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The Soapmaker's Companion: A Comprehensive Guide with Recipes, Techniques Know-How

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  450 ratings  ·  29 reviews
In this comprehensive guide, Susan Miller Cavitch covers everything you need to know to make your own soaps. Learn the basic techniques for crafting oil-, cream-, and vegetable-based soaps, and then start experimenting with your own personalized scents and effects. Cavitch provides tips for making more than 40 different specialty soaps, showing you how to design colorful m ...more
Paperback, 281 pages
Published January 7th 1997 by Storey Publishing, LLC
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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  450 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Kathryn Fanestiel
Sep 10, 2015 rated it liked it
I originally gave this book for stars, due to its comprehensive nature and relatively easy instructions. However since then, I have read Soap Crafting by Anne-Marie Faiola, and would definitely recommend that book over this one. The advantages to Soap Crafting are the full-color pictures and wider range of possibilities presented for coloring and fragrances. Someone else mentioned Cavitch's "preachy tone" when it comes to using "all natural" ingredients, which I also found annoying, and which gr ...more
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Yes you too can make soap. If you can cook and follow the directions its fairly easy. I didn't at first and had a couple of flops that were comical. I used olive oil and it came out very nice. Fun too!
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is an excellent book for anyone interested in making their own soaps at home with as few chemicals as possible. As Cavitch is very interested in natural soap making, most of these recipes are alao good for those wishing to make historically based soaps. Her instructions are clear and easy to follow. She does get into further chemical details for those who are interested. The book is somewhat dated with her explanation of the internet and selling/conecting via that medium, and it is written ...more
Jan 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-2015-list
I read this right after reading Cavitch's first book. I wasn't too pleased with the first book and I'm happy to say this one is better,though not the best. The preachy tone, unsupported claims and messiness of the first was cleaned up. The recipes were also cut down from 40 bar batches to 12 bar batches which is more practical. However massive sections were the same, so much so it seems more of an updated edition instead of a separate book. The first book felt more like a book brief and this fel ...more
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: soap-books
Best book I've ever found on how to make soap, a break-down of the chemical process, and how to make your own recipes. Susan is the expert. She must have made 1000's of recipes to get these down right and all of her know--how in the "What Went Wrong" section. I not only learned to make soap from this book I now create my own recipes each time having fun with my own trial and error experiments. My best bars are, however, when I follow her recipes exact, or do only slight variations. I love handma ...more
Paula Avanto
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book was much more informative than Susan Miller Cavitch's first book "The Natural Soap Book". This book is pretty detailed and great for beginners and experienced soap makers alike. I'm pretty picky though and my search still continues for unique soap recipes. This book got me off on a good start; not to forget to mention I also had wonderful ladies from my church teach me hands on soap making, but now I need just a soap recipe book.
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, non-fiction, phases
Ok. So, I'm going to make soap. This book was super informative. Along with watching tons of you tube videos and reading this book, I actually think I can do it. I appreciated that the book explained, very technically, WHY fat plus sodium hydroxide made soap. I can now add "saponification" to my vocabulary. I'll update when I actually MAKE the soap - it may change my rating. ;)
Diane Fogel
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I book I check out of the library repeatedly so I can make soap. I am thinking of purchasing a copy for my collection. Very helpful information and soap making recipes, as well as troubling shooting guide.
Oct 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Every recipe works and delivers what it promises. My only prbblem at this time is finding lye for soapmaking. Lots of great ideas and information about aromatherapy, emollients, and other healing things to do to your soap.
Apr 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
For the advanced soapmaker. Includes more complex soap recipes and delves into real science. Extensive lists of natural additives and somewhat daunting narrative of legal and administrative aspects of running a soapmaking business. Excellent troubleshooting section.
Mar 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Not bad...I still prefer White's book and suggest that over this one, but this is not bad if you need a book to introduce you into ONLY vegetable cold process soap making it tells you what you need to know when first starting out.
Oct 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've wanted to make soap for a long time and so many sources say that it's easy but I've never really believed it. After reading this book, I finally feel that I can pull it off. Once I find my thermometer, I'll make soap! I'm so excited to finally understand the process.
Jul 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-2015
This is a source of great information - there's lots of it, from technique to science. It was a bit dry and hard to follow at times. Recipes are for large batch. Must read it again to take notes for some of the chemistry breakdown.
Jennifer Marie
There's a lot of information in this book. Some of it can be overwhelming if you don't already understand some basics. Also some of the information is kind of outdated. That said there are still some parts that I have marked for reference because they are good and helpful.
Nov 30, 2010 added it
This book seems a little out of date according to some blogs I've read though it seems pretty comprehensive in its scope, which makes sense considering the title. I haven't been able to try any recipes yet, but I will update once I have experimented a little.
Laura M
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this book. My daughter gave it to me for my birthday. I learned the batch of soap I just made has too much lye. OOPS!
Jul 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous recipies and help for novices and experienced soapmakers too!
Mar 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: instructional
Very informative book on making soap and the qualities of the ingredients that go into it.
Marie Z. Johansen
Aug 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: soaps-lotions
This book taught me how to make soap - great soap from the very first batch!
I love this book and still use it every time I make a batch of soap!
Lenora Carey
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book, easy to understand!
Feb 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Has some great information but is dated.
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I didn't give this one a thorough read-through because it's more about cold process soap, but it looks comprehensive. I plan to come back to it when I progress a little more in the hobby.
Dec 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2010
I read this upon the suggestion of Elizabeth, as we are planning on getting together to make soap in the new year.
It was fascinating and I'm very much looking forward to my new endeavor.
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Haven't made soap yet but seems very informative
Elizabeth Flowers
Not a bad book, but for a first timer in lye-making, it was a bit overwhelming with information.
Jul 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Ok, who doesn't love handmade soap?? Well, I do! And I learned to make it from this book.
Janette Boren
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book for how to make soap. very comprehensive and easy to understand.
rated it it was amazing
Feb 21, 2018
Melanie Campbell Couch
rated it it was amazing
Jul 27, 2015
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