Ask Our Expert Soapmakers

Knowledgeable Answers to YOUR Questions!

Ask Our Expert Soapmakers
Add to Favorites Do you have a soapmaking question? You’re not alone! Check here to see if your question has already been answered. And, if not, use our chat feature to contact our experts! Hello… How can I wash the soap that I am making? And how dangerous is lye? – Phionah Hi Phionah, that is a very important question. Lye can be deadly if it is ingested, and can cause burns on the skin, but that can be said about many substances. Knowing the correct ways to handle lye keeps you safe. Here is an excellent story about safety precautions when handling it. If you follow all the recommendations and keep the lye away from children and pets, you will be just fine. https://iamcountryside.com/soapmaking/soap-safety-precautions/ As far as your other question, regarding how to wash the soap you’re making, I’m not sure I understand. Are you trying to remove a layer
14 thoughts on “Ask Our Expert Soapmakers”
  1. I’ve seen recipes for homemade Castille soap, but retail Castille soap also comes in liquid form. Is it possible to homemake liquid Castille used in many DIY recipes? What do you do differently? (Not to make bars and grate them into water)

    1. Hi Cindy, I know which soap you are talking about, and if you read the label, you will learn that “Castile soap” can have a very broad definition and is starting to lose its actual identity as a pure olive-oil soap from Spain. One huge difference between liquid and solid soaps is that the liquid version usually uses potassium hydroxide while the solid version uses sodium hydroxide. I know many soapmakers who go through the extra labor to make a liquid soap such as this, especially one that’s clear, but they tend to be few and far between.

  2. Hi, I was wondering if you have to wrap up the shampoo bar soap after putting in the mould to keep it warm, since you have said it gets very hot? I want to try this out soon if I can x

    1. Hi Camilla, that may depend on the temperature of your own workspace. Since it gets so hot, you most often would NOT have to insulate it, unless you make soap in a cold shop or garage. Watch the soap as it gels; if oil pools on the top, it’s too hot.

  3. I found a recipe for 100% coconut oil soap (3 lbs) that calls for 4oz cinnamon essential oil? Is this a typo?? I am nervous to try it, but really want to.

    1. I would also be nervous to try it! Both cinnamon bark and cinnamon leaf essential oils can cause contact dermatitis in even small amounts. Reputable soap supply sites, like Brambleberry, instruct that cinnamon leaf essential oil should not be used at more than 1% of the recipe for wash-off products like soap, and should never be used in stay-on products like lotion. Since 3 pounds of coconut oil is 48oz, that 4oz of cinnamon oil is less than 10% of the recipe, but I still would not recommend this recipe for sensitive skin. Another important factor in this recipe would be the superfat percentage. If this recipe calculates at less than 20% superfat, a 100% coconut oil soap would be too drying, and that cinnamon oil would be especially irritating. Another option might be to purchase a pre-mixed cinnamon-scented fragrance oil specially formulated for soap. That way, you get the cinnamon fragrance but don’t have to worry about dermatitis from the oils.

  4. Very new to soap making, do you have to do use many different kinds of oil or you can use only one kind of oil like just shea butter?

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