You are on page 1of 109

Uploaded by:

Ebooks Chemical Engineering

For More Books, softwares & tutorials Related to Chemical Engineering Join Us @facebook: @facebook: @facebook:


<< If you like this Book, than support the author and BuY it >>

Make Your Own Soap the Easy Way

Your Complete Guide to the Art of Soap Making

Kelly Kohn

PUBLISHED BY: 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 Donts of soap making

Dos Donts Chapter 8 - Trouble shooting in soap making

My My My My My My My My My My My My My My My

soap will not trace! solid soap has turned to liquid! soap has separated in the pot! liquid soap has separated! soap has seized! soap is too thick soap is oily soap soap is sweating soap has orange spots in it! soap has water pockets! soap has oil pockets! soap is dry and brittle! soap is soft and mushy! soap is coated in powder! 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, its 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 1500s, 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 Murphys 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 Ebers 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. nd In the 2 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 Germans 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 countrys 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 soapmaking 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 thats 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 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 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 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 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:

Freezer paper or plastic wrap (not wax paper) to cover your work surface and line the mold if needed 6-8 inch steel knife for cutting soap if you are not using a mold Drying rack to allow your soap to cure Droppers or pipettes to add color and fragrance Rubber spatula to stir Stainless steel spoons to stir Stainless steel whisk to mix Bowls 4-cup glass measure to ensure you are adding the right amount of each ingredient Waterproof digital thermometer preferably made from stainless steel and at least 5 inches long Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle Crockpot (optional) Double boiler (optional) 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 scales 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: Smooth blade cutters Krinkle blade cutter Single bar cutting box Soap edger It also easy to make your own soap cutting box using a mitre box. Here is how:

Gather materials Handsaw Ten 1-inch screws Screwdriver inch by 4-inch poplar wood strips. Buy enough length so you have the length of your miter box times two plus eight inches 1x2 inch wood strips. Buy enough so you have the length of your mitre box times two

plus eight inches. Wooden mitre box 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:

PVC pipe Pringles can Cocoa can Silicone cake molds Candy molds Tupperware Shallow pan (you can cut out individual shapes with cookie cutters) Mini loaf pan

Tin can Box Yogurt containers Fluted ice cream dishes Muffin pan Margarine containers Mail tubes Toilet paper rolls 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

information. 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: Safety goggles when using lye Rubber gloves when using lye Apron Vinegar and milk to neutralize lye spills 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 Franklins, 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

Lets 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: 3-5 pounds of fat that is chopped (small) or ground Large pot Water Salt Sieve or Colander Large bowl Large spoons 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 heat. 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 overnight. 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. 1 5 . If you made tallow, wipe off as much of the loose fat particles on it as you can. Run it

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.

Lye 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 soaps 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 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. Cows milk, goats 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.

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

Botanicals 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:

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

Fragrance 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 plants 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 1800s 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 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 dont 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. Next, remove the soap from the molds. This is the time to cut if you have decided to make

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 its hard, take it out of the mold and let it dry on cooling racks for a couple of days before using.

Re-batching 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 caustic. 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 its 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. 6. Cook for 4-5 hours stirring every 20-30 minutes.

7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

When the soap is fairly clear, remove it from the oven. The paste now needs to be diluted. Bring 40 oz. of distilled water to a boil. Add the water to the soap. Stir it in. Put the lid on the pot and wait about an hour. Stir. Put the lid on overnight and stir again in the morning. Add fragrance and color. Let rest. Store and enjoy.

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 time. 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, its 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.

Scents 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. Thats 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 users 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 athletes foot. 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

a pale yellow scent. This botanical may cause skin sensitivity. Basil has a light, fresh, sweet herbaceous scent. It has antidepressant, antiseptic, antiinflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Basil can fight fatigue, depression, wasp and mosquito bites, and headaches. Its essence will provide the soap with a pale yellow color. Basil may cause skin sensitivity. Clary sage has an earthy scent. It has antiseptic, antidepressant, and aphrodisiac properties. It is beneficial to the treatment of acne, dandruff, depression, excessive perspiration, hair loss, inflamed skin, migraines, fatigue, anxiety, oily skin and varicose veins. It also helps to promote sleep and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Sage essence provides the soap with a golden yellow color. Jasmine has a deep floral scent. It has antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and aphrodisiac qualities. Jasmine helps relieve anxiety, depression, dry skin, and headaches. Its essence will provide the soap with a clear to pale yellow color. Lemon grass has an earthy citrus scent. It has astringent, antiseptic, antifungal, antiinflammatory, antidepressant, antiviral, fungicidal, bactericidal and insect repelling properties. Lemon grass helps to treat oily skin, acne, headaches, athletes foot, and excessive perspiration. Its essence provides the soap with a light yellow color. Myrrh has a rich, earthy scent. It has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, astringent, and sedative properties. Myrrh helps to treat athletes foot, colds, cracked skin, and eczema. It can also sanitize cuts and decrease skin wrinkles. Its essence provides the soap with a dark brown color. Rosemary has a deep herbaceous scent. It is helpful in cell renewal, reducing varicose veins, and stimulating hair growth. It cleans oily hair well. Bergamot has a citrus scent with floral notes. It has antidepressant, antiseptic, deodorizing, and astringent properties. It is used to treat anxiety, depression, stress, fatigue, eczema, psoriasis, acne, insect bites, wounds, ulcers, and herpes. Bergamot essence will provide the soap with a greenish color. Clove has a warm, spicy scent. It has antibiotic, antifungal, antioxidant, antiseptic, parasitic, and aphrodisiac properties. Clove helps to treat acne, athletes foot, bruises, burns, infections, muscle pain, nausea and warts. It can also be used as an insect repellant. Clove essence provides the soap with a golden color. Geranium has a floral scent. It has astringent, antiseptic, antidepressant, antibiotic, and insecticidal properties. Geranium is helpful in treating eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, acne, athletes foot, bruises, burns, depression, lice, and pre-menstrual syndrome. Juniper berry has a fresh pine scent. It has antiseptic and astringent properties. It is helpful in treating acne, clogged pores, eczema, psoriasis, and inflammations. It is frequently used during meditation. Juniper berry essence will provide the soap with a clear to pale yellow color. Lime has a strong citrus scent. It has astringent, antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal and deodorizing properties. Lime is beneficial for treating acne, arthritis, colds, infections, skin irritations, oily skin, and insect bites. It is also known to help strengthen nails. Tea tree Black pepper has a sharp, spicy scent. It has antimicrobial, antitoxic, antiseptic, bactericidal, and aphrodisiac qualities. Black pepper is known to help improve memory and reduce symptoms of colds, flu, and viruses. It can also help alleviate arthritis and other muscle aches and pains. Its essence will provide the soap with a light green color. Eucalyptus has a strong herbaceous scent. It has antibiotic, antifungal, antiseptic, antiparasitic, antiviral, decongestive, deodorizing, and stimulant properties. It is helpful in

