Make Your Own Candles, Soaps & Cosmetics
 Common Soap Making Questions

Common Soap Making Questions

Ingredients Found At Natures Garden:

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Soap Making Questions

 

Soap Making Terms
 

What is an absoulte?

Derived from plants through a method of extraction involving solvent, this term refers to the highly aromatic, concentrated oil that is extracted.
 

What is an additive in soap making?

Ingredients that can be added to processed soap, which are not included in the original recipe which was used to calculate the SAP value for lye purposes. This additive category would include all ingredients with the exceptions of lye, water, soaping oils, butters, and fats. This means that additives would describe the addition of fragrance oil, soap colorant, optiphen, vitamin E, herbs, clays, etc. Note: If you have a superfat recipe, any leftover or excess oils, butters, or fats, not saponified by the lye solution would also be considered an additive.
 

What alkali mean?

Any compound with a pH higher than 7. Alkali is also referred to as a base. Both sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide are alkalis (or bases).
 

What is an allergen?
 

An element that can cause an allergic reaction (irritation, redness, swelling, discomfort) in one person, but does not adversely affect another.
 

What does anhydrous mean?
 

Not containing any water.
 

What does anti-bacteria mean?
 

The ability to fight off bacteria successfully.
 

What is an anti-oxidant?

Natural or synthetic elements that have the ability to decrease oxidation, preventing breakdown or spoilage.
 

What is an anti-septic?

The ability to fight or decrease an infection topically (on the skin), by restricting the growth of microorganisms.
 

What is aromatherapy?

The use of certain fragrance or essential oils that can reform a person's mood or actions.
 

What does aromatic mean?

Being odoriferous, having a strong odor; usually found as a pleasant scent.
 

What is an astringent?

An element with the capability to pull together or constrict skin tissues (or pores), concurrently restricting the flow of natural secretion from the skin.
 

What does base mean in soap making?

Also known as an alkali; any substance with a pH level higher than 7. Both sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide are bases (or alkalis).
 

What is a botanical?

Directly from or related to plant or plant life.
 

What is a carrier oil?

A substance that is used to dilute a fragrance or essential oil so that it is safe for use on the body. Carrier oils can also refer to an oil that is used to carry the fragrance out in a product like roll-on perfume. Oils used in this way typically do not have a very strong scent, ie: sweet almond oil.
 

What is castile soap?

Originally denoting an olive oil soap bar; which was named for the region in Spain where it originated. This term now is commonly given to any soap containing 100% olive oil (no other soaping oil used in the recipe).
 

What does caustic mean?

Usually a term to describe a very strong acid or base, this refers to a substance that by means of a chemical reaction will break down or destroy other elements under certain conditions. Caustic material is very dangerous especially to elements containing water such as organic tissue. An example of a caustic ingredient is sodium hydroxide (lye).
 

What is cold process soap making?

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. This process, abbreviated as CP, involves diluting lye into distilled water to form a lye solution. This lye solution is then added to melted oils/fats/butters and stirred. After trace is present, other additives such as fragrance and herbs may be added. Batter is then poured into molds. Insulation of molds is required. Within 24 hours, the soap is solid enough to be removed from the mold and cut, exposing more soap area to oxidation. For a time period of 4-6 weeks, the soap must complete the saponification process. During this time, any excess lye and water evaporate out, creating a milder and harder bar of soap. Note: Using a CP bar of soap that still has active lye will irritate and burn the skin. A pH strip test is the best way to test if your soaps are safe to use.
 

What is cold process oven process soap making?

This soaping process; usually referred to as CPOP, involves diluting lye into distilled water to form a lye solution. This lye solution is then added to melted oils/fats/butters and stirred. After trace is present, other additives such as fragrance and herbs may be added. Batter is then poured into molds. The molds are then placed into a 170 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1- 2 1/2 hr. Within 24 hours, the soap is solid enough to be removed from the mold and cut, exposing more soap area to oxidation. To ensure milder and harder bars of soap, the soap is then cured for 2-4 weeks. Note: Using a CP bar of soap that still has active lye will irritate and burn the skin. A pH strip test is the best way to test if your soaps are safe to use.
 

What does cosmetic grade mean?

Available in different grades which are priced accordingly, this refers to ingredients that are safe for use on the body or in cosmetics.
 

What does cure time mean?

The time period that it takes to saponify soap so that there is no longer any active lye present.
 

What does D&C mean?

D & C is the abbreviation for drug and cosmetics. If something is approved as D&C safe, then it can be used for cosmetics or in drugs.
 

What does deodorize mean?

This term refers to the removal of a scent from something. Within soaping reference, many soaping oils are deodorized to take away their natural scent. Using deodorized soaping oils is one way to keep your fragrance true to their original aroma.
 

What is a detergent?

This agent has cleansing benefits and performs very similar to soap. However, detergent is made from chemical compounds other than the fats/oil/butters and lye (like soap). When a detergent is found in the ingredients list of a product, it must be labeled as a cosmetic product under the specific guidelines of the FDA.
 

What are dreaded orange spots in soap making?

These spots, also known as DOS, occur in processed soaps that contain a large amount of soaping oils that have turned rancid. These spots are orangish, brownish, or beige in color. It is believed that they are caused by using soaping oils which are old.
 

What are embeds?

Embeds refer to pieces of soap that are placed into the processing soap during the light trace stage.
 

What is an emollient?

Refers to having certain properties that are both soothing and softening to the skin.
 

What is an emulsifying wax?

This is an emulsifier (a product that allows water-based ingredients and oil-based ingredients to bind together) used in hair and skin care. Emulsifying wax is used in skin care recipes to allow for thick creams.
 

What is an emulsion?

This is when two liquids which normally would not blend together, are blended together (oil/water). Typically, the process involves an emulsifier (a product that allows water-based ingredients and oil-based ingredients to bind together).
 

What is an essential oil?

Natural volatile oils that are extracted through various means from plant matter. Extraction could take place by means of distillation, expression, or the use of chemical solvents.
 

What does EO mean?

EO is an abbreviation for essential oil.
 

What does exfoliate mean?

An additive that is added to processed soap that allows for the removal of dirt and debris from the skin, as well as, the removal of dead skin cells themselves, for healthier skin.
 

What does exothermic mean?

A term referring to the heat that is produced and released when a chemical reaction occurs. Examples of an exothermic reaction would be when lye is added to water or when the lye solution is added to the oils and butters.
 

What does extract mean?

For essential oils, this is when the oil can be extracted from the plant without the use of any chemical solvents. This is the purest, concentrated form of an essential oil.
 

What does F,D&C?

F,D&C is the short abbreviation for Food, Drug, and Cosmetics. If something is F,D&C approved, that means that it is a safe ingredient for use in food, drug, and cosmetics.
 

What are fatty acids?


Fatty acids are compounds either saturated or unsaturated, that are found in all fats and butters. The fatty acids are what is responsible for giving your soap bars conditioning, creamy lather, bubbles, hardness, and cleansing ability.
 

What are fixed oils?

These are oils such as olive, palm, and coconut, that can be heated without evaporating.
 

What does flash point mean?

