How handmade soap is made
Posted on August 16 2015
Back when we were just starting out, I filmed this video of how I make Fire in the Hole Campfire Soap:
It's kind of funny to watch that video now, because I'm making only one batch at a time (that's 35 bars), where as now we routinely make five batches at a time (a process called "masterbatching," which is extensively outlined here... and yes, I did say MASTERBATCHING). This efficiency has enabled us to save time, which of course saves money.
Not only that, instead of painstakingly taking temperature readings every few minutes and heating up the oils, we now do what's called "room temperature soaping." This is still cold process soapmaking (to read more about cold process soapmaking, I recommend checking out The Soap Queen's extensive series on the subject), but it's done differently than most people make cold process soap. We pre-make all the lye and water mixture so it's cool and doesn't cause the soap to harden as quickly while we're mixing it.
And since we've been making soap for several years now, unless we're making a new type of soap, we don't keep such painstaking notes about how long the mix takes to achieve "trace" (the consistency of paint, basically).
So things are muuuuuch simpler than shown in this video.
Even still, the process of making soap by hand is kind of ridiculously complicated, considering that we could just go buy soap at the grocery store.
Maybe it's time to make a new video showing Russ making the soap.
So, why do we prefer to make handmade cold process soap? People have different reasons for choosing to buy handmade soap, but for us, it's all about scent. We can achieve the results we want and have made a commercially viable business by finding other people who like our scent combinations.
To read more about the philosophy behind our handmade soap, read "I have a mission."