Soap Making a Quick Soap Making Book

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Make Your Own Soap the Easy Way

Your Complete Guide to the Art of Soap Making

Kelly Kohn


Kelly Kohn

Copyright © 2012

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced in any format, by any means, electronic or otherwise, without prior consent from the copyright owner and publisher of this book.

This is a work of fiction. All characters, names, places and events are the product of the author's imagination or used fictitiously.


Table of Content


Chapter 1 - The squeaky clean truth about soaps A brief history of soap

What is soap?

The soap making procedure

Chapter 2 - Every soap maker should have this – Equipment used in making soap Chapter 3 - What goes into soap? – Ingredients, ingredients, ingredients

Fats and oils Lye Moisturizers

Thickeners and hardeners Water alternatives Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles Botanicals

Fragrance Color

Chapter 4 - Basic Techniques in making your soap bar or liquid soap The Cold Process

The Hot Process Melt and Pour Re-batching Liquid Soap Whipped soap Cleaning up Storing soap

Chapter 5 - Adding your dyes, botanicals, essences and fragrances, cutting those shapes Scents Color Yellow/Orange Brown/Black Green Red/Pink Purple/Blue Botanicals Designs

Chapter 6 - Easy and simple soap recipes Basic Oil Soap

Grocery Store Soap Vanilla Kitchen Soap Oatmeal Melt and Pour Soap Moisturizing soap Soap for acne- prone skin Vegetarian Soap Melt and pour loofah soap Rosemary Mint Handmade Soap Mango and Shea Butter soap Lavender Soap

Apple Spice Soap Aloe Soap Balls Good Morning Scrub Bar Tea Tree and Kelp Soap Dog Soap

Orange Julius Soap Berry Mint Foot Soap Mint Refresher Liquid Soap Chapter 7 - The Dos and Don’ts of soap making

Do’s Dont’s

Chapter 8 - Trouble shooting in soap making My soap will not trace! My solid soap has turned to liquid! My soap has separated in the pot! My liquid soap has separated! My soap has seized! My soap is too thick My soap is oily soap My soap is sweating My soap has orange spots in it! My soap has water pockets! My soap has oil pockets! My soap is dry and brittle! My soap is soft and mushy! My soap is coated in powder! My soap is lighter around the edges!


My fragrance has disappeared!

When is it necessary to give up and throw away a batch of soap? Chapter 9 - Selling your beautiful handmade soaps

Conclusion References



Welcome to learning the art of soap making. If you preparing to read this article then you are probably a crafty person looking to dive into something new. Once the process is learned, soap making can be an easy, fun, and productive hobby. People choose to make soap for a variety of reasons including for personal use, gift giving, or as a product to sell in a home-based business. Once you become a soap maker, you will no longer have to waste time shopping for a soap that will not irritate your sensitive skin or make a last minute run to the mall for a birthday gift. Many people enjoy soap making because they can produce unique and useful items. The scientific nature of this craft can appeal to those of us who like to have a guideline to follow while learning, but then be able to work within some general parameters to create one-of-a-kind products.

There are several advantages to making your own soap. First, it’s fun! Once you understand the process, the creative possibilities are endless. Elements of color, texture, shape, scent, and design all come into play when making soap. The process does not require a great time commitment so just by having an afternoon free you can make a batch of soap. Of course, it will need to harden after that afternoon, but that process does not require you to be actively doing anything other than flipping it over occasionally.

Secondly, homemade soaps are much healthier for you and the environment. By the time a typical person finishes his or her morning routine, he or she has likely already come into contact with over one hundred chemicals and about sixty percent of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our body. By making your own soap, you have complete control over the quality and naturalness of the ingredients. This is especially great for people with allergies or sensitive skin. You will know that the soap you make does not contain artificial dyes or additives, unless of course you want them in there. When making your own soap you can choose the fragrance and how strong it is. You can decide if you want liquid soap, hard soap or soft soap when you are finished. You can also decide how you want it to function. Do you want it to exfoliate? Condition? Moisturize? Cleanse? A combination of the above? When you make your own soap that can happen! As an added bonus, homemade soaps usually contain a large amount of glycerin which makes them much better at moisturizing than commercial soaps. Making soap is also better for the environment as it conserves energy and the process of creating it does not involve the use of harsh synthetic chemicals that can harm our waters and other natural resources.

Let us end this introduction with some fun facts about soap to hit home the idea that soap making can be fun, interesting, profitable, and easy.

· Soap has been made in some form for at least the last 2,000 years.

· Early soaps were not used for bathing but for cleaning clothes and animal hides. · June weddings were made popular because back in the early 1500’s, people


typically only bathed with soap once yearly and most often in late May. This allowed brides to be fresh for their upcoming nuptials.

· The first soaps were made from animal fat and ashes from wood fires. · Soap can be made in liquid, bar, powder, cream, foam, and gel forms.

· Soap not only stings yours eyes because it contains lye, it is also chemically reacting with the fat molecules in your eyeball.

· The first known literary reference to soap used for cleansing purposes was by Galen, a Greek physician, in 1700 A.D.

· Early 7th century Arabic chemists created the first soap using only vegetable oil. Prior to this it is thought that all soaps had some amount of animal fat in it.

· The English government imposed a tax on soaps for many years until 1835, making 1 million pounds a year.

· 10,000,000,000 pounds of soap are produced per year world-wide · 1/3 of all soaps are produced in the United States

· In the United States, 25 pounds of soap are used per person, per year. The world average is 6.6 pounds.

· 85% of the soap used in the United States is used in cleaning laundry and 12% is used for bathing.

· Most of the ‘soap’ purchased at a store is not soap but bars of synthetic detergent. · By 1890, five major soap companies were in business; Colgate, Morse, Pears, Bailey, and Albert.

· The Palmolive Company is named after its most popular soap which was made with palm and olive oils.

· Elephants are frequently washed with Murphy’s Oil Soap.

· Ivory soap was never meant to float. The company was over mixing the soap which created air bubbles causing the bar to float. Since it was so well received by customers, the company continued over mixing their soap.

· Liquid hand soaps were first created and sold in the 1970s

No matter how far and how much of an expert you want to become on soap making, this report will give you a great start towards understanding soap, its history, the soap making processes, and also some ideas on how to start a soap selling business.


Chapter 1 - The squeaky clean truth about soaps A brief history of soap

Soap has quite the past. For a very, very long time people have known that combining fats with ash from a fire would make a substance that could be used to clean things. There is a widely told story that the word soap came from the ancient Romans however, the truth of it is widely debated. According to the story, Romans sacrificed animals on Mount Sapo and then it rained, all of the fat from the animals and the ashes from the sacrificial fires, were washed down the mountain and into the Tiber River. This created clay in the river that made washing easier. Those that discount this story as fantasy have the belief that the word soap derives from the Latin word, “sapo” and was borrowed from the Celts who created a substance from animal fat and plant ash that they called saipo.

