Saturday, July 10, 2010

Soap Making 101: Safety

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
3. Goggles
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!


Leslie said...

all that gear looks a little scary...necessary i understand, but scary

Julia said...

Oooh, I can't wait for your tutorial! Thanks for the safety tips:).


Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

My friend Julie and I made soap last night. Well, she made the soap while I documented everything with my digital camera. It was so easy. We didn't use goggles...but there were rubber gloves etc..and we mixed the lye with the water outside!!!..It fumed a little bit bit dissipated almost right away!!! This afternoon it should be hardened enought to cut the soap into bars and stamp it...:) :) ) I'll make sure to post pictures on my blog and have it up by tomorrow, so you can see what we did. I told Julie about your site....we both love your blog!!! Lots of great information.!!! Love and hugs, Heather :) :) p.s. I feel like true farmgirl that I know how to make my own soap!!!! this is AWESOME...I don't know if I can ever buy store-bought ever again...

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Great tutorial on how to make soap. Hand made soap is the only soap I'll use on my body as it leaves all the natural oils on the body and doesn't strip the skin, leaving me itchy. I'm always singing the praises of hand made soap.

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