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Beeswax Soap

Summary: Beeswax soap is great to use because it softens skin and does not contain artificial ingredients. Making beeswax soap is also a great way to spend an afternoon.

Have you ever wondered what the advantages are to using beeswax soap? Well, here are a couple reasons I have found. Beeswax is the purest type of wax. So, using beeswax soap means that you are using soap that does not contain anything artificial (unless it is scented). This is great news for people with dry or itchy skin, or for people who are sensitive to scented soaps. Some types sold in specialty stores are great for babies' skin. Follow it up with Johnson and Johnson baby powder, and your young child will have the softest skin on the block. Another great reason to use beeswax soap is that it can be really fun to make. You can even give it away as gifts and it is always unique.

Are you curious about how to make beeswax soap? Look no further. Here are the simple do-it-yourself directions. First, you are going to need to do some shopping, unless you have a bee's nest in your backyard that you want to use. I highly recommend wearing protective gear if you choose to take this route. My choice would be to head to the grocery where I would buy 1 ounce of beeswax, 3 ½ ounces of lye (also known as sodium hydroxide), 6 ounces of olive oil, 9 ½ ounces of tallow, 8 ounces of water and 6 ounces of coconut oil. Lye can be found wherever drain cleaners are sold. One brand that is great to try is called Red Devil Lye. Make sure the lye is 100%. Note that if lye comes in contact with skin, it will produce an itching and burning sensation. Wearing gloves when making soap is a good idea. If you are careful when making your soap, you should be accident-free.

If you want a nice scented bar of beeswax soap, you will need 2 teaspoons of your favorite scented oil. Now, you are all set to begin the soap-making process. Proceed as follows for a great bar of sweet-smelling soap:

1. Pour cold water (distilled, if possible) into a bowl. Make sure that the bowl is plastic, glass, or stainless steel because lye will cause damage to aluminum, tin, and zinc. Add the lye and heat and stir until all the lye has melted. Keep fumes from the melting lye away from your eyes. Once melted allow it to cool down to 160°F. A thermometer will be handy to figure out the exact temperature.

2. In a separate bowl, melt the beeswax.

3. In a third bowl, mix the tallow and oils. Yes, you will have a lot of dishes to do when you are done.

4. Pour the beeswax into the bowl with tallow and oils and mix. Heat this mixture to 130°F. Again, your thermometer will be of much use.

5. Carefully pour the lye and water mixture into the bowl of wax.

6. Stir the mixture for at least 20 minutes. You may want to watch an episode of The Office to avoid being bored.

7. If you want to make the soap a certain fragrance, pour in the fragrance oils. Because the ratio of oils to lye is important, and because different oils react to lye in different ratios, you must be very careful about substituting different oils in a recipe. You should always run your changes (and even the original recipe) through a lye calculator (Google it) and adjust your lye amount accordingly.

8. Pour the soap mixture into molds. You can make your soap more fun by pouring the mixture into specially shaped molds, like stars or triangles.

Let the soap sit in your freezer for two to three hours to harden. Make sure your family members know that it is not a new dessert or else they may eat it.

After removing the molds from the freezer, put on rubber gloves and remove the soap. Let the soap sit on plain cardboard or brown paper bags to fully harden.

Your soap will be ready in about two weeks. So, if you were looking to make soap because you have run out, it is time to go shopping again to buy enough soap to last you two weeks.

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