The possible lowest temperature that will inflame the vapors of a liquid when introduced to a source of ignition. Flashpoints are available for every fragrance and essential oil that Natures Garden carries. They are located in three places, on the website under the fragrance information, on the specific MSDS sheets, as well as on the fragrance labels themselves. Fixed oils also have a flashpoint. Fragrance Oil- The blended combination of essential oils, synthetic aroma chemicals, and resins to produce a liquid that is extremely aromatic. Certain scents can only be derived synthetically such as Strawberry, Coconut, Banana, Mango (to name just a few) because these particular aromas cannot be made into essential oil form.

 

What does FO mean?

FO is an abbreviation used for fragrance oil.
 

What does it mean to gel a soap?

A possible phase of saponification, since not all soap batches will do this; occurring at the beginning of the process, this refers to the short period of time when the soap batter transforms to a warm clear gel. This gel will then slowly return to being opaque, but it will also be a little bit more solid and cooler.
 

What is glycerin?

A natural emollient and humectant, glycerin is a product of processed soap. It is also often removed from commercial brands soaps and used to created creams and lotions.
 

What is hot process soap making?

This soaping process, generally referred to as HP, 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 heat sources are usually a crock pot or stovetop. 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. Although a cure time for these soaps is not required, to get a milder and harder bar of soap, a cure time of 1 week is advised. The final soap bars will have a very rustic appeal.
 

What is a humectant?

An ingredient that not only attracts water from the environment, but also aids the skin in absorbing the water as well.
 

What does hydrating mean?

Something that provides moisture or water to the skin.
 

What is hydrogenated oil?

An oil that has the addition of hydrogen added to it to make it a solid or semi-solid at room temperature. The process of hydrogenation helps to decrease the chance of oils turning rancid.
 

What is an INCI name?

Mandatory for labeling in the US and Canada, the INCI names were created to ensure that all ingredients would be listed the same on various cosmetic products. This also allows for ease on consumers when comparing ingredient lists on cosmetics. INCI stands for International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient.
 

What is an infusion?

Taking an additive such as an herb and allowing it to steep in a liquid to extract the herb's beneficial aspects.
 

What does insoluble mean?

This means not able to be dissolved. Oils/Butters/Fats will not dissolve in water.
 

What is an irritant?

Much like an allergen, irritants can cause disturbing and painful reactions to the skin.
 

What is Lye in soap making?

Essential to the saponification process, lye is a caustic base. Lye can also be referred to as either sodium hydroxide (used to make bar soaps) or potassium hydroxide (used to make liquid soaps).
 

What is a lye discount?

The method of purposely decreasing the amount of lye that should be included in a soaping recipe.
 

What is melt and pour soap making?

This soaping process, usually referred to as M&P or MP soap, involves using soap that has already gone through the saponification process. The pre-fabricated soap base only needs a few steps before use. First, the slabs are cut and melted down into a liquid form in order to add any fragrance, color, or other additives. Once this is complete, the liquid must be poured into a mold where it will harden. The soap is finished and can be used once it has hardened and is popped out of the mold. Since this process does not include the use of lye, no cure time is needed.
 

What does melting point mean?

The temperature at which a soaping oil will turn from a solid to a liquid or starts melting.
 

What is an MSDS?

The abbreviation of Material Safety Data Sheet. These sheets contain all of the relevant information of a specific material.
 

What does natural mean?

Anything that is of the earth, not containing any manmade or synthetic additions to its makeup.
 

What is a nutrient in soap making?

Within the realm of soap making, this refers to anything that is beneficial or has favorable advantages for the skin.
 

What does organic mean?

Without the additions of anything man made or chemically altered, this term denotes anything that was once living.
 

What is a pH scale?

A form of measurement for the acidity or alkalinity of a substance in ratio to water. Ranging from 0-14, the lower the number, the more acid it is. The higher the number, the more alkaline. A pH of 7 will denote neutral (water has the pH of 7). Processed soap will have a pH of 8.5-10.5 when cured completely.
 

What is a pH strip?

Litmus paper containing water soluble dyes that when dipped into a liquid or set on a bar of soap will show a color. The color is then compared to a chart to find the pH level.
 

What are photosensitizers?

A substance that once used on the skin will make the skin super sensitive to the sun or to sunlight; increasing the chance of a sunburn in some people.
 

What is a preservative?

An ingredient that is added to a substance that will prevent the breakdown and spoilage from microbial growth.
 

What is potassium hydroxide in soap making?

Symbolized as KOH, this is used for lye solution of gel or liquid soaps. Also known as caustic potash. This ingredient is a very strong base with a pH of 14. Note: The SAP values of your recipes fats/butters/oils will vary depending on whether you are using sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or potassium hydroxide (KOH).
 

What does rancidity in soap making?

The breakdown or spoilage of oils/butters/fats used in soaping. Often, there is a stale or off smell due to the decomposition of the oil/butter/fat.
 

What does rebatch mean?

Considered a do-over in the soap making process, this process involves the use of soap that was already crafted through CP or HP. The processed bars are grated down and melted with a heat source, usually a crock pot, but other sources are used as well. A liquid, like water or milk, is added to help prevent scorching of the soap shavings. If a rebatch is being done due to an error, the correcting elements are added too. The rebatch heats for 1 hour. Once it is in a thick liquid form, any additives such as color, fragrance, or herbs, are added. The thick batter is scooped out and molded. Once cooled completely, the soap is removed, cut, and cured as usual. Rebatching is generally done for two main reasons. The first is to correct a soaping error or seize. The second is for the addition of additives that may not survive or react badly during the saponification with active lye. An example of these temperamental additives would be natural exfoliates.
 

What is a refined oil?

These are oils that have been filtered, removing any impurities in the oils.
 

What safety equipment do I need for soap making?

A category for all of the equipment used to keep one safe during the soaping process can be found on the Natures Garden website in the soap making supplies section. This equipment includes but is not limited to: Safety goggles and/or face shield, rubber gloves, a face mask, aprons, etc. You should also include items like protective coverings for work areas, fire extinguishers, bottles of neutralizing substances (such as vinegar for lye spills), first aid kit, etc.
 

What does saponification mean?

This is the process of the chemical reaction that the lye solution and oils/fats/butters go through when making soap. Saponification produces both soap and glycerin. Glycerin naturally occurs as a byproduct of this chemical reaction.
 

What does SAP value mean?

The abbreviation for Saponification Value. This refers to the number of milligrams of lye that is needed to completely saponify one gram of a specific oil/fat/butter in a soap recipe. Note: The SAP values of your recipes fats/butters/oils will vary depending on whether you are using sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or potassium hydroxide (KOH).
 

What does seize mean in soap making?

A term referencing the condition of the soap batter when saponification has occurred enough that the batter is no longer a liquid and has started to solidify. This occurs while mixing together the ingredients of a soap recipe when the batter becomes too thick to mix easily or pour into a mold.
 

What is soap?

Soap is produced by the chemical reaction that the lye solution and oils/fats/butters go through when making soap. This reaction is called saponification. Saponification produces both soap and glycerin. Glycerin is a naturally occurring byproduct of this chemical reaction.
 

What is sodium hydroxide?

Symbolized as NaOH, this is used for lye solution of bars of soaps. Also known as caustic soda. Note: The SAP values of your recipes fats/butters/oils will vary depending on whether you are using sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or potassium hydroxide (KOH).
 

What does the term trace mean in soap making?

When it comes to soap making, trace occurs after both the lye solution and oils/butter have been combined.  The soap batter will begin to thicken to a pudding like consistency, this is considered trace.  When your soap batter is at this consistency, you will be able to “trace” a line in the soap and it will not immediately disappear. 
 

