Tag Archives: cold process

Apr
09

Fragrance Testing in CP Soap

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fragrance testing in CP soapFragrance Testing in CP Soap

Hello everyone! Do you have any questions about what happens when we test our fragrances? Specifically with fragrance testing in CP soap? Well, we actually go through this process with all of our fragrances and there are quite a few specific things we look for throughout.

To start off, when making a normal soap recipe, we recommend soaping at room temperature (72 degrees Fahrenheit). However, for fragrance testing, we soap at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Using this temperature will give you less time to “play” with the soap, and will basically force the fragrance to show any problems it may have more quickly.

For fragrance testing, we use our free recipe for our Shea Butter Soap; a recipe that includes Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, and Palm Oil.

Step 1:  Determining if a fragrance sample designed by our perfumist smells good enough for us to soap test.  We call this stage “Test Stripping”.  We start by putting a little bit of each fragrance onto a test strip (blotter paper) and smell them.  The initial smell of scent on a test strip allows us to see how strong the “top notes” of a fragrance is.  Then we let the test strips sit for about half an hour, then check to see if the scent has stayed, lessened, or gotten stronger. During this stage of smelling, we are able to notice more of the middle notes and base notes of the scent.  You see, at Natures Garden, we typically reject hundreds of scents each year during the test stripping alone.  For scents that do make the cut, we move on to step number 2.

Step 2:  Testing the fragrance in soap.  Once we have made our recipe and have added the correct amount of fragrance (typically 5% fragrance per batch unless IFRA is less), there are quite a few things we look for. We look for and record if there is any acceleration.  Acceleration is when a fragrance oil causes the soap to trace at a faster rate than soap without fragrance would.  When a fragrance oil causes accelerated trace, a soap maker must move faster when working with the soap.  This can also make it more difficult to create colored swirls in your soap.

We also look for ricing, (soap batter that looks like rice pellets).  Typically soap that rices can be beat into submission with a stick blender.  We look for separation (fragrance will not mix with the soap, oils keep separating from the soap).

Sometimes fragrance oil will separate out of the soap batter.  Usually fragrance oil will absorb back into the soap during cure, but if the oil separation is full-blown, it may cause even cured soap to be oily.

We also look for seizing (fragrance causes the soap to set up as soon as it as added).  Soapers refer to this as “Soap on a stick”.  Sometimes soapers are able to beat the batter back into submission with a stick blender, and other times it is impossible.  Seized soap is not ruined soap, it is just soap that is no longer pliable.  If allowed to cure, seized soap can be used just like soap that you had no problems making.

While cold process soap normally should cure for about 6 weeks, we oven-process soap for our fragrance testing. Oven-processing the soap in molds for about 2 1/2 hours on a temperature of about 170 degrees Fahrenheit will help the soap to cure faster, and you will only need to let it cure for about 4 weeks. When oven-processing the soap, you may see some separation. The fragrance may rise to the top of the soap and separate, but most of the time, the soap will reabsorb the oil.  Oven processing also allows us to see some discoloration (if the soap is going to discolor).  Typically, if a soap shows discoloration after oven processing, it will continue to discolor more during the cure phase.

After the soaps have finished their oven-process time, they can be unmolded 24 hours later. If any of the fragrances have separated during this process, wait until they reabsorb to unmold the soap. If they never reabsorb, you will know that that fragrance has a separation problem.

There are a few other things that we look for once we have taken them from the oven. We check for if the scent of each fragrance has changed or morphed throughout the saponification process. However, always remember not to judge the scent right away. Even if it has changed throughout the saponification process, wait to judge until after it has had enough time to fully cure, as it may change back.

We also look to see if there is any fragrance burn off that occurs during saponification, meaning that the fragrance may not smell as strong anymore or the notes you noticed in the beginning no longer exist. Usually, fragrance oils will not have a  major burn off problem as they contain fixatives that help to anchor the scent. However, lower flash point scents have a higher chance of some burn-off than higher flash point scents.  Some soapers add clay to their soap batter to help anchor their scents.  Essential oils do not contain fixatives, so if you are testing essential oils, you will have more of a chance of burn-off than you would with fragrance oils.