Historians have several ideas about where and when soap making first began. Many believe that soap was invented by the Babylonians. This is because a stone tablet was discovered during an excavation of ancient Babylonia indicating that around 2800 B.C., Babylonians were making soap. Another clue that soap has been around since ancient times

is the Eber’s papyrus which contains a recipe for soap made by salt mixed with animal fats indicating that early Egyptians used soap for textiles and medicinal purposes. Early Romans

made soap in the 1st century A.D. by combining goat fat with wood ashes and salt. In fact, a salt

factory was discovered among the ruins of Pompeii, a city which was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 79 A.D.

In the 2nd century A.D., Galen, the famous Greek doctor, publicly recommended washing with

soap to prevent disease. Prior to this, soap was used primarily to treat diseases or for textiles. This proclamation resulted in more people using soap for bathing however, for a long time still; soap was used mostly for non-bathing purposes.

Moving into Europe, ancient German’s created soap from ash and animal fat. It was used primarily for styling hair. In 1200 A.D., Marseilles, France and Savona, Italy were soap making

hubs. In the 8th century, there is evidence that people in Italy and Spain were using goat fat and

beech tree ash to make soap. At the same time, the French began using olive oil in their soap.

Soap came to Bristol, England in the 12th century and could be found in London in the 13th

century. Beginning in the 16th century, finer, more luxurious soaps that were vegetable based,

most using olive oil, were more widely available in Europe. In England, soap makers had to pay tax on the soap that they made until 1853. This was enforced to the point of equipping soap pots with locks so that soap makers would not be able to produce soap without being observed. When the tax was alleviated, inexpensive soap was created and became widely available throughout England by 1880.

In 1791, a Frenchman by the name of Nicolas LeBlanc discovered a way to make sodium carbonate or soda ash from common salt which allowed soap makers to create soap very inexpensively. Prior to this, soap was expensive and in very high demand. In 1811, another Frenchman named Michel Eugene Chevreul identified the relationship between glycerin and fatty acids. These two discoveries marked the beginning of modern day soap making.


In the late 18th century, industrially manufactured soap became available however, up until

around the turn into the 19th century, Europeans continued to use soap primarily for purposes

other than bathing. This changed when German chemist Justus Von Liebig announced that the amount of soap used by a nation was a great indicator of the country’s wealth and level of civility.

When the first settlers came to America, they brought a large supply of soap with them. This can be verified by viewing the records of ships that came over from England. In 1630, John Winthrop, before he became the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, wrote to his wife asking her to bring soap when she traveled over to America. After establishing themselves in America and surviving their first harsh winter, the colonists discovered that they had a large supply of ash and animal fat as a result of their daily routines of hunting and cooking food. They came to the realization that they could make soap from those products. When they began doing this, soap was no longer an expensive product that was in high demand. It could be made for virtually no money and was generally made annually or semiannually. For the colonists, making their own soap had the added benefit of allowing them to be increasingly more independent of England.

In 1916, the soap making process changed significantly when German chemists discovered and began creating synthetic detergents. Commercially made soap as we know it today became available during World War I. At that time, factories were using the batch kettle boiling method for making soap. This process had some significant drawbacks. Not only did it take four to eleven days to complete a batch, the quality of the produced soap was inconsistent and dependent on which oils were used in a particular batch. Shortly after 1930, the Proctor and Gamble Company developed the continuous soap making process. This change resulted in the production of a consistent quality of soap that was made in a shorter amount of time. This process is still used by commercial companies today and allows a batch of soap to be completed in about six hours.


What is soap?

Before delving into the art of soap making, we must first understand exactly what soap is. Some people have a tendency to skip chapters such as this and dive right into the direction giving portion of things. Be cautioned- skipping ahead to read about what you need to gather in order to make your first batch will be detrimental. In order to create something it is essential that one understands the fundamentals in order to be successful. Since soap making is so scientifically based, once you understand the principles and theories about how soap is formed and why it formed, you will be able to apply your learning not only to following a recipe but creating your own unique and clever work of art. You are one step ahead of the game if you ever took a chemistry class, so put on your lab coat and read on.

In its most basic form, soap is simply the salt of a fatty acid. No, not the kind of salt that we keep on our tables to sprinkle on French fries. A salt is anything that is the product of an acid and an alkali reacting. The type of salt that is formed from this reaction is dependent on the strength of the acid and alkali that is combining.

Recall from chemistry, the pH or potential Hydrogen scale. On this scale water is neutral at a 7. Anything less than 7 is an acid. Anything above 7 is an alkali. Then scale allows alkalis and acids to be described as strong or weak substances. Stronger acids have a tendency to burn whereas stronger alkalis have a tendency to corrode. The pH scale also gives us a point of reference to test substances in order to assure that they are safe to be touched or ingested.

When it comes to soap, the acid that is used generally comes in the form of fatty acids derived from animals and plants. Each fatty acid has one hydrogen, two oxygen and one carbon atom and also has a carboxylic acid group hanging out at the end. This carboxylic acid group is made up of hydrogen and carbon atoms. Now, when fatty acids come together, they attach themselves into groups of three and form what are called triglyceride molecules. The triglyceride molecule is also attached to one molecule of glycerin. Hang onto that information while we shift gears a bit.

An alkali is a base that will neutralize an acid and also dissolve in water. When an alkali and an acid mix, the neutralization of the two occurs through the production of hydrogen and oxygen atoms during the reaction process. When soap first started being made, ashes of plants served as the alkali that was used to cause a reaction with the fatty acids. In these modern times, alkalis are made commercially. The alkali that is used, almost exclusively, in soap making is lye. Lye can be purchased at a hardware store. It is also known as sodium hydroxide or caustic soda. Lye is referred to as caustic because of its tendency to be very corrosive.


So now we know that soap is a salt that is created when a fatty acid is combined with an alkali. We know what fatty acids and alkalis are. Now here comes the most important soap-making term you will ever learn. Commit it to memory. S-A-P-O-N-I-F-I-C-A-T-I-O-N. Saponification is the chemical process of making soap. Here is what happens in basic terms. The alkali works to split the fatty acids into two parts, fatty acids and glycerin. Then the alkali binds with the fatty acid. So once saponification has occurred, we are left with a tablet of salt and glycerin.

You may now be wondering, so if we are left with salt and glycerin, how exactly does that clean things? Well that’s more chemistry. When soap is combined with water, it acts as a surfactant. A surfactant molecule has oil soluble and water soluble parts. Because of this, these molecules can surround grease or dirt particles and bring them into the water so they can be washed away.