soothing bug bites, blisters, burns, rashes, chickenpox, and measles. Eucalyptus words as an insect repellant. It can help relieve nasal congestion, mental exhaustion, and muscle aches. Lavender has a floral scent. It is used to relieve relieving depression, insomnia, headaches, nervous tension, and pain. Lavender has disinfecting properties and can help acne, eczema and dandruff. Lavender essence will provide the soap with a light yellow color. Orange has a light citrus scent. It has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, fungicidal, and bactericidal properties. It is used to treat anxiety, oily skin, tension, and stress. Orange essence provides the soap with a light orange color. It can cause skin sensitivity in some. Patchouli has a warm earth scent. It has antibiotic, antidepressant, anti-infectious, antiinflammatory, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, aphrodisiac, astringent, bactericidal and deodorizing properties. Patchouli can help to treat acne, anxiety, athletes foot, bacterial infections, cracked and chapped skin, dandruff, depression, dermatitis, dry skin, eczema, and fungal infections. Its essence provides the soap with a golden brown color. Pine has a strong evergreen scent. It has antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, fungicidal and deodorizing properties. Pine is used to treat excessive perspiration, eczema, psoriasis, lice, fleas and mental fatigue. Its essence provides the soap with a pale yellow color. It can cause skin sensitivity for some people. Sandalwood has a sweet, woodsy scent. It has antibacterial, antidepressant, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, emollient, fungicidal, insecticidal and sedative properties. Sandalwood is beneficial for treating acne, anxiety, cracked and chapped skin, depression, dry skin, impotence, insomnia, nervous tension, scarring and stress. Its essence provides the soap with an orange-brown color. Ylang ylang has an earthy, spicy scent. It used for treating acne, insect bites, insomnia, and depression. Ylang ylang essence provides the soap with a pale yellow to golden color. It can cause sensitivity for some people. If you are having trouble deciding on a single scent to use, feel free to stop stressing and blend several scents together. You will want to select at least 3 scents; a top note, middle note, and base note. The top note will be that first light scent that you detect but quickly fades. The middle note forms the majority of the scent and is the strongest and longest lasting scent. The base note is rich and heavy, it will be the last scent detected but will linger. If this seems like too much for you, consider purchasing an already made fragrance blends. They are easily found and reasonably priced.


Color is a very important aspect of making our soap look appealing and desirable to use. Synthetic colors have the advantage of providing very vibrant colors. FD & C colorants are very widely used synthetically products. They come in a wide variety of colors, named by numbers, and can be purchased in powder and liquid forms. They have the advantage of being inexpensive and are great for use in melt and pour soaps. FD and C colorings do not work as well in cold process soaps as they tend to be unstable and bleed. Using dyes will give your soap a lighter, transparent color. Another form of coloring to choose from is pigment. These have been manufactured in laboratories since the 1970s. Although once created naturally, the vast majority of pigments on the market today are synthetic because of guidelines the Federal Food and Drug Administration placed on the safety of these materials. Pigments are inexpensive and work well in all types of soap making processes. They work particularly well for creating swirls, as they do not bleed. Mineral pigments include chromium compounds, ferrocyanides, iron oxides, manganese compounds, titanium dioxide, and ultramarines. Using pigments will give your soap a more intense, full color. Mica colorants will give soap a shimmering effect. Not all micas are stable in cold and hot process soap making so test a small amount before coloring the entire batch. They come in a wide variety of colors. Although mica itself is natural, coloring products usually have synthetic colorants added to them to provide a strong color coating. They are a more expensive to use and require a larger amount per batch. One way to use small amounts of micah is to paint powdered micah onto molded soap for some added texture and shimmer. There are several types of natural colorants including herbs, spices, and clays. See below to get ideas on how to achieve your desired color using herbs and spices.


Turmeric Carrot Unrefined palm oil Cucumber Annatto seeds Calendula Tomato paste Powdered sun-dried tomato Paprika Rosehips and hawthorn Ginger essence Anise essence Fennel essence Grapefruit essence Lemon essence Marjoram essence Peppermint essence Juniper berry essence Lavender essence Orange essence Pine essence Ylang ylang essence Safflower powder Ground chamomile Curry powder Orange juice Pumpkin Saffron petals


Cocoa powder Coffee grounds Nutmeg Cinnamon Alkanet root Myrrh essence Rosehip seeds Vanilla essence Patchouli essence Sandalwood essence Dead sea mud Alkanet Coffee Black walnut hull Ground cloves All spice Elderberries Olive leaf powder Ground pumice


Bentonite clay Pandan leaves Avocado Olive leaf with safflower powder Green stevia with safflower powder Green stevia with hawthorn Rosemary Bergamot essence Black pepper essence Burdock leaf Comfrey leaf Dandelion leaf French green clays Alfalfa Chamomile essential oil Chlorophyll Cucumber Green tea powder Ground henna Kelp Spearmint Spinach Wheat grass juice Wood powder


Dried peppers Paprika Madder root Sandalwood powder Moroccan red clay Beet root Cochineal powder Tree

Purple/Blue Alkanet Azulene Blue cornmeal Indigo root Rattanjot Clays can be added to soap not only for color but for the properties they add to the soap as well. Kaolin is a while clay that adds a silky feel and creaminess to the soap. Rose clay will add a rose color and add a silkiness and absorbency to the finished soap. Rhassoul is a light brown clay that will give you a soap great for absorbing oils and impurities from the users skin. A good rule of thumb is to add about 2 teaspoons of clay per pound of oil. Clays can be added to soap in several ways. It can be dissolved in the lye-water mixture. Alternatively, it can be added to the oil mixture. If you are looking to have the clay be swirled within the bar of soap you can make a slurry out of oil and clay and add that to the mixture. This is accomplished by adding your lye-water mixture to your combined and melted oils. Do not mix too much before removing a cup or 2 of the concoction. Add the clay to the removed lye-oil mixture. Stir the remainder of the lye and oil until it is almost ready to be poured into molds. At this point, add the clay slurry back into the pot to make a swirl. You could also swirl while in the mold depending on your preference. In order to have the small and large mixtures reach trace at the same time you are going to need to work quickly. Once you choose your coloring agent, it is time to determine how much to add. A general rule is to add one tablespoon of a botanical colorant per pound of oils but this can vary. If you are using a dye or pigment, start by adding an ounce of color per of a pound of fat. Some colorings may need to be dissolved or incorporated into the liquid oil before being added to the larger batch. The result of coloring achieved from a particular medium can vary widely from recipe to recip. Colorings are affected by which oils and fats are used, whether or not your soap goes through a gel process, how the dye reacts to lye, and also what fragrances are added. Most colorants are added at trace before molding when using the cold process soap making procedure. When choosing your colorants and preparing to store your colored soap, keep in mind that many colorants are not lightfast. This means that when exposed to light, even artificial light, they will fade. Mineral pigments and micahs tend to be the most lightfast. This is yet another reason to store your soaps in a dark place.