Another thing we check for after unmolding is for discoloration. Fragrances that contain vanillin can cause discoloration, but it is mainly with fragrances that have a content of above .5%.

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Oven Processing

 

 

 

Soaps for fragrance testing should sit and cure for about 4 weeks. Throughout that time period, we check to see if the scent of each fragrance sticks and stays strong throughout the whole time. Once in a while, a fragrance may come along that will not work in cold process soap and never will. Make sure to remember that if you come across a fragrance like this, it will work in hot process soaps! Once the 4 weeks has passed, we check again to see if any final discoloration or separation has happened and how well the fragrance has stuck. Make sure to check out our free class for our Fragrances Tested in Cold Process Soap. This class gives a full list of all of our fragrances that we have tested, as well as the recipe for our Shea Butter Soap that we use for testing.

Make sure to check out all the rest of our free classes and recipes as well! Keep watching for more Enlightened by Layla!

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Apr
01

Spearmint Soap Problems

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, Natures Garden, soap, soap making problems, Soap making supplies, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

spearmint soap problemsSpearmint Soap Problems

Hello everyone! As you know, I’ve recently been making many different soap recipes and learning more and more about the soap making process. We posted a blog about the wonderful Spearmint Soap I made using our Spearmint Fragrance Oil, and now I’m back to tell you all about some of the problems I had making that gorgeous gray and green soap. That beautiful soap was actually my second time making this recipe, and as I’m sure you’ve figured out, the first time didn’t go so well! In the first recipe, instead of doing green and gray swirls, I instead tried out just an all-over green base.

One of my first problems was with my white topping for the soap. I had researched so many different pictures and had seen so many lovely whipped soap toppings that I thought this was one soap I could easily whip up and create myself! However, once I had prepared and poured my green soap base, I was waiting for my white topping to set up to a frosting consistency so that I would be able to fluff it all over the top of the soap. However, while I was waiting, I panicked and poured the white on top way too soon. This caused my top to not be able to peak as well as not being fluff-like. Because I poured too soon and my topping was still not fully set up, this also caused part of the white to sink into the green soap since the green soap was not fully set up either. You can definitely see the sinking after the soap was cut, there were no straight lines and you can see the spots where the topping sank right in! So for all of you other soap makers out there, always make sure to give your topping enough time to set up, or else you will end up with your topping sinking into your base! You also won’t be able to peak the top like you want!

Another big problem I had was using way too much green colorant for the base of my soap. Instead of coming out with a beautiful mint green color like the remake, the green of my first Spearmint Soap was a dark hunter-like green. While there is nothing wrong with a hunter green, this color did not go with the Spearmint theme. Once I completed the remake, this soap turned out absolutely beautiful! Have any of you experienced soap makers out there had any mistakes like these? I would love to hear about them! Please contact me here at Nature’s Garden, or you can always contact us here with any thoughts, concerns, or questions that you may have! Make sure to check out all of our wonderful free recipes and classes! You’re sure to adore each and every one of our recipes! Make sure to check out all of our Soap Classes as well to help you along! Make sure to keep watching for even more Enlightened by Layla!

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Mar
30

Tiger Stripe Soap Recipe

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tiger stripe soap recipeTiger Stripe Soap Recipe

What inspires you? Well, here at Nature’s Garden, we are inspired by pretty much everything, but lately we’ve been on a serious animal print kick! We found this amazing picture of this gorgeous tiger and couldn’t wait to get started on making a tiger stripe soap recipe! And we of course have used our Animalistic Instinct Fragrance, I mean how could we not? It’s absolutely perfect!

tiger stripe soap recipe

 

 

 

Our wonderful inspiration!

