Where to Learn How to Make Soap
Singapore Soap is one of the leading soap making learning centre in Singapore. If you want to learn how to make your own handmade soap, come join one of our simple and fun class at Singapore Soap. We have a variety of soap making classes that are suitable for beginners to more advance soap makers in Singapore. You can learn to make lye-based cold process soap with plant based oils, scent with essential oils, colors or fragrances. We also conduct melt and pour soap making classes that are fun and simple, suitable for beginners and kids.
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Methods to Make Soap
There are many ways to make soap and I mean real soap i.e. saponified vegetable oils made with lye (e.g. sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide or both). Real soap made using lye, either thru the cold process or hot process, are gentler on skin and have no nasties (e.g. SLES, SLS, Paraben, Sulfate) in them. This traditional method of saponifying oils to make soap has transcended for thousands of years with the earliest recorded evidence of the production of soap-like materials dating back to around 2800 BC in ancient Babylon.
Generally, there are three main soap making techniques;
- Cold process soap making
- Hot process soap making
- Using melt and pour soap base
Cold Process Soap Making
Cold process (CP) soap making basically means there are no external heat applied. When a strong base i.e. lye, is mixed with oils or fatty acids, sodium or potassium salt (depending on what lye is used) or soap molecules are formed during the hydrolysis process. The process of soap making is also called saponification. Soap made using the cold process method does not require external heat sources and are considered done after 24 hours.
Hot Process Soap Making
Traditionally, soap making is done using hot process method where hot oils are boiled in large vats over a long period of time to ensure full saponification before the soap batter are poured and cooled. Check out this video example. Hot processed soap, using external heating, accelerates soap formation. For hobbyist or home soap makers, its cooked in a crock pot or slow cooker and generally considered a faster method of soap making and soap is considered done in the pot.
Using melt and pour soap bases
Melt and pour (MP) soap bases are a convenient way to make homemade soap. This is especially so in Singapore as lye (sodium and potassium hydroxide) are controlled substances here and it can only be used in an approved premise e.g. a factory or industrial location.
MP soap bases are in fact ready made soap with added emollients like glycerin, propylene glycol, sucrose and / or sorbitol. Emollients makes the soap extra moisturizing and can be melted into a liquid in a microwave or with heat. Once liquidfied, you can pour the soap bases into different molds and wait for it to cool and harden at around room temperature. This is a great way to make soap without handling lye and are a great fun time to make soap with your kids at home.
Benefits of Real Soap
Soap and detergent when dissolved in water, possess the ability to remove dirt from surfaces. Real soap is created by mixing fats and oils with a base (i.e. lye) as opposed to detergent (think commercial shower gel) which is created by combining chemical compounds (e.g. sodium laureth sulfate) in a mixer. Handmade soap from the cold process also differs from industrially made soap in that an excess of fat is used, beyond that needed to consume the alkali (in a cold-pour process, this excess fat is called “superfatting”), and the glycerol left in acts as a moisturizing agent.
Commercial cleanser or shower gel
Sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), like many other detergents e.g. SLES, is a known irritant. It has also been shown that SLES causes eye or skin irritation in experiments conducted.
Some shower products made with SLES contain traces (up to 300 ppm) of 1,4-dioxane, which is formed as a by-product during the ethoxylation step of its production. 1,4-Dioxane is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a Group 2B carcinogen: possibly carcinogenic to humans. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that these levels be monitored, and encourages manufacturers to remove 1,4-dioxane, though it is not required by federal law.
Real soap or castile soap
Real soap are made with only a few ingredients like fats or vegetable oils, lye (sodium or potassium hydroxide) and water. Real or true soap are made by reacting alkali (e.g. sodium hydroxide) with naturally occurring fat or fatty acids. The reaction produces sodium salts of these fatty acids, which improve the cleaning process by making water better able to lift away greasy stains from skin, hair, clothes, and just about anything else.
Castile soap, as many people are already aware, are made with vegetable oils and lye. If you look at a true castile soap bar or castile liquid soap, the list of ingredients would appear familiar and pronounceable. The next time you go to the supermarket or pharmacy to buy your shower gel or wash, take a second and look at the ingredient list and do a google search on a few of the items to understand what you are applying to your skin on a daily basis. Both a castile soap and a detergent shower get serves the same purpose i.e. remove dirt and oil from your skin, but only one doesn’t contain synthetic detergents or carcinogens.
Where to Learn How to Make Soap
Soap making is fun and therapeutic for the mind, well at least for me. Real soap made thru the traditional method of saponification are also much healthier for our body than most commercial synthetic detergent shower gel. If you are interested to learn how to make soap or simply just want to get your mind off work or hard stuff, come join one of Singapore Soap’s simple to learn soap making classes below!