Getting Started in Making Cold-Process Soaps
Making cold-process soaps is somewhat addictive, rewarding and eco-friendly.
Cold-process are made naturally with no detergents and is less harsh for the water environment and you reduce the amount of packaging you will either have to throw away or recycle.
You can choose your ingredients, colour combinations and blend your own essential oil fragrances and be as creative as you like with your soaps.
One of the best starting methods is the Heating Method.
Also there are so many good books on soap-making.
You can also buy palm oil soap making kits from Shea By Nature or Hobby Craft
Working your Sap Values to Custom Your Own Recipes
If you want to customise recipes and design your own here is a fool-proof way of working out how much Lye you need to make your oils into soap.
30-50% Cleansing Fluffy Lathering Oils (luxury oils will benefit being combined with coconut oil or palm kernel oil)
20-40% Hard Bar and Stable Lather
20-50% Moisturising, creamy lather
(Sap Value) x grams/amount of oils/butter
Then add up all the individual sap values that have been worked out
And then work out your lye discount or superfatting:
Percentage for discount [example 5 (percent)]/100 x Total Lye
Total lye – percentage discount worked out = total lye with discount percentage taken off.
Choosing Ingredients – Properties and Saponification Values
Here is your saponification Value chart that will help you customise and work out your own recipes to make them as creamy and bubbly and moisturising as possible:
Here comprehensive chart from my Soap-making blog:
Soap Making Oils and Butters and Sap Values – My Favourites
Fluffy Cleansing Lather:
- Refined Coconut Oil 0.185 – Organic
- Virgin Coconut Oil 0.176 – Organic, fairtrade and wet milled
- Murmumru Butter 0.165 – Sustainably harvested
- Tucuma Butter 0.141 – Sustainably harvested
- Aloe Vera Butter 0.176 – enfleuraged in coconut oil
- Moni De Tahiti Oil 0.176 – enfleuraged in coconut oil
- Palm Kernel Oil 0.155
Fluffy Creamy and Moisturing Lather
- Castor Seed Oil 0.128 – Organic and community Traded
Hard Bar; Stable Lather
- Kpangnan Butter 0.136 – Fairtrade refined and virgin
- Sal Butter 0.130
- Mango Butter 0.134 – Organic and virgin
- Cocoa Butter 0.137 – Organic, fairtrade and deodorised
- Shea Butter 0.128 – Organic and certified Fairtrade
- African Red Palm Oil 0.142 and 0.141 – Organic and Fairtrade virgin
- Palm Oil 0.141 – Organic and Certified Sustainable
- Kokum Butter 0. 134 – Organic and certified Fairtrade
- Ilipe Butter 0.132
- Allanblackia Butter 0.140 – Sustainably harvested
Moisturing Creamy, Stable Lather
- Avocado Butter – 0.132 – unrefined and virgin
- Avocado Oil 0.133 – refined and virgin
- Rice Bran Oil 0.128 – organic
- Safflower Oil 0.135 – Organic
- Sweet Almond Oil 0.136 – organic
- Rapeseed Oil 0.124 – organic
Moisturing an Stable Lather and Slight Cleansing
- Olive Oil 0.134 – Fairtrade, organic and refined and virgin
- Sunflower Oil 0.134 – organic and unrefined
- Macerated sunflower oil 0.134 – organic and high oelic unrefined
- Hemp Seed Oil 0.135 – organic and virgin
- Jojoba Oil 0.068 – organic and virgin
- Argan Oil 0.136 – organic and virgin
- Soya Bean Oil 0.134
- Kiruri nut oil 0.135 – organic
- Camellia Oil 0.134 – organic
Making Them Palm Oil Free – The Best Oils and Butters
It is easy to make a cold-process soap palm oil free. There are plenty of recipes to buy and download. Here is a one I bought from Soap School. Although I do not have to original download I still it written down. It is very creamy, moisturising and bubbly – And palm oil free.
If you would like to customise your palm oil free soap if you own butter/oil combinations here are the best butters, oils and their sap values.
Tucama Butter – 0.141
Has the same properties as Palm Kernel oil and provides a bubbly and cleansing lather in soaps.
Murmumru Butter – 0-165
Has the same properties as coconut oil – can be drying – but provides a bubbly and cleansing lather. Good to add with coconut oil.
Shea Butter – 0.128
Very moisturising and creates and hard and moisturising bar of soap. Helps to replace Palm Oil in soap.
Cocoa Butter – 0.137
Moisturising and creates a hard, very creamy and moisturising bar of soap. Use up 15% of your soap recipe and is a good replacement for Palm Oil when used with a combination of vegetable butters or oil.
Mango Butter 0.134
Moisturising and creates a hard, creamy and moisturising bar of soap. Use up to 15% of your soap recipe. Has the same properties of Palm Oil without depleting the rainforest and hurting the animals that live there.
Kpangnan Butter – 0.136
Moisturising and creates a hard, moisturising bar of soap. You can use up to 30% in your soap recipes. Has the same properties of Palm Oil without depleting the rainforest and hurting the animals that live there.
Rapeseed Oil – 0.124
You can use up 50% in recipes without resulting in a slow trace. Creamy and in the UK you can get organic or locally produced cold-pressed oil. Creates a creamy, moisturising lather in soap. Can cause a soft bar though.
Olive Oil – 0.134
This can come in Fair trade and organic virgin varieties. You can use up to 100% of you soap recipe. Creates a hard, moisturising and gentle cleasning bar of soap. It can take a long time to trace in large percentages. The fair-y godmother of percentages for Olive Oil is 40%
Palm Oil Free Soap Recipe – Fair trade and Organic
This recipe is creamy, bubbly and can feature – if you want – organic and fair trade ingredients. This recipe can without having to recalculate, these amounts of fair trade or/and organic ingredients:
Fair trade: 13% – 63%
Organic: 10%- 100%
Recipe Name: The Ultimate Palm Free Recipe
Ingredient Formula ml/g
Olive Oil 400g
Coconut Oil (std 76 degree type) 320g
Shea Butter 130g
Cocoa Butter 100g
Castor Oil 50g
Superfat 5% Lye 142g
20 – 30ml Fragrance Oil/Essential oil Blend
Wearing safety equipment mix the lye solution into the water
Stir until fully dissolved in a well ventilated area
Melt the fats on a low heat and allow to cool
When the fats reach 100 – 120F add in the lye solution
Stir and then use mechanical mixing until you reach a very light trace
Add colour and fragrance oils
Pour into your pre lined mould or straight into silicone moulds
When I use this recipe in individual silicone moulds it sets up incredibly fast and as
individual bars do not enter the gel phase, I can generally unmould this soap within a
few hours of pouring!
Allow the soap to cure and dry and enjoy. I hope you love this soap as much as I do,
it has taken years of trial and error to get a palm free recipe that firms up so well,
stays nice and light coloured and feels delicious too. It also has a perfectly balanced
INS of 160
If you want to know more information and recipes check out my soap-making blog:
Customise your own recipes and you can make your unique recipe 100% Fair trade and organic. Brilliant!!!!!
Do what you want and what you like
Most important when it comes to crafting: enjoy!!!!! Enjoy!!! Enjoy!!!