 

 

 

animalistic instinct fragrance oil

 

 

 

Make sure to try out our amazing Animalistic Instinct scent!

 

 

 

Ingredients:

272 grams of Olive Oil

272 grams of Shea Butter

181 grams of Palm Oil

181 grams of Coconut Oil

70 grams of Animalistic Instinct Fragrance Oil

15 grams of Titanium Dioxide

7 grams of Neon Orange FUN Soap Colorant

5 grams of Black Oxide FUN Soap Colorant

125 grams of Lye

345 grams of Distilled Water

Other Ingredients Needed:

Square Loaf Mold Market Mold

Thermometer

Safety Mask

Safety Glasses

Safety Gloves

Stick Blender

Scale

Vinegar

Spatulas

Mixing Bowls

 

Directions:

animalistic instinct soap

 

Always make sure to protect yourself first with your gloves, glasses, and mask! Then you can prepare your lye water. Weigh 345 grams of distilled water, and 125 grams of lye. Carefully pour your lye into your water. Never pour water into lye! This can cause an explosion! Thoroughly mix your lye water and then set it aside to cool down.

 

animalistic instinct soap

 

 

Next, you can get your butters and oils ready. Weigh out 272 grams of Shea Butter, 272 grams of Olive Oil, 181 grams of Palm Oil, and 181 grams of Coconut Oil 76. Melt these down completely and then set them aside to cool as well.

 

animalistic instinct soap

 

While you are waiting for both of these to cool, you can get your colors ready. In separate bowls, add 5 grams of Black Oxide colorant, and 7 grams of Neon Orange. Then in another bowl, measure out 15 grams of Titanium Dioxide, mixing this thoroughly with just a little bit of your oils from your base bowl until you have achieved a paste-like consistency.

 

animalistic instinct soap

 

Make sure to keep checking your oils and lye water temperatures using your thermometer, until they have reached about 72 degrees Fahrenheit (room temperature) and are within ten degrees of each other. Then carefully pour your lye water into your butters and oils, mixing it together very thoroughly with a stick blender until you have come to a light trace.

 

animalistic instinct soap

 

 

When your mixture is at a light trace, pour 400 grams into the bowl with black colorant, 500 into the orange, and 500 in a separate bowl, adding your titanium paste to this last bowl. Then thoroughly mix each color. Make sure to add 20 grams of your Animalistic Instinct fragrance to your black bowl, and 25 grams to the orange and white. Again, make sure to mix them thoroughly!

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Once your colors are completely mixed, you can begin to pour them into your mold. We started with our orange, carefully pouring just a little bit in a straight line all the way across the mold.

 

 

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Then we alternated all three colors until the mold was almost full, leaving just a little bit of each color in our bowls.

animalistic instinct soap

 

 

 

 

With the remaining colors, we splattered it over the top of the soap into gorgeous designs! Splatter the rest of your soap however your heart desires!

 

 

Once you have finished your soap, it will need to sit to set up for at least 24 hours before removing it from the mold. Once it is removed, your new Tiger Stripe Soap will need to sit for at least 4 to 6 weeks to give it enough time to cure and become less alkaline. After that, your soap will be ready for you to use and enjoy! Check out all the rest of our free recipes and classes and watch out for more Enlightened by Layla!

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Mar
26

Spearmint Soap

This entry was posted in bath and body, free recipe, Natures Garden, soap, Soap making supplies, soap recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

spearmint soapSpearmint Soap

Doesn’t the scent of spearmint just completely delight you? I know it’s an aroma that can instantly lift my spirits! This is one scent that everyone you know is sure to adore, and one that you can easily fill your home with! We’re bringing you a brand new free recipe, and it is for our beautiful new Spearmint Soap! Doesn’t this amazing combination of green, gray, and white just make you extremely happy? We have used our Shea Butter Soap Recipe for the base.

