Updated: Feb 16, 2022
Soap making was one of the first things I started when I first had the idea to build my own homestead. While we are no where near off the grid, working towards being as self sustained as realistically possible has always been our goal. Soap making, in my opinion, no matter where you are in your homesteading journey, is a great start and here is why!
Soap making allows you to have bulk soap in the most cost effective way.
One batch of soap nets me twelve bars. This is a small batch. I use about 30 dollars in oils and lye. This amount of soap lasts my family an entire year. We are a family of four and while I still have made separate shampoos in the past, you can make a bar of soap that works as a shampoo and a body wash depending on your individual needs. Before when we were buying a body wash for the entire family not only did we have to contend with the plastic waste that it created, but we spent $6-$10 on a body wash for each person a month. That is a savings of $90 dollars a month!
2. Soap making (in responsibly sourced ways) is better for the environment.
Eliminating plastic waste is such an important goal for anyone homesteading to be more environmentally conscious. However, even if that is not your goal, eliminating plastic waste altogether means you won't have to worry about paying for trash collection services. Eliminating plastic waste furthers anyone whose goal is to be off the grid because you cut ties with the dependence on local services. We do our best to keep our waste down in a variety of ways and soap making is a major contributor to that.
3. Homemade soap is better for your health!
Next time you are in the grocery store, pick up a soap, any soap and look at the ingredients. more than likely, you do not recognize half of them as every day ingredients. Cosmetic companies do not have to care what is in their soap. The only way to know for sure is to buy from small businesses who list their ingredients or to make it yourself. My cold process soap has three basic ingredients: oil, essential oils, and lye. (Without lye, you will not make soap. Check back to my soap maki
ng series for the reasons why!) Three ingredients are way better than 15, 20 and sometimes more that you see on bottles in the store. Homemade soap is also fantastic for anyone who has sensitive skin. You don't even have to scent it if the fragrance is the ingredient that typically bothers you!
4. Developing skills that may help you in other homesteading goals
Learning soap making has helped me understand so many different aspects of homesteading. I learned to loo
k at products in the store differently. From learning about how different oils are sourced from our environment, I learned new products to shy away from. I learned how oils heat, how to work with beeswax, different properties of different oils. From my soap making journey, I am now proficient at making lotions, soaps, shampoo bars, lip balms, chapsticks, and candles! Soap making is an intense project and it has honestly made every other journey I have taken on since, seem easy. Every project has been so worth it knowing I have accomplished on my own.
5. Homemade soap is the best quality.
Homemade soap bars last forever. You can chose the lather. When you chose an oil with extreme lathering properties, it is such a treat. Home made soaps makes you feel cleaner and it is wondering knowing that it is all customizable to your own specific wants and needs.
Knowing that yes, there are so many reasons to make your own soap, but if handling lye is out of your comfort zone, there are so many other soap makers out there selling their soap. Supporting a small business is another great way to homestead. Even if you do make your own soap, trying other's soap is a another way to decide which type of soap is best for your needs in a health conscious and environmentally friendly way.