Making Soap From Scratch (Completely!)
Throughout this website you will find the four methods of soap making. Some of these methods are easier than others, for example the melt and pour method is much easier than the cold process method, mainly because you do not use lye. All four methods (as well as the recipes found on the site) tell you to get specific ingredients for your soap. These ingredients include tallow, essential oils, fragrance oils, and lye; these are the exact ingredients you will use when you make soap. Though it does seem like you're making soap from scratch, expert soap makers would call this 'making soap with ready-to-use ingredients.'
The other manner in which you can make soap is to really make soap from scratch, completely from scratch, meaning you will personally treat the ingredients yourself. This means you will render your own tallow, create your own oil mixture, and create your own fragrances. It is literally making soap from scratch because each component of the soap you make will be made from scratch as well.
Off the bat, you can already predict that this is a tedious process, but what you give in time you get back in quality. You will be sure that your soap is exactly the way you want it. Plus your customers are sure that your soap is 100% handmade and safe to use! For example, you can be sure that you are using only the best tallow for your soap because you bought it yourself and you rendered it yourself!
To begin making soap from scratch, there are several process you will need to learn, all of which are discussed in different articles in this website. The first process is how to render your tallow. The next is extracting essential oils, followed by extracting fragrance oils. Once these three processes are finished, you should be able to make your soap from scratch. Other ingredients like caustic soda will have to be bought. (Note: It isn't recommended that you try to replicate the chemical reaction for lye. Since this is a highly dangerous susbtance, you should minimize contact with it as much as possible.)
After readying your homemade ingredients, you can now make your soap. You will follow the same processes you followed before, either the cold process or the hot process for making soap. You will not be able to use the melt and pour method since you are not using glycerin soap, and you will not be able to rebatch until you have soap that you want to do over.
Making soap from scratch is one way you can hone your skills as a soap maker and become an expert at the soap making process. For those who have been soap making for a while, it is a new challenge to respond to as well as the next step to becoming an expert soap maker. As exciting as it is, however, be sure you continue to follow the precautions of soap making, and the new precautions you will need to learn when making your ingredients from scratch.