OK. Now that you have all of that background information stored in your brain you are ready to learn about how soaps are made. There are generally four processes that can be used to make handmade soap. You can choose to use the cold process, the hot process, the melt and pour method, or the re-batching method. Each of these methods will be explained in detail as you read on. They all have something in common however, and that is the saponification process that has to occur sometime, somehow to create soap. So you will always need an oil or fat and an alkaline (almost always lye) to make a traditional soap.


The soap making procedure

There are several different methods that can be used to make soap these days. We will discuss these methods in much greater detail in later chapters but the process is worth an overview at this point. The soap making ritual begins with blending two separate concoctions. The first is a blend of lye and water. The second is a blend of fats and oils. These two solutions are mixed together until a point called trace is reached. Trace is the point at which enough saponification has occurred that the mixture has started to thicken. In general, once trace occurs the soap is poured into a mold of some sort. Depending on the method of soap making being used, the soap will then go through a gel phase where it becomes more opaque in color. A gel phase does not always occur and does not necessarily have to occur. When a loaf or log mold is used, the gel phase tends to occur because the mixture retains its heat well and will liquefy while in the mold. Soaps that are poured into individual molds do not tend to hold their heat as well and therefore are not as likely to go through the gel phase. If a soap does go through a gel phase, saponification tends to be faster. Whether it goes through a gel phase or not, after the soap has hardened in the mold, it is taken out and placed on racks to cure. The curing process takes about 3-6 weeks to complete and allows the soap to harden and age. After curing is complete the soap is ready to use.

You may recall from earlier that the kettle batch process is one way that companies used to make very large amounts of soap. This is a four-step process which is outlined next.

1. Boiling

· In this first step, the fats and the alkali are melted into a very large steel kettle. A large company may have a kettle that is three stories tall and can hold several thousand pounds of ingredients. Heat coils within the kettle heat the mixture up to boiling. Saponification begins as the fats and alkali mix, producing soap and glycerin.

2. Salting

Ï In order to separate the glycerin and soap, salt is added to the mixture. When the salt is

added, the soap rises to the top of the kettle and glycerin settles to the bottom. The glycerin is removed through the bottom of the kettle.

3. Strong change

· A caustic solution is then added to the kettle during what is referred to as the strong change phase in order to remove any fats that have not saponified. This is important to achieving a soap that is smooth and free of impurities. The mixture is boiled again and the fat turns to soap. Salting can be repeated at this point if necessary.

4. Pitching

· In this last step, water is added to the kettle and the soap is brought to yet another boil. The mixture will separate into two layers after time. The top layer, containing about 70% soap and 30% water, is referred to as “neat soap”. The bottom later contains the remaining water, dirt, and other impurities. This layer is called “nigre”. The soap is molded, cooled, and cured before it is wrapped and a ready for purchase.


The most modern procedure used to mass produce soap is the Continuous Process. It works like this:

1. Splitting

Ï This first step splits the fat being used to make the soap into fatty acids and glycerin. The

process takes place in a very tall stainless steel column called a hydrolizer. Fat is pumped into one end of the column and very hot water is pumped into the other end. The column is then highly pressurized. As the splitting process occurs, the fatty acids and the glycerin are pumped out of the column while at the same time more fat and water are added to the column. The removed fatty acids are then purified through a distillation process to ensure that they are smooth and free of impurities.

2. Mixing

Ï An alkali is now mixed with the purified fatty acids to produce soap. Additives such as

color, fragrance, and exfoliators are put into the mixture during this step.

3. Cooling and Finishing

Ï The soap is poured into molds and hardens into a large slab. Freezers are sometimes

used to speed up this process. Bars of soap are then cut from the slab and wrapped.

Now that you have a nice background of what soap is and its history as well as a basic understanding of how it is made, it is time to delve in deeper and get started learning how to make your own soap.


Chapter 2 - Every soap maker should have this – Equipment used in making soap

So you were so inspired by the first chapter that you want to run right out and purchase all of the materials you need right? Well, this chapter and the next will help you to create your shopping list and also let you know where you may want to go to pick up the items you need. Compared to many other crafts, you do not need much equipment to make soap and much of what you do need is inexpensive. In fact, you may already have much of what you need in your kitchen.

Important safety note- it is crucial that once you use a tool for soap making you do not use it for cooking or any other activity. Some of the chemicals used in soap making are poisonous if ingested and can burn the skin. Make sure you store your soap making utensils separately from your kitchen-use utensils.

When choosing your tools it is important to choose equipment that is not made of aluminum, brass, or bronze when making soap. These metals react negatively to lye and will pose safety hazards and will not produce very good end results for your soap. Stainless steel, glass, and enamel are good choices.

First here is a list of the basics that do not require too much explanation:

Ï Freezer paper or plastic wrap (not wax paper) to cover your work surface and line the

mold if needed

Ï 6-8 inch steel knife for cutting soap if you are not using a mold Ï Drying rack to allow your soap to cure

Ï Droppers or pipettes to add color and fragrance Ï Rubber spatula to stir

Ï Stainless steel spoons to stir Ï Stainless steel whisk to mix Ï Bowls

Ï 4-cup glass measure to ensure you are adding the right amount of each ingredient

Ï Waterproof digital thermometer preferably made from stainless steel and at least 5

inches long

Ï Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle Ï Crockpot (optional)

Ï Double boiler (optional) Ï Microwave (optional)


There are a couple other pieces of equipment you will need which require a bit more discussion in order for you to be able to make an educated choice at the store. The first of these things is a mixer. You may decide that hand mixing works for you, particularly if you want to combine soap making with your daily workout. However, for many stirring soap for close to an hour in order for it to fully start the saponification process will not lead to personal enjoyment. If you are one of those people, you have a couple options to consider. An electric hand mixer can be used but has its drawbacks. Using this method there is a tendency for a lot of air to get added into the mixture. This can cause some significant problems with the batch of soap including have air pockets throughout the finished product. The use of a stick or immersion blender is highly recommended. Look for one that has a simple design with blades that connect to the blender and a solid part behind the blades. You want to look for a low, short end on your blender (around the blade area). Also, find a blender that has a smooth bottom rim. Avoid choosing one with grooves or ridges. Do not worry about having several speed settings; it will not matter as you will be pulsing it or using it in the off position. By using a stick blender you can cut down the time it takes to reach a trace significantly. We are talking from 45 minutes down to 5. Significant. Some soap recipes have a tendency to separate and the risk of this happening is much less when using a stick blender. So now that the joys of the stick blender have been shared, there is a caveat. You may want to stir by hand or use a regular electric hand mixer when making your first couple of batches. This will allow you to clearly see the stages your soap is going through and, in particular, identify when you have reached the trace stage. It is very easy to get a false trace when using a stick blender

Another important piece of equipment is a scale. When measuring ingredients for a soap recipe the measurements, particularly lye and water, must be exact. More exact than measuring cups would be for sure. Measuring with a scale will make it more likely that the soap making process will be glitch free. It is also safer as the chemicals used will react in the predictable way that you have planned for. When you are purchasing a scale you want to look for several things. Firstly, you want it to be digital so you get very exact readings. It will also be beneficial if it can tell you weights in Metric and English measurements. This will save the process of converting measurements from recipes written in metric units into English terms and vice versa. Size is another consideration. You want your scale to have a useable surface of at least six inches square. The scale’s unit of graduation is crucial. Soap making requires measuring some very small amounts so look for a scale that measures in 1 gram and .1 ounce increments.


