I had the distinct pleasure of working with Angela Carillo of Alegna Soap yesterday as she taught me how to create cold process soap-making.
Cold-process soap is the art and science of saponification. In short, saponification is the process of lye (or sodium hydroxide) reacting with triglycerides (fats) to create soap. The saponification process happens when lye water meets with the fats and begins to emulsify. The process appears to happen after a great deal of mixing, but it really takes up to 48 hours, in which case the soap goes through a “gel” phase. After this phase, the soap is able to be cut, but then must be dried between 4-6 weeks as the water is evaporated, creating a hard bar of soap.
As Candle Moments continues it process of rebranding and change during the course of 2016, we will, in some time, begin to offer cold-process bars of soap. For now, as I practice and learn, we will continue to offer hot-process soap.
Why are we interested in cold-process soap?
We want to be able to offer our customers vegan, chemical-free, cruelty-free soap. As you know, our vision and premise is already on clean, renewable resources, while protecting all of Earth’s creatures.
The chance to shower with true cold-process soap is a simple luxury, one we could all afford, but more so, one our body and Earth deserves. As with our candles, if you wouldn’t eat it, you shouldn’t breathe it or bathe in it.
About the Class
Aside from being a kind, patient, and knowledgeable instructor, Angela shared recipes and gave us the opportunity to get our hands dirty and make our own soap. She answered all of our questions, gave us tips, advice, and went above and beyond any expectations. If you are ever in the Bethpage area of Long Island, I highly recommend her class! Visit her website for class scheduling.
This picture (taken by Angela), is of me mixing the lye water with the selected oils. For this particular soap batch, we used Olive Oil for moisture, Coconut Oil for bubbles, and sustainable Palm Oil for hardness. We used Lavender and Rosemary essential oils to create a deliciously clean and refreshing scent.