Starting out with making soap can be a fun experience, a nightmare, or even both! What book you use to learn about soap making will play a large part in how your first try goes.
The best soap making books are going to break things down and explain the common soap making terms for you to understand.
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Though you can find this information about soaps online most of the time, hunting it down – and then remembering what webpage it was that you found it on – can be aggravating.
Having a soap book that has everything you need to know in it can save you a lot of time.
Our Top Best Soap Making Books
1. Easy Homemade Melt and Pour Soaps
This title makes it obvious what type of soaps it teaches you to make. It does focus more on dried flowers and herbs instead of oils, just so you know.
It also has pictures almost exclusively of finished soaps, so you don’t really get the step-by-step pictures that you might be looking for.
If you want a truly awesome soap-making course that includes 4 hours of instructional videos, you can’t miss The Soap Queen’s “Make Your Own Bath and Body Products”! You can get it for only $7, check it out!
2. Soap Crafting
This book is by our very own (too soon?) Anne-Marie Faiola, from the “Make Your Own Bath and Body Products” course above!
This book has a number of completely different recipes, almost all of them on cold process soaps. This can be nice, but it also means that you don’t get to build on your information.
Then, every recipe uses ingredients from the author’s store. This makes buying your soap ingredients from cheaper places very chancy because it might make her recipes not turn out properly.
3. The Complete Guide to Natural Soap Making
This best soap making book focuses more on cold-process soap making. I liked the fact that it had plenty of charts that beginners will find helpful to look at.
What is not so helpful is the lack of pictures. Pictures might not be strictly necessary, but there should have been more than the half dozen or so in the whole book.
Also, some of the recipes are not listed properly. For example, some of them are listed as vegan, when just one glance at the ingredients will tell you that they are not. I am also not too pleased with the fact that many of the recipes used alcohol.
4. Simple & Natural Soapmaking
This soap-making book is geared toward beginners and is from an herbalist. It has some very simple recipes in it, focusing on the melt and pour method.
It also boasts some incredible reviews on Amazon!
Unfortunately, it has very few recipes in it, and these are written more as a story instead of as a recipe.
Also, instead of giving you the formula you need to calculate the lye you need, this book actually tells you to go online and use a lye calculator. This is hardly impressive to me, and the font they chose is a terrible one that might hurt your eyes.
5. The Natural Soap Making Book for Beginners
This book clearly states that it is for beginners, which is a good start when we’re looking at the best soap making books for beginners…
The fact that the first three chapters are full of information and not one single recipe is also debatable. The soap recipes, when you get to them, are more like ingredient lists with little actual directions.
What I didn’t like about this soap-making book was the lack of research. For example, the recipe for pet soap includes geranium essential oil, which is actually toxic to dogs…
One chapter was titled “22 Best Handmade Recipes for Bennere,” so I suppose they neglected to proofread as well.
6. Making Soap From Scratch
This one is for beginners as well as those wanting to start their own business in soap-making using the cold process. However, it is almost completely lacking in diagrams or pictures, and the instructions are not all that clear.
It has a lot of good information in it, if you can wade through it past the many errors. These include grammatical errors, sentences that ran on and on, and repeating words, thoughts, and phrases.
7. The Everything Soapmaking Book
Firstly, I didn’t like the title of this soap-making book. Though it claims to have everything, it does not have any information on anything other than vegan/vegetarian soaps.
All of the pictures being grouped together in the center is not very nice either. The Kindle version doesn’t even have pictures at all.
However, you might find that this book is more comprehensive than others when it comes to technical information like curing time and clean-up procedures. It also includes tips on packaging your soap and selling it for profit.
8. Milk Soaps
This option teaches you about making soap using all sorts of milk. Even in its description, it says it uses milk ranging from goat milk to almond milk and even some less common ones like camel milk, hemp, and rice.
However, with all of these kinds of milk and only a certain number of recipes, you are either going to have to get ingredients that are hard to find, or you are only going to be able to use certain recipes.
Super useful though, if you have lots of dairy animals on your farm!
What to Look for In the Best Soap Making Books
The best soap making books are obviously going to explain things to you in detail so you can get started making soap straight away.
As a beginner, you want pictures, graphs, and other details so that you can see what the instructions are saying instead of just reading it and trying to figure it out in your head.
But there are a couple of other main things that you want to look for in soap making books as well.
What Type of Soap Do You Want to Make
There are two key ways of making soap, ‘cold process’ and ‘melt and pour.’
Some feel that cold-processed soap is the only true way to actually make soap.
However, most find that pouring soap into molds looks far too beautiful to pass up, even if you are mostly just adding essential oils or other ingredients to what already was a bar of soap.
Some soap making books will have recipes for exclusively one or the other (think “milk soaps”!). Most of the best soap making books will have recipes for both types so that you can try them out.
Some soap-making books focus on certain ingredients, and there may be some ingredients that you want to avoid.
For example, tallow soap can be very nice for your skin, and you may even make your own tallow if you have animals and want to add that to your soap. However, vegans won’t want tallow of any sort in their soap. It all depends on what you want.
Craft Your Own Soap
Soap-making can be a great hobby, and you can even make it into a business if you want to.
What I love most about crafting my own soap is the fact that I know everything that is in it. This is so much better than store-bought soaps that I cannot even pronounce some of the ingredients to.
So, feel free to give any of these soap-making books a try. At least you will be able to buy them with your eyes wide open as to what flaws they have. Then again, they may be just what you were looking for.