Botanicals Adding botanicals is a great way to increase the color, fragrance, and healing properties of your soap. Botanicals can be added in fresh or dried form. It is important not to incorporate fruits and vegetables that have not be preserved or dehydrated as they will cause your soap to spoil and go rancid very quickly. Herbs can be made into a tea and used as the water in the lye mixture. Botanicals ground into a powder are added when the soap has reach trace. An oil infusion can also be made with the herbs. Fresh flower petals are very pretty in soap. They work best with melt and pour soap. If they are added to cold process soap, they are likely to turn brown or black during the gel phase of the saponification process that occurs during curing. This does not mean you cannot use them; just do not expect them to look like the lovely petals you put in when the product is finished. There is one commonly available flower that will maintain its color after saponification and that is the calendula or pot marigold. If you have grown fresh herbs that you would like to use they need to be dried before being added to soap so the soap does not spoil. One way to accomplish drying is by microwaving. This is the fastest method however, can cause the herbs to lose some healing properties. If this is the method you would like to try, use the following procedure: 1. Place herbs on a piece of paper towel in a single layer. 2. Cover the herbs with two more paper towels. 3. Place in the microwave. 4. Microwave for one minute. 5. Check them. 6. If they are still damp, microwave another minute. 7. You may need to change the paper towels if they are wet or starting to burn. 8. Continue until the herbs are dry. Another way to dry herbs is by bundling. This is accomplished by: 1. Gather the herbs in a small bunch. 2 . Tie the stems with a piece of twine, string, or yarn keeping in mind not to tie so tightly that air cannot circulate within the bundle. 3. Hang the herb bundles flower side down near a shady window. 4. The herbs should be dry in one to two weeks. 5. Store dried herbs in airtight containers away from sunlight. The last common way of drying herbs is using the oven. Here is the procedure: 1. Lay herbs on a cookie sheet in a single layer. 2. Place on top of the stove. 3. Heat your oven up to 200 degrees and turn it off. 4 . Leave your herbs on the stove top, turning the oven on daily for about a week until the herbs are dry. Teas are an attractive way to add fragrance and health benefits to soap. There are two methods of incorporating tea into soap: steeping and bleeding. To steep tea, the tea bag is soaked in hot water for 2-5 minutes. This technique will lessen the amount of discoloration of your soap base when the tea is added. It is also used frequently when the herb or tealeaves are intended to add exfoliating properties. Not only can you add the solids, you can add a bit of the water the tea was steeped in as well. Bleeding is the method that is chosen when the botanicals are being added for healing qualities or aroma therapy. In this method, the fresh or dried teas and herbs are added directly to the heated soap base. This brings out the botanicals color, scent, and healing qualities.

If you want to include ingredients that will give the soap exfoliating powers consider adding: Coffee grounds Eucalyptus leaves Lavender buds Loofah Oatmeal Patchouli Poppy seeds Corn meal Ground almonds It may be beneficial to add vitamin E to the soap when using any sort of dry additive. This will add moisture and decrease the amount of browning or oxidation that occurs. Capsules of vitamin E can be found with other vitamins at the pharmacy. Add 4-6 capsules per 4 ounces of soap.


There are several ways to get fancy with the look of your soap. One way to do this is to swirl colors together in the mold. A very easy swirl can be achieved by following these steps: 1. Ladle -1 cup of soap into a measuring cup. 2. Add colorant to the removed soap and incorporate well. 3. Holding the cup several inches above the pot, pour your soap into one corner. 4. Using a rubber spatula, swirl the colored soap through the pot. 5 . Resist the urge to stir too much as you will lose the swirl effect and end up coloring the entire pot of soap. 6. Mold and cure as usual. Another basic swirling method is the spoon swirl. This is achieved through this process: 1. Create your soap using the cold method. 2. Divide the soap up after reaching a light trace and color each division different colors. 3. Using a spoon, add the color into the soap mold alternating colors until the mold is filled. 4. Let harden and cure as usual. Here is a more complex swirling procedure: 1 . While your oils and lye mixtures are lying in wait, prepare your colorants. Use a separate bowl or cup for each color. Put the pigment or micah into a container and add a couple tablespoons of oil or water depending on the instructions for the particular color you are using. 2. Mix well, no clumps. 3. Mix your lye and oils and combine. You are not looking to achieve a trace yet. 4. Pour about 1 cup of soap into each colors container. 5. Mix each very well. 6. If you want a white background for your swirl you can add titanium dioxide to the mixture remaining in the pan. If you do not do this your background will be more ivory. 7. Add fragrance to your non-pigmented soap. 8. Put some of the white or ivory (we will call it white from now on) soap into the mold. 9. Add a bit of each one of the colors. 10. Add more while. 1 1 . Alternate drizzling colors and white soap until you are left with about 1/3 of the white soap. 12. Pour the remaining white soap into the mold and add the remaining colors. 1 3 . This can be left alone to achieve a layered swirl or you can swirl more using a small rubber spatula or plastic (no metal with lye) knife. Use the tool in a circular or zig-zag motion to pull the colors through the soap. Keep in mind that you do need to work quickly through this process because you want it done before your trace gets too thick. Another swirl technique is the column swirl method. To make this you will need a slab mold, coloring, and a material to use as columns. Anything that will stand up in the mold and stay there while you pour soap will work. If your columns are round you will create circular swirls. Change the shape of swirls by changing the shape of your columns (star, rectangular, etc). You probably want to choose three or four colors to work with. Once you have your materials, follow these steps:

Make soap as you usually would. You need plenty of time to pour so try to resist the urge to use fragrances or essential oils that will speed up the trace. Mix your soap only to a very light trace. The thickness of your trace will determine how defined your swirls are. The lighter the trace, the more your colors will blend together. 2. Separate the soap into prepared cups of color and blend. 3 . Start by pouring a color over a column. You want to pour enough so that a pool forms underneath. 4 . Choose another color and pour it over a column on top of the first color. You will notice your pool will start to swirl. As you pour your colors you can use a pattern or create more of a variety. 5. Continue the process until all of your soap is in the mold. 6. Remove your columns. 7 . You can use a rubber spatula or plastic fork (remember we dont use metal with lye) to swirl more if you want. 8. Let the soap saponify and set overnight. 9. Remove from the mold and cut. 10. Set them out to cure for about 3 weeks. Stamping is another popular way to add a design element to soap. There are several ways to stamp designs onto soaps. At some specialty stores and online websites, you can purchase stamps particularly designed for soaps. When choosing a stamp keep in mind that stamps without much detail will work best on soaps that are a soft to medium firmness. Stamps with finer details work best on hard soap. To use these: 1 . To keep the soap from sticking to the stamp you can lightly coat the stamp in water or oil. 2. To add color, dip your stamp in soap colorant prior to applying to the soap. 3 . align your stamp onto a soap that has hardened for a day or two, while the outside is firm the inside still has some give to form to the stamp. 4 . Tap the stamp with a hammer making sure to tap all areas paying special attention to the corners and edges. 5. Pull the stamp straight out of the soap. Regular rubber stamps found at a craft supply store can be used along with a dyebased ink pad. To do this: 1. Use the stamp and the permanent dye ink pad to stamp onto a piece of tissue paper. 2. Color in the image with colored pencils if you like. 3. Spray with an acrylic matte varnish. 4. Let it dry. 5. When dry, cut out the image, staying as close to the edge as possible. 6. Position onto your soap 7. Add a light coat of the acrylic varnish that was used previously. 8. Heat some pieces of paraffin in a double boiler until it melts completely. 9. Put on gloves 1 0 . Use a flat paint brush to spread light coats of wax to seal the image. Go 1/8 of an inch past the edge of the tissue when sealing with the wax. 11. Allow to dry completely before storing Another way to stamp a bar of soap involves using an un-mounted rubber stamp. These can be found many places including the dollar store and tend to come in great seasonal designs. Follow this process: 1 . Take your stamp of choice and place it in your chosen mold with the textured design
1 .

