Homemade Soap


the blog:

The Natural Soap Chef 

Review Part I

I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to review this book. I
have been very interested in making my own soaps and lotions for
a very long time now. My neighbor gave me my first experience in 
soap making. He has his grandmother’s lye/lard recipe and he and
I made a batch together – it was a wonderful experience. 

I had been

studying the process and the many different ingredients one can 
use to create fragrant, luxurious homemade soap.
I am a DIYer in a number of ways – this seems a natural avenue
to pursue. I understand many are cautious because of the dangers
of lye – and rightly so. No matter what project we take on – 
we always need to exercise due caution. 
The world and history of soap making is so very fascinating – there
are so many wonderful oils and butters available to make homemade
soap a truly luxurious experience.
So, when I was given the opportunity to review, The Natural Soap Chef
by Heidi Corley Barto I jumped at the chance.

Heidi is much like you and I. She purchased her first bar of homemade

soap at a craft fair several years back. The soap maker told Heidi
that the soap had been made in her home from oils, lye, milk and
plants from her very own garden. This fragrant soap was so wonderful
to Heidi that she determined there and then she wanted to make her
own soap.
She began her quest to understand the many ways soap is created and
the wonderful ingredients one could use to create their own soap. 
She settled on the very same method my  friend uses – cold-process 
soap – the very same way our grandmothers used to make soap. 

I think my youngest daughter would like this soap 

Heidi made batches of the same basic lye + oil = soap and then stopped

as they had quite a lot to use! As she put it in her book, ‘life happens’.
Through different changes in their lives Heidi ceased making her
own soap and purchased homemade soap from others. It was when her
youngest daughter began to develop skin problems that she was spurred
to research once again the properties in different oils and their
affects on our skin. Heidi found the resources today to be wonderful
in the pursuit of soap making – books, online sources for supplies 
and even calculators to determine amounts of oils needed for special 
recipes. She began experimenting with recipes and ultimately developed
one that she loved – that she felt confident in for her family.

My husband likes the idea of this soap – for our son’s
dog we’re caring for – great name too!

Heidi shared that the difference between homemade soap and ‘store bought’

soap is that soap purchased at the store usually isn’t ‘true soap’.
It is detergent consisting primarily of synthetic ingredients. Also,
the wonderful benefit of cold process soap is the presence of glycerin-
manufacturers have stripped this from mass produced soaps to use
it in other products. Glycerin is a ‘humectant’ it attracts moisture. 
So, my waiting and studying has come to a crossroads – am I going to
dream about this – or am I going to do this.

for my tea loving friends

Heidi encouraged in her book, ‘if you can read this, you can make soap!’

Stay tuned for part two….my ingredients as they say are in the mail!
Interested in making your own soap – I really like
the style of writing, the information, the ‘basic recipe’ as well as
the other creative recipes in this book – If you’ve been 
considering taking the plunge into making your own
homemade soaps – I believe you’ll find 

The Natural Soap Chef: Making Luxurious Delights from Cucumber Melon and Almond Cookie to Chai Tea and Espresso Forte 

an invaluable resource.

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