Ingredients:

272 grams of Shea Butter

181 grams of Palm Oil

272 grams of Olive Oil

181 grams of Coconut Oil

125 grams of Lye

345 grams of Distilled Water

30 grams of Titanium Dioxide

68 grams of Spearmint Fragrance Oil

4 drops of Neon Green FUN Soap Colorant

2 drops of Black Oxide FUN Soap Colorant

Other Ingredients Needed:

Spearmint Leaves

Square Loaf Mold Market Molds

Safety Glasses

Safety Gloves

Safety Mask

Thermometer

Scale

Vinegar

Mixing Bowls

Spatulas

Stick Blender

 

Directions:

spearmint soap

Always start with safety first! Make sure you are wearing your safety glasses, gloves, and mask! Once you are protected, you can prepare your lye water. Measure and weigh out 345 grams of distilled water. Then measure and weigh out 125 grams of lye, and add it to your water. Always add lye to water, never add water to lye as this can cause an explosion! Mix your lye water together thoroughly, and then set it aside to cool down.

 

spearmint soap

 

While you are waiting for your lye water to cool, you can get your oils and butters ready. Measure and weigh out 272 grams of Olive Oil, 181 grams of Palm Oil, 272 grams of Shea Butter, and 181 grams of Coconut Oil. Then completely melt these down, and set them aside to cool as well.

 

 

spearmint soapAs you’re waiting for your butters and oils and lye water to cool, you can prepare your colorants. In separate mixing bowls, add 4 drops of Neon Green colorant to one, and 2 drops of Black Oxide to another. Then measure and weigh out 8 grams of Titanium Dioxide in a bowl and pour just a little bit of your oils into it. Mix it together until it has become a paste-like consistency. This will be for your white swirl. For your white top, in a separate bowl, measure and weigh out 22 grams of Titanium Dioxide and pour a little bit of your oils, again making a paste-like consistency.

spearmint soap

 

Using your thermometer, keep checking the temperatures of your lye water and oils until they have reached around room temperature (72 degrees Fahrenheit) and are within ten degrees of each other. Then carefully pour your lye water into your oils, and thoroughly mix them until they have come to a light trace.

 

spearmint soap

 

 

After you have come to trace, pour 461 grams of your mixture into a another mixing bowl and add your Titanium Dioxide paste with 22 grams. Mix it thoroughly and then add 23 grams of Spearmint fragrance, once again thoroughly mixing. Then set this bowl aside to let it sit and set up to become your topping.

 

spearmint soap

 

Next, into the bowls with your green and black colorants, add 308 grams of your mixture to each. In a third bowl, add 308 grams of your mix and add your white paste with the 8 grams of Titanium Dioxide. Thoroughly mix these together until you have achieved an all over gray color, all over mint green, and an all over white.

 

spearmint soap

 

 

 

Add 15 grams of your Spearmint fragrance to each of these and mix them together thoroughly.

 

 

spearmint soap

 

 

Then using the in the pot swirl method in another bowl, pour each of your three colors into the bowl. pouring each into a separate section.

 

 

 

spearmint soap

 

 

 

Using a spatula, start at the edge of the bowl and drag it in a straight line all the way across.

 

 

 

spearmint soap

 

 

 

Then place the spatula right where two colors begin to mix and drag it in a full circle around the bowl.

 

 

spearmint soap

 

 

After you have swirled your soap, you can begin to pour it into your mold. If you carefully pour it from side to side using the “granny pour” method, this will help you achieve an even prettier swirl!

 

 

spearmint soap

 

 

Once your soap is completely poured, make sure your topping is set up to about the consistency of cake frosting and then pour it on top of your soap. You can peak it with your spatula.

 

 

spearmint soap

 

 

 

After all of your topping is on your soap, lightly sprinkle some Spearmint leaves over top!

 

 

Once your soap is finished, you will need to let it sit to set up for at least 24 hours before removing it from your mold. Once it is removed, let your soap sit for at least 4 to 6 weeks, giving it enough time to fully cure and become less alkaline. Be sure to check out all the rest of our wonderful free recipes and classes, and keep watching for more Enlightened by Layla!

