Making Soap 101

Making Soap 101

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Learn the basics of making cold-process soap in this 2 hour, one-on-one lesson in our shop. The art of soap making has been around for centuries, dating back to 2800 BC. Formulas for early soapmaking were found on clay tablets in ancient Babylon, using wood ash and oils.

Soap is different from other cleansers. Soap is the salt of a fatty acid, whereas cream cleansers, liquid soaps and bodywash are made from chemical surfactants. Soap combines with dirt and grease, which is then separated from what is being cleaned. When you wash your hands and lather with soap and water, soap kills bacteria and microorganisms by disrupting their lipid membrane and damaging their protein structure. Soap also binds with grease, rinsing it away with water.

In this lesson, you'll be learning the following:

  • Recipe review
  • Safety considerations & manufacturing protocol
  • Measuring & making soap with our oil & butter recipe
  • Cutting & curing, & storing soap

You'll leave with a loaf of soap that you will need to unmold and cut at home in 36-48 hours. Soap will need to cure for 30 days, spaced apart from each other to allow air to circulate between the bars.

This workshop will provide you with the basics for making soap for personal use. If your intention is to gift or sell soap, you'll also want to take the Making Soap 201 workshop. We currently only make vegetarian soap in our shop but these skills are easily transferred to the use of tallow and lard. Please let us know if you are planning to use tallow or lard so we can provide you with a good starting recipe.

PREPARATIONS*

Clothing: What you wear is important! We will provide you with gloves, apron, and eye protection. You will these items when you make soap at home. Wear a shirt or coveralls, something you'd wear when painting. Hair should be pulled back.

Equipment: You can take your soap home the same day in our bamboo and silicone loaf mold. The mold will need to be returned to us. Alternately, please bring your own wood, glass or silicone loaf pan (please no metal), or even a clean Pringles can or 1 Litre milk carton.

Date: Our soapmaking workshops are done on select Saturdays at the Saint John City Market. We will touch base with you once you purchase the lesson, to coordinate the details based on mutual availability.

Ingredients: Soapmaking is particular, and using fragrance oils and essential oils from other retail suppliers is not recommended. We cannot guarantee the quality of your soap if you use ingredients that we haven't sourced and tested. 


ALLERGY ALERT

We use olive, avocado, coconut and shea butter in our basic recipe. If you are allergic to any of these ingredients, we will adjust the recipe accordingly. Unfortunately there is the potential for cross-contamination in our workshop due to the daily use of these oils, which may not be suitable for people with severe allergies. If you have a severe allergy to these ingredients, please send us a message on the chat function.