About My Soap

One big difference between handmade and industrial soap is not what industrial soap has in it, but what it doesn’t. When you combine oil and lye, there are two results. The first is fatty acid salts. That’s the soap, the part that cleans you. The other result is glycerin. Industrial soap manufactures take the glycerin out and sell it to make lotion. Handmade soap still has the glycerin. That’s the main reason it’s nicer and doesn’t dry your skin as much.

In 2011, when I was first making my soap, I was experimenting with various different oil combinations. I like a hard, long lasting bar but I still want it to be moisturizing. After much experimentation I came up with the following:

Olive Oil: makes a lovely mild soap
Palm Oil: makes a hard smoothly textured soap.
Coconut or Palm Kernel Oil: Either one, they make lather. Lather isn’t actually what cleans you, but lather makes people happy.
Shea Butter: for moisturizing.
Castor Oil: makes the lather finer and last longer.

Unless I say otherwise, this is the recipe in my soap. I try something different now and then but this is my favorite. Industry usually uses cheaper oils like soybean or sunflower. Those are fine but better ingredients make better soap.

Most of the soap I make is cold process soap. This means I don’t add any more heat than required to melt any solid oils. This makes the smoothest consistency soap. It also takes a long time to cure. At least several days are required for all the lye to be neutralized and for best results, a month to properly cure and dry is required. Dry soap is nicer and lasts longer. Industrial soap makers don’t give it that much time. If you take your soap out of package and let it dry for a couple weeks, you’ll notice the difference.
I also make some hot process soap. I put it in a crock pot I have reserved for that purpose and cook it until all the lye is neutralized. It’s ready as soon as it cools although it does help to let it dry some as well. The consistency isn’t quite as smooth but sometimes that’s nice. It also makes additives easier because they don’t have to be put in until the end. I like to use hot process on my coffee soap and some others as well.
If I use KOH instead of NaOH as my lye, the result is more soluble and I have liquid soap. That’s quite nice too.

There’s a link section on the right. It has some more useful information.

Also, feel free to ask questions.

2 responses

29 04 2013
LaShonda Perkins

Hi Karl, I worked with your sister Marie at AJC as a security guard , I have very sensitive skin and in October 2011 she came to me with a bar of your soap, It was the Almond Milk, She asked me to try it and I have not bought a bar of soap at the store since. I would like to buy directly from you because I know that I am taking away her personal supply. I would love to have the Almond Milk if you have started making it again. Can you send me an email detailing exactly how to purchase from you website? I am down to my last two bars that were purchased in December 2012

29 04 2013

Thanks! We’ll be arranging it by e-mail.


I'm Karl and I make soap.

The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

Baby Name Wizard

I'm Karl and I make soap.

Hyperbole and a Half

I'm Karl and I make soap.

FastMail Blog

Blog for FastMail announcements, news and comments

Con or Bust

I'm Karl and I make soap.

coffee, dog, crochet

I like coffee. And dogs. And crochet. See what I did there?


I'm Karl and I make soap.

Adventures With The Sage

I'm Karl and I make soap.

The Dream Café

I'm Karl and I make soap.

Marie, Let's Eat!

We live in Tennessee, eat well, and tell the world about it.



%d bloggers like this: