Green Soap Making

Meagan Wolf

Making Your Own Natural Soap is my project for my UNH Green Goggles class. The project is designed to explore an area of organic chemistry by seeking to make something more ecologically friendly or “Green”.

Over the summer I noticed how many people were selling homemade soaps at the crafts fairs and farmers markets I visited and I wondered WHY? Why go to all that trouble, when you could just buy soap at the market or drugstore.

What I found out doing this project is that commercially made soap contain ingredients I really didn’t want on my skin. To start with most are made with tallow which is a byproduct of the animal industry. Then the natural glycerin is removed so that chemicals can be added to make your skin smooth, make the soap smell good, or look good, or clean better.

Homemade soap, it turns out, is not that hard to make. And its ingredients are all natural and more gentle to your skin.

The basic chemistry involved is an acid- base reaction called Saponification.

This video shares what I've learned both about the making of soap and the chemical reactions that create the soap.