A Freelance Gig to Consider: Soap Maker

If you've ever had a hygiene product that not only works but offers numerous other benefits, chances are you'll search high and low for it. Not just that but money's probably no object. Yes, that product that smells nice, leaves your skin soft and is easy to use (meaning no leftover residue when the container runs low) is something the average person will buy in bulk.

This is to say that if you can present a product that stands apart from the competition, your homemade soap idea can stand on its own. If you're stuck, here's something to think about and maybe deduce. Many "natural" products that are mass-produced are about as pure as a 1970s leisure suit. Other natural soaps either dry the skin or have zero scents. Then again, soap is something that's used as a decorative ornament in some homes and businesses that rely on luxury or aesthetics.

Creating Something Different that Sells Offline and Online

Those last three sentences leave many unique ideas. So while you're coming up with paisley design goat milk soap bars for people with problem skin, there are other possibilities. Bath wash, body oils, and even a massage soap make nice gift sets. Some gift companies may even throw in candles that have the same scent or healing properties.

Many home hobbyists often take a weekend soapmaking course thinking their creations are marketable. Maybe so but if you want to remain in business for a while, you need to decide early what's so special about your product. Is it a visual delight, an affordable solution for those with problem skin, or a little of both?

Learning Soapmaking Beyond the Basics

There are many methods for making soap and related products. Some work well with heavy scents or natural ingredients or other methods may be congruent with your current living situation. In other words, your kitchen may have limitations when it comes to creating molds or some industrial-strength scents may require ventilation.

Not to worry, as some methods are broken down and there's nothing wrong with working at your craft until you achieve perfection. If you expect to gain traffic through sites like Instagram or Pinterest, details are important.

Here's a breakdown of soapmaking methods you can do at home - 

Cold Process - it's economical, preservative-free, and has a lengthy shelf life. This type is also good for the skin in terms of being gentle and loaded with unsaturated fats that soften.

Melt and Pour - this is not only the easiest way to make bar soap but the best for making decorative soap. Like bundt cakes and candles, these can be poured into molds made to hold hot liquid.

Liquid Soap - if you're tired of buying the perfect hand soap that goes quickly or like saving bar scraps, this method is also easy and one of the most economical. However, investing in a double burner may be recommended.

Hot Process - ideal for those familiar with the process or who are detail-oriented. While similar to the cold process, this method allows more control of ingredients as well as adding extras that add to the user or visual appeal.

Rebatching - the most cost-effective and fun way to make colorful soap bars. This method basically re-uses soap bar scraps to make a confetti-colored product. It's also good for leftover soap pieces from past projects.

Places to Learn the Soapmaking Process

Live classes are a great way to meet others or get hands-on instruction but if your free time is limited, online classes may work too. If you live in a large city, local colleges and universities sometimes offer weekend classes that teach the basics. Other places worth checking out are recreation centers, home shops, and arts and crafts chains like Michael's. Here are some other places that offer advanced instruction or related classes that help with complementary products.

School of Natural Skincare

Soap Making Studio

Soap School

Soap Making Business Diploma at Centre of Excellence