Our cold process soaps begin with simple steps:
Selecting our base oils (most often Pomace Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Rice Bran Oil and the like)
Melting down our butters (Cocoa or Shea)
Blending these nourishing butters and oils and setting them aside to cool
While the oils and butters are cooling, we mix food grade sodium hydroxide (lye) with a choice liquid (tea, beer, water, etc) and set this exothermic concoction aside to cool.
Once both mixes have cooled to the proper temperatures (this varies depending on the design), the fun begins!
We combine the two, blend, blend some more and add the chosen essential oils and colorants (typically micas or cocoa powder).
And that's it - besides the design work, un-molding, cutting and curing. Simple, natural and real.
Curing is the most difficult part. Since we do not use palm oil, tallow or lard in our soap, it can take up to 6 weeks for the soaps to harden and the ph to lower.
Then there is hot process...
This one is much easier and typically used to produced soaps that "trace" or thicken-up too quickly to create fluid designs. Most of our more rustic designs (Cracked, Stacie's Soap, Birch Tar, etc) are hot process.
We don't wait for the temperatures to come down at all. We simply melt the oils and butters in a crockpot, add the hot lye solution, blend and cook. And cook. And cook some more until saponification has occurred and the ph levels are suitable for use. After that, it's just a matter of waiting for the bars to harden enough to be cut and then off to the curing racks they go (for about a week or 2).