Common Cold Process Soap Questions
We at Natures Garden love to supply our customers with the best soap making ingredients and soap equipment that they need to succeed. But, you can’t utilize these tools if you don’t know how to. So, we want to answer some of the most common cold process soap questions that we get. This way we can help make your soap making experience as fun and exciting as possible!
The shelf life of lye, sodium hydroxide, when properly stored is one year. After a year it is possible for your lye to work, but you should do a small batch to test whether the lye is still good. If it is actually expired, then it may not come to trace quickly or could separate after it is poured or set up. So, you will be able to notice an obvious difference if you make a small testing batch,
Common Cold Process Soap Questions: How Do I Make My Cold Process Soap Last Longer?
There are a few things that you can change to make your homemade soap last even longer. First, you can use additives, like sodium lactate or stearic acid, to harden the bar. Also, harder oils, like palm oil, can be helpful. Lastly, increasing the cure time, as water evaporates out, and decreasing the time in the shower will create a harder bar.
Common Cold Process Soap Questions: Is It Possible to Use Baby Oil as One of the Oils in a Soap Recipe?
No, you shouldn’t use baby mineral oil in your soap recipe for two reasons. First, it has already been scented. Second, the mineral oils won’t saponify.
If you ever wondered how to make soap from scratch, then this is the answer. Before you begin you will either need to formulate a recipe or choose a recipe already formulated, we suggest using our Beginners Cold Process Soap Recipe if this is your first time. We also recommend reading through our cold process soap making classes, especially the soap making safety class. While there is a little more detail and safety practices to follow, this is the most basic method for soaping. First, you create a lye solution by slowly adding lye to water. In a separate bowl, you will have your weighed and melted oils and butters. You will combine these ingredients at a similar temperature and mix until your batter trace, which is a thicker consistency. The soap is then poured into a soap mold. Once it has setup, it is removed from the mold and allowed to cure.
Common Cold Process Soap Questions: Why Are My Citrus Scents So Light in my Cold Process Soap?
Citrus scent oils often have a low flash point, so they are more likely to burn off the fragrance during the saponification process. During this process, the soap will reach very hot temperatures, which are able to burn off certain scents. It is common for citrus scents to be affected by this issue. How can I prevent this? First, make sure that the maximum amount for fragrance has been added. Also, you can anchor the scented oil by using a scent with a that is heavier, like vanilla. Alternatively, some soapers use kaolin clay to enhance the scent, but it can make your soap too slick.
Common Cold Process Soap Questions: Are Fragrance Oils or Essential Oils Better for Cold Process Soap?
You can use both essential oils and fragrance oils to scent cp soap. However, fragrances tend to hold better and the scent lasts longer. This is because fragrance oils have top, middle, and base notes that will hold up better together. On the other side, some single note oils whether they be essential oils or fragrance oils, are more likely to burn off. So, you will want to test each oil in cold process soap.
Of course! There are many different styles of molds that you can use for soap making. Just don’t forget that this type of soap gets very hot. So, you need to make sure that you either use a silicone soap mold or a very thick plastic mold, like some of our Mold Market Soap Molds. However, plastic embed molds are not thick enough to hold your soap without melting and making a big mess. If you are unsure about a certain mold, it might be best to just save that shape for melt and pour soaps.
Common Cold Process Soap Questions: When Can I Cut Cold Process Soap?
Before you can cut your finished soap loaf, you need to wait for a bit. While the exact time varies for each batch depending on size and ingredients, we suggest waiting for 24-48 hours before removing and cutting your nearly finished soaps. However, you can use a gloved hand to check the soap to determine whether the soap is too soft. On the other hand, you don’t want to wait too long or the soap may dry too much and crumble as you cut.
Common Cold Process Soap Questions: How Long Does Soap have to Cure?
The exact amount of time your soaps take depends on your recipe that the amount of lye in it. However, most batches take about 2-6 weeks for the soaps to fully cure and be safe to use.
Yes, we have all kinds of cold process soap recipes under the Cold Process Soap Recipes parts of the in the Free Recipes and Classes section of the NG site. There are so many options that it can be difficult to choose!
Common Cold Process Soap Questions: What Kind of Conditions Does CP Soap Need to Cure After it is Removed From Mold?
After your soap has been removed from the mold and sliced into bars, you will need to allow them to cure for a while. First, you will want to make sure that they are in a cool, dry environment. Also, you want to make sure that the bars a few inches apart. This will expose more of the bar to the air, which allows them to dry and set up properly.
Common Cold Process Soap Questions: What Will Make Cold Process Soaps Freeze or Set Up too Soon?
