Classic Bells > Soapy stuff

Soapy Stuff

Getting started with soap making

Anne L. Watson on soap and lotion making. A lot of soap making info on the internet and in print is incorrect, wrong, and sometimes even dangerous. Anne will get your started safely and sensibly, and her books are very reasonably priced. Buy her books on

Soap Making Forum. Very little drama and lots of good info. Beginners and advanced soap makers are welcome

Auntie Clara's blog. Clara Lindberg has been studying how differences in water content can dramatically affect the appearance of soap. Posts that relate to this topic include:

Glycerin Rivers: Secrets Revealed
Glycerine Rivers: Trying To Understand Them
Intentional Crop Circles: Water Discount As A Design Tool
The Ghost Swirl
Ghost Swirl Soap Follow-Up
What's Hot and What's Not – A Study In Overheating


Soapy projects and ideas

CPOP after the fact. How to firm up soap that didn't gel or to reduce the bullseye look of partially gelled soap

Making Pine Tar soap. Tips for making this classic but tricky soap

Laundry soap mix. My thoughts making an effective laundry soap and an outline of how I make it

Salting-out soap scraps. An alternative to rebatching soap scraps and mistakes

Felting bar soap. How to covering bar soap with wool fiber -- useful for travel and fun for kids


Soap chemistry

Curing soap. It's not just about water evaporation. And yes, HP soap needs to cure just as much as CP soap.


NaOH and KOH

Zap test. How to check your soap for excess lye

Containers for lye storage. Best containers for making and storing lye solution

What is "lye"? Hint -- it is not just sodium hydroxide, NaOH

NaOH or KOH purity check

"Dry bucket" for storing NaOH or KOH

NaOH deliquescence: Ability to absorb water

Calculating a dual lye (KOH and NaOH) recipe



High oleic, mid oleic, and regular oil. Not all sunflower, safflower, or canola oil is the same



Glycerin made by saponification. A quick way to calculate this.


Product packaging, labeling, and photography

Using shrink bags to package soap

Creating soap labels

Product photography tips


Acids and Salts

Acetic acid (Vinegar) and Sodium acetate

Citric acid and Citrus juice

Sodium citrate and Potassium citrate

Lactic acid

Sodium lactate

Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and Sodium ascorbate


Chelators (chemicals than bind up metals)

Tetrasodium EDTA

Sodium citrate and Potassium citrate


Antioxidants (chemicals that prevent oxidation)

Rosemary Oleoresin (ROE)

Tocopherols (Vitamin E)


Safety and First Aid

Zap test (how to check for excess lye)

Lye first aid

Choosing a respirator

Choosing eye protection


Contact me

If you have a question, suggestion, or correction, please send an email to DeeAnna at I can also be found at the Soap Making Forum and various soaping groups on FaceBook -- look for my name.