Monday, February 10, 2014

Making Cream Soap

What is cream soap?  It is not solid bar soap most of us use daily, not liquid soap either, rather in between, more like shaving cream but it is soap!
How is cream soap made?  We use sodium hydroxide to make bar soap, potassium hydroxide to make liquid soap.  Cream soap is a hybrid of the two, made using both sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide, together, to make soap staying at cream consistency.
Making cream soap is more complicated than making bar soap and liquid soap.  I have to admit, after researching on and off for a year, I'm still pretty confused and cannot in the life of me figure out how to formulate by myself.  But with help from one of my soapy friends, I took the plunge and made my first batch, a small one, just too experiment.
It took quit a while to get traced then it got sticky, like thick caramel, the kind that always get stuck in your teeth when you eat the chocolate.  So glad I took the stick blender out earlier or it would get stuck in the mixture, that's how sticky it got.
After the sticky caramel stage it took very little time to turn into dry mashed potato.  Then I put it to cook for 2 hours and mixed every 30 minutes while cooking.  Gosh it got so hard to mix my hand hurt so badly after cook.
After adding the super cream I let it sit in the pot over night to rest.  The next day it relaxed a bit.  I broke the mess into little portions and attempted my first whipping.  Oh boy, I almost burned my hand held mixer, it's too sticky and hard!  I then mixed in aloe juice little by little and it finally got loosen up, it turned white and had this pearlescent appearance on top.
The one thing I don't like about cream soap, the one thing that made me so hesitated to try in the first place, is the fact that it needs to "rot" for a long time, 6 month in average!  What's rotting?  It's not going bad or growing nasties or fermenting.  It is a process to break down and transform to final fluffy cream soap it's meant to be.  Don't ask me why people call this stage "rotting" stage, we the soapers have weird terminology I guess, LOL.   It has been only 4 weeks since but I already peeked more times I can count!  I need someone to hid it where I can't find it or the curiosity is going to kill this cat here!
If you are interested about the result, look out for another post few month from now.


  1. Really interesting - thanks for sharing! Looking forward to seeing how it develops over time... I've not even tried liquid soap yet, so don't think I'll be trying this any time soon :-D

  2. Yeah, that's the reason I'm still hesitating making it. No way I could wait that long. I'm gonna try a version with cp soap instead, it takes less efforts and time to be ready for use.

    Yet, I'm really looking forward to see how yours will be like!

  3. This looks so cool! I hope you are enjoying the learning process!

  4. Interesting read! Is cream soap worth the effort? Is it so much better? Will be interested to see how you present it when it's finished rotting (great term!)

  5. This is new to me. Maybe I'll try this one day because it looks so creamy.

  6. ..thank you for a very useful tip :) I didn't know that..

    1. I didn't know that you use sodium hydroxide to make bar soap, potassium hydroxide to make liquid soap :)

  7. My first batch of soap looked like that!

  8. Hi, everything I've read, states that cream soap needs to "rot" (cure) for 6 weeks, not 6 months. That should make it a little better. I think.

  9. I made my first batch of whipped soap two weeks ago. I followed the instructions to the "T" and now it is really, really hard. According to my instruction I am to try mixing it a little once a week and still I have to use my potato masher and it's really hard to work. I then re-cover and put it back away. When testing it does show a very mild ph7ish to 8 which is great I just hope it loosens up a bit! However by my recipe it says after about 5 weeks it should relax and easier to whip.. After reading this forum I wonder if it is going to take more like 6 months!