Best CP Soap Books?

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Doris Ann

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I know I’m late to answering this question, but I wanted to add my opinion. I really found Jan Berry’s book, Simple & Natural Soapmaking, to be the most helpful. I just loved it and bought my own copy after using the library’s copy. If you are interested in natural cola rants, she has a great section showing how various natural colorants look in soap when added to the oils or added to the lye solution. It also shows differences in color when using various amounts and differences in color over time. The pictures in the book were very helpful regarding how to make the soap and how to achieve various color effects in the soap, such as “tiger stripe,” “pencil lines,” and “in-the-pot swirls.”
 

Zany_in_CO

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I know I’m late to answering this question, but I wanted to add my opinion.
No worries. I think this is an "open" thread that anyone can contribute to at any time. Thanks for adding Jan Berry's book. I use natural colorants. I'm going to check the library to see if they have it.
Thank You.gif
 

Lauren C

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I agree that the Cavitch books are good reference. They were how I really understood calculation of lye amounts without relying on soapcalc. I also used some of her EO blends. However, a lot of her recipes are way too large for a beginning soapmaker. Costs were also different when she wrote the books n the 90's so using EO's like she did I would consider a luxury now. She believed in adding oils at the end phase for superfatting and we now know that doesn't control a superfatting oil. So, as much as I think there are great things about her books they have weaknesses because they reflect knowledge at the time she wrote the books.

I also own Soap Naturally by Garzena and Tadiello (2004) that I think is pretty good as a reference. I think it is somewhat dry to read but it does contain a lot of general information and I have used it as a reference.

As a new soapmaker I would use the internet because what you read will be more current with how soap is made today. I would check out books from the library. You may see something you want to purchase because it provides inspiration or decide that a reference book isn't needed as much today as it was 20 years ago.
@lucycat — So adding oils at the end as a superfat doesn’t help determine what oils are left not saponified? Is this true for only cold process, or for hot process also?
 

mel_silvis

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Candle maker books are the worst though. Melt wax. Add scent! Wax will only hold a certain amount! Pick the right wick for the container and wax! Add color! Buy from reputable people. - you have now read every single book available on candlemaking.
Sad but true - tutorials and video guides are more useful these days. Still, I wanted to ask you - have you read Candlemakers Companion by Betty Oppenheimer?
 

Jersey Girl

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I know I’m late to answering this question, but I wanted to add my opinion. I really found Jan Berry’s book, Simple & Natural Soapmaking, to be the most helpful. I just loved it and bought my own copy after using the library’s copy. If you are interested in natural cola rants, she has a great section showing how various natural colorants look in soap when added to the oils or added to the lye solution. It also shows differences in color when using various amounts and differences in color over time. The pictures in the book were very helpful regarding how to make the soap and how to achieve various color effects in the soap, such as “tiger stripe,” “pencil lines,” and “in-the-pot swirls.”
This is one of the first books I bought and I agree it’s a good one and yes she has a whole section with pictures describing natural colorants.
 

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