Brushy Mountain Bee Farm's Resources for Beekeeping, Candle Making, and Soap Making

Bee-Ginner's Guide
Back to Basics
Candy's Corner


Back to the Basics

Being a Beekeeper can lead beyond pollinating your garden or sweetening your tea. It also allows those who are creative to experience new crafts. For those who are interested in delving into other uses of honey and beeswax then experimenting by making your own skin care products can become an addicting hobby. If this sounds like you, now is the time to try your hand at soap making.

There are many benefits to making your own soap:

Health Benefits: Skin Dryness and irritation are common side effects that many people suffer from. By making your own soap you add the proper ingredients to counter these effects. Most oils will soothe and heal dry skin whereas butter will hydrate and moisturize the skin. Nourish your skin with the ingredients you know will work.

More than Just Cleaning: The main idea behind soap is to clean, but with added herbal supplements, essential oils, and fragrance oils you can add an improved aromatherapy experience. Certain herbal supplements will help exfoliate where others will include additional moisturizing agents.

Use your own products: Bees process honey from nectar and then convert it into wax (one pound of wax is made from each ten pounds of honey). It makes an excellent bacteria-resistant base for cosmetics. Beeswax is the protectant against irritants while allowing your skin to breathe.

Save Money: You will be surprised as to how many bars will come out of one batch of soap. By purchasing your ingredients in bulk you will save on each bar.

Perfect Gift for the Holidays: Nothing says that you care more than a hand-crafted gift. Share with your friends and family as gifts and let them know who made it. They will love it!

So how do you make soap? You need to find the right process that will work for you.

Here are four different methods:

Melt and Pour Soapmaking: This is typically the simplest method but can become very intricate as you add ingredients, create multiple layers and transform the soap into art. The technique is very straightforward and great for beginners. Melt the pre-made soap base to liquid form, explore your creativity with added ingredients, pour into mold and let it harden.

Cold Process Soapmaking: This method mixes science with art. Cold process soapmaking is substantially more complex as you are making your soap base from scratch through a chemical process called saponification (mixing an oil or fat with lye). Some recipes are temperature sensitive when adding ingredients as some of these additional components change the reaction in the chemical process. The mixture must be blended together until you reach trace at which point you can pour into the mold.

Hot Process Soapmaking: This method is very similar to cold process method except that heat is applied to speed up the saponification. Depending on the recipe, heat is applied at different stages. Once trace is met, pour into your mold. Ensure that the mold is able to handle high temperatures (thinner plastic molds may not support the temperature of the soap).

Rebatching Soapmaking: Have a soap that did not turn out the way you intended it to? Have a soap you enjoy but prefer it to be scented? Melt it down and add the ingredients you would like.

Once you start making your own hand-crafted soaps you may want to begin exploring with other ingredients. Adding essential oils and herbal supplements to your soap will give the soap a unique aroma. Continue exploring your style and try these different methods to make your own soap.