Monday, July 5, 2010

Soap Making 101: Cold Process Soaps

When I make soap here at the homestead, I use the cold process method. Cold process (CP) soap is made up of 3 things, a liquid, a combination of fats and lye. CP soap may sound intimidating to make but it truly is easy and fun if you take your time and do it safely. There are tons and tons of resources on the internet for CP recipes or you can invent your own. When making up your own soap recipe it is important to first looks up the sponification value of the fats being used on a sponification chart. You can then use that to calculate the appropriate amount of lye needed in the recipe. Too much lye in the soap, that is left unreacted, will result in a very high pH and can burn or irritate your skin. If too little lye is added then the soap ends up greasy. That's why you always see that "superfatted" % in the descriptions of soap. You want to superfat your soap to somewhere between 4 and 10 percent. That is going to ensure a safe and moisturizing bar of soap! If you're just starting out making soap then it's best to go with a trusted recipe before venturing out and creating your own.
Lye is dissolved in liquid, fats are melted down, the two are combined and mixed and then after weeks of waiting your soap is ready. Sound easy? It really is. This week well look at the supplies you'll need and the resources to obtain them. Plus a couple recipes to try!
I hope that you enjoy this month's look at soap making!


Unknown said...

I can't wait to get started! Okay, I confess I have actually done this once before, but I want to try your recipe and see how others do it.

Beautifully Veiled said...

When it comes to soap, I'm a chicken. I've had books for 15 years, look through them every once in a while, then get scared again.... So, I'm looking forward to your posts! Maybe I'll get over my lye fear and follow your directions and live to tell about it!!!

Mountain Home Quilts said...

This will be a good refresher course then! :)

You CAN do it!!! I promise, I'll make it easy! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh fun fun! I'm interested...I hope I remember to check's a busy there's no way I'll even try it now...but I would love too!!!

Carissa said...

I look forward to these posts on making cold process soaps!!! I would love to give it a try!

Anonymous said...

I really want to try making plain, natural soap for myself and my family, so I'm reading your posts with great interest!

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