Class Handout: Cold Process Soap Making 101

$39.00 $29.00

by Lori Nova Endres

This Class Handout is a digital download. Once purchased, you will find the link to access your document on your MY ACCOUNT page.

If you’re interested in this topic, check out our new option that includes these handouts & so much more for just a $10 upgrade!
Cold Process Soap Making 101 Recorded Video eClass

Ah, the allure of handmade soap. A well-made bar of soap is a revelation, an experience beyond the ordinary bar of “whatever is in the shower”.  And for many people, the joy of using handmade soap leads directly to the desire (yes, desire!) to make it themselves.

This Class Handout describes the basics of the cold process method of soapmaking, probably the easiest and least labor intensive of all the methods. It relies almost exclusively on the heat generated by saponification (the chemical reaction of fatty acids and alkali to produce soap). No external heat is applied once the ingredients have been mixed. Although it may seem complicated when you are first starting out, making your own soap from scratch (the way some of our grandparents did) using all-natural ingredients can be both fun and rewarding ~ not to mention extremely addicting!

This is the digital PDF that’s included with Ruth’s Cold Process Soap Making 101 Video eClass.

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.

Summary of what’s in this Very Thorough Digital Class Handout:

  • Cover Page – Page 1: Pictures of Lori’s CP soap, Suggested Reading & References (books & websites) relevant to CP soapmaking.
  • Page 2: Explanation of Cold Process Soap, Soap History, and some links to find more history information.
  • Page 3: 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, inexpensive brand of stick blender).
  • Page 4: Materials, Equipment & Supplies: A “before you begin, make sure you have” list, a materials & equipment checklist, & an ingredients checklist.
  • Page 5: Working with Sodium Hydroxide (aka Lye), information & cautions, our recommended suppliers.
  • 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: A very helpful “Blank CP Soap Worksheet” created for you to photocopy & use for any Cold Process Soap recipe you make.
  • Page 7: A Majestic Mountain Sage Lye Calculator Printout for Lori’s Recipe.
  • Page 8: Lori’s “CP 101 Soap Recipe Worksheet” with all the the amounts of the oils, the water & the lye pre-filled out (also something you may choose to photocopy). When you make soap using our recipe, you can simply fill out the rest of this worksheet for each & every batch, and then put it in a “soap recipes” 3-ring binder.
  • Page 9: Step-by-step instructions for making Cold Process Soap (numbered 1-13).
  • Page 10: Two topics, one on Cleaning Up and one on Cutting & Curing Your Soap (what to do with it after it comes out of the mold).
  • Page 11: Some info about Wrapping, Decorating, & Packaging Soap with small pictures and a description for each entry.
  • Page 12: Soap Chemistry in a thorough, yet simple to understand way (How/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 13: A sample Saponification Value Table listing common soapmaking oils and the amount of lye needed to saponify each of them.
  • Page 14: Soap Mathematics. A very helpful page, contributed by Jen Grimes to help Nova students understand how to calculate how much lye is needed for your soap recipes. The examples given are for our main recipe in this handout, but you should be able to plug in values for any recipe (once you understand the concepts explained on this page).
  • Page 15: Explanation of Superfatting and “More Soap Mathematics” (a continuation from page 14).
  • Page 16: Soapmaking Oils & Fats (more info about common soaping oils like Coconut, Palm, Olive, Castor, Cocoa Butter & Shea Butter).
  • Page 17: Scenting Cold Process Soap Naturally – What Essential Oils (aka EOs) are, how much to use, directions for using our basic guidelines, Lori’s tested scent combinations (EO Blends) & amounts for 4-pound batches, and a paragraph on what Fragrance Oils are (fyi, we stopped using FOs many years ago).
  • Page 18: Coloring: What we recommend to color soap with, and some suggestions if you want to go the natural route with herbs & spices.
  • Page 19: Our #1 Soap Antioxidant (to extend the life of your soap), Molds & Scales, Lining Molds, Weighing Ingredients & our recommended scale.
  • Page 20: Helpful Troubleshooting Guide – What to do with 11 different things that can go wrong when making cold process soap.
  • Page 21: Our Nova CP 101 Recommended On-Line Suppliers. This includes 10 supplier names, state, phone number, website (with direct hyperlink in the .pdf document) and in 8 of the 10, a special Nova Studio discount code is given.

Please read about the teacher & find more details in the “About Class Handouts” tab below before purchasing this handout.

A Class Handout is the digital PDF version of the handout for the in-person classes we taught at The Nova Studio. After ordering this PDF-format digital handout, you will be directed to a page that contains links to your instant downloads. You’ll have easy access to all your active Class Handout links in one easy place from your My Account page (downloads expire after 10 days & 5 downloads – so be sure to save the docs to your computer before then).

They will save you a ton of time & energy by giving you accurate, tested recipes & formulas, clear instructions, recommended sources for where to buy supplies relevant to each topic, and any background and/or supporting information. It’s the next best thing to being in a class!

When you buy the handouts, you also have permission to make the products exactly as is (with or without changing them) and you may market/sell them to your customers using our recipes. The only thing you cannot do is sell, post or distribute the information, directions, or recipes in our handouts since they are protected by copyright laws as part of our exclusive intellectual property.

Purchasing these handouts does not include any additional consulting or email support. If you have questions or need consulting, we offer private lessons & phone consultations. If you teach classes and want help creating your own class handouts, please contact us to set up a private consult and we would be happy to assist you. Purchasing our handouts does not give you permission or license to use them as teaching materials.


With Class Handouts, you are granted instant access as soon as your transaction is complete (download links can be found on your My Account page – simply open the files & save them to your computer and you will have access to them forever). Since this is a digital product that you cannot return, we have a no refund policy. That said, we want you to be happy. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, please Contact Us.


lori headshot 2013Lori Nova Endres, Founder and Co-owner of The Nova Studio, began making natural bath & body products in her kitchen in 2000 as a way to make family & friends homemade, practical gifts. Shortly thereafter, she began sharing her passion by teaching classes. Lori has taught classes for The Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild (HSCG), The Learning Annex of SF, Juniper Tree, The Native American Cultural Center, Foothill De Anza Community College & The Berkeley Ecology Center. Lori started The Nova Studio in September of 2003 and held classes in Point Richmond, CA until 2015. Learn everything from beginning soap making to all natural perfumes, a variety of bath & body products, and even home cleaning products from Lori.


You may also like…

© 2017 The Nova Studio, LLC.  ® All Rights Reserved.  |  Freckled Nest Design