Thursday, November 13, 2014

Blast From the Past "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Natural Soaps" review

Due to a technical issue, earlier posts on this blog were deleted. These posts are being re-shared with readers on a daily basis. This blog post was originally published on November 6, 2011

I was very, very happy when I was contacted about reviewing The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Natural Soaps by Sally Trew and Zonella Gould. I have always been interested in making my own soaps but everytime I tried to research how to do it I felt buried in information.  There are different types of soap, different ways to make soap, different formulations, etc.  and it was overwhelming to figure out where to start, what to buy and what do do.

The very beginning of the book gave a brief overview of how soap is made, and what materials are needed and how to store the finished product.  There was a strong emphasis on safety and what measures are.

The next chapter covered Oils and Butters and what is appropriate for which varieties - some are lathering, others are moisturizing and others have medicinal benefits.  There are also different forms for certain varieties  of oil depending on how refined the material is. 

Chapter 3 covers fragrance oils - not all oils are good for the skin.  Find out which ones are wonderful for your skin and what properties they will bring to your soap. 

The rest of the book focuses on making the soap - learn how to use molds, the difference between hot process and cold process soap making.  From calculations to curing, you can quickly and easily learn the ins and outs (and do's and don'ts).  You can even learn how to make liquid soap or whip up a batch in your slow cooker!

"Soapmaking has always been a popular craft with a dedicated group of followers, but with the explosion of urban homesteading and people looking to go green, noncrafters are now joining in on the fun. Whether it's making natural soap to live greener, give as gifts, save money, or make money, The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to Making Natural Soaps has everything the new soap maker will need to create organic, natural soaps of all kinds. 

Includes recipes to make a wide array of molded, poured, and liquid soaps"

Part I - The Basics of Natural Soap-Making
1 - Introduction to Soap Making
2 - Oils and Butters
3 - Fragrance and Essential Oils
4 - Hello to Soap Calc
5 - Soap Molds

 Part II - Making Cold and Hot Process Soaps
6 - Cold Process Soap
7 - Hot Process Soap
8 - Cold and Hot Process Soap Recipes
9 - Goat Milk Soap
10 - Liquid Soap

Part III - Getting Creative with your Soap
11 - Coloring Your Soap
12 - Taking Your Soap to the Next Level
13 - Fun with Melt and Pour Soap.

Overall I really love this book and cannot wait to try out natural soap making!  These women are obviously experts and through their trial and error experiences, even beginners can learn what works and what doesn't. 

ARV is listed as $14.95 USD but is is currently on sale for under $10.  This would be a fantastic gift to the crafter, DIYer or eco-conscious recipient on your gift list.  Even better, buy it for yourself and make fabulous soaps for those on your gift list!   Either way this book will be well-loved and well-read :)

Disclosure - I did not receive any compensation for this post.  I did receive a book for review purposes.  For more information on this blog and on my posting practices, please refer to the disclosure policy at the bottom of the page.  

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