Cold Process Soap Week Coming Up 4


Lately, we have had many phone calls and e-mails to our Technical Support staff about cold-process soap. I thought that I might be able to help those who want to try their hand at soap making but need some more encouragement. Today I’m going to start with a list of equipment and ingredients needed for cold-process soap making. I will give you two weeks to collect the supplies for learning about cold-process. On February 23rd we will have a week dedicated to cold-process soap. If you have questions you would like answered during that week, feel free to e-mail me and I will try to answer every question.

Equipment that we will need for Cold-process Soap Week:

Safety goggles, anti fog are helpful
Heavy duty gloves
heavy duty plastic buckets (I’ll be using two 87 ounce buckets)
Plastic Spoon
Scale
Thermometer
Work clothes with long sleeves and closed shoes
Saran Wrap or Mold Release
Molds
Vinegar
Microwave for heating oils
Immersion blender, optional but very helpful

Ingredients

Sodium Hydroxide
Distilled or soft water
Coconut Oil or Palm Kernel Oil (suggested: 5 or 10 lbs)
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil (suggested: 10 lbs)
Choose at least 2 of the following oils: Olive Oil*, Almond Oil, Sunflower Oil, Sesame Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Rice Bran (suggested: 1 gallon sizes) * Preferable if this is one of your 2
Choose at least 1 of the following oils: Avocado Oil or Butter, Shea Oil or Butter, Mango Oil or Butter, Cocoa Butter, Hemp Oil or Butter, Almond Butter, Olive Butter, Macadamia Oil or Butter, Lanolin, or Coffee Butter (suggested: 1 lb sizes)
Fragrance Oils of choice, optional but most soap makers consider this mandatory (suggested: 1 fl oz sizes, a total of 4 fl oz is plenty for our week of soap)

Each day will give 2 or 3 recipes for soap making, you can make one, all or skip a day.  The focus of this week is to look at each piece of equipment and each technique to learn WHY we do what we do.

Where do I find Sodium Hydroxide?

Check with a local Lowe’s or Home Depot store if you only need a few lbs. Lowe’s carries Roebic Brand Drain Cleaning Crystals. Under that title it says 100% sodium hydroxide. This is fine for soap making. This brand is a 2 lb can and will be plenty for our week of soap. If you need more than a few lbs try calling a few companies listed in your phone book under Cleaning Supplies or Chemicals. If you can’t find anything there call the local high school or college and talk with a chemistry teacher. They are usually able to direct you to a chemical supply in your
area that offers small quantities of lye. It make take a few hours of phone work but you will save the Hazardous Materials shipping fees AND support your local economy.

A word about scales:

You must have a scale for making soap. You do NOT need an expensive scale or one that measures in 0.1 gram increments. You do need 1 gram readability for scales that have grams and ounces, or 0.1 ounce readability for scales that only offer ounces. My hope is you can get one that has 1 gram readability. If you intend to make lotions and lip balms, in quantities suitable
for a family of four, not communities of 40,000, then I suggest you consider a scale that has 0.1 gram readability. The benefit of making your scale dual purpose is to cover the soap making AND personal care products like lip balm, lotions, creams and serums. If the scale is only for soap choose the higher readability.

The price of a scale corresponds to the number of steps each scale offers. A step is readability times capacity. A scale that has a readability of 1 gram and a capacity of 100 grams has 100 steps. A scale that has readability of 0.1 gram and a capacity of 100 grams has 1000 steps. The second scale will cost more than the first. We hope this has helped you consider the scales available to you. If you have questions along the way give us a call or send an email.

Soap

Soap

Equipment you can find at MMS.

Equipment you can find at MMS.

Equipment you will need to find around town.

Equipment you will need to find around town.

Our trusty immersion blender.

Our trusty immersion blender.

Supplies you can find at MMS.

Supplies you can find at MMS.

You will need to find Olive Oil around town.

You will need to find Olive Oil around town.

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About Andee

I'm a twenty something soap snob. I've grown up with hand made soaps and I love them! I really like making lotions, soaps and perfumes. I adore mixing scents to come up with something new. My favorite scent is either Wicked or Cotton Candy. I tend to hoard fragrances, I even have an Earl Grey Tea from the MMS catalog. I won't tell you how old it is, but it sure is good!


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4 thoughts on “Cold Process Soap Week Coming Up

    • Andee Post author

      moirakris,
      The vinegar is for if you spill the lye solution or raw soap on your self or anywhere else. Vinegar neutralizes the sodium hydroxide to prevent burns from being nasty. We recommend to clean the surfaces on which you just made soap, to wipe down those surfaces with vinegar to help clean up the sodium hydroxide completely. DO NOT add vinegar to dry lye granules, because this could cause a violent reaction instantaneously.

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  • moirakris

    Thanks for such helpful advice, I didn’t know this. I will keep the vinegar handy everytime I make soap from now on!

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