What does light trace mean in soap making?

Light trace is the stage just before your raw soap comes to trace.  A light trace is a thin pudding like consistency. 
 

How long does it take for soap batter to get to trace?

The amount of time it will take for your soap batter to come to trace can vary greatly.  The ingredients in your soap will determine the amount of time it takes.  Some soaping oils will accelerate trace and others will slow trace.  In addition, fragrance oils and other additives can affect your soap batter.  Some scents can accelerate trace and others can slow trace. 
 

General Soap Making Questions

Why did my soap turn brown?

In most cases, soap turns brown due to a fragrance oil that contains vanillin.  Vanillin will cause soap discoloration, whether it be cold process soap, hot process soap, or melt and pour soap.  It can also cause your other cosmetic products, such as lotions and bath bombs, to turn brown.  Typically, the higher the vanillin content, the darker a soap will get.  You can use a vanilla white color stabilizer which will help lessen the soap discoloration due to a vanillin content.  However, it should be noted that there are many other ingredients in fragrance oils that can cause a change in color.  In addition, herbs added to your soap can oxidize and change the color of the soap as well.
 
 

Can I use essential oils in soap making?

Yes, essential oils can be used in soap making.  They tend to hold up the best in melt and pour soap though.  Why do essential oils hold up better in melt and pour soap?  Well, mp soap has already gone through the saponification process.  For this reason, the essential oil will not burn off.  When cold process soap is created, the soap batter reaches high temperatures.  Since an essential oil does not have middle notes and base notes to anchor it, your essential oil may burn off.  While you may still have some scent, it may not be as strong in cold process as it is in melt and pour soap.
 
 

How much fragrance oil can I add to soap?

The amount of fragrance oil you add to your soap will really come down to the scent and type of soap you are making.  You will need to check the IFRA statement to be sure of the maximum amount of scent that can be added.  However, some fragrances allow for very high amounts of fragrance oil.  We recommend no more than 5% fragrance oil in a batch of soap to ensure that the soap will not turn out too soft or oily. 
 

How much essential oil can I use in soap?

The amount of essential oil that you can use will depend on the essential oil itself.  Once again, you will need to check the IFRA statements of each essential to determine the maximum amount of the essential oil that you can use.
 
 

I want to add 5% fragrance oil to my handmade soap.  How do I figure out how much fragrance oil to add?

So, you will need to determine the total weight of your soap.  So, if you are using melt and pour soap, just simply weigh the soap.  However, if you are making cp soap or hp soap, you will need to add up the weight of all of your ingredients put together.  Then, multiply your total weight and multiply it by 5%.  So, let’s say you are creating a two-pound (or 32 ounces) batch.  You would do the math as shown below in example 1.  So, let’s say you weighed your ingredients in grams, it is the same concept.  This time let’s say that your total batch weight is 912 grams, see example 2 to show you how to determine 5%. fragrance oil.  You will notice, no matter your unit of measurement, the math stays the same.  If you give a weight in ounces, your final amount will be ounces.  If you weigh your ingredients in grams, your final weight will be in grams.  You simply need to remember this equation: Total product weight X percentage of fragrance oil you will be using= the amount of fragrance oil you will need to add.
 Example 1: 32 ounces                Example 2: 912 grams
                    x 5%                                                  x5%
                    1.6 ounces                                       45.6 grams
 

 

Can you use silicone molds for making soap?

Yes, you can use silicone molds for soap making.  They are actually very easy to use, withstand high heat, are durable, and make removal from the soap mold very easy.  However, you will not want to use them for baking or any type of food after using them for soap.
 
 

What is the process of making soap?

There are a few ways soap can be made.  When making soap from scratch, you can use a cold process method.  This involves preparing a lye solution and soaping oils, fats or butters.  Then, you combine the two creating a chemical reaction called saponification.  A similar method is the hot process soap method.  While it is similar to cold process soap, you place the ingredients in a crock pot.  The heat from the crock pot speeds up the saponification process.  Another option is using a melt and pour soap base.  Melt and pour soap base already have gone through saponification.  Natures Garden offers a variety of melt and pour soap bases like shea butter mp soap, cocoa butter, honey melt and pour soap, and many others.  So, you will simply need to melt the soap using a microwave or double boiler, add any desired additives and pour the melted base into a soap mold.
 
 

How do you make soap white?

Soap can be colored white using titanium dioxide.  In fact, you can even turn a clear soap base white by adding titanium dioxide to it.
 
 

Can I make the same melt and pour soap designs as I can with cold process soap?

While the design for melt and pour soap will not be the same, you can make creative soap.  In the same manner, cold process soap designs will not be the same as melt and pour soap designs.  That being said, while they are different, each soap making method can allow you to create some really cool soap with both methods.  Each type has methods that are unique to that method and a few in both methods are similar.  For example, you can create layered soaps with each method, and the technique is very similar in both types.  However, when it comes to swirling soap the techniques will be different and the finished product will look different.  Both cold process soap and melt and pour soap can be swirled, just in different ways.
 
 

What does it mean to Superfat soap?

When you superfat soap, you are basically adding extra oils that will remain unsaponified.  Soaping oils, fats, and butters each have a SAP value.  The lye will saponify what it can use, the rest will remain in the soap to provide extra moisturizing and nourishing qualities to the bar of soap.
 
 

Do you offer soap making classes in Ohio?

We do offer a variety of free classes and recipes on our website in PDF format.  You will find them by clicking on the green box labeled “Free Recipes & Classes” at the top of our website.  However, at this time, we do not offer any physical classes at our Wellington, Ohio location.
 

Soap Making Recipes

Does Natures Garden offer soap making recipes?

Yes, Natures Garden offers both melt and pour soap recipes, hot process soap recipes, and hot process soap recipes.  They can be found right on our website.  At the top of the Natures Garden website, click on the green box labeled “Free Recipes & Classes”.  You will find many recipe subcategories including melt and pour soap recipes, hot process soap recipes, and cold process soap recipes.
 

Why are the herbs in my soap recipe turning brown?

Herbs will oxidize when added to soap.  As far as how long it will take for the herbs to oxidize, it will depend on the herb itself.  Since they are natural products, the time can vary even from one batch to another and one herb to another.
 

Can you help me with a soap recipe that is good for psoriasis and eczema?

Homemade soap is fabulous for eczema.  You can incorporate a variety of herbs into handmade soap recipes.  While everyone’s skin is different, herbs like chamomile, chickweed, and calendula have been known to help many people with these types of skin conditions.  You can also add essential oils like eucalyptus essential oil and tea tree essential oil.
 
 

Why is my homemade soap is oily?

Homemade soap, whether it be melt and pour soap or a cold process soap recipe, can be oily due to too much oil.  In the case of melt and pour soap, you mp soap base will only hold so much oil before it begins to seep out.  When it comes to cold process soap, it could also be too much oil.  This is because the oil may not have saponified.  It could be caused by a recipe improperly formulated or even adding too much of an oil.  I have even accidentally added an oil twice without realizing it, it happens to the best of us.  However, cp soap can also have this problem due to a fragrance oil not being suitable for cold process soap.  Some fragrance oils can begin separating as the soap is setting up or even once it is removed from the molds.  Sometimes the oil will reabsorb, other times it will not.
 
 

Does Natures Garden offer any melt and pour soap recipes using essential oils?

