Glycerin soap making is not as complicated as you might think. With a few simple ingredients and some time, you can create beautiful glycerin soaps right in your kitchen!
Glycerin soap is a clear soap containing glycerin, a by-product of the saponification process. This means that it is a base for making all soap bars.
This blog post will look at what glycerin is, where it comes from, and the benefits of using its soap. Glycerin is common in beauty products and is often used as a base for many skincare products. If you ever make slime or playdoh, you’ve probably noticed that glycerin makes those products shiny and slippery.
Glycerin is a humectant, and humectants attract moisture. This is why glycerin soap is often recommended for people with dry skin. Soap making may look tricky, but it’s a great way to get your hands on some of these beneficial ingredients.
Many of us have heard of glycerin but don’t really know what it is. Glycerin has no color and odor. You observed a liquid made during the soapmaking process when fats and oils are combined with an alkali. It is a natural by-product of saponification, which is making soap.
But did you know that you can turn this clear, syrupy liquid into a solid soap bar? Let’s take a look at glycerin soap making in more detail.
Homemade soap is a natural and healthy way to take care of your skin. When you think about glycerin soap, what image appears in your mind? I would bet that it is a colorless, transparent soap. It seems to be the standard for glycerin soaps.
Most people don’t know that glycerin is present in all kinds of soap because it is natural.
Here is a question that pops into your mind if it is a natural by-product of the soap making process, then why do people buy glycerin soap?
The main difference between glycerin soap and regular soap is that the former is made through the hot process method. The glycerin has been cooked with different solvents such as sugar, alcohol, or other liquids. The cooking process with solvents makes the soap more transparent. As a result, you will get a soap that is about 98% glycerin. The homemade glycerin bar is a great base for any skin type.
Making glycerin bar is one of the oldest methods, and is the base for all soap.
You can prepare the homemade glycerin soap from scratch with dried flowers, leaves, and herbs. They provide freshness in your handmade soap. Besides, you can also customize soaps into your desired shapes with the help of soap mold and give your loved ones a mini gift (Christmas gift, thanksgiving gift, or birthday gift).
But, first, we need to know what glycerin is and where we get it.
What is glycerin (Glycerol)?
Glycerin is also known as vegetable glycerin and looks like a transparent gel liquid. It is a by-product of the saponification process of different oils like coconut oil, palm oil, or soybean oil. It is a non-toxic, colorless, odorless liquid with sweet tasting. Glycerin can moisturize dry skin and prevent itchiness of skin or skin rashes. The widely use of glycerin in the pharmaceuticals, food, and cosmetics industries is a natural product and does not have any side effects.
Glycerin is a gluten-free liquid that does not contain grains like wheat. It is always made with natural oil sources (plant sources). In addition, it is the main ingredient of soap bars, shampoo, conditioner, body moisturizers, and bath bombs.
Moreover, glycerin provides moisture to your body by creating a layer of oil to preserve water on the skin. It will prevent dryness and roughness of your skin. Glycerin also helps repair the damaged skin cells and improve the crack heels and wrinkles or scars of your skin. Furthermore, skin doctors recommend treating the diaper rashes of a baby’s skin and skin burns due to radiation therapy.
Petrochemical glycerin v/s. vegetable glycerin
Pure glycerin obtains from animal (animal fats) and plant sources. Vegetable glycerin gets from plant sources such as palm oil, soybean oil, olive oil, or coconut oil. Glycerin is mainly used in the cosmetics, pharmaceutical, and food industries.
In contrast, Glycerin is also derived from triglycerides. Triglycerides are animal fats found in the blood, heart muscles, fatty tissues, and adipose tissues of the animal’s body. The most common source of glycerin from animals is animal tallow mutton or (beef fat).
Benefits of Glycerin Soap
Glycerin is a natural moisturizer with antibacterial agents. It is gentle on your skin and gives freshness to your face.
You can use its soap as a face wash and shampoo in your daily routine. Glycerin soap works as a natural cleanser and removes excessive oil from your face. You can use soap as a shampoo that treats the dry scalp.
In addition, you can use glycerin as a shaving cream.
Similarly, glycerin soap has great exfoliating features. It may lessen the discoloration caused by scars, acne, or age spots by eliminating dead skin cells.
Undoubtedly, glycerin can help with general skin health, but it’s not supposed to whiten or lighten skin. There’s no clinical evidence that it can help with hyperpigmentation. Hence, don’t get your hopes too high!
Glycerin Soap Making
Making glycerin bars is simple and the results are beautiful, natural bars of soap. Indeed, it is an excellent base for soap because it is readily moldable and has a low melting point. Glycerin bars are also very hard, which means they last a long time.
For glycerin soap making, you need some extra ingredients. The regular soap making process requires lye, oil, and water with color and additives. But in the case of glycerin, you need some solvents to help the process. I like to use sugar, whereas you can also use alcohol or other liquids. Adding these solvents helps the glycerin cook more evenly and makes the soap a little more transparent.
