Why are people drawn to making their own soap from scratch?Many of us start making soap to have inexpensive, homemade, natural gifts for all the holidays and birthdays throughout the year. Also, more and more people today are looking for a second source of income that involves doing something creative that they love (isn’t that the true key to success?). Or, some of us begin soaping because we have friends or family with problematic or sensitive skin that is easily irritated.
Many commercial soap companies use cheap petroleum-based ingredients (like mineral oil), animal fats (like sodium tallowate, lard, or lanolin) and synthetic detergents (like sodium laureth sulfate) that can be harsh on delicate skin. By making soap in your own kitchen, you can tailor it to suit any skin type as well as insure that only the most beneficial ingredients go into your finished soap.
Page by page summary of what’s in this handout:
Cover Page: Pictures of CP soap, Suggested Reading & References (books & websites) relevant to CP soapmaking.
Page 1: Soap History & website references for more history information.
Page 2: Soap Chemistry in a thorough yet simple to understand way (why does soap work?), the importance of Saponification (SAP) Values & why you can’t replace or substitute one fat/oil with another without recalculating the SAP value & lye amount.
Page 3: A sample Saponification Value Table.
Page 4: What “Superfatting” is and why we do it, the percentage of superfat (aka Lye Discount) that we normally use, the #1 natural soap anti-oxidant to use to help extend the shelf life of your handmade natural soap.
Page 5: What “Trace” is, and why is it so important, some factors that affect trace time, and some tips for using a stick blender (and our favorite brand of stick blender).
Page 6: Materials, Equipment & Supplies: A “before you begin, make sure that you have” list, a materials & equipment checklist & an ingredients checklist.
Page 7: Working with Sodium Hydroxide (aka Lye), information & cautions as well as where we recommend purchasing it.
Page 8: A very helpful “CP Soap Worksheet” created for you to photocopy & use for any Cold Process Soap recipe you make (i.e., the oil fields are blank).
Page 9: A Majestic Mountain Sage Lye Calculator Printout with the Studio recipe on it, along with some handwritten notes that explain things more clearly.
Page 10: The same “CP Soap Worksheet” from Page 8, but with the details of the recipe filled in the blanks (also something you may photocopy). When you make soap, you fill out this sheet for each & every batch, and then put it in a “soap recipes” notebook.
Page 11: Step-by-step instructions for making Cold Process Soap (numbers 1-13).
Page 12: Cutting & Curing Your Soap section with what to do after it comes out of the mold. Then, a section on Wrapping, Decorating & Packaging Soap with small pictures for each entry.
Page 13: Soapmaking Oils & Fats (the main oils, like Coconut, Palm, Olive, Castor, Cocoa Butter & Shea Butter) listed & described.
Page 14: Using Natural Additives for Color & Texture Section. What we recommend to color your soap with, and some suggestions if you want to go the natural route with herbs & spices.
Page 15: Scenting Cold Process Soap – What essential oils are, how much to use (a wonderful guide), directions for using the basic guidelines, 8 tested Scent Combinations for 4-pound batches, and a paragraph on Fragrance Oils.
Page 16: Molds & Scales, Lining Molds, Weighing Ingredients & our recommended scale.
Page 17: Troubleshooting problems with Cold Process Soap.
Page 18: Recommended On-Line Suppliers (10) relevant to the products made in this class. Supplier name, state, phone number, website (with direct hyperlink in the .pdf document) and in most cases a special Nova Studio discount code is given.