View Full Version : Starting soap making

11-08-2008, 11:18 PM
I would like to start making soap...hmmmm found tonnes of info on the certification process but not alot of info on actual soap making - unless im not looking in the right places :lol:

So from what ive seen i would prefer to make the soap using the cold process method rather than the other way (arnt i technical? :D )

Ideally i would like to make the soaps from as few ingrediants as possible. I've decided to make my own after some nasty skin reactions to their apparantly natural homemade cosmetic products :mad:

Any pointers, book recommendations etc would be very welcome :) Thank you!

The Soap Fairy
12-08-2008, 01:47 PM
Good luck with your venture - you will soon be hooked. Sorry but I cannot help you with cold process as I only use melt & pour (the easier option) but I am sure someone will be along soon to give you some pointers.

Have fun;););)

13-08-2008, 09:27 AM
Cannot help re the cold method only melt and pour, have you tried The Soap Kitchen, they have recipes and supplies

13-08-2008, 11:53 AM
try millers soap lots of uselful info or try the candles and soap forum uk
buy some books
soap makers companion by susan cavitch

13-08-2008, 09:26 PM

Welcome to the forum.

One of the best books to start with is called The Handmade soap book and it's written by Melinda Coss. It's a great introduction to cold process soapmaking and will get you completely addicted to the wonderful world of soaping. Don't forget to look into all of the relevent regulations (weights and measures, certification, labelling to name just a few) if you have any plans on selling your soaps to anyone.


23-08-2008, 10:01 AM
Amazon has a good selection on soapmaking, read the review first though as a few are for huge batches..

Try a search for soapnuts not the 'nuts' but the soap website that has lots of recipes on it and some helpful tips on cold process, I cant post any links yet but its a dot com one.
I do cold process, hot process and whipped process and I tried a few of the recipes and they are pretty good.

Hope thats helpful..:p

06-12-2008, 02:40 PM
I only make melt and pour so can only help with that. I find mealt and pour soap making really quick and easy to do. I have made quite a few different soaps now so I am here to help if you have any questions =)

NZ Moonchild
12-12-2008, 10:09 PM
Hi there

I have recently started making soap myself, I have found The homemade soap book by Melinda Coss to be a brilliant start, then once that one makes sense I have found that The Soapmakers Companion by Susan Miller Cavitch answers all the questions that you start to have.....and believe me, there are a lot of questions....once you start you can't stop! And each time you make a batch, you notice a new one you want to try....but the results have been fantastic so far.....

The best advice I have is to buy the book, then start making....taking lots of care with the Sodium Hydroxide (it really does burn!)...I had the books for about 2 years before I actually stopped reading and brought the supplies and my only regret is that I should have started sooner....hands on is the only way to learn.

The most time consuming part for me was find the best suppliers!

Good luck!


Lomond Soap
14-12-2008, 10:23 PM
There is tonnes of info, recipes, forums, help online. Use it, it all helps!
Most books are a few years old and American, which throws up problems of reducing the size of the batch and converting it to grams/KG. Simply halving a recipe will not necessarily make good soap.
If you need/want help, feel free to contact me.

14-12-2008, 10:47 PM
I agree with the above - there's a lot of info out there.

You'll find some recipes here (http://www.fresholi.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=category&sectionid=9&id=24&Itemid=50) - the recipes will also work with Hot Process (tutorial here (http://gracefruit.blogspot.com/2006/01/crock-pot-hot-process-soap-tutorial.html)) and a tutorial with pics (http://www.fresholi.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=208&Itemid=51) for Cold Process.

With Hot Process you don't have to wait for the 4 weeks or so that you do with Cold Process - but it is better kept for a couple of weeks before using.

17-12-2008, 04:50 PM

I cant help you in the soap making process. However I can auggest one ingredient you would love to use. Its goat milk. A friend gifted me a soap set made of goatmilk. She made it on her own. I loved it so mucvh that I ave to purchase a batch from here every now and then. She would never give me the recipe :mad:

Lomond Soap
19-12-2008, 10:43 PM
Goats milk is lovely in soap, I don't use enough of it! There are plenty of recipes out there, if you really feel the need to do it. I've always been advised not to gel GM soaps. Soap cool or cold and stick in the fridge if it is heating up.

19-12-2008, 11:00 PM
If you make Hot Process then powdered goatsmilk (or any other dairy powder) can be mixed to a creamy consistency with some of the superfatting oils and added after the "cook" - makes alovely soap.

03-01-2009, 11:01 PM
I've been given a lovely book for Christmas, it is called 'Making Scented Soap' by Linda Hamblen. I think it's available on Amazon. It explains how to make cold-processed soap quite clearly, and has some lovely recipes and pictures. Just reading it has made me feel so inspired to have a go at soap making! (I haven't attempted it yet!) The only thing I will say about it, is the recipes given all seem to use the most expensive essential oils (rose otto, neroli etc.), so if a batch went wrong it could be a costly mistake! :o

I'm also quite tempted to buy 'The Handmade Soap Book' by Melinda Coss. Think it is about 6 or 7 on Amazon, so not too expensive...

greenfairy x

Lomond Soap
04-01-2009, 01:11 AM
Good luck Greenfairy! Those books are nice but the recipes are sometimes aimed more at the US. If you want a simple recipe to try, in a reasonable batch size, PM me.
PS once you start you just can't stop:D Beware!

04-01-2009, 10:58 AM
I forgot to mention that the Linda Hamblen book is a UK one, I had looked at a few books on Amazon before Xmas and you're totally right, most of them are American. But then I got this one for xmas, my mum bought it for me and it's just luck it was by a British author, 'cos I don't think my mum would have known any better! (I think she must have got it in 2nd hand bookshop/charity shop or something.)

greenfairy x

12-02-2010, 02:01 PM
Hi there
I am new at soap making too. I make cold process soap, I have just made my 3rd batch and am absolutely loving it. Everyone got hand made soap for Christmas! I am using The Natural Soap Book by Susan Miller Cavitch and have found it very good, with clear no nonsense instructions. In this book she does do some weights in grammes which is useful. However, I just can't find some of the oils (Kukui nut?) and a lot of her recipes for scented soap involve rose essential oil....... 90.00 for 10 ml?? I think not! lol
I do like this book and it started me off well but I am now going to look at some of the UK based books suggested on here.
My first couple of batches were made using loaf tins as moulds. The latest one is in a plastic Jacob's Cream Cracker box!
You are welcome to message me if you think I might have any useful info :)