Basic natural ingredients for glycerin soap making
You need special and natural ingredients for soap making, and the following are the crucial ingredients:-
For the soap:
- distilled water-304 g
- lye NaOH-117.7 g
- tallow-440 g
- castor oil-200 g
- coconut oil-160 g
- Essential Oil-few drops
- Food coloring or soap coloring
You’ll need the following Solvents:
- Glycerin -120 g
- 70º alcohol-300 g
- Sugar – 90 g
- Distilled water-180 g
And, Tools for glycerin soap making
- Silicone soap molds (non-sticky and easy to use)
- Immersion blender
- Heat resistant jars
- Saucepan or crock-pot
- Soap scrapper
- Digital weighing machine
- Safety gloves
- Safety goggles
Glycerin soap making process
Keep all your ingredients and tools in one place to easily use them. Follow all the instructions carefully, step by step. We’re all set for soap-making.
Choosing the oil for glycerin soap:
Oils high in saturated fats will produce a harder bar of soap. Harder soaps last longer and are less likely to go rancid. You can use castor oil in small amounts to create a soap with good foaming action. In contrast, palm oil produces a hard bar that lathers well.
However, coconut oil is the most popular one that is used in most soap recipes. Coconut oil produces a hard bar of soap that lathers well and has a good cleansing action.
Preparation of base for pure glycerin soap
First, prepare the base for soap by mixing lye, water, and oils. You should carefully blend the mixtures for a good base soap, as it is the initial and leading part of soap making.
Secondly, take your digital weighing machine and measure the mentioned amounts of distilled water and lye in different jars. Now gradually pour the lye into the water using heat-resistant jars. Stir the mixture continuously and allow it to cool.
Thirdly, Use a saucepan or crock-pot for melting oil or fatty acid on a low flame and make sure to dissolve them completely. You can use a thermometer to maintain the temperature (100°F) of a soap base.
Combine the lye water mixture and melted oils
Now, slowly pour the lye water soap base into the melted oils and blend them with the help of an immersion blender. The lye-oil mixture should be thick and look like a gel (clear soap). Pour the lye soap mixture into a crock-pot and start heating the mixture and keep warm for 3 hours while covering a crock-pot with a plastic wrap.
You need extra patience in soap-making. The soap base becomes very thick and difficult to work with as you near the end of the process, but it’s essential to be patient at this stage.
The glycerin soap-making process is called the hot process because you cook the soap mixture.
Add solvents to make clear soap
Measure the alcohol and glycerin with a weighing machine and pour them into the mixture of soap base. Blend them with the immersion blender and make a smooth mixture. Especially, avoid rubbing alcohol because it will give a higher fragrance of alcohol in your soap.
Carefully, heat the mixture again for 2 hours without covering a crock-pot. Try to completely dissolve the clear glycerin base into the mixture. This step will require some extra time, so you must wait patiently.
Add the water and sugar into the mixture and boil it. Importantly, stir it slowly to avoid crystal forming and cool the soap base at 145°F. Absolutely, this is the perfect time to add your favorite essential oil and color to your soap base and make it more attractive.
Pour glycerin soap into mold:
Now, your soap turns into a jelly-like substance. Now, It looks like a clear glycerin mixture. It’s ready to pour the soap into the mold. Finally, Pour the soap base into silicone molds and tap it gently to make sure there are no air bubbles in the soap. Allow it to set for 12 hours or until the soap base is solidified. Now, your homemade soap is ready to use.
- You can spray alcohol on silicone soap mold to avoid bubbles forming when you pour glycerin soap into molds.
- Avoid using rubbing alcohol because it contains a high percentage of alcohol and it will give a strong fragrance of alcohol to your soap. In contrast, You can use vodka or any other alcohol with a low percentage of alcohol.
- Alcohol has a low flash point beyond which it can burst into flames if not appropriately handled.
- Do not use raw sugar in your soap-making process because it will change the color of your handmade soap mixture.
- Dissolve the sugar completely into the mixture.
- Use personal protective equipment (gloves or goggles) and prepare the soap carefully. Especially, be careful with the hot mixture.
- Patience is key in soap-making- it’s a slow process, but the result is worth it!
- If you want to do some fun techniques with your handmade soap, always use dried flowers/herbs or leaves.
- Use silicone soap molds for a perfect shape, and you can easily pop out a soap bar. These molds can be easily washable and non-greasy.
Difference between glycerin soap and castile soap?
Glycerin soap combines glycerol, vegetable oils, or animal fats. It is a natural humectant and hypoallergenic. That’s why it is best for sensitive and acne-prone skin. It is an excellent moisturizer for dry or flaky skin with a lower pH level.
However, Castile soap is a regular soap made from pure vegetable oils, mainly olive oil, and free from animal fat. It is prepared using olive oil and sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide conventionally.
In addition, glycerin works as a natural cleanser and hydrating moisturizer. It removes the dead skin cells of the skin with antibacterial properties.
