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Soap Making FAQ

Soap Making FAQ

In a previous post I wrote about what you can expect if you attend one of my soap making courses. It’s always a fun day making new friends and we usually have a bit of “bake off” style banter too!

I also shared a few frequently asked questions and since then I have compiled a list of the questions that are asked the most frequently on my cold process soap making course.

Can I substitute other ingredients for the ones in your recipes?

You should never substitute the ingredients in any soap recipe as each ingredient has a different SAP value (the number you need to calculate the amount of lye required for a particuar ingredient). If you did substitute one or more of the ingredients you probably wouldn’t end up with soap as it may not even reach the trace stage (when the soap mixture starts to thicken) or if it did reach trace it could end up being too caustic to use.   

Can I use a measuring jug to weigh the water?

I always recommend that you weigh the water using scales as it’s the most accurate method. If you use a measuring jug it will involve a bit of guesswork and this is never a good idea in soap making.

What are good ingredients to include in soap for sensitive skin?

One of the most gentle and soothing soap bars you can make is with 100% olive oil (also known as castile soap). There is not much of a lather but you will experience super gentle cleansing.

Goat’s milk is also a good option for sensitive skin. The cream in goat’s milk soothes dry and damaged skin and also possesses an anti-inflammatory action.

How do you decide what base oils to use when you start to create your own recipes?

The most exciting part of soap making is researching the different oils and their properties and deciding exactly what you would like in a bar of soap. A basic rule of thumb to start with is 60% hard oils and 40% soft oils. It’s all about experimenting and coming up with a recipe that you and your skin will love!

Do I really have to wait four weeks to use my soap?

Four weeks is the minimum amount of time that cold process soap needs to cure in order to complete the saponification process fully. At the end of this period the alkalinity of the lye will have been cancelled out by the acidity of the oils and your soap is ready to use.

If you can’t wait that long and you have used a mould that is oven proof, then you have the option of following the Cold Process Oven Process or CPOP method. Place your soap in the oven at around 170°F for two hours and then switch it off and leave to cool in the oven (with door closed) for several hours or overnight.

Free Guide

To download my FREE Top Ten Soap Making Oils Guide click here.

To Book

If you would like to join me on one of my soap making courses click here.

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