Frequently Asked Questions

Our resident soap making guru at Teach Soap is Anne-Marie Faiola. Anne-Marie is a true soap making artist with 14 years of soap crafting under her belt. We hope the frequently asked questions and answers provided here will enhance your soapmaking experience. For additional inspiration, be sure to visit the Teach Soap, Soap Making Forum

Q: Do you have any tips for working with problem fragrance oils in cold-process soap?

Q: Could you please explain what a flashpoint is?

Q: I used the melt and pour method but the soap is stuck in the molds and I cannot get it out! What did I do wrong? Help!

Q: I’m a new soap maker and recently left pounds of glycerin melt and pour and shea butter melt and pour in my car trunk, which of course made for frozen soap. Is there anything I can do about this?

Q: I had some really pretty blackberry seeds that I sprinkled on top of some CP Blackberry Sage soap …after the soap heated up and gelled, most of the seeds had sunk into the top of the soap and are now dark and icky.

Q: Does Beeswax make CP soap harder?

A: What would cause a batch of soap to erupt while in the soap mold?

Q: Can you make good quality soap using the cold method without palm oil ie is there an environmentally sound alternative to using palm?

Q: Can anyone give me a melt and pour soap recipe for a soap thats good for psoriasis/eczema?

Q: 1. What will make cold process soaps freeze or set up too soon? 2. Can cold process soaps be molded into different shapes?

Q: I made a batch of lotion using beeswax, but the oil and water separates. Is there any way to save my lotion?

Q: I am looking for cold process natural dog soap recipe that will be good for dry skin. Can you help? I have searched the internet, and cannot find one.

Q: I seem to be having trouble with some scents dissipating from my soap after just a few weeks, particularly citrus essential oils. I read a lot of internet chat about “anchoring” to make the scent last longer. Can you tell me what I can use to anchor lemon, lime, orange, & mango please. I would love to have a strong lemon soap.

Q: I am making soaps with a number of natural additives and I am worried about shelf life.  I realized that I couldn’t use certain botanicals like mint or lavender because they turn brown.

Q: Are FO’s or EO’s better for cold process soaps? About how much would you use for small batch? (mine had just a pound of fats and 6 oz of milk)

Q: I’ve made some bath bombs, but I must be doing something wrong…when dry, they have lots of cracks all over them…please help!

Q: How can you calculate the SAP value of cooking oil and Vegetable cooking oil? or there is a rule of thumb in determining how much lye to use? Are these oils good for the skin in general?

Q: I made a Goat’s milk soap and after 24 hours, the block of soap had a pool of what looked like olive oil sitting on the top of it. I mopped it up and proceeded to cut the bars for drying. Each bar is oozing oil. What would be your first thought as to what could have caused it?

Q: Is there an easy formula to decide the pounds of soap a recipe will make?

Q: What kind of conditions does CP soap need to cure after it is removed from mold? I know the process takes from 4 to 12 weeks but I cannot find out what temperature it needs to be kept at?

Q: What colorants do you recommend for a solid bubble bath recipe using glycerin, baking soda, cream of tartar and SLS?

Q: What type of base oil or cream would be good for the under eye area and can you use essential oils that close to your eyes?

Q: I just got my super cool new wooden log mold for cold process soapmaking and I cannot figure out how to line it. Can you help?

Q: I’ve made some bath bombs, but I must be doing something wrong…when dry, they have lots of cracks all over them…please help!

Q: Is it okay to use my large pot for cooking after using it for CP soapmaking if I prewash it and then run it through the dishwasher?

Q: I would like to know if most recipes are showing oils measured in weight ounces or in fluid ounces?

Q: Is it possible to use baby oil as one of the oils in a soap recipe or does it have to be plant based to work?

Q: My question is about using goats milk in soap. If I were to first add Titanium Dioxide to my oils, then add the lye/goatsmilk mixture, would this produce a white bar of soap? Could I then swirl in other colors?

Q: What about Essential oils? When can you use them in your soap? I love Rosemary and would like to use it in soap.

Q: When mixing scents, how can you tell what can be mixed with what?

Q: I have been selling my lotions, etc. for about 2 years now and have always used lotion bases that I buy from different companies. Is is still necessary to add a preservative such as Germaben to these mixtures? I thought they already have a preservative in them. Also, I am about to try to make some cold process soap. Is there anything I am supposed to add to this as a preservative. I haven’t been able to find anything concrete about this. If nothing is added, how long before a bar of soap becomes rancid, or does the soap become rancid?