Yes, we have some melt and pour soap base recipes using essential oils.  You can check the recipe tab of the essential oil to see if there is a soap making recipe available for that particular essential oil.  If a recipe is available, the green recipe tab will be located in the description of the essential oil, right above the picture.  If there is not a tab above the picture, we do not offer a soap making recipe using that particular essential oil.
 
 

Does Natures Garden offer soap making molds?

Yes, Natures Garden offers a wide selection of soap making molds.  They can be found in their own sub-category, under soap making supplies on our website.  We offer soap molds for cold process soap, hot process soap, and melt and pour soap.
 

Melt and Pour Soap Making
 

Does Natures Garden offer melt and pour soap supplies?

Yes, Natures Garden offers melt and pour soap making supplies.  In fact, we carry everything you need to make melt and pour soap.  Simply click on the soap making supplies category on Natures Garden’s website.
 
 

Can melt and pour soap be used right away?

Yes, melt and pour soap can be used as soon as it hardens.  It does not need to cure like cold process soap does.
 
 

How do I get my melt and pour soap out of the mold?

Soap can sometimes get stuck in the soap molds.  However, in order to remove your soap from the mold, you can place the soap in the refrigerator for a short time.  Once you remove it, it should pop out of the molds pretty easily.
 
 

How do I get fingerprints off my melt and pour soap?

Occasionally, you can get fingerprints on your melt and pour soap.  This can happen when packaging your mp soap base or when removing your handmade soap from the soap mold.  Simply use your spray bottle of rubbing alcohol and moisten a cotton swab. Now, gently wipe the fingerprint until you can no longer see it.
 
 

How long should melt and pour soap stay in the mold?

You need to leave melt and pour soap in the mold only until it sets up.  The time it will take to setup will depend upon the size of the soap itself.  A large loaf will take longer than a small embed.  So, just make sure it is hardened completely.  When you touch the soap mold, it will no longer be warm.  It should feel cool to the touch and hard.
 
 

What are the instructions for using melt and pour soap?

Melt and pour soap bases are very easy to use.  You simply need to first cut the base into small cubes.  Then, melt it in either a microwave or double boiler.  You want to melt the soap base only until it is in a fluid state.  Next, add your fragrance oils, colorants, or any other herbs or exfoliants.  Finally, pour it into your soap mold and let it setup before removing it from the soap mold.
 
 

Can I use my soap making equipment for food after using it for soap?

No, once any equipment is used for soap making, cosmetic making, or candle making, you do not want to use it for food again.  Even after it is washed you may still have residue of oils or even fragrance or essential oils.  You want to make sure that equipment stays dedicated to handcrafted soap, handmade candles, or homemade cosmetics.
 

How does the soap making process work?

The soap making process will vary depending on which method you choose.  However, you can choose to make soap from scratch using the hot process soap method or the cold process soap method.  You can also use melt and pour soap method.  This method uses a soap base that has already been through the saponification process.
 
 

I made a huge mess with my melt and pour soap.  How do I clean it up?

I would suggest waiting for the soap to setup before you attempt to clean it up.  Once the soap is setup, you can scrape it off the surface.  However, if you spill straight fragrance oil, you will want to clean it up immediately with warm soapy water.  I find that Dawn is the best way to clean up a fragrance oil spill.
 
 

Why is my melt and pour soap sweating?

Melt and pour soap can sweat for a couple of reasons.  First, it can be caused by too much oil.  Adding too much fragrance oil or, if you added a carrier oil, too much carrier oil can cause beads of oil to rest on the surface of the soap.  However, more often, it is simply the soap drawing moisture from the air.  Melt and pour soap contains vegetable glycerin.  Vegetable glycerin is a humectant.  This means that it will pull moisture from the air.  This means that once you have used your soap, it will draw moisture from the air and into your skin.  Although, when left unwrapped, it can draw moisture to the soap itself.  This makes the soap appear to sweat.  How can you prevent melt and pour soap from sweating?  As soon as you remove your soap from the mold, wrap your soap.  Once your soap is wrapped it will no longer be able to pull moisture from the air.
 

Can you use essential oils in melt and pour soap?

Yes, most essential oils can be used in soap making.  However, just like fragrance oils, some may not be safe for soap and other bath and body products.  You want to check the IFRA statement, found in the description of each essential oil, to be sure you are using a safe amount.
 
 

Is your soya milk mp soap base GMO-free?

Yes, all ingredients in the soya milk melt and pour soap base are GMO-free.
 
 

How do I store melt and pour soap?

Unused melt and pour soap should be kept sealed and stored in a cool dry place.  If you have already created your soap, you want to store it covered and sealed completely as well.  You should package the soap as soon as it is removed of the mold.
 
 

Is there lye in melt and pour soap?

In order to make soap, one always has to use lye.  However, once soap has saponified, as is the case with melt and pour soap, lye does not exist anymore in the soap.  This is because a chemical reaction occurred which used the lye as the emulsifier needed to turn oils and water into soap.
 
 

I would like to know if most recipes are showing oils measured in weight ounces or in fluid ounces?

When our soap making recipe calls for ounces, it will be by weight.  Since volume measurements are not as accurate, we always recommend weighing your ingredients.  In fact, we highly recommend using gram measurements in soap making.  This will allow you to be precise in your measurements.
 
 

How do you make white soap?

You can make melt and pour soap white using titanium dioxide.  This will even allow you to create a white soap from a clear mp soap base.  However, depending on your fragrance oil, your soap may turn brown or a shade of light beige.  This type of discoloration is often caused by a vanillin content.  The vanillin content is listed in the description of each fragrance oil under “Important Fragrance Specifics”.  If there is a vanillin content, we highly recommend using Vanilla White Color Stabilizer.  This will slow the discoloration caused by the fragrance oil’s vanillin content.
 

Can I double a soap making recipe?

Yes, melt and pour soap base recipes can be doubled.  Simply double each ingredient in the soap making recipe.
 

Can I add more oil to melt and pour soap?

You can add a bit more carrier oil.  However, you have to be careful.  Too much oil can reduce lather and can also seep out of the soap.  In addition, if you are wanting to add more fragrance oil, in some cases, you can add more than Natures Garden’s maximum recommendations.  However, there are maximum amounts that can be used.  You cannot add more oil than what is allowed according to the IFRA Certificate.  The IFRA Certificates can be found in the description of each of our fragrance oils.
 

How do I melt soap into a new bar?

Melt and pour soap can be melted using either a double boiler or a microwave.  However, when using the microwave, you want to melt your melt and pour in 30 second intervals only until it is melted.  When using a double boiler, place a pan of water over low-medium heat.  Place a smaller pot filled with the mp soap base inside of it.  Do not leave the soap unattended, you want to leave it on the heat only until it is in a fluid state.
 

How should soap be stored?

Melt and pour soap should be stored wrapped and in a cool dry place. 
 

What temperature to pour melt and pour soap?

Melt and pour soap should be poured when it is in a fluid state.  Once it is completely melted, you can pour melt and pour soap.  Glycerin melt and pour soap should be fluid around 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
 

Does Natures Garden offer soap making kits?

Yes, Natures Garden offers both a clear mp soap kit and a goat’s milk melt and pour soap kit.
 

What is the best way to wrap melt and pour soap?

Melt and pour soap can be wrapped in a few ways.  Some will wrap them with shrink wrap, which is also my preference.  Others will use Ziploc bags, removing the air before sealing.  In addition, some will box their handmade soap.
 
