Handmade soap making is a craft and chemistry at the same time and it offers plenty of possibilities for creative expression. Many soap makers create such beautiful and unusual soaps that they can easily end up on shelves as decoration.

Handmade soap making is a wonderful craft that asks for a serious approach, learning and appreciation. This craft is gaining popularity and the people who occupy themselves with it willingly share their knowledge. Due to this fact, a large number of blogs and websites supplying useful information and advices can be found on the Internet, so you can learn almost everything you need. However, you should be careful because in that information abundance there are some that contain incorrect or insufficiently explained statements which may confuse beginners.


Cold process soap top-detail


Therefore, soap making according to a recipe from the Internet may end up in disappointment if the recipe is not from a reliable website and if you have not critically considered the ingredients and their quantities. The objective of this category is to provide information and explanations that will help beginners to understand soap chemistry in order to be able to predict the behavior of ingredients and soap batter, as well as to properly select ingredients, their quantities and techniques that will allow them to get the desired result. Our soap-making pages are intended primarily for those who also want to get an answer to "why", not just "how".

- What soap is

- How soap works

- Common soap making oils – in brief

- Soap making equipment

     - Basic soap making equipment
     - Optional soap making equipment
     - Soap making equipment and materials to avoid

- How to make lye solution for soap making

Above all, soap making comes down to chemistry and it requires understanding due to the fact that one of the main ingredients in soap making is lye, which is a very aggressive and caustic chemical. It can be very dangerous if accidentally spilt on the skin. Injuries caused by lye can be very serious.

Before you embark on independent soap making, make sure you are well informed on what this craft implies. You should learn as much as you can until you feel confident to make your first soap. This will enable you to protect yourselves and make your soap on proper way.

The following articles provide information on the chemistry of soap, soap-making techniques, the characteristics of basic soap-making ingredients, additives, soap-making tips & tricks, and many other details that are useful to know before embarking on soap making. Everything written here is only a part of what can be learned on handmade soaps, so you should be curious and look for more in books and on the Internet to expand the existing knowledge. By reading, comparing experiences and learning, you can avoid many mistakes and, above all, protect yourselves from injury caused by lye.

With a good introduction to the ingredients used and respect of safety rules, soap making becomes a real delight! There are so many soap makers who say that they are addicted on soapmaking. If at some point you find yourselves in a store looking at the goods on the shelves and pondering which of them would be useful in soap making, it is a sure sign that you too have become addicted to this wonderful hobby and that perhaps the time has come to start thinking how to sell your own soap because you want to make more than you can spend.

Soap making is neither pure art nor science, but rather a bit of both. It is a craft that, like all other crafts, requires learning, practice and continuous improvement. In soap making, safety rules must be strictly followed, as well as the rules related to chemistry of saponification, so as to avoid injury or failed soap batches. Creativity comes into play only after mastering all the necessary rules. It is only then that a magical game can start with combining different oils and creating your own recipes, with colors, swirling techniques, scents, shapes and packaging designs. In soap making there are endless possibilities of combining ingredients and techniques, and nearly as many chances to make a mistake at some point.

Each new batch of soap offers the possibility of changing something with the aim to improve the recipe and/or design. With every change, the soap maker becomes more experienced and the questions that arise become more difficult to answer.

Due to a wide range of possibilities in combining ingredients and techniques, on the Internet you will be often encouraged to experiment in order to come up with answers to your questions. There are so many factors that influence the soap, so there is not an easy answer on how your soap batter will behave or what kind of final soapbar you will obtain. Nevertheless, the theory itself and other people's experiences should be thoroughly studied prior to any practical experiment, as this is the best way to avoid the mistakes already made.

All desirable soap properties (cleansing, foaming, hardness, conditioning…) can be achieved by a proper combination of oils, without the use of additives of synthetic origin.

Additives used in soap making (colorants, scents, and many others) should be natural or nature-identical, and exclusively intended for soap making or of cosmetic/pharmaceutical quality or food-grade.

The aim of our soap making category is to provide as much unbiased information about soap making freed of subjective attitudes towards certain categories of ingredients. It is on the basis of personal attitudes that every soap maker will choose whether to use animal fats, as well as whether to exclude from their recipes those oils whose production implies controversial environmental aspects.

The leitmotif of this category is the cold process soap making using sodium hydroxide because it is the simplest and most common handcrafted soap making method among hobbyists, small craftsmen and artisans. Some other techniques will be described in the context of providing more complete information about variations and possibilities of soap making.