Soap Making: Cold Process

Handmade sopes with lavender

Soap Making: Cold Process Method

*Soap making pot (stainless steal pot is the best)
*Measuring beakers or cups;
*Kitchen scales;
*Thermometer (long ones used to check milk heat for coffee frothing  is perfect);
*Essential or Fragrant oils ;
*Olive Oil (use canola or rice bran as substitute);
*Coconut Oil (use palm or cocoa butter as substitute)
*Lye Solution (Sodium Hydroxide mixed with distilled water);
*Flowers, Resins, Herbs;
*Colors: henna, sandalwood, saffron, clay, juice, coffee, cornmeal, cocoa powder.
*Goggles and long gloves for safety.

1. Measure out all the soft oils (olive/canola or rice bran oil) and measure all your hard oils (coconut/palm and or cocoa butter) separately. 3/3 ratio is best = 1/3 Olive, 1/3 coconut oil and 1/3 palm.

2. Place solid oils into pot and slowly melt whilst stirring continuously – reach 40-45 degrees using thermometer.

3. Place olive oil (kept at room temperature) in a soap pot and ensure heat reaches 40-45 degrees.

4. Add the lye solution to the soap pot, the solution will now become cloudy.

5. Stir and keep stirring as this is part of the saponification process (chemical reaction with water, lye and fat).

6. Once all the ingredients are blended completely (which can take up to an hour by hand) it starts to reach its trace point.  If you use a hand held blender in short bursts it can cut out the blending time dramatically, but you need to be careful not to spill the contents.

7. Add essential oils slowly to the soap pot.

8. Add other items to your soap like resins, flowers or herbs if you desire and coloring.

9. Once this is done add thickened soap pot mixture into a mold (back and forth motion whilst pouring ensures its poured evenly).  The best to use is silicone molds otherwise use any other container you like the shape of, as long as it keeps heat (like wood) and ensure its lined with baking paper.  Use a spatula to smooth the top and ensure you tap the mold to ensure any bubbles which are trapped inside the soap are moved up and out.

10. Place the mold in a warm dry area or lay a towel around or over the mold to help keep it warm as it needs this reaction for the soap to set.

11. 24 hours later the soap should be hard enough to take it out of the mold and cut it into slices.

12. Once this is done set it aside to cure for 4-6 weeks.

Note: If you would like to ensure your soap solidifies faster add a salt water solution to mix: 4 tsp of 120 mils warm water.


Make sure you purchase sustainable and environmentally sourced ingredients and support your local businesses too.

Soap Bases:

Essential Oils:

Seeds to Grow Herbs: and/or
Dried Herbs:


(C) T. Altman 2015

Disclaimer:  The information presented here is taken from my own personal experiences and are to be used as a guide only.  Please take into consideration, any medical conditions such as allergies before attempting.  Permission to reprint any information or photos on this blog must be obtained by the blog creator (

Featured Image with Permission from, Artist:



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