 

Why is my homemade soap is oily?

Oily soap can be caused by too much fragrance oil, too much carrier oil, or your soap might be sweating.  You can prevent this by cutting back on the fragrance oil or carrier.  If your soap is sweating, you likely waited too long to get it wrapped. 
 
 

How do I swirl melt and pour soap?

Melt and pour soap can be swirled by adding powders, such as clays, fruit, or veggie powders, to the soap.  The powder thickens the soap slightly. This creates some tension between the different colors and allows the mp soap to swirl.
 
 

Why is my melt and pour soap dissolving so fast?

Melt and pour soap most often dissolves faster when exposed to a significant amount of water in the shower.  You can also have a softer bar when you add extra oil to the bar of soap.  Too much oil can create a softer bar causing it to dissolve faster.
 
 
Do you offer melt and pour soap recipes?
Yes, we have a wide variety of mp soap recipes.  These recipes can be found right on our website at the top of any page on our website.  Look for the green box labeled “Free Recipes & Classes” and click.  You will find a variety of free soap classes and free soap making recipes.
 
 

How do I make melt and pour soap frosting?

Melt and pour soap frosting can be made with our whipped soap base and melt and pour soap base.  You will mix equal parts of the whipped base and the mp base.  Then, add 5% vegetable glycerin and your fragrance oil.  You will also need to use a hand mixer to whip the base to a whipped frosting consistency.
 
 

What are the ingredients in melt and pour soap base?

The melt and pour soap base ingredients can vary depending on the mp base itself.  However, the ingredients can be found right in the description of the base itself.  The soap base ingredients will also be listed on a label on the soap base you purchased.
 
 

What is the difference between melt and pour soap and cold process soap?

The main difference between melt and pour soap and cold process soap is when making melt and pour soap, the mp soap base has already gone through the saponification process.  Melt and pour soap bases are formulated to be melted and poured into a mold.  You can also add fragrance, color, and additives to melt and pour soap if you choose.  When making cold process soap, you are making soap from scratch.  You start with a lye solution and oils, once you have combined them, they will saponify and the chemical reaction between the two create soap.  Cold process soap can also be scented, colored, and additives can be used.  While there are more precautions to take when making cp soap, both methods have their own benefits.  You can take a closer look at our soap making classes for in depth looks at both processes.
 
 

How do I color melt and pour soap?

Melt and pour soap can be colored with FD&C dyes, our FUN Soap Colorants, or even powdered herbs dispersed in vegetable glycerin.  We recommend FD&C dyes when coloring your soap a solid color, but when layering soap, the layers can bleed.  In a white mp soap base, you will get a more pastel color.  However, in a clear base, it will be truer to color.  They are water-based soap colorants.  Our FUN Soap Colorants are pigments dispersed in vegetable glycerin.  Since they are pigments, they will be more vibrant and true to color, even in a white base.  Finally, when using herbs to color your soap, you will get a more rustic natural look.  In addition, herbs can oxidize over time, so you will want to take that into account as it will cause discoloration in the soap.
 
 

How much melt and pour soap will I need for my mold?

You will need about 31 grams of soap by weight to fill each ounce by volume.  So, let’s say your soap mold is 16 ounces, you will need about 496 grams of soap.  See the equation below
    31 The amount of soap needed by weight to fill each ounce (this number will always stay the same)
 x 16 In this example, we use a 16-ounce mold (this number will be based on                                                                                                                                                  496 grams of soap by weight                                how many ounces your mold is)
 
 

Why is my soap not hardening?
When it comes to melt and pour soap not hardening, it could be that you have added too much oil.  So, whether it is fragrance oil, a carrier oil, or a combination of the two, this is most often the cause.  In addition, overheating the soap could cause the ingredients to breakdown and the soap may not setup properly.
 
 

What soap making supplies do I need to make melt and pour soap?

When creating melt and pour soap, you will need, of course, an mp soap base.  You will also need a microwave or double boiler, a cutting board, knife, a microwave safe dish for soap making, stainless mixing spoon, a scale, rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle, and a soap mold.  Finally, you will need any additional ingredients you would like to add to your handmade soap such as fragrance oils, soap colorants, or other soaping additives.
 
 

Why won’t my melt and pour soap lather?

Melt and pour soap can lose its lather if it has too much of any type of additive.  Things such as excess oils and herbs can reduce the lather of the soap base.  Finally, the soap base itself can have ingredients that will naturally lather better than others.  For example, Natures Garden carries more than 10 types of soap base, our goat milk melt and pour soap base will have more lather than our honey mp soap base.
 
 

Does Natures Garden offer any melt and pour soap recipes with shea butter?

Yes, on our website, type shea butter melt and pour soap into the search bar to the left of the page below our logo and click search.  You will now be on the page for our shea butter mp soap base.  Above the picture, you will see a green tab labeled recipes.  Click on that tab.  You will see pictures and title of our shea butter soap recipes.  Click on any of the recipes to be taken to step by step instructions showing how to make the shea butter soap recipe.
 
 

How do I color melt and pour soap?

Soap can be can be colored in a number of ways.  First, you can use Natures Garden’s FUN Soap Colorants.  In addition, you can use our Da Bomb Soap Dyes.  Finally, herbs can be incorporated in your soap making recipes.  Some, though, will first need to be added to vegetable glycerin or a carrier oil before adding it to your soap.
 
 

Can I make soap without using lye?

Melt and pour soap can be made without lye.  When using a melt and pour soap base, the saponification process has already been done.  Melt and pour soap, or MP soap, is formulated to be melted and poured into a soap mold.  Melt and pour soap can be melted using either a microwave or a double boiler.
 
 

Why do I have bubbles in my melt and pour soap?

Bubbles are unavoidable when pouring melt and pour soap.  These are most often just air bubbles.  They can be removed by spraying them with rubbing alcohol.  Occasionally, it can be caused by fragrance oil.  You will know that it is the fragrance oil because it be a larger bubble and typically be a light-yellow color and not go away when sprayed with rubbing alcohol.  It can be caused by either too much fragrance oil or the fragrance oil not being completely mixed with the soap base.
 
 

Why won’t my soap frosting setup on my melt and pour soap?

When making melt and pour soap frosting using Natures Garden’s whipped soap base, it is important to also use melt and pour soap.  The addition of the mp soap base is what allows it to set up.  You will also want to add vegetable glycerin.  Vegetable glycerin will allow the soap frosting to remain flexible.
 
 

Where do I find the melt and pour soap ingredients?

The melt and pour soap ingredients can be found on the label of the soap base itself.  It can also be found in the description of each soap base.
 

Cold Process Soap Making

Does Natures Garden offer cold process soap making recipes?

Yes, you can find numerous cold process soap making recipes found right on our website.  At the top of our website, you will find a green recipe box that is labeled “Free Recipes and Classes”.  If you click on this box you will find a category labeled cold process soap recipes.
 

Why are my citrus scents so light in my cold process soap?

