How to pH Test Soap the Right Way & Why It Matters!

One of the common questions that come up on Modern Soapmaking, especially in hot process tutorials and liquid soapmaking tutorials, is how to pH test handmade soap. It’s easy to understand why when there is so much conflicting information on the internet pH testing soap! I hope to clear up a lot of common misconceptions […]

How to Better Understand Water Discounts When You Make Soap

Adding lye solution to soap oils

One of the most common issues I run into with soapmakers is not understanding how the lye solution in soapmaking works. For instance, a soapmaker might take one of our recipes and incorrectly use the “water as a percentage of oils” option instead of the “lye concentration” option and think there is something wrong with […]

How to Replace an Oil in a Soap Recipe Accurately

pouring substitute oil in handmade soap recipe

One of the most common questions I get here on Modern Soapmaking is how to replace an oil in a soap recipe. I know and understand that not everyone uses or stocks the same oils in their soapmaking studio, so I figured it was high time I wrote about it! If you have made the […]

How to Better Understand SoapCalc’s Soap Quality Numbers

A lot of soapmakers start formulating on their own based on SoapCalc‘s soap quality numbers, even though they are surrounded by mystery. Most soapmakers aren’t exactly sure where the numbers come from or what exactly the numbers mean. So much so that students in my Formulating Soap Recipes class were blown away to learn what contributes to the […]

Updated: Lather Lovers Additive Tests, One Year Later!

In 2013, I retested the samples from the 2012 swap to see how they compared.

In 2012, I participated in the Lather Lover’s Additive Testing swap on the Dish Forum, hosted by the fabulous Shannon of Scenter Square. I kept the samples from the testing for a couple years after the initial tests, and ran follow-up lather tests in 2013 and 2014 before I threw away the soaps. Recently, I found my photo […]

The Best Ways to Control Trace When You Make Cold Process Soap

handmade soap that has reached heavy trace

Every time I work with soapmakers, I find that a large number of them allow the soapmaking process to control them rather than taking control of the process themselves. This usually manifests in being afraid of trying new design techniques or creating intricate and complex formulas. Getting comfortable with the soapmaking process and understanding how each […]

How to Stop Guessing at the Essential Oil Usage Rate When You Make Soap

Esssential oil usage rate for soap

Now that I’ve dished on my top ten recommended essential oils for soapmaking, I want to dig into the age old question of: How do I figure out the usage rate of XYZ essential oil? How much essential oil do I use in soapmaking? Unfortunately, this is never a straightforward answer, but let’s decipher the in’s […]

How to Resize a Soap Recipe for Your Mold (U.S. Standard and Metric!)

How To Resize Your Recipe for Your Soap Mold

One of the most common questions I receive is how to resize a soap recipe here on Modern Soapmaking to fit a different mold than what is used in a tutorial. To resize a soap recipe, we first need to know how much soap or oil your mold will hold by calculating your mold capacity. There […]

What Fatty Acid Profiles in Soapmaking Are the Most Popular?

Back when I wrote how to create the absolutely best soap recipe ever, I had no idea the post would become so popular. My biggest piece of advice in that article, however, is to learn your fatty acid profiles and that seemed to stump a lot of folks. I’m often asked for a range of acceptable […]

The Secret to the Absolutely Best Soap Recipe

Prepping your ingredients and creating a flow with help you make handmade soap safely

The best soap recipe produces a bar with a luscious creamy abundant lather. It creates a rock hard bar of soap that is long-lasting (but not too long-lasting!) A perfect soap formula cleanses without being overly drying and has just the right amount of skin-nourishing oils and additives. And of course, the ideal soap recipe […]