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?