Soap Making Process

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New Member
Mar 10, 2008
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Hi ! I’m David from Chicago, USA. I’m a Chemical Engineering student and I like to try new things and do as much as I can myself. I’d love to get to the stage where I could make all our soap and not have to buy it commercially ever again. But that’s a long way down the track. For now I’ll probably just start with something very basic, then work my way up to the trickier and more dangerous stuff.
I want to make soap because I like doing things with my hands, because I love scents, and because it sounds like something fun to do. It might help me save some money as well, or help the environment, which are nice bonuses. I want to learn how to make quality & special natural soap. Making soap is a chemical process after all !
I’ve gathered some knowledge about the chemistry behind soaps, and now I want to try these out practically.. Fat and oil molecules are very long and repell water, but when you react them with sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), one of the ends of these long molecules changes and its attracted to water. This gives a new molecule where one end of it mixes with water, and the other end is attracted to dirt and oils just as before. This is how you make soap. To increase the chances of all the molecules reacting make sure you mix at the right temperature, and also stiring the reactive mixture with put more molecules in contact with each other so increase the chances of reactions. In commercial soap-making (which uses petroleum and animal derived oils) other chemicals (enzymes) are added which help speed up the reaction.
Welcome David! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on the process as you get into making your soap. The chemistry involved is fascinating.

Have fun!
Welcome here David. I look forward to you sharing about the

chemical part of the process. I hope you will share your experiences

with us.
helloooo and welcome fellow science enthustiast!! :)

I got into soaping for many of the same reasons as you! Its so fun, interesting, and rewarding!! (nothing beats the feel of taking a shower or batch with your OWN soap!!!)

Much respect,

Welcome David!

There's no time like the present to start making your family soap. :) Just spend some time reading up on soap and you'll be ready to give it a try. feel free to ask questions, that's what we're all here for. if you can bake a cake or follow your experiment protocol you can make soap. :D
Welcome! I think it is actually a very attainable goal to get to the point of never having to buy soap commercially again, and you will have fun doing it!
haha to give you a new perspective..youll probably get to the point (very probably) that you have SO much soap you run out of people to give it to/space to store it!!
You have been doing your research! 8) Your explanation on the fatty acids and the change when adding sodium hydroxide was "spot on!"

Welcome to the forum! Yet another male soap maker! 8)

Paul :wink:
lol now that I think of it how many MALE soapmakers do we even have on the forum???

I think I know of you, myself, and maybe 3 or 4 others out of the thousand or so members!?!?!
Not that it makes a difference, I dont much care what the breakup is gender-wise...I just wonder why more guys arent in to soaping (or found the forum)?? Probably just content with slathering on "Old Spice" body wash or AXE or whatever poison they find at the store ;)

Thank you

Thank you all for the hearty and warm welcome . I am looking forward to be an active member in this forum . I will love to share my knowledge with you all and also will love to learn from you all.

David :D

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