facing up. 2. Melt 4 ounces of soap in the microwave. White or other light colors tend to work best. 3. Add fragrance to the colored and melted soap if you desire. 4. Use a small spray bottle to spritz the stamp with rubbing alcohol. 5 . Carefully pour the first layer of soap. An eye dropper can be used to get the soap without overflowing onto the stamp. With this first layer you do not want to cover the top of the stamp. 6. Allow this layer to harden for about five minutes. 7 . Prepare a second color of soap. Make sure it is not too hot- shoot for less than 120 degrees. 8. Spray the hardened soap with rubbing alcohol. 9. Carefully pour the second layer, filling the mold. 10. Allow the soap to harden for four hours at a minimum. 11. Unmold the soap and peel back the rubber stamp. 1 2 . Any soap overhangs can be removed using a dental pick, paring knife, or anything else with a fine point. 13. Allow to harden completely before storing Layering is another easy way to create a cool design. You can layer different colors, different textures (smooth, chunks, flakes, ribbons), or a combination of both. There are also some different designs you can add to your soaps using other soaps. If you grate up bits of different colored soaps, you can add them to a contrasting base right before molding to achieve the look of confetti. Chopping up pieces of soap will give a cobblestone effect. Another really cool thing to do is use a vegetable peeler to make curls of soap. These curls can be imbedded into a soap base. Making soap balls is a great way to use up small amounts of leftover soap. To do this: 1. Grate up your leftover soap. 2 . If it has dried out add a very small amount of liquid to moisten the mix a bit. You can mix and match the colors in your soap balls giving them a speckled or confetti look. 3. Divide the grated soap and form it into oversized, loosely formed balls. 4. Put one hand on top and one hand under the soap ball and squeeze down. Rotate the ball a little and squeeze again. Use gentle but steady pressure. 5 . Once they are the firmness you want them, smooth the edges and allow to cure for a week or two. These balls can be used on their own, or mini balls can be added into another base for a fun decoration. It is also possible to make a checkerboard pattern within the soap. Follow this procedure: 1. Make soap using your favorite technique. 2 . Mold into a square or rectangle and let harden. Do not let it cure; the fresher it is the better this process will work. 3 . Use a knife to cut strips long enough to fit the length of the square mold you will be using. 4 . Once you are done cutting, lay 5 strips (the number you need will depend on how big your mold is but we will use specific numbers so you can get the idea) down with a space in between them. 5. Start another layer putting two strips in the opposite direction. 6. The next layer will go in the same direction as with the first 4 strips. 7. Place 2 strips the opposite way on the next layer. 8. You will repeat this process to fill your mold with a grid pattern.

Place the mold in a warm oven to meld the strips together just a little bit. 1 0 . Make soap base using the cold process with a contrasting color, bringing it to a thin trace. 1 1 . Pour the lightly traced soap into the mold very carefully as not to disturb the grid pattern that you made. 1 2 . After poring, gently tap the mold against your work surface to remove any air bubbles. The newly poured soap should have filled in the gaps in your grid pattern. 13. Insulate as normal. 1 4 . After it hardens, remove from the mold and slice your soap in order to show off the pattern. One really unique soap design is felted soap. If you are familiar with knitting and wool, you have likely heard of felting. Felting soaps makes for a unique looking bar that has great exfoliating properties from the wool. To felt soap you will need several pieces of soap of varying shapes. This is a great way to use up batches of soap that you didnt find very pleasing to the eye. You will need 100% wool roving. In terms of equipment, you will need a towel, a washboard or sushi mat, old pantyhose, liquid soap, and a drying rack. Follow these steps to create felted soap: 1. Start by smoothing out the edges of your soap pieces. 2. Pull off a section of the wool and wrap it around the soap in one direction. 3. Choose another section of wood and wrap it in the opposite direction. 4 . Place the covered soap in the foot-part of the panty hose that has been cut off at the knee. 5. Get the panty hose wet by placing it under warm-hot running water. 6. Squeeze some liquid soap over it to start the felting process. 7. Rub the soap on the washboard or sushi mat making sure to get all sides. This creates friction and allows the wool to felt. 8. Keep rubbing the soap stopping every once and awhile to rinse it under water. 9. After a few minutes, take the soap out of the stocking and see what you have. 10. At this point you could add more wool to make it thicker or add different colors if it strikes your fancy. 1 1 . Put the soap back in the stocking and repeat the felting procedure until the wool is all matted down onto the soap. 12. Remove the soap from the stocking. 13. Rinse it in cool water 14. Blot dry with a towel. 15. Place the soap on the drying rack and let it dry overnight. It will be ready to use the next day.

Chapter 6 - Easy and simple soap recipes It is now time for you to get started and actually make some soap. In this chapter you will find several recipes from a variety of different sources. By trying these recipes you will gain experience with the melt and pour, re-batching, cold, and hot processes of soap making. There are also recipes for liquid soap. Why not try them all out and see which process you prefer? The results from these recipes will be very different so you will end up with a variety of soaps to try and possibly give as gifts.

Basic Oil Soap Recipe from This recipe will give you a basic soap with a gentle, bubbly, lather. The finished soap has a nice, hard texture. Use the following ingredients and the cold process method to create this recipe. 6.5 oz. palm oil 6.5 oz. coconut oil 7.5 oz. olive oil 1.3 oz. castor oil 8 oz. water 3.1 oz. lye 1 oz. of fragrance oil or essential oil blend

Grocery Store Soap Recipe from If you are looking for a basic soap with easy to find components, this is the recipe for you. All of the ingredients for this soap can be easily found at most grocery stores with a pharmacy (for the coconut oil). Use the following ingredients and the cold process method to create this recipe. 11 oz. olive oil 5 oz. canola oil 8 oz. Crisco 8 oz. coconut oil 1.4 oz. fragrance oil 11 oz. water 4.5 oz. lye

Vanilla Kitchen Soap Recipe from, Rebecca D. Dillon Not only is this soap ultra-moisturizing, it is great for destroying strong kitchen odors like garlic and onions from hands. Use the following ingredients and the cold process for making soap.

28 oz. olive oil 16 oz. Palm oil 16 oz. coconut oil 4 oz. cocoa butter 26 oz. triple strength brewed coffee, chilled 9.1 oz. lye

1 oz. vanilla fragrance oil

Oatmeal Melt and Pour Soap Recipe from The oatmeal gives this easy to make, super luxurious soap exfoliating properties that cannot easily be beat. Use the following ingredients and the melt and pour technique to make this soap. 8 oz. white or opaque melt and pour soap base 8 oz. clear melt and pour soap base 1/2 oz. ground oatmeal 1/2 oz. oatmeal, milk, honey fragrance oil

Moisturizing soap Recipe from If moisture and a smooth texture is what you desire, look no further than this basic recipe. Use the following ingredients and the cold process for making soap. 4 oz. Avocado Oil 8 oz. Coconut Oil 1 oz. Jojoba Oil 16 oz. Olive Oil 8 oz. Palm Oil 4 oz. Shea Butter 11 15 oz. water 5.6 oz. lye

Soap for acne- prone skin Recipe from The Everything Soapmaking Book 2nd edition This soap is perfect for someone who has sensitive skin plagued by oil and breakouts. Use the following ingredients and the hot process for making soap. 11 oz. olive oil 5 oz. coconut oil 6 oz. water 1 tablespoon hibiscus tea blend 2.25 oz. lye 1 tablespoon bentonite or kaolin clay 1/2 oz. castor oil 6 drops tea tree essential oil 6 drops lavender essential oil 6 drops rosemary essential oil

Vegetarian Soap Recipe from To fill the vegetarian niches on your gift-giving list try out this recipe. This base provides a great start for a soap that can accept some great design elements. Use the following ingredients and the cold process for making soap. 42 oz. vegetable or olive oil 30 oz. coconut oil 28 oz. vegetable shortening 6 oz. cocoa butter 3 oz. castor oil 14 oz. lye 41 oz. water

