Making It Clear: Cold-Process vs. Glycerin vs. Melt-and-Pour Soap

What’s the Difference Between Cold-Process and Hot-Process Soap? Hot Process soap uses heat from an external source to accelerate saponification, the process by which fats and alkali combine to create soap. While Cold-Process often uses heat early on to warm the base oils, once the oils and sodium hydroxide are mixed, heat from the process itself is relied on to finish saponification. What’s the difference between Cold/Hot-Process Soap and Glycerin soap? There are two …

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Why Essential and Carrier Oils are a Good Combination

Soapmaking lives in a space between science and art. Some aspects rely on chemistry and math, others on touch and intuition. When science and art get mixed up, it’s possible to apply mathematical standards to intuitive problems, or the other way around, and the discussions that follow can miss the point. It can be hard, for instance, to find agreement on the differences between essential and fragrance oils. The same difficulty can be true for essentials and absolutes. …

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Airbnb and VRBO: One-Ounce Bars Revisited

Just as the bar soap and overall skincare market is being changed by the entrance of more and more men, the amenities market is being changed by the entrance of more and more customers needing single-use soaps. A surprising number of these new customers are renting out space for the first time, and it’s a single space they’re renting out – whether it’s shared or stand-alone –  not one of many. This influx of Airbnb-ers and WRBO-ers means there are new eyes examining …

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How Do You Know if Your Olive Oil Is Authentic?

Olive oil. We use it to cook. We use it for its antioxidants and overall health benefits. It’s also used regularly for making soap. With so many of us using olive so often, it bears pointing out that we’re not always getting what we think we are. In the world of organic and natural, there are products that consistently make it hard to trust their quality. In the case of olive oil, it’s difficult to guarantee authenticity. The olive oil industry has a past worth investigating …

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Scenting Your Castile Soap

Green floral buds and flowers in brown bottles

There’s lots of science and math involved in soapmaking, and because they’re crucial to the basics of soap, science and math get most of the attention. After all, if you don’t have the right percentages of lye and fat, you won’t have soap at all, or if you do, it could be soap that’s painful to use or simply dissolves into goo when it gets wet. Like cooking, though, in soapmaking there is science and there is art. The best soap, like the best food, is combination of both.   How …

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