DIY Cold Process Soapmaking
Let’s get down to business!
Repeat this process for all oils and fats in your recipe. I usually start with the solids first so I am adding the liquids to the pot last. Stir the oils until they are completely melted, then remove from heat.
Begin stirring with the stick blender on low. As the lye and oil begins to incorporate, you can switch the blender to high. Stir well, moving the blender all over the bottom of the pot and up through the soap mixture.
You will continue to stir until you reach what is known as trace. When the soap has reached trace, it will sort of look like cream of wheat or a custard. When you pull the blender through the soap, it should leave a line following it, and if you pull some of the soap up then drop it on the surface of the soap, the soap should be able to support that drop. Should you not reach trace, within 15 minutes, you can rest for about 15 minutes, then start mixing again. Some oils used in soapmaking are slower to trace. Olive oil, for example, can take a much longer time to trace than other oils unless it is mixed with other oils whose properties promote a quick trace.
Next, cover the mold with cardboard. You may tape the cardboard down onto the molds if you like. Follow this step by placing several towels or a blanket over your covered mold. This helps to insulate your soap so that the saponification process can properly occur. Your soap should then remained covered for 24 hours.
Once your soap has been in the mold for 24 hours, you can then remove the soap from the mold and cut into bars. I generally discount the amount of water used so that my soap can immediately be cut into bars. If once you unmold your soap, however, and find that it is really soft, then you can wait another day or two before unmolding and/or cutting your soap into bars. Once the soap has been removed from the mold, you will then need to allow your soap to cure in order to completely finish the saponification process. This generally takes a period of 2- 3 weeks. If you’re setting your soap to dry on a flat surface, be sure to set it on top of parchment or freezer paper to keep the oils from seeping out of the soap into the surface of your drying space. You can also dry your soaps on a rack. Once the soap has cured you can then package it to share with your friends and family!
Still have questions?
Ready, set, go!
19oz. coconut oil
19oz olive oil
10oz palm oil
16fl oz. distilled water
2oz. – 4oz. fragrance oil of choice or 1oz. – 2oz. essential oil of choice
Bulk organic herbs, undiluted therapeutic quality essential oils, and bulk ingredients for soapmaking. They also carry a nice line of bottles, jars, and containers for packaging.
A natural soapmaking kit for beginners with all the ingredients you need to make your first batch of cold process soap including the lye. The box it comes in doubles as a mold.
Soapmaking Resources & References:
Soap recipe calculator from Summer Bee Meadow.
RJ’s Soapin List Lye Calculator.
Lye Calculator from Majestic Mountain Sage.
Pine Meadows lye calculator.
Enter the oils by percentage number (no percent mark, number only) OR number of ounces, pounds or grams of each oil you wish to use and select Create Recipe.
Recipe writer and lye calculator from Soap Crafters.
Hate math? Now you can easily figure out what percentage of ingredients your recipe contains and easily create changes and re-formulate to suit you! Great for calculating lotions, fragrance and essential oils, etc. And now you can convert units of weight and temperatures too!
This chart is for looking up various fats and oils to see what characteristics they give your soap.
A chart of properties oils will have in your final bar of soap.
This chart may help when formulating blends that are to be used on the face.
In using the Fragrance Calculator, there are two ways to proceed.
Regulations, Guidance, and Resources.
The dictionary defines pH as “A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution calculated as the common logarithm of the reciprocal of the hydrogen ion concentration in moles per cubic decimeter of solution and numerically equal to 7 for neutral solutions. pH increases with increasing alkalinity and decreases with increasing acidity. [potential of hydrogen.]“
Herbal Infusion Techniques for using infusions in soapmaking.
This handbook contains valuable information on FDA’s requirements and policies for safe production and accurate labeling of cosmetics. The material in it has been carefully selected for use in the production and distribution of cosmetic products.
Saponification chart for soapmaking oils.
The following article was inspired by a reader’s question concerning the differences between oxides, micas, ultramarines and colorants and when to use which one.
As a small business owner, you’re faced with all kinds of decisions from what brand of olive oil to use to whether to have a graphic designer design your logo. There are a whole lot of little decisions (name brand labels vs. generic, gel colorants vs. powder pigment) that, taken by themselves, are worth only pennies, or at most, a few dollars. But the cents and dollars add up quickly. This article will put some cold hard financial fact on paper and hopefully, make some of those “tiny” decisions a bit easier for you to make.
Your handcrafted soap becomes more unique and distinctive when stamped with your name or logo. The design for your stamp should be unique and recognizable so your customers will be reminded of you and your great products every time they see the design.
I noticed a lot of people having trouble trying to decide if they want to shrink wrap. Along with that, there is the decision to buy or not to buy a sealer. I hope this short picture site will help in making that decision.
I make laundry soap from soap made from tallow. Tallow is beef fat. Before making tallow soap, you need to render, or purify the tallow.
You’re ready to make a batch of soap and the price of lard at the grocery store sends you home, screaming. Now what? Start calling your local butcher shops and ask for some lard fat (found around the kidneys of a pig). You’re going to need about 10 pounds of this fat to produce what most soap recipes will require, so be prepared to ask for that amount. If you’re lucky enough, you may even get this fine, white fat byproduct for free!
Today’s cold process soap makers have resolved many troubling issues involved with the process of making soaps. Through a long history of practical experience, trial and error, and troubleshooting the problems found in their soap batches, a variety of causes and their cures has been detailed. The list below highlights the major causes of cold process soapmaking problems, and what it generally takes to resolve the issue.
Cold Process Soaps Troubleshooting Chart.
This mold is a basic 3 lb. Mold. The beauty of this box is the fact that the parchment paper fits perfectly in the box and the next day, the soap just pulls out of the box and peels off the soap very easily. (Scroll halfway down the page for instructions.)
This series of pictures will illustrate how we make the liner used to line the wooden soap mold, and how we make the cardboard form used to shape the liner paper.
Herbs and spices for coloring CP (Cold Process) and HP (Hot Process) soap.
If you wish to build your own mold, or have a friend build one for you, download and print the following drawing.
Herbs and botanicals used to color your soap naturally.
A list of popular herbs used for infusions in soap and toiletry making.
This calculator is easy as pie to use! Just enter the size of your batch, and choose the usage rate of the preservative you would like to use. You will then be given the amount of preservative to measure! See? Easy as pie.
Substances generally recognized as safe for use.