial alternative does, and at the same time, add nutrition to your skin’s health.
However, there’s a series of risks involved in making your own soap. That risk is the use of lye (also known as sodium hydroxide). Lye is a material which is caustic in nature and deserves handling care. Lye can cause serious damage to your skin and eyes if it splashes during the soapmaking process. It’s harmful if inhaled and can cause death if swallowed.
It’s not a surprise that you can significantly minimize this risk by using precise safety pieces of equipment and following safety procedures while making soaps.
A Few Safety Guidelines
- Always protect your eyes with safety glasses when you are handling lye.
- To ensure the use of glass or plastic utensils to make soap, not metal.
- Always keep children and/or pets out of the room when you are making soap. They not only could distract you, but they can also cause spillage or splashes on themselves or on you.
- Have dedicated utensils, equipment and sections to use when making soap. Do not use these items for food preparation or any other household work.
- Cover the table or your workstation with several layers of newspaper.
- Don’t be distracted by the phone or doorbell. Never leave your soap-in-progress unattended.
- When done, clean up completely and carefully. Have dedicated garbage can to dispose of the newspaper on your countertops, do not use garbage can in the kitchen.
- Do ensure to wear rubber gloves when cleaning your soapmaking equipment and utensils, because raw soap is still caustic and dangerous.
- Work near a source of running water. In the event of spills or splashes, run water over the affected area for at least 15 minutes.
- Label your soapmaking equipment and handle it with care.
- Prefer wearing long-sleeved clothes to protect your arms.
- Prefer wearing rubber gloves when handling lye and when making soap. Please note that raw soap, or soap that hasn’t completed the saponification process yet, is just as caustic as lye itself.
- Avoid inhaling the fumes when you mix lye with liquid.
- While making soap, always add lye to the liquid (with caution), and then add the liquid/lye mixture to the fats in your recipe. Doing the opposite — adding liquid to lye (avoid this at any cost); will result in a volcanic eruption of caustic liquid that can blast across your work area and all over you too.
- Always store lye and other chemicals out of the reach of children, such as in a locked cabinet.
Is Making a Soap Worth The Risk?
Making soap has its dangers, but remember that driving a car and using a chainsaw are also dangerous activities to indulge yourself in. In all cases, if we are aware of the dangers and make the effort to do the activity in a safe manner, we decrease the chances of risk.
If you follow these safety precautions and treat lye with the respect it deserves, you are significantly reducing the risk involved in the soap making process. The end reward is a real soap and healthy skin soap.
Seems like work? No worries, we’re here to serve you with none other than the best. Order your own Avrell handmade soap today (P.s. we deliver the goodness of fruits in them)!
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