Richard: ...are the kind of things you can buy in a shop, of course, but you can also make them at home.
Jackie: Yes. And in the past, many people did make these things and we like to have a go, ourselves, too.
Richard: So, for this week's podcastsinenglish.com, we're talking about making soap, something we learned to do very recently.
Jackie: So, Richard, why soap?
Richard: Well, I think the first thing we discovered it's not too hard. But more importantly it's a great way to use up our extra olive oil.
Jackie: Yes, a basic recipe for making soap just needs three things: oil, cold water and Sodium Hydroxide.
Richard: Also called er… caustic soda.
Jackie: Yeah, caustic soda. That's the stuff that you use to clean like the kitchen sink with Richard, isn't it?
Richard: Or you can clean pipes with it, yes. Quite dangerous stuff actually but er… yes, you need that. Actually, I think in the past people used ash from their fires.
Jackie: Instead of caustic soda?
Jackie: Wow. And… and making the soap um… there are a couple of important things to think about.
Richard: Yes, it's quite easy but you do need to be very careful with a number of things.
Jackie: Yes, you have to be careful with the proportion of the ingredients. You have to weigh and measure everything exactly.
Richard: Yes. And also you need the correct temperature. Everything needs to be at the right temperature to work.
Jackie: And you have to put things together, or do things, in the correct order as well.
Richard: Yes. And as we said safety is important because when you mix the caustic soda with water it gets very hot and can burn you.
Jackie: Well, we wore gloves, didn't we?
Jackie: Very important. And I mean, really, there wasn't much more to it than that, Richard, was there? It was a matter of once the… the soap was all mixed up, of pouring it into… into little moulds and then having patience 'cos we have to wait for it to… to set, to dry.
Jackie: You can't use it straight away.
Jackie: And we mentioned the oil, now we… we liked making the soap because we could use our olive oil. But it's not just olive oil, of course, Richard, you can use lots of other oils as well.
Richard: Yes. You can use palm oil, I think coconut oil, sunflower oil, or cocoa butter is very popular. And you can also add other things as well.
Jackie: Yes. One of the things that's important to people when they buy soap is that it smells nice.
Richard: But of course we must add natural things, yeah, so we can use our lavender which we have in the garden or even lemon, orange, or you can add essential oils.
Jackie: Yes. And the other thing that people like about some soaps is that it has a nice texture, I suppose, and when you made your soap, Richard, you added oats, didn't you?
Richard: Yes, yes. Very good using oats.
Jackie: And I know that you can add things like poppy seeds as well.
Jackie: Now, it was fun, Richard, wasn't it?
Jackie: What I liked about it was that it wasn't too expensive. Well, it's not expensive to make at all, really?
Jackie: It's not too difficult, not really.
Jackie: And they make great presents.
Richard: Yes. In time for Christmas maybe next year.