Citrus fragrance oils typically have a lower flash point.  So, in some cases, they may burn off during saponification.  This could be true of any type of fragrance oil that has a lower flash point, not just citrus scents.  During saponification, the soap reaches very hot temperatures.  This why citrus fragrance oils can burn off and have a weaker scent.  So, how can you prevent a citrus scent from fading in soap?  First, you can add more fragrance oil if you have not added the maximum amount.  Second, you can anchor the fragrance oil.  You can use a vanilla fragrance oil for example.  Since vanilla scents have a higher flash point, they will help keep the scent anchored and help prevent fading.  Some soapers will use kaolin clay to their soaps.  However, clays can make your soap slick.  You want to make sure your soap is stored in a cool dry place and out of direct sunlight.  You also may want to avoid allowing the soap to gel.  Finally, while these fragrance oils may not do as well in cp soap, they will likely be much stronger in melt and pour soap.  Since mp soap has already gone through saponification, the fragrance oil in mp soap is not subjected to high heat.  This means that the fragrance oil’s scent in the melt and pour soap will be stronger.
 

Are fragrance oils or essential oils better for cold process soaps?

Both essential oils and fragrance oils can be used in cold process soap.  Since fragrance oils have top notes, middle notes, and base notes, they tend to hold up better in cold process soap.  However, you can also use essential oils in cold process soap, they may not be as strong though.
 
 

When can I cut my cold process soap?

Cold process soap will need to setup prior to cutting.  This will take some time and will depend on your soap making recipe and the size of the batch.  We recommend waiting about 24-48 hours before removing it from the mold and cutting your handmade cold process soap.  You can check the soap by using a gloved hand (the soap will still be caustic) to see if it is still too soft.  While it will still be soft when you remove it from the mold, you do not want it to be too soft.  Alternatively, if you wait too long to remove cold process soap from the mold and cut it, it may become brittle and crumble as you are cutting it.
 
 

What will make cold process soaps freeze or set up too soon?

Most often, soap can seize due to the fragrance oil itself.  Fragrance oils will all perform differently in cold process soap.  Some fragrance oils will cause acceleration of the soap batter.  This means the soap will setup quickly, and in some cases, immediately.  When the soap sets up immediately, this is called a seizing.  It can also be caused by the soaping oils, additives, and butters used in the cold process soap recipe.  Some oils have properties that slow acceleration, other oils have properties that cause your soap to come to trace much faster.
 
 

Do you have any tips for working with problem fragrance oils in cold process soap?

When working with a fragrance oil that is a “problem fragrance oil” there some ways to still work with the scent in cold process soap.  First, let’s talk about acceleration in cold process soap.  Soaping at room temperature can slow the amount of time it will take for the soap batter to reach trace.  Second, using soaping oils that slow trace, such as sunflower oil, will help your soap batter.  However, if it completely seizes, the fragrance may only be used in melt and pour soap recipes.  Next, we will talk about separation.  Some fragrance oils will separate in cold process soap.  At times, the soap batter can be stick blended, mixing the fragrance oil back into the batter.  Other times, it may separate as the soap is setting up, and may later reabsorb into the soap.  However, if the fragrance oil does not stick blend or reabsorb into the soap, the scent may not be suitable for cold process soap.  Now, let’s talk about ricing. Some fragrances can cause the soap batter to rice.  Ricing can’t be prevented; however, it is possible that your soap batter can be stick blended until it no longer shows ricing.  Finally, some soap can discolor.  There are a variety of ingredients in fragrance oils that can cause soap discoloration.  While often times it cannot be prevented, when the discoloration of the soap is caused by vanillin, the discoloration can be lessened.  You can add Vanilla White Color Stabilizer to your soap batter to help with discoloration.  When discoloration is caused by other ingredients sometimes the discoloration can be covered by soap making colorants.  Other times, there is nothing that can be done to hide the discoloration, it will just be something you will have to work into your soap design.
 

Can cold process soaps be molded into different shapes?

Absolutely, you can use a variety of molds in cold process soap making.  Just keep in mind that your soap will reach very high heats.  For this reason, we do not recommend using plastic embed molds when making cold process soap.  Silicone molds will hold up very well.  You can also us SOME thicker plastic molds when creating cp soap.  If you are unsure, it is best to use another soap mold.
 

Can I use cup measurements for soap making?

When it comes to soap making, we recommend using weighted measurements.  Weighted measurements are more accurate and will help ensure a quality finished handcrafted soap.
 
 

What is the shelf life of lye?

The shelf life of lye or sodium hydroxide, when properly stored, is one year.  After a year it is possible that it might still work.  However, it is also possible that it has absorbed moisture from the air.  You can do a small test batch to know for sure, but it may not work properly.  You could end up with soap batter that may not come to trace very quickly or could even separate after it is poured or sets up.
 

Can you make good quality soap using the cold process soap method without palm oil?

Absolutely.  You can make a quality bar of soap without palm oil.  In fact, Natures Garden offers a variety of soap making recipes without palm oil.  You can find soap making recipes in our recipe box located at the top of our website.  It is a green box labeled “free recipes & classes”.  You can then click on the cold process soap category.  Another option would be running your recipe through a soap calculator such as the soap calculator found on soapcalc.net.
 

How do you make cold process soap?

Cold process soap is made completely from scratch.  While there are many variables in cold process soap making, in the simplest terms cold process soap is created first by creating a lye solution.  A lye solution is created by adding the lye, also known as sodium hydroxide, to water.  Then, in a separate bowl, you will weigh out and melt a combination of butters and oils.  Once both bowls of ingredients come to a certain temperature, you mix them together and pour them into a mold at trace.  Each soap making recipe will need to be formulated to ensure that your lye completely saponifies and will create a quality batch of soap.  Natures Garden offers a variety of soap making recipes that have already been formulated.  You can find these recipes in the recipe box found at the top of our website.
 

What kind of conditions does CP soap need to cure after it is removed from mold?

You want to cure your soap in a cool dry environment.  You also want the bars of soap to be a couple inches apart to ensure proper air flow.  This will allow the soap to dry and continue to setup properly.
 

What is the best way to clean up cold process soap?

When cleaning up cold process soap, whether you have made a big mess or a little mess, it is extremely important to neutralize the soap batter.  This can be done with vinegar.  Once the soap batter is neutralized, you can then use soapy water to wipe down your surface.  Dawn dish soap does a wonderful job cleaning up tough to clean oils.
 
 

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, you never want to use soaping bowls, molds, or utensils of any kind for food after they have been used for soap making.  Anything that comes into contact with your soapmaking ingredients should only be used for soap making from that point on.
 
 

What would cause a batch of soap to erupt while in the soap mold?

Natural sugars in soaping ingredients can cause the soap batter to get even hotter than a regular batch of soap batter and erupt.  Cold process soap can erupt most often from things such as beer, milk, or wine being added to soap.  When using beer, you want to allow the carbonation to release prior to using it for soap making.  Also, when using wine, it should be boiled prior to using.  Finally, freezing these types of additives prior to adding them to the lye solution will help keep the soap batter cooler. 
 
 

Is it possible to use baby oil as one of the oils in a soap recipe?

No, you do not want to use baby oil in a soap making recipe.  Baby oil is simply mineral oil that has been scented.  Mineral oils will not saponify in cold process soap.
 
 

Can I replace the water in a recipe with other liquids?

Yes, some other liquids can be used in soap making recipe.  However, you will need to take precautions.  Natural sugars in some liquid ingredients can cause the soap to erupt. 
 
 

My cold process soap has lost its smell really fast. Why?

