I get a lot of questions about this, so today we are going to talk about how I make my cold process soaps. I'm going to give you the quick and not-so-dirty version of the process here, and then show you a video of me in the studio making my new Walk in the Woods soap for 2019.
Cold process soap making takes time, creativity, precision and a little elbow grease, especially for those large batches, like the one I am making in the video.
What you need to know
Here are the basics: Cold process soap making uses a combination of a water/lye solution and an oil base. The oils can contain any number of oils as well as butters and other ingredients (I add goat milk). You emulsify the mixture in a process called saponification where the two mixtures combine to become soap.
And now for the quick version. How to do it:
• Formulate a recipe using percentages of ingredients (soapcalc.net)
• Gather ingredients and safety gear like goggles, gloves, an apron and mask
• Measure and melt oils and butters in one container
• Add lye to distilled water in another heat resistant container, stir and allow to cool out of reach of children or pets (and husbands)
• Add the lye/water solution to the oils when a desired temperature is reached for "soaping"
• Stick blend until you reach trace (ask me about this in the comments on the video)
• Add your fragrance oil or EO
• Divide the soap into different containers if you are using different colors
• Pour into a lined mold, let sit for 24 hours and unmold
• Cut and cure for about 4 weeks
The water evaporates while it cures and the lye is not present in the cured soap as it has already undergone a chemical change when it originally combined with the oils and butters.
Soap making is a process and takes research plus a lot of practice until you figure out what you are doing. This isn't a tutorial as there is more to it then these simple steps, but it lets you know the basics.
Here is the video that shows the pouring and design process.
You will also find the soap cutting video there and another that shows the process of making my shea butter creams. Enjoy watching, and be sure to subscribe and comment with any questions or ideas for new soaps:)
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