What raw materials for soap making can I buy in the Philippines?
Making soap at home is a lot simpler than you might expect — in fact, raw materials for soap making in the Philippines can be found in online stores like Oktakem!
But what, exactly, are the materials you need to make your soap? If you’re interested in giving it a try, keep reading! We covered a step-by-step guide in a previous post, and today we cover all the basic ingredients to make this product at home:
Oils and Fats
The main characteristics of soap are its ability to lather, dissolve in water, and provide a detergent effect. These characteristics come from its main ingredients: oils and fats.
To make soap, you can mix different oils and fats to come up with lathering and dissolving properties of varying extents. There are three types of oils and fats that you can choose from: lauric oils, hard fats, and soft oils.
Lauric oils are typically coconut and palm kernel oils. These provide lots of lathering and detergency, but less hardness compared to other categories. Lauric oils can be used in both cold and hot soap-making methods and can be combined with oils from other categories to improve their hardness and reduce their rate of dissolving.
Hard fats like tallow and palm oil are the more traditional option for homemade soaps. They can be harder to use for beginners because they need to be bleached and deodorized before being added to your soap solution. However, they provide more hardness and slower dissolving rates for the resulting soap.
Soft oils include materials like groundnut oil, soya bean oil, and cottonseed oil, which make a product called Vegetable Glycerin. These are the most popular with beginners because they’re easier to source — you can buy some here from Oktakem.
Soap, aside from fat, needs to be made with an alkali material — lye. There are two kinds that you can use: sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda flakes, and potassium hydroxide, also known as caustic potash.
Caustic soda flakes — which you can buy here — are used to make bar soaps. Caustic potash, on the other hand, is made using liquid soaps. You can get caustic potash here.
Without lye, the soap you make cannot be considered a soap. In fact, all soaps you can buy at the store are made with lye solutions.
This is because lye is needed to create a chemical process called saponification. A lye solution, which is a strong caustic alkali, or base solution, is combined with fat or oil. On its own, lye is so caustic that it can eat through cloth and damage skin. But, this combination creates a reaction that breaks down the fats and oils into fatty acid chains. In the same reaction, the lye is neutralized — making the soap completely safe to use.
Without lye and the saponification reaction, your soap would quickly become a puddle of fat and oil.
Water is an essential ingredient in the soap-making process. You need water to create a lye solution, which is combined with your fat or oil of choice. By the time the saponification reaction is done and the soap is hardened and cured, the water will have evaporated.
If you’re making bar soap, then you have the option to use either water or brine. Brine is essentially water with a significant amount of salt dissolved into it. Some soap makers opt for brine because it provides extra hardness and a smoother finish to the final bars.
To make brine for your soap recipe, you’ll need fine grain salt or sea salt. Use 4.38 grams of salt per 121 grams of distilled water. Heat the water and carefully stir the salt in until fully dissolved, and allow the brine to cool to room temperature. You can use more salt to create a stronger brine — but avoid going over 25% salinity because this will affect the saponification process.
In its most basic form, soap just needs the three materials we mentioned: fat or oil, lye, and water or brine. But, making soap at home can be as simple or as complicated as you would like.
If you want to add texture, smells, color, and more to your homemade soap, then you can use additives. These include dyes, essential oils, perfumes, botanicals, and more — depending on the quality and type of soap you want to make.
Essential oils are a popular additive for homemade soap. Essential oils like lavender, rose, and green tea are popular options for adding scent to your soap — you can get them here and test them out in your soap recipes.
You can also use chemical additives to boost certain characteristics of your soap. For example, CDEA or Coco Diethanolamide from Oktakem can boost the foaming and foam stabilization properties of your soap.
You can also use natural colorants (both powdered and not) to infuse color into your soap if their natural off-white color isn’t appealing to you. Colorants like annatto, coffee grounds, tea leaves, flower petals, and other botanicals can be used to stain the lye solution or main soaping oils and later strained out before the saponification process.
You can also use many of the same botanicals such as dried leaves, petals, seeds, and more to decorate and add texture to your soap.
Safety Notes For Handling Raw Materials for Soap Making
We always recommend working with these raw materials for soap making in a well-ventilated area. This is especially important when working with your caustic soda flakes or caustic potash, as they release fumes.
Always make sure you’re wearing the right protective gear when handling raw materials. If they come into contact with your skin, it can cause a reaction. Caustic soda flakes and caustic potash in particular have a strong reaction with your skin and can lead to burns and irritation.
However, when handled and mixed properly, these raw materials will be neutralized and safe to use in your homemade soap.
You can adjust the raw materials to make smaller or larger batches, but always be sure to calculate a safe amount of lye. We recommend using this calculator to do so.
As you can see, making soap is easy — especially when you buy raw materials for soap making in the Philippines. Want to start soap-making? Check out our available chemicals and raw materials today! We are an online store that sells only high-quality raw chemicals and materials, including everything you need to get started with your new hobby!