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Mar
18

Color Morphing in Soap

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, cold process soap colorant, Natures Garden, soap, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

color morphing in soapColor Morphing in Soap

For any new soap makers out there like myself, do you have specific questions? For example, do you know which kind of soap colorant to use when you are coloring cold process soap? Or have you ever wondered about color morphing in soap? Here at Nature’s Garden, we offer two different kinds of colorants for soap: one being a our FD&C Da Bomb Soap Dyes, and one being our FUN Soap Colorants which are pigments dispersed in vegetable glycerin. The use of each kind of colorant is based on pH levels and the actual saponification process. The saponification process is considered the creation of soap by combining oils/butters and water with lye (which has a high ph). Throughout this process as the soap cures, the pH level (alkalinity) become lower.  It is important to understand that pigments tend to withstand higher ph levels better than dyes (especially when dealing with the color blue).  In our experiment, we show how blue dye and blue pigment perform in both melt and pour soap (soap that has already been saponified) and cold process soap (soap that is made from scratch and will undergo the saponification process).

In melt and pour soap, because it is technically already soap, it has already gone through the saponification process;  so the alkalinity is lower. The dyes, our Da Bomb colorants, do not cause any color morphing problems when used in melt and pour soap. They will color beautifully, as well as our pigments, or FUN Soap Colorants. In the picture below, this light blue colored bundt soap is made with melt and pour soap, as well as our Blue Da Bomb colorant. You can see how nice and pretty this blue coloring is. When melt and pour soap is colored with blue FD&C dye, it will produce a beautiful blue colored soap since the dye never has to encounter a high ph.

color morphing in soap

color morphing in soap

However, when different colorants are used in cold process soap, as seen below, the outcome is very different. Because cold process is made completely from scratch, it must undergo the entire saponification process.  This means that the pH levels are much higher in cold process soap. In the pictures below, the darker blue soap was made using our pigmented, Ultramarine Blue FUN Soap Colorant. The purple soap, (started as gray and turned to reddish-pink-purple as it sat) was created using our Da Bomb blue dye. (We have used our Shea Butter Cold Process Soap recipe for this part of our experiment).  It is evident that blue FD&C dye (our Da Bomb blue dye)  will morph in color when exposed to a high ph.

color morphing in soap

color morphing in soap

color morphing in soap

In conclusion:  When desiring a nice blue color for your cold process soap, it is wise to use blue pigments instead of blue FD&C dyes.  While the blue FD&C dyes work wonderfully in melt and pour soap, they will indeed morph in color when making cold process soap.

Please contact us here at Nature’s Garden if you have any questions, comments, or concerns at all! We are here to help you and to make sure you succeed at all of your creations! Make sure to check out all of our amazing free recipes and classes as well, especially all of our soaping classes! And keep watching for more Enlightened by Layla!

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Aug
09

Soap Making: Where Do I Start?

This entry was posted in crafts as a hobby, herb, homemade, how to make cold process soap, Natures Garden Fragrance Oils and tagged , , , , , , , , , , on by .

M&P soap, CP soap, CPOP soap, HP soap, which method is right for you?

For the next few weeks, we at Natures Garden will be writing a series devoted to soap making.  We hope that you find this series informative and that it may help to answer any unresolved questions in your mind when it comes to making soap.

The first decision you need to make before you start making soap is what soap you want to make.

Just so that everyone is starting off on the same base, a general definition for soap is:  an emulsified product of an alkali treated fat yielding a cleansing agent.

There are 4 different types of soap making.  They are M&P (melt and pour), CP (cold process), HP (hot process), and CPOP (cold process oven process).  Each group has its own pros and cons.   Each process differs in varying ways, but there are two similarities that all of the groups share:  Each group’s process has already gone through, or must go through the chemical reaction of saponification.  And, each process results in finished soap.

