Using a cold-process method with essential ingredients, such as lye-water, animal oils, fragrances and essential oils, makes good homemade soaps. The oils must heat in a pot until reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and the mixture must cool in a mold.
Using a cold process to make homemade soaps requires a flat workstation with access to water and a heat source. Recipes can use vegetable or animal oils. Other necessary ingredients include a pitcher of lye-water, a soap pot and a mold. Fragrance or essential oil and natural or synthetic colorants are optional ingredients. Soap makers need to heat the oils in the soap pot, slowly mix in the lye-water mixture and stir until soap thickens.
Once the mixture reaches this stage, soap makers can add color, fragrance and additives. Next, they need to pour the mixture into the mold and store the raw soap in a cool, dry place for nearly 24 hours to harden. The soaps take four weeks to cure before ready to use.
The cold process method allows the soap maker to tailor the recipe into numerous variations. The disadvantage of this method is that it takes longer and requires extensive cleanup. In addition, the soap maker has to learn how to safely use lye.