Make your own soap

Win a Soap Kitchen Christmas melt & pour soap making kit with H is for Home

I was never very good at science subjects at school; I couldn’t get my head around physics and chemistry especially. I enjoyed doing the practical experiments – adding one substance to another to make a solution – it’s very much like baking. However, reading in a text book that combining H2O with NaOH causes a reaction that results in Na+ and OH- ions and lots of heat, was Greek to me.

Vanilla soap making kit from The Soap Kitchen | H is for Home

Fast-forward 30-something years and I’ll now always remember that particular little nugget of chemistry. H2O (water) and NaOH (caustic soda) are essential ingredients in soap making.

Tools needed for DIY soap making | H is for Home

Add them to vegetable oil with a dash of essential oil, whisk it all up… and magic happens!

Caustic soda and water solution Liquid soap | H is for Home

Pour the resulting custard-like liquid into your mould or moulds, allow it to cool slowly for 24 hours and you get your lovely bars or block of soap.

Soap hardening in a cardboard mould | H is for Home

The Christmas melt & pour soap making kit that we’re giving away contains moulds in the shapes of a Christmas tree, gingerbread person, reindeer, Santa Claus and an angel. As this kit doesn’t include caustic soda, it’s suitable for use by children with adult supervision.

Slab of home-made vanilla soap | H is for Home Sliced slab of home-made vanilla soap | H is for Home

I really enjoyed making my own soap for the very first time. Having the kit with all the ingredients pre-portioned meant that it was really easy and I was confident embarking upon the strange chemistry & alchemy! I now have the courage to buy all the ingredients in larger quantities and try out other oils and fragrances.

Wrapping hand-made vanilla soap | H is for Home

Some of the bars of vanilla soap I’ve made have now been wrapped up in tissue paper and tied with string ready to be stocking fillers for friends & family.

The Soap Kitchen melt & pour soap-making kit

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Price Points: Hand wash soap dispensers

Hand wash soap dispensers | H is for Home

Getting home after every dog walk, a few things are done… boots off, kettle on and a wash of the hands.

Hand wash soap dispensers are much less messy than using a traditional bar of soap. We have the Habitat wall mounted version above the basin in our downstairs cloakroom. It’s the budget model of the three, but has served us well for many years. We’ve recently found a very nice vintage 1930s aluminium & glass dispenser of similar design so we can have one upstairs too.

The Amazon and Alessi dispensers are also sleek and simple – and ideal for sink areas with a bit of horizontal storage space close by – the former suitable for holding 250-300ml bottles of soap and/or moisturiser, shampoo, conditioner etc.

  1. Chrome wall-mounted soap dispenser: £15.00, Habitat
  2. Chrome double soap dispenser holder: £48.61, Amazon
  3. Alessi Birillo soap dispenser: 50.00, Selfridges

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