A Soap For Every Soaper

Most of us, I believe, would consider cold process soap to be the standard, or most common method of soapmaking among those who are creating soap using lye and oils.

Nevertheless, there are quite a few variations on this theme, not to mention other types of soap altogether.

I recently watched whipped soap being made and soap being felted.  The whipped soap we worked with was simply done, but I have seen on the internet, soaps that look like bakery creations  using whipped soap.  The felted bars are like having the washcloth on the soap, and can be done mixing colors and patterns.  Some theorized that these would be particularly helpful for the elderly as they make holding on to the soap easier than a plain, slick bar.

My favorite soapmaking method is CPOP (cold process, oven process).  Some love the instantaneous results of HP (hot process).  Still others, though few it seems, rebatch or handmill each of their batches, noting with confidence that their additives are not being destroyed by the lye.

As if that’s not enough, we have liquid soap, made with potassium hydroxide (KOH) rather than sodium hydroxide (NaOH).  Naturally, then, why not a combination of KOH soap and NaOH soap, and call it cream soap?

So, you’re afraid to work with lye or your work is very artistic.  In this case,  melt & pour, sometimes known as glycerin soap, is your soap of choice.  Not that I haven’t seen amazing works of art with lye soaps, but it’s a different kind of artistry that is created with m&p, and many use it for special effects, like the adorable soap I just received.  It has a solid base, a cow embed in the middle, which is clear, and then a solid top.  Who wouldn’t love that?

What types have I missed?  What’s your favorite?  What haven’t you tried that you would like to?



4 Responses to “A Soap For Every Soaper”
  1. Delores says:

    Now that I’m in semi-retirement I have time to experiment with different soapmaking techniques. I’ve made cp, hp, liquid and now making cream soap. Each have their own unique qualities but I think I like hp and cream better.

    In my opinion hp seems to produce a bar that is harder than cp and lasts longer. I like cream soap because it is so versatile. I add botanicals & herbs for a gentle facial or foot scrub, pumice for a gardeners or mechanics soap and extra emollients for a shaving soap.

    The soapmaking technique that’s missing is transparent soaps. That is my next project and I give thanks & credit to Catherine Failor for writing books on most of these soap types.

  2. Robbin says:

    I prefer HP, but love doing them all and playing with the different results. My first cream soap is “rotting” now – I even took the bowl on vacation with me so I could watch it – and I love the result so far. I can’t wait to try the whipped CP!

  3. Dawn Jones says:

    When you mentioned the felted soap would be good for the elderly, it reminded me of soap on the rope. I have made this type of soap, but not for 20 years. LOL Soap bags and soap savers would be helpful for the elderly as well.

  4. Melissa says:

    I love CP soap making. However I was very intrigued of the whipped soap which I thought was fun and less intense, or scary, for those who were concerned about temps. I am interested in cream soap and this will be my new obsession! LOL

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