I love doing DIY stuff whenever I have the time. I love to make beaded accessories; I like to sew simple things like bags, skirts and organizers; I like cooking my own dishes and making my own healthy fruit and vegetable concoctions; I like doing my own party decors; I like making my own gift bags and other accessories. And whenever it’s possible and feasible, I turn my DIY projects into a small home-based business. One example is NIBs (Nature in Bottles) Home Spa Products that I turned into a small home-based business in 2003 and got featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Lifestyle section that same year. I made organic body scrubs, facial scrubs, massage oils, facial toners, body powder, lip balms, etc. and overnight, it felt like the whole country was ordering from me.
My Nature in Bottles home-based biz went on for a few years after that while I was also still doing corporate work. Then soap making got my attention. I was thinking then that the soaps I’ll be producing would be perfect additions to my spa product line-up.
I did my soap making endeavor on the side, on and off, in between my travels and other things I was busy with for several years. I made glycerin and jelly soaps in particular which I also used personally.
Now that I am with Mahal, who is also a DIY person himself, soap making and spa product making also caught his attention and he would like us to revive this hobby of mine and once again turn it into a small home-based business. And because I really have sensitive skin and very few products in the market have good effects on my skin, I decided that yes, it’s one of the best decisions that I’ll be making once again. So far, we have made shower jellies, organic body scrubs and organic facial scrubs.
However, now that I am a mother, finding that extra time to do DIY stuff like soap making can really be challenging. What happens is, because of my 11 years of experience in soap making, I ended up as Mahal’s consultant and when I’m the one taking care of baby Tuz, Mahal is the one doing further research, development and concoction of our homemade soap and spa products. I do still help out in the “kitchen” once in a while when my parents are around to help take care of our baby.
Soap making for Fun and Profit by Maria Given Nerius
This is one of the references I am using to further learn about soap making while Mahal does further research online. In my study, I realized that this hobby could be costly. There are some materials that we would need to buy, some of which I already did in the past, but there are still a few I had to search for before we can even begin looking for exotic ingredients.
The basic tools for soap making are:
- Accurate Scale – check!
- Safety Eye Goggles – where the heck will I look for this? I know I have a goggle for snorkeling but it’s not the same.
- Double Boiler – the book says that I can use the makeshift kind so I bought 2 pans that I can just use, one on top of the other. They were on sale.
- Glass Measuring Cup – mine is a sturdy plastic, almost glassy kind, coz it’s cheaper. I think that will do.
- Hand Grater, large – check!
- Rubber Gloves – will buy this on my next trip to the groceries.
- Stainless Steel Measuring Spoon – check!
- Stainless Steel Measuring Cups – check!
- Wooden Spoons – check!
- Rubber Spatula – check!
- Drying Rack – I dunno yet where I can find this.
- Two Candy and Cake Thermometer – I should visit a cooking shop for this
- Soap Cutter – I also dunno where to get this. I should research some more.
- Small Glass Bowl – check!
From our studies, soap making can be dangerous if not done properly. This is why I personally took 2 courses in soap making.
soap making courses I took
I took my first soap making course in 2005:
I took my 2nd refresher soap making course in 2011:
I googled the same company which gives these kinds of livelihood seminars, Golden Treasure, and before I knew it I was asking them to reserve me a seat . It cost me Php1,900, Php500 of which would have to be picked up by their courier so they can reserve me a seat. The venue was at DTI along Roxas Blvd. I was really excited!
our soap and spa products now
Mahal and I are in the process of completing our initial soap and spa product line-up and as soon as it’s done, I will be sharing it here. We’re making special kinds of soaps like shower jellies, organic soaps and organic scrubs.
For now, let me leave you with a Soap Trivia:
Did you know that most of the soaps we use everyday are not even soap? Look at the label and see if the word “soap” is used. More often than not, they’re “detergent bars”. Only those products that have gone through saponification may be called soap. The rest are called bars, as in cleaning bar, family bar, moisturizing bar, etc. Also, did you know that commercial soap manufacturers use plenty of additives, fillers and chemicals in making their soap? The scent you smell is actually used to mask the odors of harsh ingredients. These commercial additives can be harmful to sensitive skin and can even cause allergic reactions.
These are important things to consider when making soap. As much as possible. we want something organic or something with the least amount of harmful chemicals but with the most amount of healthful skin benefits.
Til my next soap making post!