Since we are working with acids and bases that can be harmful when they come in contact on the skin if not neutralized, it is beneficial to test the pH of your soap at some point. On a pH scale, numbers less than 7 signify acids and numbers above 7 signify an alkali. It is desirable for soap to have a pH of between 7 and 10. Unless you buy really expensive lab-quality pH testing equipment, you are left with a couple of options to test pH, none of which give us an extremely accurate reading but some information is better than no information. The first, and most traditional test, is to place a drop of soap on your tongue. If it zaps like an electric shock, you know that the lye has not been neutralized and you need to keep mixing or cooking in order to bring the pH down and make the soap safe. The “hand test” can also be used. When the soap is finished, wash your hands with it. If it provides little lather and causes skin irritation, the pH is likely not within the safe range. If these ideas are not appealing to you, take a trip to the pharmacy where you can purchase pH strips. To use these, place a drop of water on your soap and then put the test strip on the water. Because this tests the pH of the water and not the solidified (or semi-solidified) soap, it is not completely accurate but you do get a better idea of where the soap is at. Another tool that can be used is phenolphthalein. This is a liquid that you drop in very small amounts onto the soap. If the liquid is clear or light pink you are all set. If it is a darker color, you need to continue the saponification process to make it safe. Phenolphthalein is most easily found at a store that sells pool supplies as it is also used to test the safety of swimming water.

Soap molds are probably the most fun and interesting pieces of equipment you will shop for. Soap molds come in all shapes and sizes. Some are very inexpensive and some are downright pricey. There are a couple general routes you can take to choose a mold. You could decide to purchase individual molds to pour the soap directly into. Although those work very well for the melt and pour technique, it does not work out quite as well with the cold process as they are more difficult to insulate. You could also purchase a wooden mold called a soap loaf or line a loaf pan with plastic wrap and use that (remember not to use it for cooking after). Once the soap as hardened, the soap can be removed from the mold and sliced. There are a variety of tool options for soap slicing. These include:

Ï Smooth blade cutters Ï Krinkle blade cutter Ï Single bar cutting box Ï Soap edger

It also easy to make your own soap cutting box using a mitre box. Here is how:

1. Gather materials Ï Handsaw

Ï Ten 1-inch screws Ï Screwdriver

Ï ½ inch by 4-inch poplar wood strips. Buy enough length so you have the length of your

miter box times two plus eight inches


plus eight inches.

Ï Wooden mitre box Ï Electric drill

2. Cut two lengths of the poplar wood to the same length as the mitre box. 3. Cut two lengths of the 1x2 woods strips to the same length as the mitre box. 4. Drill three evenly spaced pilot holes through the 1x2 strips.

5. Drill holes in the same places partially through the poplar strips. 6. Screw the 1x2 and poplar strips together

7. Place the two side strips in the mitre box

8 . Measure the opening between the two sides. This must be exact as your end pieces

need fit snuggly. This prevents soap from leaking out of the mold.

9. Cut the poplar and 1x2 strips to the measurement taken in the last step

10. Drill pilot holes and attach the 1x2 wood strips to the poplar strips using screws. 11. Put the pieces into the mitre box.

12. Notice that you can change the size of your mold by moving the end pieces further apart

or closer together.

Your last mold option is to get creative and go crazy. Here are some out of the box ideas:

Ï PVC pipe Ï Pringles can Ï Cocoa can

Ï Silicone cake molds Ï Candy molds

Ï Tupperware

Ï Shallow pan (you can cut out individual shapes with cookie cutters) Ï Mini loaf pan

Ï Tin can Ï Box

Ï Yogurt containers

Ï Fluted ice cream dishes Ï Muffin pan

Ï Margarine containers Ï Mail tubes

Ï Toilet paper rolls Ï Paper towel rolls

When in doubt about whether an object can be used as a soap mold or not, check the container to see if it is dishwasher and/or microwave safe. If it is, this is a good indicator than it can be used. Keep in mind also that a mold with one end larger than the other will release the soap more easily after it is hardened.

If you are using a non-traditional container, it can be challenging to figure out just how much soap to make in order to fill it. Thankfully, there is a relatively easy way to find out this



1. Begin by filling a mold with water and dumping the water into a liquid measure.

2 . Measure the amount of water in ounces that the container held and multiply that by 1.8

(the number of cubic inches in an ounce of water).

3 . Multiply this number by .40 to determine how much soap oil you will need to put in the

recipe in order to fill the container.

4. Multiply that by the number of containers you have.

5 . Multiply the amount of soap oils in ounces into the percentages of oil in your recipe. For

example, if you need 38 ounces of soap oils and your recipe calls for 35% olive oil, you will use 13.3 ounces of olive oil in your recipe (38 x .35).

Since you will be using chemicals, lye in particular, the use of safety equipment is crucial to prevent serious injury. The following safety tools are highly recommended:

Ï Safety goggles when using lye Ï Rubber gloves when using lye Ï Apron

Ï Vinegar and milk to neutralize lye spills

Ï Table covering, preferably one that can be thrown away after each use (newspaper,

plastic trash bag, dollar store table cloth)

Most of the materials mentioned in this chapter can be found by going to your local grocery store, hardware store, cooking store, or big box store. If you want to get fancy with your molds, a trip to a craft store such as Ben Franklin’s, A.C. Moore, or Michaels would get you what you need. If you want to save yourself from the hassle of driving to several places, you can purchase what you want very easily from the Internet. Most websites will not only sell equipment but will also sell herbs, oils, spices, fragrances, and packaging. If you are looking to make large amounts of soap, there are websites where you can purchase equipment and ingredients in bulk allowing you to save a considerable amount of money. Here is a short list of some websites where soap making supplies can be obtained for reasonable prices:




Chapter 3 - What goes into soap? – Ingredients, ingredients, ingredients

As you already know, the major ingredients that you will need in order to make soap are fats, oils, and lye. If you want to take your soap up a notch you can add fragrance, color, and/or herbs to make a very luxurious bar.


