Making Cold Process Soap
Updated: Feb 6
The method of making cold process soap isn't new. In fact it goes back to 2800 BC where the ancient Babylonians discovered that by mixing fat and wood ash together they could make soap. The process has been refined over the years and Sodium Hydroxide (Lye) is now used.
It isn't the only method of making soap but its the one I like to use and it creates a high quality gentle soap that is cured over 4-6 weeks. I cure mine for at least 6 weeks and it produces a long lasting bar with ultimate moisturisation.
Soap is produced as the result of a chemical reaction called 'Saponification' that occurs between the lye and a fat or oil (such as coconut oil or olive oil). Cold process soap allows the lye to be neutralised without any outside heat.
Botanicals and essential oils are then added then the batter is poured into moulds.
It takes 24 hours to become soap and after removing from the mould takes another 24 hours to dry and be cut into bars. The chemical process continues while the soap cures for 4 to 6 weeks; during this time oils break down into cleansing chains and water slowly evaporates leaving a gentle, firmi bar of soap.
One of the by products of cold process is glycerin, which is a humectant. This simply means it reduces the loss of moisture. What that means is that all our soaps are gentle, nourishing and moisturising. Extra qualities are added from the botanicals, clays used and essential oils but they are all gentle.
Once saponification has taken place there is no lye left in the soap. You'll notice on my labels I use the term saponified oils of: e