MP soap

One of the greatest advantages of melt and pour soaps is that the actual soap making chemical process (lye process) has already be completed; technically making this a ready-made product.  When working with M&P, you are dealing with soap that essentially only needs melted, fragranced, colored, and molded.

For precautionary reasons, this is a perfect soap making process for anyone with small children or pets, since the process does not require working with lye.  Melt and pour soap is also a great place to start if you have never made soap before.  The steps are very simple.  Melt the soap, add color, add fragrance, and, place in mold to harden.  That is it!  There is no cure time.  Soap bars are able to be used once they are popped out of the mold.  Coloring M&P soap is also very predictable.  Unlike the other soap making processes, the color that your liquid soap is before you pour it in the mold, will be the same color of your finished bars.  There is no color morphing since that soap has already been saponified.

Melt and Pour soap is also known as glycerin soap.  Glycerin is a natural by-product of the chemical reaction of lye and water.  Having glycerin as a component in your M&P soap is very beneficial because glycerin is not only an emollient keeping the moisture in your skin, but it is also considered a humectant- absorbing the moisture from the air so that the skin does not dry out.  Additives such as herbs and exfoliates can also be added to M&P soap, resulting in bars that can do various things for your skin.

This is a very forgiving soap for error.  If soap hardens too quickly, it can always be re-melted in the microwave or by using a double boiler.  Since M&P is very pliable you can safely handle the soap without the worry of being burned by lye; forming swirls and other shapes.  This process is very cost effective, and allows for you to have a healthier bar of soap for your skin than any store bought brand that has had the glycerin stripped from it.

The cons of M&P soaps are that you do not have direct control of all of the ingredients in your soap.  Melt and Pour soap can also easily burn during the heating process so you will want to watch it closely.  Because glycerin is the most prominent ingredient, your M&P bars are softer and tend to not last as long as the other processed bars of soaps.  This is because glycerin is quick dissolving in water.  Aesthetically speaking, due to its humectant tendencies, this soap is very prone to sweating (or beading).

CP soap

Cold process soap is generally accepted as the most commonly used process by soap crafters.  The term cold process is actually attributed to the fact that there is no outside heating source required for saponification; the lye mixture itself heats and saponifies the oils.

The CP process includes making a lye water mixture, melting your oils, blending the lye water and oils together- bringing it to a very light trace, adding fragrance and/or color, and molding.  For the first 24 hours, your soap molds need to be insulated with towels or blankets.  After 24 hrs, the soap can be cut and laid out to cure.

If you are not a patient person, then one downfall of CP soaping is the cure time.  This averages 4-6 weeks before the soap is safe to use.  During the cure time a lot occurs.  Any residual lye is counteracted by saponification. This cure time is needed to make soap milder on your skin.  Any excess water is evaporated out, allowing for a nice hard bar of soap.  The soap bars have to be manually rotated and flipped so that air touches all of the sides.  It is also during this time that soda ashing occurs.  This ash is not harmful, but it can be unsightly, especially if you have decorated the tops of your bars.

The biggest and most rewarding benefit of cold process soap is that you make it completely from scratch.  You control each and every aspect of the soap from beginning to end.  Because cold process soap directly relies on a chemical reaction to occur, ingredients and measurements have to be exact.  Each component of your cold process soap has a specific SAP value.  This value is the amount of lye needed to saponify each oil in your recipe.  Therefore, it is impossible to swap out anything or add anything once your lye water ratio has been figured out.  Adding a little too much lye can result in soap that is lye heavy.  This means that the ph level will be very high, and it could result in burns or irritation to your skin.  On the opposite end, adding too much oil can result in bars that are soft and greasy due to the unreacted oils.   CP recipes usually contain either palm oil or coconut oil, or both.  Their values in any recipe are generally 20-30%.  This is because these oils provide for a bar of soap that is gentle, lathers, and cleans.