Castile soap is a great choice for allergies to lanolin and other animal-based ingredients. It doesn’t produce any suds, but it’s still an effective cleanser.
Variations in a glycerin soap bar
Glycerin soap making is an easy process, and you can make variations in your glycerin soap bar. To your soap recipe, you can add oatmeal, lavender, or almond oil. Adding a few drops of aloe gel makes soap more beneficial for the skin. You can add vitamin E oil or jojoba oil to soap to make it more nourishing for the skin. Add honey to your recipe if you want to infuse antibacterial properties.
The glycerin soap bars are transparent with a smooth and glossy finish. The addition of essential oils, herbs, fruits, and other natural ingredients can give a significant variation in color and design.
The melt and pour soap recipes provide an easy and fast way to produce a homemade soap with desired fragrances and shapes.
What are crackling and glycerin rivers in soap?
The crackling is an effect of overheating a soap base during saponification and uneven cooling processes. Crackling is also known as Glycerin Rivers and is observed as cloud-like patterns on soap bases. The high sugar liquids, fragrances and pigments. However, you face crackling and glycerin rivers in your soap making, so you should watch these steps.
- First and foremost, when mixing an additive into the soap base, be sure to mix it in gently and slowly.
- Add colorants a little at a time until you reach the desired shade.
- If you are working with a fragrance, add it drop by drop until you reach the desired scent.
- Be sure to pour the soap base into the molds slowly and allow it to cool evenly.
- Don’t keep more than 10% water in your recipe.
- Last but not least, always use less insulated molds for soap making.
Choosing a color for your glycerin soap:
You can choose any color for your soap making recipe. However, remember that some colors may not be as vibrant as you want them to be. To get a more vibrant color, you can use soap colorants. You can also add natural ingredients such as turmeric or spirulina to your soap to give it a more vibrant color.
Always use colorants that are safe for the skin and are non-toxic. Plant-based dyes are the best option for coloring your glycerin soap. Obviously, these dyes can make your homemade soap more attractive and give a pleasant smell that can change your sad mood into a happy mood and refresh your mind. Indeed, The natural fragrance of oils can keep you calm and relaxed.
Add additives to your glycerin soap:
Prepare your desired soap mold and pour the glycerin soap base into molds. This is the exact point where you can add dried flowers, leaves, or herbs into a soap. Use a toothpick to settle down dried flowers into the transparent soap liquid because they can float on the surface of the soap mold.
Flat the upper part of molds with a soap scrapper. Allow the mixture to settle down and harden in the molds. You can pop out your glycerin soap bar after 2 or 3 days. Store the bar soap in a cool dark place for almost 28 days to cure them. Your homemade glycerin bar is ready to use. As a matter of fact, This glycerin soap bar is fun to make, and you can modify them according to your choice.
Frequently asked questions
1. What is the shelf life of glycerin soap?
The glycerin soap has a long shelf life. It lasts for almost one year without any issue if stored in a cool, dark, and dry place. You should wrap them in paper before storing them to keep them away from sunlight.
2. Can I add essential oils to glycerin soap?
Yes, you can add essential oils to glycerin soap. Obviously, the addition of essential oils will give your soap a great smell and moisturizing properties.
What is the difference between photochemical glycerin and vegetable glycerin?
3. Is it suitable for people of all skin types?
Not to mention, glycerin has a hygroscopic property, which attracts water molecules from the environment. This makes glycerin an ideal ingredient for soap making because it helps maintain the bar’s moisture content. As a result, glycerin soap is suitable for all skin types.
Undoubtedly, it’s perfect for sensitive skin because it contains natural ingredients and it’s a good body cleanser that gives you a healthy glow on your body. Glycerin locks moisture on your skin, suitable for people who have dry skin.
4. How acidic is glycerin soap?
Glycerin soaps have a neutral pH, which means they won’t irritate your skin. It is less acidic properties and is gentle on the skin. Though, the use of glycerin soap in your daily life is completely safe.
Glycerin has hydrating and moisturizing properties and is non-irritant with natural components. It can reduce skin rashes with humectant (preserve moisture) effects.
5. Does prolong use of glycerin soap have side effects?
No. the Prolonged use of glycerin soap does not have any side effects. It is beneficial to use glycerin soap because it is a natural moisturizer. It can help to lock in moisture on your skin and prevent dryness. Especially, glycerin is also non-irritant, which is gentle on your skin.
Finally, I’m glad to have shared some facts about glycerin soap with you. There is a glycerin content in every skincare product because of its many benefits to the skin. So, if you want to make your soap at home, glycerin is an excellent base to start with. You can experiment with different pigments and fragrances to create your unique soap bars.
Of course, glycerin soap making is not limited to these benefits. But you can be sure that your skin will thank you for using glycerin soap!
I hope you found this post helpful. If you have any recipes of your own, please share them with us in the comments below. We would love to try them too. Thanks again!