A little over a year ago I got this great idea to start making my own Cold Process soap. Let me just say I love making my own soap. Just being the one person who makes all of the decisions on the ingredients of what goes into your soap and on your face and body is an amazing feeling.
Another Method of making soap I have tried is the melt and pour method of soap making, and I was severely disappointed in the outcome. I found the Melt and pour soaps pale in comparison to Cold Processed soap on so many levels, the number one problem I had was buying the melt and pour base, what is really in that base you purchase? With Cold Process I know exactly what is in my soap because I put all of the ingredient in myself, I start with no pre-made base .
What I did not realize at the start of this cold process soap making endeavor , was the actual expense that goes into starting out making your own cold process soap. The oils, Molds, Butters, Clays, Charcoal, Salts… So I found some basic recipes I wanted to try and ordered my oils, butters, and charcoal and waited for everything to come in. I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to start making my soap.
Once everything arrived, I cleared out my kitchen, placed my double broiler on the stove and went to start making my soap and encountered my first hiccup. I had ordered 1 lb of of the oils I needed in the recipes, and found with the very first recipe I wanted to try, I needed 18 ounces of Olive Oil, and found myself with only 16 ounces. My initial disappointment aside, I am the type of person that will figure something else out to make my endeavor work. Thus my first experience in creating my own recipes from the very start, as I had to start researching oil substitutes and also my first lesson learned in ordering some oils in larger quantities especially the Olive Oil and Coconut Oil.
My advice to anyone who wanted to give cold process soap making a try, would be to start out small, simple. 100% Olive oil soaps, or Olive Oil & Coconut oil with some Shea butter or mango butter soaps to start out. You can order the 7-8 lb bottle of Olive oil, and rest assured you will use it all, same with the Coconut oil, or Rice Bran Oil…. You can use 7-8 lbs of Olive oil making just 2-4 loafs of soap, so by keeping the ingredient list small to give it a try will do wonders in keeping the expense down to get started and still produce an awesome bar of soap.
I did find one of the best investments I made was the Wooden Loaf Molds. I have found I like the loaf mold much better than the silicone shaped molds found on the market for Cold Process soap. Of course this is just my own opinion and my own experience with soap making that I have found the Wooden Loaf Molds to work best for me and you can do a lot with them including ordering mold inserts to change up your soaps look. Other investments you would want to make, but you may already own them in your kitchen would be a stick blender and a Double broiler. Although you could enjoy the process without the stick blender I would not even attempt to start the process without a double broiler. I do know some recipes say to place ingredients into the microwave to melt, but I myself use a double broiler instead, it just seems more natural than microwaving my ingredients.
What I would recommend for someones first order to give Cold Process Soap Making a try would be:
Double Broiler – Unless you already own one
Freezer Paper – To line your mold and to save the expense of ordering a Silicone loaf mold to go inside the wooded or plastic loaf mold.and makes taking the loaf out of the mold so much easier.
Pyrex Glass Measuring Bowls (Medium to Large)
Lye & Distilled Water
Essential Oils of your choice
Rose Clay, Sea Clay, or Charcoal – If wanted in your soap