Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Types of Soap!

Soap is a simple chemical reaction.  It is a salt of a fatty acid. This basic reaction is between fat and lye (sodium hydroxide). Soap is a mixture of sodium salts of various naturally occurring fatty acids.

Air bubbles added to a molten soap will decrease the density of the soap and thus it will float on water (think ivory soap-check out this link if you want to see the lore behind floating soap   http://www.ivory.com/purefun_soaplegend.htm).

There are Four Methods of Handmade Soap Making

Melt and Pour - melt pre-made blocks of soap and add your own fragrance
Cold Process - the most common - making soap from scratch with oils and lye
Hot Process - a variation of cold process where the soap is actually cooked
Rebatching/Hand Milled Soap- grinding up bars of soap, adding milk or water, and re-blending them

Cold Process Soap making is my area of expertise...although I have made soap using all methods. They all have benefits and are ALL better than commercial soap bars, some better than others. In the next few blog posts I will demonstrate each and provide you will information about each.

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