Fats and oils

Let’s chew the fat first. The fats and oils used in soap are also known as the soap base. The first option is to buy fat from a butcher and render it yourself at home. Rendering is the process of melting the fat and removing any muscle tissue or other impurities so you are left with a smooth material that will not spoil. The rendered fat from swine is called lard. This is a soft, smooth white substance. The rendered fat from sheep or cows is called tallow and is a hard, coarse solid. If you want to render your own fat you will need:

Ï 3-5 pounds of fat that is chopped (small) or ground Ï Large pot Ï Water Ï Salt Ï Sieve or Colander Ï Large bowl Ï Large spoons Ï Potato masher

Once you have all of your ingredients, set them out in a well-ventilated area as rendering fat is a really smelly process. If you have a side burner on your grill, do this outside. The family will thank you. When you are ready to start, follow these steps:

1. Put the small pieces of fat into a big pot and add just enough water to cover it. 2. Add 1 tablespoon of salt for every pound of fat to the pot.

3. Turn the heat on and bring the mixture up to a low boil. 4. Simmer the fat on a low heat for 20-30 minutes.

5 . Use the potato masher to press down the fat and speed up the process a little by

squeezing more oil out.

6 . When you are left with mostly browned meat and gristle in the pot you can turn off the


7 . Caution- you need to be very careful when doing this next step. Take the pot off the

stove and pour the contents of the pan through a colander or sieve and into a large bowl. This is best done in the sink.

8. You will be left with all the solids in your colander and all the liquid in the bowl. 9. Set the solids aside.

10. Peer into the bowl and you will see a layer of water on the bottom and the melted fat on

the top.

1 1 . Cool the liquid to room temperature and then move it into the refrigerator to stay


12. In the morning, take the bowl out. You will see the lard or tallow has formed a white disc

on top of the water.

13. Using a knife or fork, remove this disc and put the pieces into a bowl.

1 4 . Dispose of the rest of the liquid. Keep in mind that it may clog your sink so dumping it

into the compost pile or the backyard is a good idea.


under cool water to make sure it is completely clean.

16. Store the lard or tallow in the freezer until it is soap making time.

If using animal fat does not sound appealing, it is perfectly acceptable to use a vegetable base. This is very common and a variety of vegetable oils and shortenings can be found at the local grocery or natural food store. Commonly used soap bases are olive oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, and coconut oil. Olive oil is known for being gentle and is probably the most popular base. Shea butter is very gentle and ultra moisturizing making it a good choice for soap that will be used by someone with dry skin. Using cocoa butter will add firmness to your soap. Coconut oil will produce a hard soap with lots of bubbles in the lather when it is used. Other, less common, fats and oils are jojba, palm, sunflower, sweet almond, castor, chocolate, avocado, and cottonseed oil.

There is one last thing to be aware of with regard to fats and oils. When you start delving into recipes, you will notice that some will refer to “superfattened” or “supperfattening” soap. This refers to adding additional carrier oil into your mixture. No more than two additional tablespoons are typically added.



The next ingredient that is needed is an alkali. Lye is an alkaline substance also known as caustic soda or sodium hydroxide. It is used for many purposes including oven cleansing, food curing and drain opening. Be careful when working with lye. It is a caustic substance very capable of burning, corroding, or destroying living tissue.

Lye can be purchased at a hardware store. Be sure that what you purchase is 100% sodium hydroxide or caustic soda. You may find it with oven cleaners or drain openers. It comes in several forms including flakes, pellets, microbeads and coarse powder. Any of these can be used in the soap making process however; the safest form is thought to be flakes. If you have hard water at your home, you may want to consider using distilled water when mixing your lye for better results. Use care when using and storing lye as it is poisonous and corrosive.

Important safety note: Lye should be stored in ceramic, stoneware, glass, or heat-resistant plastic containers.



If you are looking to make a really moisturizing soap, there are several ingredients you can add to accomplish this. You may choose to add extra glycerin. Glycerin is a thick liquid that is colorless and odorless. It is naturally produced during the saponification of fats so you will have already created some glycerin in your soap by combining fat and lye. Glycerin is a humectant meaning that it sucks in and absorbs water from the air. This makes it great for keeping the skin moisturized. It is water-soluble and has a low toxicity level.

Shea butter, coconut oil, almond oil, or honey can also be added for extra moisturization. When shopping for shea butter, you will notice that there are two types available- refined and unrefined. Refined shea butter has been processed at high heat with chemicals. During that process, many of the benefits of shea butter are lost. By using an unrefined shea butter, you will be reaping the full benefits from the product. If you choose to use honey, add 1 tablespoon per pound of oil and make sure it is fully mixed in before the trace gets too thick.


Thickeners and hardeners

Depending on the type of soap you are making and the design elements you are going to use to achieve your desired look, you may choose to add a material to thicken your soap or make it harder. There are several choices the first of which is beeswax. This can be purchased at craft stores or stores that sell candle making supplies. Beeswax helps the oils in the soap blend together and become increasingly thick. By creating a thicker base, the soap will stabilize and become harder.

Adding salt will also increase the soap’s hardness, at first. Take note that salt does not increase the hardness of the finished bar, but it does make the bar get harder faster. This allows the soap to be unmolded sooner. Salt should be dissolved in water before you add the lye to it. Use about ½ a teaspoon per pound of oil or fat.


Water alternatives

Although it is most common to mix lye with water when making soap, it is certainly possible to use other liquids. Milk is sometimes used in soap making to make very creamy soap. Cow’s milk, goat’s milk, coconut milk, and even buttermilk can be used. It is used instead of water in the lye solution. A note of caution- Milk reacts differently than water when mixed with lye due to the sugars that are in it. There is a tendency for the milk to scorch as the lye heats up and this could turn the mixture brown and odorous (not in a good way). In order to prevent this from happening, the mixing process can be modified a bit. This procedure can also be followed to substitute tea, coffee, or beer for the water in the soap. It is very important to wear safety goggles and gloves to do this.

1. Start with 1/3rd of the milk in liquid form and the other 2/3rd of the milk in a slushy or frozen


2. Prepare an ice bath in your sink.

3. Add the liquid 1/3rd of the milk to a tall pitcher or bowl. 4. Place the bowl in the icy sink water.

5 . Combine the lye with the milk, adding cold water to the sink to keep the temperatures

down as needed

6 . Slowly add lye to the milk and stir gently. Remember that it is starting to heat up at this


7. Go very, very slowly allowing the mixture to cool down a bit before adding more lye. 8 . Start adding the slushy or frozen milk to the mixture. Be very careful when doing this so

it does not splash.

9 . Keep adding, mixing, and stirring until all the milk and lye has been combined. Do not

be alarmed if the mixture turns a golden amber color. It is going to happen and you will have to incorporate that into your overall soap design when using milk.


Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles

Part of the fun of soap is working up a great lather with tons of bubbles. Two materials, borax and sugar, will help you to accomplish the goal of making very sudsy soap.

Borax will not only help the soap make really great suds, it also works as a disinfectant. You can find borax in stores, usually in the laundry soap section. Generally, one tablespoon of borax is used for each pound of soap base.

Sugar will also increase the amount of lather and bubbles. One way to add sugar to soap is to thoroughly dissolve it in water before adding the lye. Another way to do it is to take a bit of the water you have weighed for use in your lye solution and add ½ to one teaspoon of sugar per pound of oil or fat. Completely dissolve the sugar, using warm water may help with this. Add the solution when your soap is at the trace stage before you add your fragrance. The last method for adding sugar is to make a syrup by combining two cups of sugar with one cup of water and slowly heating the mixture. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Add 1/2 to one teaspoon of this simple syrup to your soap at trace, before adding fragrance. Be aware that adding sugar can increase the temperature of the soap during the gel process so be extra careful when handling.



Herbs and other botanicals are commonly added to soap mixtures in order to give the soap healing properties, color, and/or fragrance. Several of these herbs can be grown in a garden and dried. This is an inexpensive way to get these ingredients and is a great selling point if you are planning on selling the soap that you make. If you have a garden, plant a little section of “soap botanicals” or create a mini indoor garden if you prefer. The following botanicals are easy to grow and are great for using in soap making:

Ï Calendula Ï Comfrey Ï Lavender Ï Mint Ï Basil Ï Rosemary Ï Peppermint Ï Spearmint Ï Lemon grass Ï Chamomile Ï Sage Ï Thyme

When they are ready, pick the botanicals and dry them prior to using in soap. If growing herbs is too much, head over to the grocery store or better yet a natural food store and purchase herbs there. We will talk in more detail about botanicals later on in this book.



Many people like smelly soap. There are lots of options but above all else, make sure to choose additives that are cosmetically safe, meaning that they will not harm skin. The guidelines for skin safe fragrance are overseen by the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials and the International Fragrance Association. When choosing a fragrance for soap, you will need to decide if you are going to use fragrance oils or essential oils. Essential oils are the natural essence of a plant. Essence can come from leaves, flowers, bark, berries, roots, needles, seeds, beans, peels, cones, wood, stalks or other parts of the plant. A plant’s essence is obtained either by distilling or expressing it. One reason essential oils are so expensive is that it can take hundreds of pounds of plant material to make just one pound of essential oil. To make a pound of essential rose oil it takes over 2,000 pounds of rose petals. Be aware that even though essential oils are natural products, they do contain naturally occurring chemicals that are not necessarily safe for the skin. Fragrance oils are artificially created scents. They contain chemicals, some natural plant or animal products, and synthetic fragrance. Synthetic fragrance was invented in the late 1800’s and has become very popular. Both types of fragrance will last about 1 year when stored within a dark glass in a dark, cool room. We will talk about fragrances again in a later chapter.



Color is a very important aspect of making soap look appealing and desirable to use. There are many types of clays, mineral pigments, micahs and spices that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in cosmetics. As with fragrance, you must choose coloring that is skin safe and approved for cosmetics. Some people play around with using crayons and kool aid. Although these are successful in giving your soap color, they are not approved as being safe for your skin. Do not use food colorings, fabric dyes, candle dyes, paints, or crayons

as these have not been approved for cosmetic use. Synthetic colors were discovered in the 19th

century. These colors were called Tar Colors and were used in food and cosmetics. These synthetics were found to be harmful to humans and many of them were banned when the US Congress introduced the Food & Drug Act in 1906. In 1939, synthetic colorings were divided into 3 categories: FD&C colorants which can be used in food, drugs and cosmetics, D&C colorants which are dyes and pigments that are considered safe in drugs and cosmetics, and External D&C Colorants which are not used in food, because they are toxic, but allowed to be used on skin and in cosmetics. Keep in mind that although External D& C colorants are allowed in cosmetics, they may not truly be safe as the skin can absorb toxins from substances applied to it.


Chapter 4 - Basic Techniques in making your soap bar or liquid soap

Alright, you now have all of your equipment and ingredients. It is now time to decide which process of soap making you would like to use. In this chapter, you will learn how each process works and the benefits and drawbacks of each. First, there are a couple things you should know for all techniques.

It is very important that you start by finding a well ventilated area to work in. Once you find, that cover your workspace. You can use towels, a newspaper, or disposable tablecloth. The purpose of this is to protect the area and allow for safe, easy cleanup. Then you need to put on rubber gloves and safety goggles if you are going to be creating a soap that uses lye. You must also have all of your materials ready first. All of the ingredients should be exactly measured and in their appropriate containers before starting to make the soap. Make sure all the ingredients and equipment you will need in later stages is at the ready. If necessary, line your molds. It is also advisable to read your recipe thoroughly before you start. Make sure you understand the procedures you are going to be performing and the ingredients as well as the equipment you will be using.

The rest of this chapter will explain to you a series of processes that can be used to make soap. The cold process, hot process, melt and pour, and re-batching techniques will be covered in-depth. Instructions for how to make liquid soap and whipped soap will also be provided.


The Cold Process

The first commonly used way of making soap is using the cold process. The advantage of the cold process is that there is a very short ‘active’ creation time (about 1 hour). The soap created is typically more smooth and even in texture than that produced using other procedures. Due to the fact that less lye is used in this process compared with the hot processes, this type of soap tends to be gentler on the skin. The disadvantage is that cold processed soaps need to cure for four to six weeks before using so the chemical change can complete.

The first step is to create a water and lye mixture. When choosing your recipe, it will specify how much lye and how much water to combine. A good rule of thumb if your recipe does not indicate a specific amount is to use a 1-part lye, 3-part water ratio. It is very important to measure the lye by weight and preferably measure it into a container that you can close in case you need to pause or your work is interrupted.

Important safety note: When combining add the lye to the water and not water to the lye for safety purposes. If the water is added to lye, there will be a chemical reaction much like putting vinegar and baking soda together. A container that can withstand high temperatures must be used for mixing because the chemical reaction between the lye and the water will cause the mixture to heat to about 200 degrees.

Once the lye has been added to the water, stir continuously until the lye is dissolved or the needed reaction will not occur when you mix this combination with the oil or fat. Once combined, place a thermometer in the container and set it aside.

The second step is to prepare your acid. If you are using a solid fat, melt it to liquid form. Measure your fats or oils into your soap pan using a scale. Mix the ingredients together, put a thermometer in, and set aside.

