The biggest fear that folks always share with me about why they haven't (or won't) make their own soap has to do with the lye.
I'm not going to belittle lye or pretend as though it is a completely safe product. It is dangerous to breathe and to touch. If you take a few simple precautions though you can make soap safely!
Here are the three things you are going to need:
1. A chemical mask
2. Chemical gloves
All of the above can be found at your local hardware store, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, etc. for under $10. And spending $10 to keep yourself safe is worth it! The mask is going to help with the vapors that rise. (I try and stand back as far as possible when mixing and turn my head the other way so that I'm breathing clean air.) The gloves are going to protect your hands and lower arms from any possible splashes that can burn you. The goggles protect your eyes the same way.
Another tip on keeping yourself safe while soaping is to do as much as you can outside. For those of you that are blessed with an outdoor kitchen, that is the place you want to make your soap! For the rest of us, we can at least mix our liquid and lye outside so that the vapors that come up from the pot are swiftly swept away and do the rest of our soaping indoors.
I always mix my liquid and lye outside- even in so-so weather. As long as it's not pouring down rain, you can work outside. If it's raining, just wait it out and make your soap another day.
So while you may want to jump head in and start buying all of your soap making supplies, be sure to add the safety gear to your list.
Next week I'll share my soaping tutorial!