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The Natural Soap Book: Making Herbal and Vegetable-based Soaps

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  286 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
An inspiring exploration of the goodness of chemical- and additive-free soap. 102,000 copies in print.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 27th 1995 by Storey Books (first published June 30th 1995)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jun 25, 2008 Virginia rated it really liked it
Shelves: crafty-stuff
Before I started making soap, I read this book cover to cover and then went back and re-read several sections. I still use it as a reference, though some of Cavitch's maxims I have found to not apply. But perhaps it depends on what recipe you're using?
Diana Thomsen
Feb 22, 2017 Diana Thomsen rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The best book I've found on soap-making, and the one that I've determined to buy for long-term use. It has everything you need to know in a compact and easy-to-read format.
Jan 04, 2015 Harloe rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014-2015-list
I was a little disappointed in this book. It was suggested to me as an essential primer for new soapers. I'm not completely new to soap making and if I was I don't think this book would inspire confidence. Here are the reasons:
1. Basic terms are mentioned but not defined, not even in the glossary (like Discounting for instance).
2. The author is really negative about other styles of soap making and comes across a little snobbish at times.
3. If you are going to claim that a substance should not be
Nov 18, 2014 Dominique rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I really liked this handy little book! I borrowed it from the library and am tempted to purchase a copy.

I'm not a fan of her recipes though; they are way too big for my kitchen. All her information is pretty awesome! I'm going to pair up this knowledge with a more fancy soap maker's recipes. Some of it is dated (buying palm oil from a commercial restaurant truck, whereas we would just order it online) but all her advice is still golden.

Aug 14, 2008 Melissa rated it it was amazing
This book is an excellent introduction to cold process soapmaking, with easy-to-understand descriptions of the various oils and fats, essential plant oils, and natural dyes that can be used to make soap. Cavitch also presents her reasoning for avoiding animal byproducts, synthetic fragrances and colorings, and vegetable products produced with massive amounts of pesticides, all without proselytizing. The instructions are detailed and clear, and the accompanying illustrations are fantastic.

Feb 18, 2015 K. rated it really liked it
I came across this book at my local library and am glad I found it. I was looking for a beginners guide to soap making, and this book was just that and much more. While there are no photos, the drawings are more than adequate. The recipes for soaps cover everything from shampoo to regular hand soaps. There is great section that contains information on suppliers, which comes in handy for more obscure ingredients.
Feb 26, 2010 Angela rated it really liked it
I am trying to get away from using Chemicals on my skin. I've been making my own facial skin care for a while now and started thinking about the soap that I shower with. So I am embarking on a new hobby of making my own soap. This book was very informative for the novice soap maker. It puts everything at you fingertips and answered all of my questions. It even give you several recipes to get started with and the knowledge to created your own recipes.
Richard Cummings
Dec 13, 2011 Richard Cummings rated it really liked it
Very useful and friendly book. The only thing that bothered me was the fact that all procedural instruction were repeated verbatum with each recipe. Kind of tedious, but maybe a safety consideration. Still, the book would give most anyone the confidence to try making healthy, high-quality, vegetable-based soapmaking at home. There is a "sequel" to this book entitled The Soapmakers Companion which I am reading now. More techniques and recipes for the folks who just want more.
Aug 27, 2008 Amanda rated it it was amazing
A very readable how-to book. Full detailed instructions on making soap at home using lye, vegetable oils and other natural ingredients. Good descriptions, scientific explanations, troubleshooting, etc. plus a philosophy I agree with.

I haven't attempted to make soap yet and I'm not sure that I will, but if I try it, I'll follow the instructions in The Natural Soap Book.
May 01, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it
Good, thorough descriptions of soap making ingredients. Cavitch discusses why various types of ingredients are better than others, why certain equipment materials are better than others, etc. She is also not shy about giving her personal opinions. Includes brief stories of several soapmakers and how they got their starts.
Very interesting and informative. I really liked that she was technical without being too wordy or hard to understand- in fact, she is very easy to understand. My favorite part was still the part about the harder chemistry of saponification (a term I only know because of her).
Janette Boren
Feb 19, 2013 Janette Boren rated it it was amazing
another great book for making soap.
Angela Joyce
Sep 13, 2013 Angela Joyce rated it really liked it
This makes soap making seem quite achievable.
Sep 28, 2011 Gayle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Made it all seem very complicated. Have seen easier methods. However, I found it interesting and one day I actually will make soap!
Jan Kamenšek
Mar 02, 2013 Jan Kamenšek marked it as to-read
Nov 11, 2008 Marty rated it it was amazing
Read this one several years ago. First batch of soap was perfect. Just read it again for tips for the next batch.
We love
Apr 12, 2012 We love rated it liked it
I read just bits and pieces of this...good book and full of detail. Something to pick up later when I am serious about soap making.
Jennifer Marie
Feb 03, 2013 Jennifer Marie rated it really liked it
This is an older book and a fair amount of stuff has changed but there are some really good basics in here and good information.
Naomi Moore
Jan 06, 2013 Naomi Moore rated it really liked it
This is an interesting resource. There is a heavy bias towards natural products and a lot of the information still good.
vidy rated it really liked it
May 02, 2011
Sigrid rated it liked it
Oct 17, 2014
Jane Wilder-OConnor
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Carol rated it it was amazing
Feb 16, 2015
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Aug 03, 2014
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Tasmin Betty
Tasmin Betty rated it it was amazing
Aug 27, 2014
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