Now is the time to get both of your mixtures to a temperature of around 95 degrees. This is most easily done by putting the lye container into cold water or an ice bath. You may also choose to warm your fat over the stove or in the microwave at small increments. When they are both the required similar temperature, pour the lye mixture into the fat slowly while stirring. It is important that you don’t stop stirring until you reach the ‘trace’ phase. If you decide to hand mix, you should achieve trace in about 45 minutes. If you use a stick blender, you can reach trace in as little as 2 minutes. When using a stick mixer you do not want to turn it on and let it go to town. Instead, alternate pulses with stirring motions while the mixer is off. You know you have the right consistency, or have reached trace, when you can use your spoon to drizzle some of the substance on top of the rest and it stays there for a bit before sinking. Keep in mind that the time it takes to achieve trace can vary widely depending on temperature, stirring method, and types of fats used.

Once the trace phase has been reached then fragrance, color, and anything else you wanted to add can be mixed in. Combine additives completely and pour into molds. Cover the molds with a lid and wrap in 6-8 towels. No heat should escape as it is needed for the saponification process to complete. Leave them to cure and cool for 18-36 hours.


bar soaps. Place the soaps on a cooling rack. Flip them every 6-8 days. The soap should be fully cured in 4-6 weeks. Surrounding the soap with open air and allowing it to harden and age as the chemical reactions stop completes this curing process.


The Hot Process

Hot process soap is more reminiscent of earlier times and of how soap would likely have been originally made. There are several advantages and disadvantages to this technique. The first advantage is that you add fragrance and color after the saponification process has occurred therefore changing their properties very little. Hot processed soap is often a bit softer making it easier to slice. On the other hand, hot processed soap is not all that easy to mold and getting a smooth top layer is difficult. Also, the process of cooking uses electricity and energy resources not required by the cold process. It is possible to use a stove, double boiler, or Crockpot to create hot processed soap.

As with the cold process, you want to create your lye and water mixture in one container and your liquidized oils and fats in another pot. You do not have to wait until they reach a certain temperature to combine them when using this technique. What you want to see when mixing them together is separation. You hope to see yellowish curds on the bottom, a thick layer of oil in the middle, and white foam on the top. Once you see these layers, put the pot over low heat and stir continuously (either by hand or with mixer). If you do not stir, the solution will boil over onto the stove or counter. This is dangerous and one of the reasons you are wearing safety gear and have materials to clean up lye nearby. Cook the soap until you get bubbles that are about the size of the head of a pi. This should take about 15-25 minutes. Remove the soap from the heat and let it cool until you do not see any bubbles, about 10 minutes. Reheat on low until bubbles return. Cool again till bubbles are gone. Repeat this until no layers are left and the mixture you have is even and uniform. It should remind you of Vaseline. Add fragrance, color and any other desired additives. Pour into your molds. There is no need to insulate your molds as the saponification process has already occurred. Once the soap is cool you can remove it from molds. If needed now is the time to slice the soap. Hot processed soap can cure for as long as you feel necessary. There is discrepancy among soap makers as to whether hot process soap needs to be cured at all while some stand by curing for 4-6 weeks. It is advisable to allow at least some curing time with the soap on cooling racks.


Melt and Pour

The melt and pour technique is very popular with beginners. Using this technique is not actually soap making in the true sense because there is no saponification process. Instead, glycerin is combined with surfactants to make a soap base that can be commercially purchased. Although this process does not require the scientific prowess that other processes do, it allows the soap maker to concentrate on the aesthetics of the soap and the result can smell great and be truly beautiful. One of the major benefits of this technique is being able to avoid the use or harsh chemicals such as lye. This is particularly desirous to soap makers with children or pets who frequently enter the soap making area. Using this technique is a great way to get children involved in soap making. To make melt and pour soap, start by melting your purchased soap base. This can be done in a microwave, Crockpot, or double boiler. Then, add any additives, colors, or fragrances you wish. Now pour the soap into your mold and let it harden. Once it’s hard, take it out of the mold and let it dry on cooling racks for a couple of days before using.



Re-batching, also called the hand milled technique, is the last process of making solid soap that we will talk about. The benefits of this process are saving money and reducing waste from not-so-pretty batches of soap. It is also a way to revive old soap that has lost its scent. Since no raw chemicals are involved, children can help make this type of soap.

The first step in this technique involves making a plain soap using either the hot or cold process. Use soap to which no botanicals, dyes, or fragrances have been added. After the soap is hardened, grate it with a knife or cheese grater reserved for the purpose. Place the grated soap in a small heat proof container to microwave or put it into a mini Crockpot or a double boiler. Add nine ounces of water per twelve ounces of soap and melt it gently and gradually. It is important when using this technique to work with small batches within small containers so the soap does not burn. Do not allow the mixture to boil and be careful not to stir too much because suds and bubbles are likely to develop. Once the soap is melted, let it cool to around 150 degrees. At this point add your botanicals, fragrances, colors, etc. Now it is ready to be poured into molds. Once it is cooled, remove it from the molds. Slice if necessary and place on cooling racks for several days before storing.


Liquid Soap

Some people prefer to have liquid soap for washing hands rather than a solid bar. Liquid soap also has the benefit of being ready to use in about 3 days instead of 3 weeks.

The first way to make liquid soap is to follow the recipe for a simple soap made with the cold process. Follow the instructions according to the recipe you want to use. Make sure it gets well beyond a trace before molding. Instead of curing your soap as directed, it will only sit for about three days then follow these steps:

1. Remove the soap from the mold

2 . Shave, chop, or grate it. Make sure you use gloves for this process as the soap is still


3. Mix 1 cup of the soap pieces with the chosen fragrances, dyes, etc. 4. Put the combination in a double boiler or crock pot with 3 cups of water. 5. Melt the soap gradually while stirring.

6 . Break up any clumps with a plastic whisk or fork. You may find that some pieces do not

melt. If this is the case you will need to strain the mixture later.

7 . Once the soap has melted to a point you think is appropriate, scoop some out and allow

it to cool in a water bath. It should be runny when cooled.

8. If it is too thick, you can add more water.

9. If it is not thick enough, you can add extra soap pieces. 10. Reheat as needed to get the right texture.

11. Once you feel it’s ready, strain the soap into a container.

The other method of making liquid soap involves an oven. The process is similar to making a hot process bar soap except it uses a different type of lye. Instead of using sodium hydroxide, liquid soap uses potassium hydroxide. To make hot process liquid soap, follow this procedure:

1 . Mix your lye-water solution and set it to cool (warning- potassium hydroxide will get

hotter more quickly when mixed with water than sodium hydroxide).

