Advanced Cold Process Soap Making: Working With Milk, Beer, Aloe, Coffee & Color (3 hours)

This hands-on class can be taken by itself as a private class for $60/hour or it can be combined with the beginner's cold process class as a 4.5-hour soap workshop for $150/person.  For more information on the soap workshop, visit this page: Soap Workshops.

We'll cover the following: 

  • The chemistry of soap making, the saponification reaction of various fats (oils/butters) & lye (NaOH) + other important soap terms like super-fatting & curing

  • Why certain fats are better for soap making than others (e.g. olive oil vs. avocado oil; shea butter vs. kokum butter)

  • Lye information & safety (read more below: "Safety First!") + why 2 types of lye are used in soap making

  • The materials & ingredients needed and where to get them (I provide a suppliers' list as part of the class handout)

  • How to formulate a soap recipe based on your needs (e.g. dry skin, sensitive skin), using the most detailed, online soap calculator

  • The benefits of using water substitutes (e.g. milk, aloe vera, coffee, beer), how they affect basic soap recipes & how to safely work with them

  • The pros & cons of the various colorant options and how to work with them to achieve swirled or layered soap (e.g. activated charcoal, clays, herbs, micas)

  • How to test the pH of your soap to make sure it is safe to use

  • Troubleshooting: the common mistakes of soap making and how to avoid/fix them

  • The step-by-step process of making your soap, choosing other soap additives like honey & exfoliants, and what to do at home afterwards

  • Suppliers for small quantities of & bulk ingredients and equipment/materials

Formulating a balanced recipe is the most important & hardest part of soap making, so my goal is to make sure you understand saponification, how to use the online soap calculator, and how colorants and water substitutes can affect the final product.  

Go home with a customized product!  In class, you will:

  • Choose a recipe that is best for your skin type (e.g. more conditioning or bubbly)

  • Make 8 oz. of soap, customized with your choice of colorant & water substitute (goat's milk, beer, coffee &/or aloe vera) in the silicone mold of your choice, which you can keep and reuse (2-4 bars, depending on the mold)

  • Add other additives to your soap, if desired (honey for extra conditioning, amaranth for exfoliation, your own fragrance from home*)

Go home with 10 soap recipes and a thorough, step-by-step instructional handout, including the soap-making chemistry & history, ingredient info, lye safety, recipe-building instructions, a list of materials/equipment & online suppliers (All handouts are emailed as PDFs after the class).

Note that it takes at least 2 weeks for the soap to cure and be ready for use.  It will be hard to wait, but well worth it!  Then, you'll be ready to make your next batch of soap - it's addictive!  

* Important Note: Everything is provided in the class, as well as some snacks & tea.  However, fragrances are no longer offered because continual exposure causes the teacher allergies, but feel free to bring your own fragrances to class to add to your products.  They will be discussed in class.

You must wear closed-toe shoes, a long-sleeved shirt and pants to this class.


General Class Information:

  • Very small class sizes!  Classes are for up to 2 per class (contact Lindsay if there are more than 2 in your party).  You can feel comfortable to ask all of your questions and then go home ready to try out your new skill!  

  • Available every day of the week!  Book a class on the online calendar or contact Lindsay to set up your class.

  • 100% hands-on!  Make the products yourself; you won't watch, you'll do.

  • Customize your products!   I supply the recipes & ingredients, and you choose which work best for you.

  • Bring nothing!  Everything is provided in the class (except fragrances), as well as snacks & tea.

  • It's all in the details!  Take home a thorough, detailed instructional handout with recipes, ingredients, materials list, suppliers & more.

  • Go home with a starter kit!  If you'd like to continue your new hobby right away, I offer all of the ingredients for sale, and I buy everything in bulk and can offer very cheap prices to help get you started.  Sometimes it's tough to wait for your ingredients to arrive in the mail!

  • Safely First!  Since lye, NaOH, is used in this class, you will be provided the best safety equipment for the class.  A common question: is lye necessary for soap making?  Yes! A base is needed with one hydroxide ion, so Sodium Hydroxide is used...And it has many other uses as well!  But, don't worry, there is no lye in the final product due to the chemical reaction that takes place between the carrier oils/butters and the lye, which is converted into salt!  My goal is for you to understand what lye is, how to handle lye & to respect lye, not fear it!  Come to class to learn more about lye, including the chemistry of soap making, its history & more! Check out my most recent reviews to see what previous students had to say about working with lye.