Melt and pour loofah soap Recipe from This creative and visually interesting soap is molded in a PVC pipe. The loofah is rolled and pushed down into the mold. Then the soap is poured in. Once hardened, the mold is removed and the soap sliced into circles that will be swirled with loofah. Use the following ingredients and the melt and pour technique for making soap. 4 lbs. of clear melt and pour soap base 12 piece of clean, dry loofah Desired fragrance Desired color

Rosemary Mint Handmade Soap Recipe from This is a great, herbaceous smelling soap lovely for hand washing use in the kitchen. Use the following ingredients and the hot process for making soap. This recipe lends itself well for crockpot preparation. 38 oz. olive oil 14.4 oz. palm kernel oil 11.6 oz. palm oil 8.7 oz. sodium hydroxide 17.5 oz. distilled water 3 oz. rosemary mint blend essential oils 2 teabags of Organic Peppermint tea

Mango and Shea Butter soap Recipe from This bright-scented, moisturizing soap has a very rich lather. This would be a great gift for someone who loves tropical scented products. Use the following ingredients and the cold process for making soap. 8 oz. olive oil 6.5 oz. coconut oil 5.75 oz. palm oil 4.8 oz. mango butter 3.8 oz. shea butter 3.2 oz. castor oil Mango scented fragrance oil Orange coloring

Lavender Soap Recipe from This recipe results in a very pretty, simple soap perfect for a housewarming gift. Use the following ingredients and the hot process for making soap. 10 oz. palm oil 10 oz. coconut oil 6 oz. olive oil 4 oz. rice bran oil 2 oz. castor oil 10 oz. water 4.57 oz. lye .6 oz. sodium lactate (added to lye mixture) 1 oz. lavender fragrance oil Purple color swirled in (optional) Lavender buds to scatter on top of the soap (optional)

Apple Spice Soap Recipe from This is the perfect soap to make in the fall and will fill your house with wonderful, warm, smells while cooking. Use the following ingredients and the hot process for making soap. 18 oz. canola oil 8 oz. coconut oil 18 oz. olive oil 12 oz. water 6 oz. lye 1 Tbsp. apple pie spice 1 Tbsp. tumerica 2 Tbsp. apple fragrance

Aloe Soap Balls Recipe from A nice change from bar soap, these soap balls are fun and very soothing to the skin. Use the following ingredients and the re-batching technique for soap making. 4 oz. olive oil based soap 2 Tbsp. aloe vera gel 1 1/3 Tbsp. rosewater 30 drops evening primrose oil 6 drops tangerine fragrance 4 drops juniper berry fragrance

Good Morning Scrub Bar Recipe from A great wake-up scrub can be obtained by whipping up this recipe. Plus, it smells like breakfast! Mix the goats milk, yogurt, water, and honey prior to combining with the lye and adding to the mixture of fats. Use the following ingredients and the hot process for soap making. 22 oz. shortening 16 oz. lard 11 oz. olive oil 12 oz. coconut oil 6 oz. castor oil 4 oz. butter 11.8 oz. lye 12 oz. can of frozen goats milk 6 oz. plain yogurt 12 oz. water 4 Tbsp. honey 4 Tbsp. ground coffee 2 Tbsp. rolled oats 2 Tbsp. steel cut oats 2 Tbsp. cornmeal 2 Tbsp. sea salt 2 Tbsp. grapefruit peel 1 Tsp. cinnamon 2-3 Tbsp. combined of grapefruit, vanilla, and blackberry fragrances.

Tea Tree and Kelp Soap Recipe from This is the soap to use if looking for a soap to heal and detoxify the skin. The addition of flax seed adds exfoliating properties. Use the following ingredients and the melt and pour process. Ingredients: 1 lb. melt and pour soap base 2 Tbsp. kelp powder 2 Tbsp. flax seed meal 15-20 drops tea tree essential oil.

Dog Soap Recipe from This soap is great for pets and humans alike who need an antibacterial cleanser with insectrepelling properties. It would be fun to put these in a slab mold and cut out with a bone shaped cookie cutter. Use the following ingredients and the melt and pour process. Melt and pour soap base (your choice of color) Tea tree oil Peppermint oil

Orange Julius Soap Recipe from by Sue Traudt A soap that smells so delicious you will just want to eat it. Please- resist the urge! Use the following ingredients and the melt and pour technique. 2 cups clear melt and pour soap base 2 tsps. honey 1 tsp. almond oil 1 tsp. French white clay powder tsp. orange fragrance tsp. vanilla fragrance

Berry Mint Foot Soap Recipe from This berry mint foot soap has a relaxing, rejuvenating scent and has great exfoliating properties due to the presence of berry seeds. Great to make and have on hand for a Sunday night pedicure. Use the following ingredients and the melt and pour technique. 9 oz. melt and pour base tsp. vitamin E oil tsp. dried raspberry seeds tsp. dried blueberry seeds Raspberry fragrance Blueberry fragrance Peppermint fragrance

Mint Refresher Liquid Soap Recipe from Try your hand at making liquid soap using this recipe. The scent will provide an instant pickme-up every time it is used. Use the following ingredients and the process for making liquid soap. Ingredients: cup grated glycerin soap 5 cups water tablespoon vegetable glycerin 2 capsules vitamin E 25 drops of peppermint essential oil 15 drops of orange essential oil 5 drops of lemongrass essential oil 1 drop of rose essential oil 1 drop of ylang ylang essential oil After trying out several of these recipes you may feel like enough of a pro create your own. That is certainly possible and one of the joys of making your own handmade soap. The last part of this chapter will give you additional information you may need to create your own recipe. As you know, your recipe will need an oil or fat. The oil you choose will be based upon what qualities you would like to have in your finished soap. Here is a brief run-down of desired qualities and the fats and oils that can help to achieve that: 1. Hard and long-lasting Palm oil Tallow Lard Shea butter 2. Lathering Coconut oil Castor oil Palm kernel oil 3. Moisturizing and conditioning Olive oil Canola oil Sunflower oil Soybean oil Tallow Corn oil Cottonseed oil Macadamia nut oil 4. Luxuriating, ultra-moisturizing Cocoa butter Shea butter Almond oil Hemp oil Jojoba oil Apricot kernel oil Wheatgerm oil

Superfatting oils or oils to be used in small amounts Almond oil- Low lather, moisturizing Avocado oil- Heavy, moisturizing Babussu oil- Good lather, heavy Grapeseed oil- Lightweight, moisturizing Hazelnut oil- Moisturizing Hemp seed oil- Creamy lather, light Jojoba oil- Highly absorbent, moisturizing, nice lather Kukui nut oil- Moisturizing, creamy lather Pumpkin seed oil- Nourishing, rich A balanced soap recipe will contain a blend of oils representing the hard, lathering, and moisturizing categories. Once you have decided on your oil blends, use a lye calculator (purchased or found on-line) to determine how much lye and water to use in your recipe. By doing this you will have your own, basic, soap recipe. Congratulations!

Chapter 7 - The Dos and Donts of soap making

This chapter is going to provide you with a mishmash of tips and tricks- or dos and dontsthat will help you to create beautiful soap in way to stay safe and error-free. You will find tips that either did not fit in another spot in this book or that bear repeating because of their importance.

