Cold saponification process

Also called « Cold process method »

What is saponification ?

When a fatty acid, mainly a vegetable oil in the soap handmade process, comme into contact with a base (soda or lye), it occurs a chemical reaction named saponification. The result of the saponification is two by-products generaly named soap and glycerin (glycerol).

Actualy, at the origin, the soap was a combination of these two by-products. Chemists of nineteen century made this error, in naming part of the soap by the same word : soap.
The soap made today by cold process saponification contains all the glycerin producted by the reaction.

On the contrary, all soaps made through soap nodlles produced in Asia and South America by the palm oil industries are sold without the glycerin which is sold separatly.

The handmade process from Syria (Alep soap) or France (Marseille’s soap) are different from the noddle one but the result is the same, soap and glycerin are separated in the water bath and glycerin is not present in the final product. Both are called “hot saponification process”.

Soap made with “Noddle process” or “Hot saponification process” needs several weeks to dry and to be hard meanwhile with the “Cold saponification process” soap is hard after 30/40 seconds. The production capacity of « Noddle process » or « Hot S. process » are unlimited meanwhile the « Cold saponification soap » is rare.

Advantages of the cold saponification process

The finish product, the complete soap, remain with all the produced glycerin which is an amazing hydrating agent for the skin and which avoid any aggressive action

Exta beneficial vegetable oils are added at the end of the process as a super fatting action, enabling the consumers to enjoy unsaponifiable vegetable oils effects.

Handmade soapers using cold saponification procees use daily different vegetable oils. They prepare their formulation and choose the different ingredients to found the best synergy.

At the end of the process, after the « trace », they can also add essential oil to complete treatment action


Generaly speaking, processes are more or less environmentally friendly depending of quantity of waste produced and energy used.
What about the cold process method ?
In term of energy this process is exothermic. That is to say that it gives up heat!
And in terms of waste, the result is simple : waste =  zero.
The chemical reaction is clear : Oil + soda = soap + glycerin

This process is the more environmentaly fair we can found and the product itself 100% bio degradable when used.

Saponification value

The saponification value is the amount of lye needed to completly neutralize them into soap. The vegetable oils have never the same saponification value and soapers need to use lye table to prepare their formulation.


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