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Make Homemade Soap Using The Cold Process Method

Mon, Dec 1, 2008


One way to make homemade soap is by using the cold process method. The cold process method is a technique to make soap which does not require an outside heat source to begin saponification, or in other words, the chemical reaction that creates soap. It is the process of making handmade soap from scratch with distilled water, lye, and fats and is considered to be the purest form of soap. It can be formulated to hold essential oils for conditioners and extra fragrances, which is known as superfatting.

When dealing with either the hot or cold process, one commonly used requirement by soap makers is of course a good quality oil. Usually this was in the form of animal fats, such as lard or tallow, both of which make a very nice bar of soap, but more recently, with the trend towards vegetarianism and non animal based products, the use of vegetable oils has become increasingly popular, the favorite oils among soap makers being Olive, Palm and Coconut oil. Below is a list with more soap making oils you can use.

Another important requirement for Cold Process Soap Making is a lye calculator. This will enable you to determine the precise quantity of lye required for a given amount of each type of fat used. I cannot stress enough how important it is to read the instructions and warnings listed on the lye container, in the wrong hands lye can be a very dangerous chemical.

To prevent from having the lye becoming to hot to handle you can either:

1. Use chilled water instead of luke warm water

2. Make the lye solution the day before

If you decide to use option 2, just keep in mind that the lye and fat needs to be a similar temperature about 100 F, so you may then need to re-heat the lye solution. The next step is to carefully combine the lye solution with the fats.

What about if you didn’t want to use water to dissolve the lye? Is there an alternative? The answer is yes, of course! Here are a few alternatives you can use to dissolve the lye and create more unique and decorative soaps that you can give away as gifts or even sell and build a business:

1. Milk

2. Any Herbal Infusion

3. Vegetable Juices

4. Fruit Juices

As a cautionary measure, soap makers typically add up to 10% extra oil to prevent extra lye from remaining in the soap. Then, in 30 days, the lye will have completely combined with the oils and the result will be good quality homemade soap. In a finished soap, all the oils are saponified and no longer contain any lye, only soap and glycerin.

Here’s a list of commonly used oils for soap making. The first two are the most widely used. 3 through 6 are the best to use:

1. Coconut oil

2. Palm oil

3. Olive Oil

4. Almond Oil

5. Canola Oil

6. Sesame Oils

So….Why use natural soap? How does handmade natural soap differ from the commercially soap? A bar of handmade natural soap is kind to skin, natural, and versatile, you can even wash your hair with it. If you make homemade soap is it tends to be fresh and contain more natural elements.

Adding natural herbs with a combination of natural fruit juices and vegatable juices really gives your soaps a uniqueness. A natural glycerin is formed from the cold process method that is much less drying to the skin. Use soap that is hand made with all natural ingredients and natural oils and your skin will thank you for it.

The cold process method of making handmade soap is often avoided and ignored by most soap makers because of the potential dangers of handling lye. As long as the proper precautions are taken there is little risk and the resulting soap that is created is unique and delightful and can be offered for sale or can be given away as really nice gifts.

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