Dos Keep your workspace organized. This helps to remain safe and error free Make soap in a well ventilated area Line molds with plastic wrap if metal Line molds with a light coat of vegetable oil applied with a mister to help with removal of the soap 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 equipment you will be using Measure lye by weight Measure lye into a container that you can close in case you need to pause or your work is interrupted Keep your soap as dry is possible when using so that it lasts longer. Involve children when making melt and pour or re-batching soap Add lye to water not water to lye store lye in a container that is well marked Wear a long-sleeved shirt, rubber gloves, and safety glasses to protect yourself in case of splashes or spills Use tools dedicated for soap making Take off all your jewelry before beginning When working with lye, keep vinegar and milk in the area. Spills and skin contact can be neutralized with vinegar and milk can be used to rinse the eyes if lye has been splashed into them. Use stainless steel or plastic containers that can withstand high heat Use two hands when carrying lye, one on the side and one on the bottom Make sure all of your tools have been collected and ingredients poured before you begin mixing anything. Cover your workspace with newspaper, towels, or a tablecloth. Have rags or paper towels handy to wipe up spills Measure carefully Smother any flare ups from fat or oil, do not use water Combine clear and white soap base to create a translucent melt and pour soap Use rubbing alcohol to remove air bubbles or wrinkles on the surface of your soap Apply even pressure on the back of the mold to remove the soap Put your mold in the freezer for 10-15 minutes if the soap does not pop out easily Wrap finished soap in plastic wrap or vacuum seal it to keep it fresh Keep your curing soap away from animals and children. The lye is still corrosive during this process Let your soap age Use lint free toweling to insulate your cold processed soap Find wholesalers to purchase ingredients if you are making lots of soap Be patient Change heat settings in very small increments Use scent sparingly Go slowly Have access to running water in order to flush spills or rinse after skin/eye contact Before each use check the accuracy of your scale by weighing something that you absolutely know that weight of. One option would be a canned good that has the weight

written right on the label. Easy! Make sure your lye and oil mixtures are the same temperature when you combine them using the cold process Use distilled water, particularly if you have hard water at your home Choose molds that can withstand high heat Make sure the open end of your mold is larger than the rest unless you plan on cutting your mold in order to remove the soap Use a rasp or file to clean up the edges of finished soap or get rid of imperfections Use a vegetable peeler to make soap curls to add to other soaps for decoration Use a vegetable peeler to round the edge of a soap bar Use your wet finger as a first step in rubbing off imperfections Make sure that your coloring or fragrance is not a common allergen Make sure that your coloring or fragrance is not known to be irritating to the skin Make sure your coloring has a nice fragrance or one that will not overpower your fragrance of choice.

Donts Leave anything heating on your stove unattended. Rush Keep lye anywhere where children and pets could access it. . Use hard water when soap making Assume that lye will have the same reaction to another liquid as it does to water Use a pan spray, such as Pam, to prepare your molds Use aluminum tools with lye Put lye into aluminum, brass, or bronze containers. Use fresh fruits or vegetables Use tools that have been used for soap making for cooking or any other project Use water for any flare ups of fat or oil Be careless when measuring. Accuracy and precision are the key to being safe and creating soap successfully. Make soap on a humid day, soap will not dry correctly. Eat or drink anything in the soap making environment. Move molds until soap has set. If you do, wrinkles may appear on the surface of your soap Wash your materials in the dishwasher Heat your soap past boiling Stir too much when additives are put in. This can cause air bubbles.

Chapter 8 - Trouble shooting in soap making

While you are learning to make soap there are going to be some challenges along the way. Think of yourself as a scientist experimenting with different techniques, ingredients, colors, and fragrances. And the great thing is, you can almost always save a batch of soap that isnt coming out right for whatever reason. In this chapter, we will take a look at some common problems, what may have caused them, and how to fix it.

My soap will not trace! So you have been stirring, and stirring, and stirring, and stirring. Still no trace. This can be happening for several reasons. There may not be enough lye in the soap to start the saponification process. There may be too much water to start the saponification process. The temperature of the mixture could be too high or too low. To fix this, first check your recipe and be sure the correct amounts of water, lye, oils were added. Check your temperatures and see if that could be a contributing factor. If everything looks good with those things, try using a stick blender if you havent already. Over the course of 3 hours, stir for 5 minutes, rest for fifteen minutes and repeat. Even if it shows no sign of thickening, pour it into molds after 3 hours and let it set for twenty four hours. If it hasnt hardened, discard the soap.

My solid soap has turned to liquid! You may also get to the point where you have trace and you mold your soap to have it turn back into liquid. This probably means that you had a false trace due to your mixing strategy or heat level. Simply reheat and stir until you get a real trace and re-mold. If you notice streaking in the bowl its likely that the heat was too low. Turn up just a bit and if it traces, pour it quickly into molds.

My soap has separated in the pot! Another thing that can happen is your mixture can separate and get the appearance of rice in your pot. This is usually a problem with the fragrance oil so make sure what you are using is appropriate for soap making. You can make adjustments as needed but make sure to check your recipe and make sure your scale is accurate. To test scale accuracy I use a canned good that has the weight on it and make sure the label matches the scale.

My liquid soap has separated! When making liquid soap, it is pretty common to see separation, or a white, gooey layer on the top of the soap. In order to get a clear soap, it must be neutralized. Follow this process to achieve neutralization: 1. Mix 6 ounces of boiling water with 3 ounces of borax. 2. Stir very well and keep the neutralizing mixture hot. 3. Add of an ounce of the borax solution per pound of liquid soap paste. 4. Reheat the soap paste. 5. Add the neutralizer to the soap paste and stir well. 6. Let sit for a bit. 7. If the paste is not clear, add another ounce of neutralizer and wait. 8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until the paste has cleared.

My soap has seized! Soap seizing is a very common occurrence during the working to achieving trace part of the process. Soap seizing is when you have achieved a light trace but all of a sudden it becomes super thick and impossible to stir. This is likely to have been caused by the addition of fragrance oils that sped up the trace. To avoid this, you can mix your fragrance with some of your mixture in a separate bowl before adding to the big pot. Also, keeping your mixture around 90 degrees will help to slow saponification.

My soap is too thick There will be times when your soap is too thick and it is hard to get into the mold. This is particularly common when making hot processed soap. Most often this is caused by not having enough water in the mixture. A solution would be to add 5-10% more water than the recipe calls for. This water can be added when mixing the lye solution or can be added to the soap right before molding to thin it out. If you choose to add it at the end, make sure the water is close to the same temperature as the soap. Stir, stir, and stir to fully incorporate. Adding sugar or sodium lactate can also be added to help thin out a mixture.

My soap is oily soap Sometimes, you will notice that a layer of oil appears on the top of cooling soap. To fix this you first want to tip your mold over and allow the oil to run off of the soap. Let the mold set like this for several hours. Reheat the soap and melt into liquid form. Stir until trace occurs. Remold the soap, insulate for several days. Remove from insulation and cure. Check your pH. If the pH is still too high, you do not want to use the soap. Start over.

