September 10, 2008


We asked Courtney of Courtney Bath Boutique to tell us 5 things that the average soap buyer doesn't know about the soapmaking process and here's what she came up with.

1. All soap is made with lye. Without lye there is no soap. There are many different types of lye, and different names, but they are lye just the same. This being said, the end result being the bar of soap should not contain any lye. It is used to make the soap, but once it’s mixed with the water and oils, it start a chemical reaction that changes the oils into soap and glycerin.

2. Many of the soaps that you buy in the store are not actually soap, but detergent. Don’t believe me? Turn the label over and read the ingredients. Usually, the main ingredients are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and/or its close relative Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are commonly used in many soaps, shampoos, detergents, toothpastes and other products that we expect to "foam up".

3. With so many different types of handmade soap, people often wonder which is the best. It really all depends on your personal preference. I have an unbiased opinion, because I make cold process, hot process, or melt and pour. Each has it’s own good qualities. You just need to read the ingredients to make sure that you’re getting the best oils for your skin.

4. Melt and pour is not inferior to cold process soap, so long as it is made with a base that does not contain chemicals and surfactants. Again, both have nice qualities.

5. Make sure that you get your soap from an experienced, and knowledgable soap maker. Anyone can just decide that they want to make soap one day, but it takes trial and error to formulate good recipes. You don’t want to buy soap from someone who just decided yesterday to try their hand at soap making. An experienced soap maker can answer all of your questions, and give you the best soap for your skin type.

*Opinions on soap vary, and this is not meant to upset anyone.

If you want to play along post 5 things about your favorite craft that most people don't know about in the comments area or on your blog and tag some friends to do it too. :)

Happy Reading!



Hey Harriet said...

I knew nothing about the soap making process so I found this really interesting. Great post & great blog :)

ashley said...

This is great information to know. I had no idea. Thanks so much!