Cold Process Soap Saga

I have dreamed of getting into cold process soap for a very long time and I just couldn't wait any longer.

For those who aren't soapy-obsessed, cold process is the old-fashioned method of making soap from scratch with oils and lye... and don't worry, the lye is completely neutralized in a chemical reaction with oils and water. All bar soap that you have ever used is made with lye. It's a beautiful transformation!

 The lye-water solution. I didn't have a lye volcano :)
 Mixing the oils and lye. It's working!!! I used olive, coconut, palm, castor and canola oils for my first batch. The soap batter traced and didn't seize up. I was pretty excited to see this for the first time. 

 Pouring my first CP soap into the mold! I used Lemongrass essential oil and calendula petals for scent and texture. 

 Is this the Manhattan Project? No, we're making soap!

 I made a second soap batch the same day, Green tea soap with brewed Japanese Sencha tea and powdered green tea.

 Two days later, the soaps are ready to unmold and cut. The first two loaves turned out kind of shorty, so I'll increase my batch size next time.

 So proud of my CP soaps!!

 I immediately wanted to make more soap, of course. For this one I tried blueberry tea, blueberry shea butter and blueberry seeds.

 My first attempt at swirling. Many things went wrong with this and it turned out really hideous :(

Pretty blueberry soaps sliced and curing.


  1. AH! I want that blueberry soap so bad!

  2. Thanks! They should be available in my shop in January. They are almost done curing.

  3. Awwww. I STILL want to see the pics of the swirling-gone-bad! For a (VERY) beginner like myself (my wife bought me a soap making kit after listening too many time to me say to her, while shopping in Michael's, "Hmmm. Soap making. I've always wanted to try that!" Which of course leads to my current state of near obsessive scouring of the web for any/all info I can find on soap making to see how far down the rabbit's hole I can actually go. In other words, I want to see the "failures" (and there are no failures - just learning opportunities) so that I can learn not just what to do, but what NOT to do - and how to recognize when sometime has gone wrong to trace it back to what I did that caused that, It is when you share you full story - good, bad, and ugly - that we really get to learn from what you're doing. And what you're doing is really beautiful, and so i'd love to learn how to get that good, and to do that, it helps to see what you do that is less successful. Just some thoughts.

  4. Well, I was too grumpy at the time to take photos of my swirling disaster, but i'm sure I will have many more mistakes to document later. What happened was the soap separated in the mold. It's probably because the starting temperature was too high. I got advice since then to soap at about 100 degrees ( I did these at over 110). It also could be a problem with the fragrance oil. Thanks for commenting!