2. Mix your fats and oils.

3 . Blend the lye solution with the oils in an oven-safe pot until it reaches trace. This could

take awhile with liquid soap but you will notice that when trace starts, the soap thickens very quickly

4. Cover the pot with a cover that fits securely. 5. Put the pot in a 180 degree oven.


7. When the soap is fairly clear, remove it from the oven.

8. The paste now needs to be diluted. Bring 40 oz. of distilled water to a boil. 9. Add the water to the soap.

10. Stir it in.

11. Put the lid on the pot and wait about an hour. 12. Stir.

13. Put the lid on overnight and stir again in the morning. 14. Add fragrance and color.

15. Let rest.


Whipped soap

Whipped soap is a fun variation on the cold process of soap making. The result is whimsical soap resembling meringues, clouds, and puffs of whipped cream. To make whipped soap follow these steps:

1 . Find a recipe with a percentage of hard oils (a.k.a. coconut, palm, lard, tallow, palm

kernel, shea butter, cocoa butter, shortening) that is greater than 80%.

2. Weigh out your hard oils and place in a glass mixing bowl. 3. Whip all of the oils with a hand mixer until peaks form. 4. Slowly add the liquid oils.

5. Whip for several minutes to achieve peaks again.

6 . Add the lye-water solution your recipe calls for to the oils a couple tablespoons at a


7. Keep whipping 8. And whip some more

9. Add fragrance keeping in mind that this will decrease your peaks a bit.

1 0 . Depending on the oils used, the soap will be done when it resembles thick yogurt, soft

serve ice cream, whipped butter, cream cheese, or whipped egg whites.

11. Add color.

1 2 . Mold. Whipped soap works best in ‘sliceable’ molds. You can also use the soap to

“frost” or pipe designs onto other prepared soaps as you would a cake or cookie.

13. Whipped soap will take at least 24, if not 36 hours to set. 14. Let it cure for several weeks.


Cleaning up

Now that your soap is made, it is time to clean up. Hopefully you worked in an organized fashion and there were no spills making the cleanup process much easier. When cleaning, remember that lye is now in several places, 2 pots and any tools that you used for mixing. It could also be on your gloves, the thermometer and the scale. It is still unsafe and caustic because it did not have to opportunity to react with a fat and saponify. Raw soap is caustic so be careful while cleaning up. The first step is to deal with the leftover raw soap. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the soap out of your pot and into your molds, the less soap you have in your pot the easier it will be to clean. Now rinse all of your containers and tools. Wipe your pot out with paper towels and dispose of them immediately. It is also possible to use “shop” towels, just leave them out overnight before putting them in the wash so the saponification process from the leftover ingredients will complete and no chemical reactions will occur in the washing machine. Alternatively, you can use a lot of hot water and “real” soap to wash the pot. You could also put all of your tools needing cleaning into the pot, cover it with a lid, and leave it over night. By the next morning the oils and lye that had remained will be soap. Just clean it up in the sink and dry. Do not wash your materials in your dishwasher; the reaction will cause water to spill out onto your floor.


Storing soap

After your soap has cured, an appropriate way to store it must be found. Keep in mind that the shelf life of homemade soap is much less than commercially made soap and becomes even shorter if it is not stored properly. Homemade soap can last about a year when kept in a cool, dry spot. Placing it in an airtight container that is placed in a dark, dry, cool spot is ideal. Once you begin to use your soap, it is important to keep it as dry is possible so that it lasts longer.


Chapter 5 - Adding your dyes, botanicals, essences and fragrances, cutting those shapes

Now that the basic soap mixture has been made, it’s time to get creative with color, fragrance, shapes, botanicals, and designs. The first part of this chapter will talk about fragrance options. We will then move onto coloring and then to botanicals. The chapter will end by outlining some design techniques to experiment with.



Being able to have a great smelling soap is one of the reasons to make your own. The point at which you add your fragrance varies depending on the method you used to make your soap. If the cold process was used, slowly add fragrance once the soap mixture is completely blended, but before it begins to get too thick. You can play around with it but you generally want to add between .5 and .7 ounces of fragrance per pound of fat/oil in the recipe. That’s about 1-4 drops. With the melt and pour technique, fragrance oil should be added to your soap after the soap has been removed from the heat source and has had a chance to cool slightly. Use between .3 and .5 ounces of fragrance per pound of soap. If you add scent when the melted soap is too hot, it may "burn off." If you used the hot process, add the fragrance when the soap is the texture of mashed potatoes, right before it is poured into molds. As a side note, be aware that vanilla fragrances, or blends containing vanilla, are likely to turn your soap brown over time. This is fine but you may want to consider that when choosing colors as you may want to add more browns, reds, or golds.

There are many options for fragrance. Choosing depends on several factors including the user’s skin type, gender, skin sensitivity, and desired benefits. Many fragrances or materials added to provide fragrance have healing qualities and benefits beyond smelling good. Frequently, fragrance is achieved by adding herbs or plants. Essential oils, as they come directly from the plant, can also add their healing properties. Here are several common options and their benefits. Although color will be addressed later in this chapter, when appropriate each description indicates the color that the addition of the botanical will cause the soap to be.

Ï Ginger has a warm, spicy scent. It has antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiseptic

properties. Ginger is thought to be beneficial for improving memory, decreasing muscular pain, and sharpening the senses. Its essence will provide the soap with a pale yellow color. Ginger may cause sensitivity in some people.

Ï Anise has a strong, warm licorice scent. It has antiseptic and insect repelling properties.

Anise is thought to be beneficial for relieving muscular aches and pains, coughs, and colds. It will provide the soap with a pale yellow color.

Ï Fennel and a licorice scent. It is known to brighten dull skin, improve memory, and

balance oily skin. Its essence will provide the soap with a pale yellow color.

Ï Grapefruit has a fresh citrus scent. It is an antiseptic, antitoxic, and astringent. It is good

for relieving acne, oily skin, depression, headaches, and also for toning skin. Its essence will provide the soap with a pale yellow color.

Ï Lemon has a fresh citrus scent. It has antibiotic, antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent,

and bug repelling properties. It is beneficial for treating acne, arthritis, colds, and depression, healing cuts, improving oily skin, reducing wrinkles, and strengthening fingernails. Lemon essence will provide the soap with a pale yellow color. Lemon essence applied to the skin may cause sensitivity to light.

Ï Sweet marjoram has a warm, spicy scent. It has antioxidant, antiseptic, antiviral, and

antibacterial properties. Marjoram helps to relieve anxiety, headaches, bruising, colds, insomnia, and vertigo. Its essence will provide the soap with a pale yellow color.

Ï Oregano has a strong, spicy herbaceous scent. It has antiseptic, antitoxic, antiviral,

bactericidal, fungicidal, and parasitical properties. It can be used to fight infections, relieve itch, and treat athlete’s foot.

Ï Peppermint has a strong minty scent. It antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent, and

insect repelling properties. Peppermint helps to treat acne, dermatitis, eczema, headaches, insect bites, migraines, and mental fatigue. Its essence provides the soap with



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