With CP soaping it is very important to know how a fragrance oil will affect the mixture.  Some fragrance oils cause soap batter to accelerate trace, rice, discolor, or will seize the batch (become soap-on-a-stick).  Vice versa, there are also fragrance oils that do not adversely affect the soap batter, and allow for plenty of time to decorate.  Swirling is one decoration technique that requires soap batter that is slow to trace.  Trace can be affected by the actual soaping oils used in your recipe, the temperature of your lye solution, the temperature of your soaping oils, and by the fragrance oil you select.  This type of artistry provides an exclusive look that is almost impossible to duplicate again.  Columning and funneling can also be used with cp soap batter for a very unique look.

Since CP soap must undergo the saponification process, color morphing can become an issue.  FD&C or D&C dyes tend to morph (change color) in the presence of lye.  Oxides and ultramarines can withstand the high ph environment of the saponification process, and are much less likely to morph in CP soap.  Depending on the ingredients found in mica pigments, you will find some micas that do not morph in CP soap, and some that do.  To easily test to see if your color choice will morph in CP soap, you can always add a small amount of your color to a small amount of lye mixture and observe any changes.  This will save you the frustration of ruining an entire batch of soap that is colored a color you do not desire.

HP Soap

HP soaping is the second most popular process of crafting soap.  With this process you now have the control of what goes into the soap like CP provides with the ready-to-use-now element of M&P soaps.

Hot Process soap has steps very similar to the CP soap steps, but varies in that you are adding heat to the equation to speed up the saponification process.  The HP process includes: making your lye water mixture, adding your oils to the heat source, blending the lye water and oils together, stir, cook, stir, stir, stir, add fragrance/ additives, stir some more.  With this process, it is not until the soap batter is closer to a solid than a liquid that it is scooped and packed into a mold.  Since the saponification process has already completed from the heat, there is no need to insulate your mold.

This process is done in a crock pot or on a stove top.  Crock pots are recommended over stove tops because a crock pot allows for slow, even heating of the batter and it is less likely to scorch.  The most important key to remember when doing this method is to stir and stir often.  One of the biggest benefits of this heat addition is that it does not require a curing period.  Although, for harder, milder bars that will last longer, Natures Garden suggests that you allow these bars to cure for at least a week before using.

The finished soap bars of the hot process have a very rustic appeal.   The soap bars individually are not completely uniform in shape nor are they completely smooth.  This is due to the scoop and pack method of filling the molds.  Color morphing, like experienced in the CP method, can also be a problem.  Therefore, choosing colorants that can withstand high ph environments is a must when making HP soap. Getting uniform coloring throughout your bars of soap will be more challenging with HP than with CP.

CPOP Soap

Often dubbed as the best of both worlds, CPOP, or cold processed oven processed soap allows for cold processed soap to saponify quicker with the extra step of heat and therefore directly shortens the cure time.   This is a very good method for soap crafters who love to do CP without the long wait of cure time.

The CPOP method includes:  preheating your oven to 170 degrees F, making a lye water mixture, mixing your oils, blending the lye water and oils together- bringing it to a very light trace, adding fragrance and/or color, molding, baking for 1- 2 1/2 hrs, turn off the oven, and let it sit for 24 hours in oven.  Finally, remove, cut, and start the cure time of 4 weeks.  This cure time allows for milder, harder bars of soap that will last longer.

Visually, CPOP soap bars are very close to that of CP bars.  The only slight difference is that the tops of CPOP bars are not as smooth as CP ones.  CPOP soap can appear dry on top, but this can easily be remedied by spraying the tops of the soap with rubbing alcohol.

In summary, the first step to soap making is deciding which type of soap making process is right for you.  Natures Garden will have two different soap making kits that will further help you.  We currently carry a melt and pour soap kit, and very soon a CP soap making kit.  Each of these kits will allow you to experience soap making first hand.  How fun is that!