The exact origin of soap is unknown, but soap making processes have been traced back to the Egyptians, Romans, and even Babylonians thousands of years ago. Each culture had a slightly different process of mixing animal fats, oils, and other ingredients to make soap-like material. Since then the process has evolved and been refined to make soap as we know and use today. There are a couple main ways that people make soap today, which are hand milled, melt and pour and the cold process.
Melt and Pour:
This process is fairly new compared with other processes and uses premade blocks of glycerin soap melted down. Then preferred scents and colors are added before being poured into a mold to create a bar of soap. Bars can be made fairly easily and ready within an hour.
A process when you take pre-made soap fragments and melt them down to create a new bar of soap. Though you avoid working with lye and can create soap fairly quickly, the bar does need to cure for a few weeks before use and can appear lumpy when finished.
The most basic way of creating soap through mixing of tallow, lard, or different oils with lye dissolved in water. Once mixed together, the ingredients are stirred causing a chemical reaction called saponification. If done correctly there will be no free lye when the bar of soap is complete.
All of these different processes of creating soap have different pros and cons.
Some ways are faster, but may create lesser quality of soap. Others create better quality, but deal with lye, which is a caustic material and must always be handled with caution. Whichever style of soap you decide to do, you can make it your own. Different scents, colors and patterns can be created to give the soap a unique style to you. So be creative and don’t be afraid to try new things!