Best Soapmaking book recommendations

Judy_Z6OKJanuary 4, 2004

I've been lurking for a couple of days and have already picked up much valuable information thanks to you all. Any recommendations for a 1st book on soapmaking? I'm new to this and would love a good read on the subject.

Thanks in advance for your help.


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When I started I went to the Library and took out about 10 books and scrolled through them to get basic ideas and recipe ideas.

You will get the hang of it very quick.

Sorry that I cannot give a specific book


    Bookmark   January 4, 2004 at 10:01PM
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Elle, thank your for your reply. I will check out the library, but I was hoping to weed out any books that were not worthwhile reading. If anyone has a preference I would appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks again, Judy

    Bookmark   January 6, 2004 at 6:15PM
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By "soapmaking," Judy, do you mean you want to mix fats and lye and actually make soap, or do you want to use Melt and Pour blocks? Usually the books are aimed at one method or the other, seldom do they cover both types of soapmaking. Let us know what type you are looking for and I bet you'll get some good suggestions.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2004 at 8:23PM
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Thank you Red Confetti, I'm already receiving an education. Actually I'm interested in reading about both methods to see what they are all about and if I need to get two books in order to cover both methods I would be glad to do that. Thanks in advance for any recommendations.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2004 at 8:39AM
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Well, I hate to see you just sitting there, waiting for book suggestions, Judy! I hope by now you have checked your local library (Dewey classification 668.12 and 668.124 are good places to start). There are hundreds of soapmaking books, of varying quality and of course everyone has their favorites.

Here are Amazon links to a couple, not necessarily 'good' ones, but ones that have great pictures. And sometimes the pictures make everything so much clearer when you are learning something new.

Just read the reviews on the pages, and also look at the other soap book links. Once you get started browsing, I'm sure you'll find what you are looking for.

Natural Soapmaking by Marie Browning This one also has other stuff like bath salts, bath oils, scrubs, etc. It does not teach you how to actually make soap. She uses bar soap, grates it up, and incorporates other ingredients.

The Complete Soapmaker: Tips, Techniques, & Recipes for Luxurious Handmade Soaps
by Norma J. Coney
Again, this one is primarily about grating and reforming bar soap. But it does have step-by-step instructions on making a simple lye soap.

Art of Soapmaking by Merilyn Mohr I used this one quite a lot when I first started making basic lye soap using Red Devil lye and lard. It has lots of recipes for different types of soaps... laundry, shaving, leather, etc.

I also have one (not on Amazon) that I got at Michael's (I think) called Soap Making 101 that is just a wonderful picture book with 'recipes' all of which are using the premade glycerine bars, melting them, adding color, fragrance and other ingredients, to make cute, fun bars.

Whatever you do, pick a recipe, read it over and over again, and then try it exactly as it says the first time. Don't experiment the first time you make lye soap.

I read many books and recipes before I made my first batch, took notes, found the most basic recipe, and went from there. And be careful! Lye hurts!!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2004 at 10:24AM
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Thank you Red Confetti for the recommendations. I did go ahead and purchase "The Soapmakers Companion" by Cavitch. Its seems to have quite a bit of good basic information, but I will go to the library and see if I can find the books you have listed.

Thanks again, Judy

    Bookmark   January 13, 2004 at 5:28PM
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I'd like to recommend Kathy Miller's site too. There is soooo much information for lye soap making there! You can learn a lot.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2004 at 6:48PM
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Thank you iracountrygirl, I did discover Kathy Miller's site and it has been very informative. Check out the link she has good information and recipes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Millersoap

    Bookmark   February 7, 2004 at 12:54AM
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Hi Judy, nice to see an Okie here! :)
I like to make glycerin soap. It's quick, fun, and good for my dry skin. One of the books I like is Melt and Mold soap Crafting by C. Kaila Westerman.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2004 at 7:56AM
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Hi Jerri, sorry I'm so late replying. I've been busy lately and have not checked in with this forum for awhile. I'm glad to see another okie on this forum also! I will check into your book suggestion and thank you.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2004 at 12:28PM
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Have not been on my computer for ages due to illness & computer break down. Please help me. Quite awhile ago I sent for a box of m&P soaps that were samples of all kinds. Made them up with great sucess. Would like to order more. Do you know if they still do that. If not do you know of a good reasonable place to order some. Grandson is getting married, giving a shower and thought basket with soaps, gels and such would make nice prices. Thanks for any help you can give me. Oma baker

    Bookmark   April 25, 2004 at 9:22PM
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What you probably ordered was from SCFI.
From what their site says you can only get samples once.

I think was selling some of the SCFI bases. Don't know which they had or if they still have them.
I like the "regular" base that wholesalesuppliesplus sells.
haven't tried their shower gel bases or any of that line though.

Hope this helps somewhat....


    Bookmark   April 25, 2004 at 9:49PM
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You can buy SFIC bases in small quantities from (located in Illinois) or Acorn Soap Supply (located somewhere in the west). I have purchased from both of these places and both are very reputable and have great service. I would not purchase SFIC from WSP; it is overpriced, their shipping is outrageous, and the SFIC base I got from them was a very pour quality- wasn't anything like SFIC should be- it felt like a block of candle wax instead of a block of soap wax. In fact, I really thought they had sent me candle wax mistakenly. SFIC bases are the only soap that we can use because of our allergies and sensitivities to additives. The other bases that WSP offers are excellent, I understand, but are a different formulation that SFIC. If you don't need a specialty, hypo-allergenic base, the regular WSP bases are much cheaper than SFIC bases.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2004 at 11:52PM
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Nature's Bouquet has smaller sizes of soaps (2LB I believe) for $1.50 LB/2LB Block, if you buy the bulk size it is $1.30/LB. This is for white and clear, the goat milk only comes in 20+ block.

From what I remember ( I don't use anymore) their shipping is reaonable and they ship quick

Good luck with your project


    Bookmark   April 26, 2004 at 10:37PM
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Great recommendations from the other posters! I also like "Soapmaking for the first time" by Linda Orton. It's carried at Barnes & Noble and Michaels. It covers both cp and mp as well as a wealth of other products and ideas for presentation and marketing of the product... which we all know is how we get the customer's attention first!


    Bookmark   April 27, 2004 at 6:31PM
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