My soap is sweating So your soap came out great, youve removed it from the molds and set it out to cure. And then you notice your soap is sweating! You probably think- I added too much water! The whole batch is going to be ruined! Breathe!! Remember what goes into your soap and what happens during the saponification process. That wonderful, moisturizing glycerin is produced. And, as you know, glycerin is a humectant meaning that it captures all the moisture in the air. So the water you see in droplets on your soap isnt coming from the soap itself, its being sucked out of the air by the glycerin. This sweat is actually a sign of really great quality, moisturizing soap. However, the excess moisture does decrease its shelf-life. What you can do is make sure that you are keeping the soap in as cool and dry a spot as possible. Also, once the soap is fully cured you can either wrap it in plastic or place it in an airtight container to keep it dry. If you are going to be using it soon, you could place it on a soap dish that drains so the excess moisture will drop off the soap instead of puddling up around it.

My soap has orange spots in it! Another heart sinking result is seeing spots in your finished soap. They are usually a yellowish orange color and about the size of pencil erasers. There can be one, there can be many. These spots can be attributed to a number of factors. The oil or fat could be rancid, the humidity could be too high, there could be too much fat, or the combination of oils used was not ideal. Now, although you cant get rid of them, know that these are not affecting how your soap works, just how it looks. There are a couple things that can be done to prevent these spots from appearing. The first is to keep your superfast percentages at 5% or below. Use only fresh oils and fats that have been stored correctly. Use distilled water versus tap water. Canola oil and sunflower oil are known in particular to cause these spots so reducing the amount you use may be beneficial. Letting your soaps cool in a dark, dry spot away from sunlight will also help, or at least couldnt hurt.

My soap has water pockets! Other problems can also be noticed while the soap is in the curing process. You may observe that your soap has watery pockets or bubbles in it. This is likely due to the lye separating from the water as a result of not mixing well or measuring the ingredients accurately. If there are not many bubbles you could continue to cure it and hope that they will evaporate. If there are a lot of them you can use the rebatching method to try again.

My soap has oil pockets! Oily pockets in your soap may also appear. This is almost always the result of the fragrance that was added. You can choose to either continue curing or rebatch with a different type of fragrance or different brand with the same scent.

My soap is dry and brittle! Sometimes soap will become dry and crumbly or brittle and crackly. This is almost always the result of using too much lye. Since this will make a soap that is too high in pH to be safe, you must rebatch and adjust the amount of fat or oil. Be especially sure to test the pH on the finished soap.

My soap is soft and mushy! The opposite problem can also happen; your soap can be soft and mushy. This is often caused by too little mixing and saponfication. It could also mean that too low of a temperature was used. You can rebatch this.

My soap is coated in powder! During curing a powder (ash) sometimes forms on the top and sides of a bar of soap. This is usually the result of inadequate mixing or there was not enough heat retention for the gel phase to happen. To fix this you can use a mold deeper than 1 inch, use a stick blender for mixing, and/or add 1-2 ounces of beeswax to your recipe.

My soap is lighter around the edges! You may also observe that the color of your soap is lighter around the edges. This occurs when the part of the soap around the edge of the mold does not get as hot and doesnt gel completely. This can be fixed by allowing the soap to fully gel before unwrapping and warming your mold slightly if it is wood.

My fragrance has disappeared! It can be very frustrating when you work so hard to develop a fragrance blend and have it fade and be virtually undetectable by the time the soap has cured. There are a couple things that can be done to decrease the chances that this will happen. Firstly, try the fragrance in a small amount of the batch of soap and see if it lasts. Some fragrances just arent stable enough to last in soaps, particularly when cold processed. Secondly, wrap your soaps well. Any soap that is exposed to air for too long will lose its scent. Lastly, your nose may have just become accustomed to the smell of the soap. Ask someone who does not live in your house take a whiff and get their feedback on the scents strength.

When is it necessary to give up and throw away a batch of soap? There are several problems that occur and pose safety hazards. Several of these cannot be fixed and the soap must be thrown out. If you experience the following, it is best to discard the soap: Sour or spoiled smelling soap. This can be caused by too much fat or too little lye in the mixture. Thick layer of oil on top of cured, hardened soap. This was likely due to insufficient stirring, too little lye in the soap, or the mixture being poured into molds too soon. White powder on top of soap during curing. This is a signal that hard water was used and/or the lye was not dissolved properly into the water solution.

Chapter 9 - Selling your beautiful handmade soaps Now that you are an expert soap maker you may be tempted to expand your hobby into a business venture. Good for you! This chapter will point out some things to consider as you are establishing yourself. Starting a soap making business is a relatively inexpensive endeavor. Consider the following when determining just how much your start-up costs will be: Advertising Equipment Ingredients packaging Insurance Licenses Websites Craft fair fees Once you have decided that you can afford to start a home-based soap making business, determine what your goals are and decide on a direction for your business. The best way to start this process is by doing a bit of research. Find out who is selling soap in your area. Is there a ton of competition? Very little? When you discover other soap makers take note of who their customers are and what type of products are they selling. Most soap makers will focus on some aspect of soap making, be it particular ingredients, scents, healing properties, or design elements. Having this information will allow you to fill in holes in the market not covered by other area sellers. Particularly if there is a large amount of competition, it is imperative that you bring something unique to the market in order to be successful. Knowing the competition also allows you to price competitively. It is equally as important to envision who it is you want to buy your soaps. Knowing your audience will help you to design appropriate soaps, choose packaging, and decide where to advertise and sell your product. Identifying your customers allows you to hone in on their needs and customize your product for them. Just like you conducted research to get information about your competition, it is beneficial to research your customers. Find out their likes, dislikes, age, sex, income, where they shop, where they work, if they have kids, what they do in their spare time etc. etc. etc. Use this information to tailor the product to them and determine a marketing plan. Given the information you can answer a variety of questions. For example- Do you want to do fun scents with bright colors to attract teenagers? Are you going to make soap that is extra moisturizing or made for sensitive and acne prone skin to sell to 30 and 40 something? After doing your research, decide what is going to make your soap special. Are you going to use a signature shape, color, or fragrance? Flaunt your use of all natural ingredients? Specialize in vegetable based soaps? Are you going to sell soap exclusively or will you be creating lotions, bath salts, lip glosses or other cosmetic items as well? You want to have a clear idea of whats going to set your soap apart from others and then design your marketing strategy around that. Once you decide what it is that is going to set you apart from others its time to perfect it. Before you go live make sure your recipe is absolutely amazing. Family members and friends are the perfect people to try out your product and give you truly honest feedback. Choose people who are part of the demographic you have chosen to market your soaps to. Have them tell you what qualities of each soap they enjoy. Maybe giving them some sort of checklist or feedback form will help structure the information you want to focus the feedback. Use all the

information you get to makes changes you need and alter how to market your product. Also get their response to color, fragrance, and design. When you give them their trials, wrap it as you would a piece you are planning on selling so you can get feedback on that as well. You will need to make sure to obtain the appropriate licenses for selling your soap. This varies by state and municipality so you will have to do some research for your local area. is a great resource for business starting in the US. You will also need to get a tax certificate. Business liability insurance is also a great idea in case someone develops an allergic reaction to one of your soaps or is burned because of a pH error. You will also want property insurance to cover equipment and supplies in case of fire or other disaster. The next step is to determine how much you should charge for your product. There are many different ways of determining this. One of the most popular and simple is determining how much your ingredients cost, adding in labor and packaging costs, and multiplying by 2.35. This will give you a wholesale cost. To determine your retail cost you will want to multiply the wholesale number by 2. This will give you a 50% gross profit. Based on where you are selling you might want to consider what methods of payments will you accept. As credit cards are becoming ever more popular you may want to consider signing up with a web-based company that will process these for you for a fee. It would be awful to lose a sale because a customer didnt have cash and an ATM wasnt available. An important part of your business is going to be maintaining very accurate financial records. This will help you establish how profitable your business is and track who, when, and how you are selling your soaps successfully. Its also key for your taxes. Establish a separate bank account to simplify and keep personal separate from business.

