The art of soap making has been considered a mystery for quite a while, until it started being manufactured at a larger scale, and only through chemical means. There are countries however, where soap making is still made by the people using natural elements. You have to remember that soap mainly is an agent (in chemistry is more accurately known as a mixture of detergents) that when used in conjunction with water its purpose is washing and cleaning. Nothing new with this last phrase, I know.
One of the most usual shapes that soap came in, is the one we are facing today - the bar one, because it was one of the easiest one to use, and the most easiest one to create. As you might have seen, you can make soap in the shape of a flower, of a star or of anything else, but it is not as practical as the bar shape.
In order to know how to make soap from scratch you have to understand the actual composition of the basic soap. By conducting a small research you will soon find out that soap is mainly, a mixture of sodium (in some cases potassium) salts of fatty acids.
These fatty acids can be found in common oils or fats, and they can be activated (put into a chemical reaction) through hydrolysis of a certain oil or fat. The basics of soap making are essential whenever you may want to create your own recipes of how to make homemade soap. Remember however that every soap-making recipe has its roots in a certain oil or fat derivative. For example, you might have heard of soaps made out of olive oil. In this case, the soap is known to be a castile soap.
The art of soap making can be rather tricky, especially if you do not have sufficient chemistry knowledge. The basics of soap making are rather important, before deciding what color or aroma you should pick for your soap.
If you want to find out more about this subject, you can follow this link: http://www.homemade-soap.info