Cold process soap can lose its scent for a few different reasons.  First, some fragrance oils will hold up better than others.  Some scents, such as citrus fragrance oils and coconut scents, won’t hold up as well in cold process soap.  Typically, these types of fragrance oils will have a lower flash point causing them to burn off when exposed to the elevated temperatures the soap batter goes through during the saponification process.  Another reason your soap can lose scent is because you have not added enough fragrance oil.  Finally, if it is a fragrance oil that you use all the time, it could be what we refer to as candle nose.  When your nose becomes used to a certain scent, it may not seem as strong as it once did.
 
 

How long does cold process soap have to cure?

How long your soap needs to cure will depend on your soap making recipe.  However, in most cases, the cure time will be anywhere from 2-6 weeks.
 
 

Why won’t my cold process soap reach trace?

There are a few things that can cause problems with your cold process soap reaching to trace.  It can be caused by too much water or not enough lye.  It could also need to be stirred more or even faster.  Some cold process soap recipes may require the use of a stick blender.  A stick blender will stir the soap faster, helping it reach trace.  If your soap still won’t reach trace and it has been hours, you can try the hot process crockpot method to finish the handmade soap.
I would like to know if most recipes are showing oils measured in weight ounces or in fluid ounces?
In most cases, Natures Garden’s free soap making recipes will show a measurement in grams since it will be the most accurate and avoid any confusion.  However, when we have given a recipe in ounces, it is in weighted ounces unless we specifically state fluid ounces. 
 
 

When is lye in soap no longer caustic?

There are various ways to check your cured or curing bars of cold process soap for their safety of use. Always remember, you never want to sell or use a bar of cp soap that has not had time to completely cure.  An uncured bar means that there are still active portions of the lye solution in your soap. Using this soap to wash with could result in very serious skin irritation and even burns. The absolute best way to check whether your cold process soap has finished curing is to use a pH strip to test them. Using this method will give you a concrete answer.  If the number that you get from the pH strip does not fall between the correct range, then, the soap still needs a little more cure time.
 
 

Do I need to add a preservative to cold process soap?

No, a preservative does not need to be added to cp soap.  The correct pH level of cold process soap does not allow for the growth of bacteria.
Can I substitute an oil in one of Natures Garden’s cold process soap recipes?
No, oils cannot be swapped out when making cold process soap.  While when making most cosmetic recipes and mp soap recipes oils can be swapped out, cold process soaping oils cannot.  When making cold process soap, each soaping oil has a SAP value.  The SAP value of the oil determines how much lye the oil will saponify.  When a cold process soap is formulated it is created to ensure the lye is saponified.  If you swap out and oils and the lye is not completely saponified, you can end up with a lye heavy bar of soap.  This can cause your bar of soap to be caustic.  This can cause skin irritation and even burning to the skin.
 
 

What temperature do I make cold process soap?

Typically, we recommend soaping around 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit.  However, experienced soapers may soap a little hotter.  In addition, if your recipe requires more time to work, in cases using multiple colors or intricate swirls, you may choose to soap at room temperature.  You also want to look at how each fragrance oil performs in soap.  When a fragrance oil causes acceleration when added to soap, it is a good idea to soap at room temperature as well.  Soaping at room temperature will allow the soap batter to slowly come to trace.  Many beginner soap makers will soap at room temperature.  
 
 

Can I use vegetable and fruit powders in my soap making recipe?

Yes, you can add both vegetable and fruit powders to cold process soap recipes.  We recommend mixing them with a small amount of your melted soaping oils, creating a paste, prior to adding them to your cold process soap batter.  By adding them to the oil first, it will prevent the powders from clumping.  You should be aware though, over time veggie and fruit powders can oxidize in soap and other bath and body products, changing the color of your soap.
 
 

How do I make my cold process soap last longer?

There are a few things you can do to prolong the life of your handmade cold process soap bars.  First, you can use additives that harden your soap such as sodium lactate or stearic acid.  In addition, you can use harder oil such as palm oil or coconut oil.  Your curing time is also important.  As your soap cures water evaporate making it harder.  The longer it cures the harder it becomes.  Finally, the more your bar is exposed to water in the shower, becoming mushy, the faster it will dissolve. 
 
 

Why do I have lye pockets in my cold process soap?

Lye pockets can form in cold process soap most often when too much lye is used.  However, it could also be a recipe that wasn’t properly formulated, an oil was left out, the soap seized, or even when the lye solution was not fully mixed.  If the lye was not completely saponified you may be able to rebatch the soap and hot process the homemade soap, adding additional oil.  Also, it is possible that it could be used in recipes such as laundry soaps that can utilize soap with a higher pH level.
 
 

Is there an easy formula to decide the pounds of soap a recipe will make?

Yes, we have found that 48 ounces of soaping oils typically creates about 4 pounds of finished bar soap.
 
 

How do I melt soap into a new bar?

Cold process soap can be rebatched using a crock pot.  Soap is rebatched to save a batch that did not properly saponify or simply misbehaved.  This could be due to an oil being forgotten or even just a bad recipe or a batch that seized.  For more information, check out our blog about how to rebatch.
 
 

How do I get cold process soap out of the mold?

Removing cold process soap from a mold can, at times, be tricky.  Most of the time, it can be removed in 24-48 hours.  However, if it is still soft, it might need another day before you remove it from the soap mold.  You can try putting it in the freezer before removing it if you are still having trouble.
 
 

How do I line my wooden soap mold?

First, you will need freezer paper.  First, you will be creating a long piece that will line both the long bottom portion of the mold and the long side of the mold.  Then, you will need to cut two smaller pieces for each of the shorter sides of the soap mold.  So, cut a piece of freezer that is both wider and long enough to fit in the mold.  Using your finger, press inside the edges of the bottom the length of each side of the mold.  This will create a flat bottom and allow the paper to sit directly and cleanly against the soap mold.  Set this piece aside, for now.  Then, cut a piece that is the same width and length of the mold.  Cut this piece in half.  One half will be used for each small side.  Then, place the two smaller pieces into the soap mold, creasing the edges.  Finally, place the larger portion into the mold.  Trim any excess freezer paper.  However, you will need a couple of inches of extra paper so you can fold the paper over and tape it to the exterior edges of the mold.
 
 

Does beeswax make CP soap harder?

Yes, beeswax can help to harden cold process soap.  However, you will not want to add more than 3% as it can reduce the lather of your cold process soap bars.
 
 

Why is my soap crumbling?

Cold process soap could be crumbling for a number of reasons.  First, your bar of soap is too hard.  It could be that your soap is lye heavy.  This could also be too much of some harder oils, too much beeswax, or even too much of other types of ingredients used to harden soap such a stearic acid or sodium lactate.  It is also possible that you waited too long to cut the soap and it hardened too much.  Your soap should be cut when you unmold it and allowed to finish hardening.
 
 

Do I have to insulate my soap?

When it comes to whether you choose to insulate or not, it is really simply a personal choice.  In reality, there are only two factors that will change. First, is the cure time of the soap. Since the saponification process is slowed down by the prevention of gel phase, your soap may need extra cure time before use. However, promoting a full gel phase for your soap means that it stays at higher temperatures longer.  So, you will have an accelerated saponification process.  This means your soap will cure faster.  The second difference is simply the appearance of the handcrafted soap. Soap that in insulated, thus going through a full gel phase, will have a slight translucent, shiny look to it.  On the other hand, preventing gel will mean your soap will have more of a matte finish to it.
 
 

I am looking for cold process natural dog soap recipe. Can you help?

