The best survival projects aren’t just things you need to survive. Because, after all, who knows when the end of the world as we know it will be upon us? The best survival projects are things that you can undertake are enjoyable projects you can do with your family that allow you to spend quality time together while building new skills.
One of these is making soap. Soap is one of those things you don’t think about needing… until you really, really need it. Not only will soap be necessary in a SHTF scenario so that everyone can keep clean, it will also be a valuable trading commodity in such a situation.
What’s more, you don’t need to wait until the end of the world as we know it to enjoy the fruits of your labor. You can spend valuable time with your family while creating a product that you can use in the here and now.
Here are the basics of getting started with homemade soap projects for the entire family.
What Is Homemade Soap?
Soap, for the most part, is made from a simple chemical reaction. This means that homemade soap projects can be a great and fun way to teach your homeschool kids about science.
The chemical reaction is known as saponification. This is just a fancy, 50-cent word for “turning lye and fat into soap.”
Once you know how to do this, you can make basically any kind of soap you like from invigorating blends of goat milk and citrus to charcoal-based soaps and soaps made out of coffee grounds for exfoliating the skin.
How To Make Homemade Soap: Making Lye-Water
The first thing we should say is that making real homemade soaps involves using lye, which is a highly caustic substance. You will need protective gear like gloves and goggles. You will also need to work in a well-ventilated area.
If you have very young children, they’re probably not going to be able to work with lye safely. Only you can judge the age at which your children are ready to work with lye. For younger children, melt and pour is probably a better option.
Everything in soap is done by weight, so weigh out the proper amount of lye and water on a digital scale. Once you have them measured out, slowly mix the two together, taking care not to inhale the fumes, before putting them in a cool, safe place for future use.
How To Make Homemade Soap: The Cold Process
The first and easiest way to make true homemade soap (we’re not including melt and pour which is basically ordering pre-made soap online, melting it down and making it into a cool shape) is the cold process.
Start the process by heating your oils n a pot to about 100 degrees. Then slowly add in your mixture of lye-water until it thickens to trace. “Trace” means a lot of different things to a lot of different soap makers, but ultimately it’s the point where you’ve got soap and you can’t go back.
Once you reach trace it’s time to start adding in colors, scents, herbs and other additives before pouring the final solution ijn a mold, where it will sit for 24 hours to harden up.
Once you know how to make soap, there are tens of thousands of recipes online. Try a few of them and then see what your imagination can cook up. When it comes to homemade soap, the sky’s the limit.