When starting any business in our modern society you are going to have to use the internet. This is absolutely crucial to being profitable these days. Use a free site such as or to set up your own website and blog. Fill this with information about your products; soap in general, how your soaps can be purchased, fun ways to use it (personal indulgence gifts, wedding shower basket, spa party, new mom basket etc.). If you are attending craft shows, have a calendar that lets people know where you will be so customers can find you at a particular event. In addition to a website, a facebook page for your business will help to get your name out. Once one customer finds you and likes you, all of their friends will see and hopefully check you out. Use your facebook page to again let people know where you can be found and how people can purchase your product. Dont forget to give people a link to your website and other contact information. If you have a smart phone, use the facebook application to check in and update your status while at soap related events. It is important to update your blog/website and facebook page often to keep people in touch with you, thinking about your product and how it will benefit them, and how they can get their greasy little hands on it! Using the internet to actually sell your soaps is a low-cost and relatively easy way to give people quick access to purchasing your product whenever they are thinking about it. And due to your facebook page, website, and other marketing tips they will be thinking about it a lot.

Etsy is a great website where crafters can set up shop. Sign up for an account and start your store. There is a slight fee for this but you can incorporate that into your cost analysis. Ebay is also a way to sell your product. Here are some guidelines for setting up a profitable store: Use excellent photographs in your listing. Provide solid informative and a pleasing description for each item you post. List the ingredients for each soap. Within the seller information section, write a statement as to how you will guarantee seller satisfaction. Clearly list your selling policies, including if you will allow for refunds and exchanges. Take several forms of payment. Set a reasonable and competitive shipping cost as this can be a deciding factor for some customers. Respond to customer questions very quickly. In addition to selling your soaps online there are other places for you to sell at. Craft fairs can be profitable, particularly around the holidays. You can find fairs in your area by calling the local chamber of commerce or attending a craft fair you do know about and find out from vendors what other craft fairs they attend. Your local craft store may also keep a calendar or list of fairs. When deciding whether or not to attend a fair, you need to determine that cost of attendance. Some fair promoters take a straight commission, or percentage of your total sales. This usually varies for $10 to 35% of total sales. This can be of benefit as with soap you will likely have lower sales than those selling big ticket items like custom built furniture or something. Other promoters charge a straight fee, ranging from $10 to $1,500 dollars. Seriously re-think attending an event that charges more than $250. Even if you have great sales- how much soap can your really sell? Still other promoters charge a combination of commission and a straight fee. It can be especially hard to make money at fairs with this structure. Before signing up you also want to know: How many people attend? When determining profitability keep in mind that about 1-3% of the attendees will stop at your booth. How many vendors are expected? In general, the more vendors that will be there, the more customers you will have. How many soapers will be attending? The less competition the better! Has the show grown or become smaller over the past couple of years. How many vendors are returning from previous years? What your travel costs will be. When you do sign up for a show there are several things you want to pack up and bring with you: Soap for cleansing the nose palate Table Table covering About $100 in change Samples Business cards Food and drink Promotional material Signs Order forms Bags Credit card processing tools

Receipt book Wet wipes Tissues Scissors Tape Price tags Farmers markets are a great way to sell and get exposure in the community. It is also a great idea to approach businesses in your area to see if they will carry your product. Try boutiques, bed and breakfasts, local hotels, gift basket companies, health food stores, and day spas. You could also go the way of Tupperware and Mary Kay and do in-home spa parties. There are several ways you can do this but here are some guidelines: Ask your hostess for names and addresses of attendees. Send out invitations to guests that include information about your company and product, the time, date, and location of the show, and information on how to R.S.V.P You want to give each guest a free gift and something extra-special for the hostess. Advertise this on your invitations to encourage guests to attended and book future parties in order to get their gift Keep the time you spend talking about your company and product to the whole group to a minimum. Instead- give people lots of times to ask you questions and try out the products. If you are going to do home parties here are something to bring with you: Folding table Tablecloth Examples of all of your soaps Samples of available scents Catalogs/brochure Order forms Pen Calculator Calendar for scheduling future parties Change for cash sales As you are just starting out, it may be strategic to donate some of your soaps to local charities for raffles and donations. This is a great way to get your product out there and let it be seen. Make sure you include a pamphlet and your business card so you can make a sale off of your donation in the future. Word of mouth is one of the best advertising strategies. When you are thinking of how to package your soaps you have two goals. The first goal is to use a packaging that will protect your soap and keep it looking and working its best. Something that will keep it fresh and dry is ideal. The second goal is to make it attractive and aesthetically pleasing to your desired customers. When looking at this aspect, and just about anything else, keep in mind who your target demographic is and what THEY would like, not just what YOU would like. Lets get more specific about packaging ideas. Ziploc bags and plastic wrap are great for keeping your soap wrapped air-tight and fresh. If you are packaging your soap well in advance, give some serious consideration to using one of those materials. If you will be selling your soap relatively soon after packaging, you do not need to worry so much about protecting your soap for the long term as long as the buyers are educated as to how best to store and care for their purchase.

A basic wax or brown paper wrapping with a sticker label to seal it is simple and attractive. Other options include using: boxes, gift bags, patterned scrapbook paper, gift wrap, and Tissue paper. Selling your soap in a soap dish or wrapped in a wash cloth Cellophane bags Fabrics Mugs Small wood creates Baskets Muslin bags Pots Tins glassware No matter how you decide to wrap your soaps, you need to include a label or some other insert that gives your customer information about the product. This is required by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. According to the law, you are required to label your soap with wording that identifies it as soap, the weight of the product, as well as the name and address of your business. For many consumers, it is important to know exactly what is in the soap. If you are going to provide a list of ingredients, it will be helpful to write it according to the guidelines supplied by the Federal Food and Drug Administration. To do this, list the ingredients from the one with the largest amount in the recipe, to the least. Use the most commonly accepted names for an ingredient, not necessarily a brand name. Many people have sensitivities and allergies even to the most natural of products. You also want to let them know how to care for the product so they will have the most favorable response to it possible. If it is not cared for well and looses efficacy, customers are going to attribute that to the quality of your work. One of the best ways to be successful is to stay on top of what is happening in the industry. A good place to stay up to date, network, and continue learning is to join a group such as The Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild. Their website is . This association can help you gain information not only to improve soap making skills but to improve business skills. There is a spot on their website to advertise and network with other soap makers. They also provide a free web store for products to be sold. It is also a place to buy liability insurance and sign up for credit card processing services.

Conclusion By reading this book, you have learned the basics of making really incredible soap. Apply the information and you will create useful, beautiful pieces of art that can bring joy to many. Best of luck!


Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - The squeaky clean truth about soaps Chapter 2 - Every soap maker should have this Equipment used in making soap Chapter 3 - What goes into soap? Ingredients, ingredients, ingredients Chapter 4 - Basic Techniques in making your soap bar or liquid soap Chapter 5 - Adding your dyes, botanicals, essences and fragrances, cutting those shapes Chapter 6 - Easy and simple soap recipes Chapter 7 - The Dos and Donts of soap making Chapter 8 - Trouble shooting in soap making Chapter 9 - Selling your beautiful handmade soaps