The oils that you use will come into play. Too much of some harder oils and butters can cause the soap to set up faster than others. Additives can also cause your batter to accelerate. However, often, this is an issue caused by the fragrance oil. Each fragrance performs differently in cp soap and the ones that cause too much acceleration can lead to seizing, or a sudden setting up, in the soap batter before it has made it to the mold. Further, there are some fragrance oils that will actually slow down the process and give you time to really work on a recipe.
Common Cold Process Soap Questions: Do You Have Any Tips for Working with Problem Fragrance Oils in Cold Process Soap?
It’s always a bummer when a scent you enjoy is a “problem fragrance oil”, but there are some things that will allow you to work with this fragrance oil anyway. First, we have the issue of acceleration. While we can’t fix the fragrance, we can cool our oils and lye water to room temperature before we start the saponification process. The cooler temperature takes longer to get to trace, which will help balance the acceleration from the fragrance oil. Also, you can formulate a soap recipe with oils that will slow trace, like sunflower oil. Although these two tricks can be used to slow an accelerated trace, it can’t stop a soap from seizing.
Second, we have the issue of separation. Sometimes a fragrance that separates from the mixture can be stick blended back in with enough effort. Also, it is possible for the scent to reabsorb during the curing process. You just need to keep an eye on these to determine whether the fragrance is worth using in cp soaps. Third, we have the issue of ricing, which is when little chunks form in your batch. While this can’t be prevented, it can be stick blended until the ricing is smoothed out. However, this only works in some cases.
Finally, some fragrance oils can cause your soap to discolor. Some scents can’t be prevented, but there are some cases when a soap additives can do the trick. If the description of your scent says it contains vanillin, it will discolor your soap to a shade of brown. However, you can use Vanilla White Color Stabilizer to help lessen any discoloration due to vanillin. Other kinds of discoloration will just have to be included into the soap design.
Common Cold Process Soap Questions: What is the Best Way to Clean Up Cold Process Soap?
After you pour your batch into the soap mold, you may realize that you have a mess on your hands. Whether you spilled a few drops, made a complete mess, or only have the bowls to wash out, you are going to need to know how to safely clean up your lye mixtures. Before you get started, it is extremely important to have something on hand to neutralize the soap batter. So, you will need vinegar, which we prefer to have in a spray bottle to make it easy to apply in case of skin contact. After all the batter on the counter and soap equipment has been neutralized, you can begin cleaning with soapy water, we use dawn dish soap, to clean everything up again.
Common Cold Process Soap Questions: Is it Okay to Use My Soaping Bowls and Utensils for Cooking After Using it for CP Soapmaking If I Prewash It and Then Run It Through the Dishwasher?
No, it is very unsafe to use your soap making equipment in the kitchen. After you’ve used a bowl, mold, or other utensil for soaping you should never use it for anything other than soapmaking. Lye is very reactive and has the potential to do some serious harm after ingestion. So, it is a horrible idea to put this soaping equipment in contact with food or cooking utensils.
Common Cold Process Soap Questions: What Would Cause a Batch of Soap to Erupt While in the Soap Mold?
Natural sugars in soaping ingredients can lead to an eruption, as the soap gets hotter than it typically does. CP soap can erupt due to improperly adding things like beer, wine, or milk. First, freezing these ingredients before adding them is helpful. If you are using beer, then make sure that you release all of the carbonation before including it in soap. Also, you will want to boil wine before adding it to your soap.
Common Cold Process Soap Questions: Can I Use Cup Measurements for Soap Making?
For soap making, we would recommend using weighted measurements . Using a scale is much more accurate and will ensure that you have a quality batch of soap. Otherwise, you may accidentally do something to mess up your soaps. For example, you could add to little oils and create a lye heavy batch.
Common Cold Process Soap Questions: Can You Make Good Quality Soap Using the Cold Process Soap Method Without Palm Oil?
Absolutely. One of the best parts about making cp soap is that you can include whatever oils and butters you want. You can use SoapCalc to combine your favorite soaping ingredients in a perfect batch of soap! If you would rather follow a recipe that we have formulated, Natures Garden has a few recipes under Free Recipes and Classes that are made without palm oil. For example, there is our Calendula Sunshine Cold Process Soap Recipe and our Argan Soap Recipe.
We hope that you learned something useful for making cold process soap in this blog. If you have any further questions, you can reach out to us in the store, on the phone, or online. If you want to reach out to us online, then try out social media. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter (@ngscents), and Instagram (@ngscents). Have fun soapmaking!