What Is Cold Process Soap?

old process natural oaps with roses

Cold processed soap is a method of soap making that involves mixing oils or fats with a strong alkali, such as sodium hydroxide (lye), without the use of external heat.

This process allows the ingredients to undergo a natural saponification reaction, turning them into soap. The term “cold processed” refers to the fact that no external heat source is used during the saponification process. Though there is hot processed soap which is a similar method but with added heat.

Cold processed and hot processed soaps are a great alternative to shower gels, and reduce plastic waste in the household. There are many natural cold processed soaps available on the market.

Here’s a brief overview of the cold process soap making method:

  1. Mixing the Ingredients: Oils or fats are combined with a lye solution. This mixture can include various additives such as fragrances, colors, and exfoliants.
  2. Saponification: The lye reacts with the oils or fats in a process called saponification, forming soap and glycerin. No lye is left in the soap after saponification.
  3. Molding: Once the mixture reaches trace (when it thickens to a custard-like consistency), it’s poured into molds where it will continue to react and solidify.
  4. Curing: After the soap is molded, it’s left to cure for several weeks. During this time, excess moisture evaporates, and the soap hardens further, making it milder and longer-lasting.

Cold processed soap making allows for greater control over the ingredients and can result in a more natural and nourishing product.

The beauty of this old school method of making soap is there is so much leeway and we select oils for certain benefits.

Whilst this is not an easy craft and involves being extra careful when measuring, and mixing, and learning how to use a soap calculator it certainly is quite therapeutic.

As you can see, this process takes quality ingredients and time. This is why many natural soaps are more expensive than the shop bought bars. Not to mention the legalaties and paperwork involved in selling cosmetics. They are totally worth the expense though . With no harsh chemicals, I scent only with essential oils and colour only with natural colourants. They are the perfect way to show your skin the love it deserves.


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