You can use this doggy shampoo cold process soap.  However, to keep the handmade soap completely natural, you will want to eliminate the fragrance oils and colorants.
 
 

Hot Process Soap Making

Does Natures Garden offer hot process soap recipes with shea butter?

Yes, we have several free hot process soap recipes with shea butter, including our beard soap recipe, our Apricotie Hottie Soap Recipe, and more.  All of our hot process soap recipes can be found in our recipe box found at the top of our website.  It is a green box labeled “Free Recipes & Classes”.  Once you click on the box you will find a hot process soap recipes category.  Each hot process soap recipe that we have formulated is found in that particular area of our website.
 
 

How long do you have to wait to use hot process soap?

Just like cold process soap recipes, the hot process soap cure time will depend on the recipe itself.  In most cases, you will need to wait 1-2 week to use your hp soap. 
 
 

What are the hot process soap stages?

Initially, hot process soap is created in the same manner you would create cold process soap.  First, you will weigh out and melt your oils in your crock pot.  Then, you will create a lye solution and add it to your oils.  Use a stick blender to bring the soap batter to trace.  Next, cover your crock pot.  After about 15 minutes, stir your soap batter and place the lid back on the crock pot.  Then, after another 15 minutes, stir it once again, replacing the lid when finished.  Continue to stir the soap batter every 15 minutes until the soap is at a mashed potatoes consistency before putting it into the soap mold.  Allow it to setup for about 24 hours before removing it from the mold and cutting it.  Allow the soap to cure for 1-2 weeks before using it.  While it might be safe to use, allowing the soap to cure, allows it to become harder. 
 
 

How long do I need to cook hot process soap?

The cooking time of hot process soap will vary depending on the hp soap recipe as well as your crockpot or pan.  It can be as short as an hour or can take a few hours.  As it is cooking, you will notice the soap will become thicker.  Eventually, it will go through a gel phase, giving the soap batter a gel like appearance right before turning to a mashed potato consistency.  It is when the soap has a mashed potato look that you scoop it into the soap mold.
 
 

What are the hot process soap benefits?

Hot process soap has many of the same benefits of cold process soap.  You can control the ingredients you add to your soap.  This is especially important for those with allergies, skin conditions, or even just sensitive skin.  However, what sets hp soap apart from cp soap is the cure time.  In addition, hot process soap is cooked with a crockpot.  So, it stays at higher temperatures and forces the saponification process to move faster.  This means that hot process soap will not need to cure nearly as long as cold process soap.
 
 

When do I color to hot process soap?

You should add color to your hot process soap when it is finished cooking. You should color the soap right before you are ready to put it in the soap mold.  If you are doing multiple colors, when your soap is at a mashed potato consistency, split the soap batter and add the colorants.  Then, add it to the mold.
 
 

When do I add fragrance oil to hot process soap?

Fragrance oil can be added to the hot process soap at the same time as your soap colorant.  You want to add it when your hot process soap has finished cooking, right before it will be added to the soap mold.  If you add the fragrance oil too soon, it can actually cook off while in the crock pot.  So, it is extremely important that you add it at the proper time.
 
 

Why is my hot process soap hard and crumbly?

Hot process soap can be hard and crumbly if it has been overcooked, it becomes too dry and hard.  The recipe might contain too many hard oils.  You may have needed more water.  It could be that the recipe was not properly formulated.  It could also be that you added too much sodium lactate or another additive.  Your soap could be lye heavy or missing an ingredient.  In many cases, you can rebatch and save the soap. 
 

Why is my hot process soap soft and crumbly?

Hot process soap can become soft and crumbly for a few reasons.  First, it could be too oily because you have used too many soft oils.  You may need to reformulate your recipe.  Make sure you have run the recipe through a soap calculator.  It also may need to cook longer.  It could be caused by too much liquid or not enough lye.  You may have accidentally added an ingredient twice.  In some cases, rebatching might be an option.
 
 

Why is my hot process soap cracking?

Hot process soap can crack due to overheating.  Sometimes it will just be a crack, other times it could be craters or peaks in your soap.  You can also have what is known as alien brains, which basically means the soap has the pattern of a brain.  In addition to overheating it in your crockpot, it could be overheating due to the ingredients themselves.  When soaping with additives like milks, wine, honey, or fruit and veggie purees, you must use caution.  These types of ingredients contain sugars, whether they be naturally occurring sugars or added sugars, they cause your soap batter to heat to hotter temperatures than normal.  They can cause a volcano effect in your soap batter.
 
 

Why is my hot process soap separating in my mold?

If your hot process soap has separated after you put it in the soap mold, it is likely that it just needs to cook longer.  Place your soap back in your pot and allow it to cook longer.
 
 

Why is my hot process soap changing color?

Soap, whether it be mp, hp, or cp, can change color for many reasons.  Most often it is due to a vanillin content in the fragrance oil.  You can find the vanillin content of the fragrance oil in the description of each scent.  The higher the vanillin content, the darker the soap will likely turn.  If the fragrance has a vanillin content you can use Vanilla White Color Stabilizer to help with the discoloration.  In addition, there are more than 40 ingredients that can cause a discoloration in soap.  Vanilla White will only help with discoloration caused by vanillin, it will not prevent discoloration caused by other ingredients in fragrance oils that cause discoloration.  Also, herbs can oxidize in your soap, causing the color to eventually turn brown or change color.  In addition, some soap colorants will morph in cold process soap.  We recommend using our FUN Soap Colorants in cold process soap.  They hold up very well and stay true to color in cp soap making.
 
 

Why is my hot process soap so soft?  

When you unmold and cut hot process soap, it can be soft, this often happens with hp soap.  However, while it may be safe to use after a week or so, it may still be softer than you would like.  As the soap cures, it will harden up.  Some people even allow their hp soap to cure for 3-4 week before using.
 
 

How do I rebatch hot process soap?

Rebatching hot process soap is a pretty simple process.  You basically are shredding your soap and placing it in a crockpot to melt it down.  For detailed step by step instructions, including pictures, click here
 
 

What is the difference between hot process soap and cold process soap?

Both hot process soap and cold process soap are created completely from scratch.  However, they differ in the way they go through the saponification process.  Cold process soap is created, brought to trace, poured and allowed to naturally go through the saponification process.  However, hot process soap is created in a crockpot or stovetop using heat to force the soap through the saponification process.  So, what does the heat do to the soap batter?  It speeds up the saponification process.  The recipes, in most cases, can be the same but the heat of the hp soap process forces saponification and reduces cure time.  Also, while the ingredients might be the same, the hot process soap method will produce a more rustic looking soap.
 
 

Can I use the pan or crockpot I used for soapmaking for food?

No, you never want to use the crockpot, pan, or any other tools and utensils from soap making for food.  Once you use something for soap making, it should only be used for soap making from then on out.
 
 

Does Natures Garden offer hot process soap recipes?

Yes, we offer quite a few hot process soap recipes.  In fact, all of our hp soap recipes can be found in the green recipe box at the top of our website labeled “Free Recipes and Classes”.  If you click on this box, it will take you to all of our soap making, candle making, and cosmetic making recipes and classes.  In this area, you will find that hot process soap recipes are all found in their own subcategory.
 
 

Do I have to use a crockpot for hot process soap?

No, hot process soap just requires a constant heat source.  While most often crock pots are used, some will use their stove top as well.
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