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34 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars simple and creative
When I first started to search for soap making books, there were just too many. After ordering a few of them, I decided that this one was THE ONE. Simple recipes that focuse on hand milling soap making, not forgetting the basic recipes that we can use to create our own soaps. The most appealing was that the ingredients are simple, and there are a lot of soap recipes that...
Published on Jan. 15 2003 by Lara Barbosa

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This title is very misleading.
The title of this book leads a reader to believe that it contains a wealth of information about cold process soapmaking. It does not. Almost all of this book is devoted to "hand milling" or rebatching, a technique that most cold process soapmakers will not use except as a last resort to reclaim a failed batch of cold process soap. The reason it's not used...
Published on Feb. 27 1999


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous Instructions ... Bad Recipes, April 4 2001
By 
I would suggest to anyone that they not buy this book. The instructions on adding water to lye are dangerous. The recipes when run through a lye calculator are either very lye heavy ( making a caustic soap that will take your skin off) or have so much exess fat that they'd go rancid very quickly. This was the first soapmaking book I ever read and it almost put me off soapmaking forever. The idea that you must rebatch soap to add herbs and fragrances is silly and not at all true. Very few soapmakers rebatch unless they have to do so to salvage a bad batch. She suggests using fabric dye to color soaps, this is a very unsafe practice. She suggests using potpouri oils as fragrance, another unsafe practice and illegal if you plan on selling your soaps to the public. This book is chock full of bad information and poor advice. The photographs are lovely and inspiring but that does not make up for bad and sometimes dangerous information. For your own health and safety avoid it at all costs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This title is very misleading., Feb. 27 1999
By A Customer
The title of this book leads a reader to believe that it contains a wealth of information about cold process soapmaking. It does not. Almost all of this book is devoted to "hand milling" or rebatching, a technique that most cold process soapmakers will not use except as a last resort to reclaim a failed batch of cold process soap. The reason it's not used is that it takes twice as long, and the results are unpredictable and often unsatisfactory. The two-step process requires making a batch of soap, waiting for it to cure several days, then grating the soap, melting it, adding various ingredients, and pressing the mixture into molds. If you are interested in this process, however, you'll still have to learn the basics of cold process soap, and the book is seriously deficient in that regard, particularly in its lye-handling instructions (never add water to lye, contrary to this book's instructions). Also, it's hard to imagine a "complete" soapmaking book that doesn't discuss saponification values for oils. If you're interested in learning cold process soapmaking, this is NOT the book I'd recommend.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Soapy learning, Dec 11 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Very interesting, practical. This book explains the art of soap-making well. I have come to learn that making soap is a very exacting art and very delicate in the procedure.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Better than many others that I have read, May 3 2003
By 
J. MITCHELL "utah reader" (Utah, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is one of the better books that I have read on soapmaking. Other authors (that I will not name) talk at length about the history of soap and their own companies whereas this book actually focuses on the info you need---how to make soap. It has about 6 recipes for making cold process soap (lye and fats/oils) and then about 20 recipes for hand milled soaps (where you use the cold process soap that has already been made and melt it down then add herbal ingrediants or whatever you want to add) It also has more information regarding good molds to use than all the other books that I have read. There is a list of sopamaking terms that are helpful. Pictures are nice and I think would be helpful for the first time soap maker. I wish this was the book that I read while I was just beginning.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, March 13 2003
By A Customer
First, I want to mention that in my edition, she has corrected the instructions regarding adding lye to water. Mine clearly states to add the lye to the water, which is the correct (safe) way.
After running her recipes through an online calculator, I agree that they're a bit heavy on the lye. She has zero superfatting, which for a beginner seems a little risky - if you short your oils at all your soap might turn out too caustic. I also reduce the water in her recipes by about 20% unless I'm using a fragrance oil prone to siezing. So I recommend taking her recipes and running them through a good online lye calculator and deciding for yourself if you want to reduce these - I generally use a 5% lye discount and have had great results.
This book focuses rather heavily on rebatching. Personally I enjoy rebatching but many soapers consider it a nightmare and reserve it only for failed batches. So just be aware that this book is a little shy on base soap recipes, but great if you're looking for rebatching recipes.
I also have an aversion to using tallow or other animal products, and there are only 2 base soaps that are all veggie. I would have liked to see more all-veggie recipes.
Overall I think it's a pretty good book, and I'll be keeping my copy. I just write in my own water and lye amounts. :)
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1.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate and misleading ESPECIALLY dangerous for beginners, Feb. 17 2003
By 
Leann Blackey (Illinois, United States) - See all my reviews
One of many soapmaking books I purchased when beginning soapmaking. Thankfully, it isn't the first one I actually used. She warns on page 34-- "don't make the mistake of adding the lye to the water" when the correct method is EXACTLY the opposite --or a SERIOUS explosion/reaction can happen. The recipes are also very "lye heavy" and she confuses "handmilling" with what soapmakers term "rebatching". I'm very concerned that this book comes highly recommended on many web sites for beginners to soapmaking. There are many better books out there that are much more informative AND accurate!! Hot and cold process soapmaking isn't teribly difficult and very rewarding, but when working with caustic chemicals, one should be well-informed. This book could seriously mislead someone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars simple and creative, Jan. 15 2003
By 
Lara Barbosa (Aveiro, Portugal) - See all my reviews
When I first started to search for soap making books, there were just too many. After ordering a few of them, I decided that this one was THE ONE. Simple recipes that focuse on hand milling soap making, not forgetting the basic recipes that we can use to create our own soaps. The most appealing was that the ingredients are simple, and there are a lot of soap recipes that don't include hard to get oils, such as palm or coconut oils. In Portugal it's almost impossible to get them. The explanation is simple and the pictures are beautiful. I recommend this book for beginners, although anyone can enjoy the adventure of starting from a basic soap and creating their own special hand milling recipes.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading and poor value, Dec 6 2002
By 
"moonpigge" (Devon, England) - See all my reviews
Superficially this looks like a good book, however the appearance is misleading. The recipes do not produce good soap and the instructions for re-batching produce rather unpleasant-textured soap that takes months to harden up and become useable. The author recommends the use of fabric dyes, many of which are highly toxic and should never be applied to the skin. Slightly less serious, she recommends using pot-pourri fragrance oils which are not approved for cosmetic use and can cause major problems in the soap manufacture. There are far better books on soapmaking around, don't waste your time and money on this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! Easy to Use!, Aug. 3 2002
By 
Tikiberry "sheepyone" (New Oxford, PA United States) - See all my reviews
I have borrowed this book from my library so many times, I decided I really need my own copy. The great pictures, easy to follow instructions, simple recipes will make any crafty person want to start making soap.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to follow recipes, Aug. 11 2001
By 
I have read this book from cover to cover several times and think it's a great book for beginners. I think her step-by-step instructions make it easy for the first time soapmaker to follow. I wish she would have given instructions, though, for how to clean up utensils, pots, etc.
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