Soap making FAQs

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Well-Known Member
Nov 16, 2006
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Salt Lake City, UT
What is soap made from?
Soap is a composite product made from fats, lye, and water. It can also contain botanicals, fragrance, and dyes.

What makes homemade soap different from mass produced soap?
Handmade soap is softer and more luxurious than mass produced soap. It also is less likely to crack and dry out then mass produced soap is. This is because homemade soap keeps its glycerin, and mass produced soap removes the glycerin.

Can you use handmade soaps the same day that you make it?

Homemade soap should be allowed to cure for several weeks before you use it. The longer the soap is cured the milder and gentler it will be.

What are soap pigments?

Soap pigments are used to give handmade soaps their color. Soap pigments, such as oxides, used to be mined from natural sources, however, now they are generally made in laboratories.

What are FD&C Colorants?

FD&C colorants are additives used to color your handmade soap. These coloring additives do not come from natural sources, they instead are created in laboratories.

Are there natural ways to color soaps?
Yes, there are natural products that you can use to color your soap. If you want yellow soap you can use saffron, Turmeric, or Carthamin. If you want red soap you can use paprika. If you want brown soap you can use cocoa powder or tea.

How many different types of soap making are there?
There are several different methods of making homemade soap. The basic methods include: melt and pour, hot processed, cold processed, and handmilled.

When should you add fragrance to your soap?

Fragrance should be added to the soap mixture after it has been completely melted and it has passed the stringy stage.

Can you use both fragrance oils and essential oils in cold process soap?
Yes both of these oils work well in cold process soap.

Is it normal for dried herbs and botanicals to turn brown in my homemade soap?
Yes it is.

Do I need to line my soap molds?

Generally yes you do. You can use grease, plastic wrap, or wax paper. Just make sure that you create a flat lining, and that there are no gaps between liner parts.

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