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Cold Process Soap

Bayside Soapworks

Cold Process Soap Bayside Soapworks
Cold Process Soap Bayside Soapworks

All about our soap

Handcrafted soap can be made from scratch, typically by two methods, hot or cold process. The method chosen by a soap maker is based on personal preference and the desired end result. It takes 3 basic things to make soap from scratch:

  • Oil
  • Water
  • Lye (sodium hydroxide)

At Bayside Soapworks, we only use vegetable oils. You can use animal oil (lard), but we won’t be doing any of that. When you have just the right amount of each…the magic happens and it becomes soap, through a process known as saponification. We often add other great materials: fragrance, botanicals, clay or herbs, but these have no affect on the final result.

People often see the word “LYE” and immediately think it’s a bad thing. After saponification, all the lye is actually gone from the soap…in fact, that’s what makes it soap. Without lye, there is no soap. Commercial soaps use lye, but they leave that word out by listing the end ingredient of that process (sodium palmate, for example, is the end result of lye, water and palm oil…the lye was still there, just not directly listed).

Cold Process refers to the method we use, meaning we don’t add external heat.

After our soap cools and hardens, we cut it into bars and then it rests, or “cures” for about 4 weeks. This gives the soap time to eliminate excess water. The longer a soap cures, the harder and longer lasting the bar will be. may wonder, what is the difference between hand made cold process soap and store bought soap?


  • Glycerin: A humectant, this is naturally occurring in soap, however, commercial brands typically remove this for use in other products. This can make the store bought soap more drying to the skin, or needing to add additional chemicals and additives to make it moisturizing.
  • The hand made soap is made by a person, who knows exactly what went into the soap and often times is made in small batches. It’s not mass produced.


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