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Soap making first step

Before we begin...
You'll come across 3 main types of handmade soaps
  1. Cold process soap (CP) [Need about 45 days to get ready to use; Pretty designs]
  2. Hot process soap (HP) [Is ready to use the very next day ; has a crude finish]
  3. Melt and pour soap (MP) [You are making soap from soap. Its a play thing]
Following gyan is about Cold process soaps. Cold and hot process soaps are made  by combining an acid (oil) and an alkali (caustic soda/NaOH). CP soap are easy to mould into an endless variety of designs while HP usually gives a crude looking soap. CP soaps take about 45 days to 'cure' before which they are too alkaline to be safe for use, HP soaps by contrast can be used the very next day. If you want 'pretty' you need a lot of patience!
Anyway, this process is called saponification which gives soap, and glycerine. ALL soap has glycerine. Commercial soap like Lux, Cinthol and Dove have their glycerine extracted out and sold separately. Which is why they cannot be, and arent called soap. They are called 'Beauty Bars'.
What you need to make a frothy, long lasting bar of soap-
  1. Ingredients 
  • 300 gm Coconut Oil
  • 300 gm Palm Oil
  • 300 gm Canola Oil/ Olive oil/ Rapeseed oil
  • 125 gm NaOH (caustic soda)
  • 250 gm Distilled water
  • 30 gm soap-safe fragrance
  • additives like clays, dried herbs, colourants
  • Tools 
  • Stick blender, 
  • Glass/plastic containers, 
  • Wooden/SS/Silicone ladle/spatula, 
  • Wooden/Silicone moulds
  • Protection - Well 
  • ventilated working space, 
  • Protective gloves made from rubber/plastic/silicone
  • Protective clothing
Check out the links below to understand the process
 Stuff you should google to understand the process better-
  • Superfat
  • Trace
  • Seize ; soap seize
  • Soap safe fragrance
  • Additives
  • Soap separation
  • Lye heavy
  • Zap test
  • Gel phase
  • Adding salt to make a harder bar
  • Adding sugar to get richer lather - (Sugar will make the soap too hot, read up on it before starting. Same goes for honey.)
  • Hard oils for soap - (will set the soap quickly)
  • Soft oils for soap - (soap won't set quickly so you'll have more time to detail your designs)
  • Soaping temperature
The more you experiment, the luckier you'll get..
Here are some videos showing techniques
There are unlimited ways in which your soap attempt can go wrong. I have screwed up way too many batches of soap than I'd like to admit. I still botch a batch once in a while. Never take it personally. 
To create your own recipe - 
Go to and experiment with your own recipes. Select any number of oils (remember to choose hard and soft oils depending on your technique), fill in the weight of each oil to use and the calculator will give you how much Lye or Caustic soda, or NaOH you need to use. YOU DON'T WANT TO GO WRONG WITH THE NaOH MEASUREMENT! (Refer. 'Superfat' ; 'zap test')


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