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The Handmade Soap Book (The Handmade Series) Paperback – Illustrated, 1 Dec 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: IMM Lifestyle; New edition edition (1 Dec. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859740065
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859740064
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 0.7 x 25.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

In just four years Melinda Coss took cold process soap making from a hobby in her kitchen to premises from which she supplied products to Harrods, Tesco, Safeway, Asda and Sainsbury as well as many exclusive shops and hotels in the UK and in France. She has also helped set up soap making units in Africa and has written three best-selling books on soap making. She runs soap-making courses in the UK and France.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

There are quite a few books around that say they can teach you how to make handmade soap when in fact they teach you how to add fragrance and colour to pre-made soap and stick it into moulds. This book is not one of those. It actually teaches you how to make handmade soap from scratch using caustic soda and oils which, almost miraculously; change into the most gentle, moisturizing handmade soaps. I cannot begin to describe to anyone the absolute elation and sense of achievement one feels when you unmould that first log of soap, and the second and the third . . . You feel you could put it on a tray and run through the streets shouting, "I did it! I made this wonderful soap from a pot full of oil." My friends think I'm brilliant! My husband brags about my soap and even my children turn up there noses at the stuff their friends have in the bathroom. I am a soap star and all because I know something that many people don't know. Making handmade soap from scratch is easy! And how do I know? Because Melinda has made it easy and has gone to great lengths to explain it as simply and concisely as possible from all the safety precautions right through the whole process including packaging it and presenting it for everyone to admire. There are a whole lot of brilliant recipes for just about every skin type and preference, plain and simple to downright decadent and good enough to eat. There are even some recipes for other handmade toiletries to compliment your handmade soap. And if you're one of those brainy people who likes to make up your own recipes then you can do that too 'cause she's got all the charts and information about the oils which you need to work out what goes with what and how much to use. She's just left out one section in her book. She doesn't tell you how the heck you can stop making soap once you've started. What am I going to do with all this soap, Melinda? And I feel the soapmaking urge coming on again . . .
1 Comment 258 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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A good friend bought this book for me as a gift. If only he knew what he'd started.I made my first batch, followed it with another and another and now I have my own skincare business
The book is attractively set out.The recipes are easy to follow and the photography is very pleasing on the eye.
There are tried and tested recipes a useful saponification chart and a handy troubleshooting guide in the event of any mishaps. If you want to make soap from scratch then this is the book for you.
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If you live in the UK, you've never made soap before but want to, and find US-talk of 'quarts' and 'K-Mart' altogether irrelevant, this book is a little book of joy.
The introductory sections for first-timers are clear, concise and instructive. The whole book is extremely well written with a notable lack of frilly waffle.
The book is written by a UK-based author and it provides a welcome change - weights and measures are given in grams and ounces, listed stockists are UK-based, ingredients that are difficult to find in the UK are highlighted.
The selection of recipes is very good, complemented by photographs that allow you to check your finished product is as it should be.
General sections on the qualities of different oils and natural additives are well presented and informative.
In summary, a brilliant starting point for any soap-maker, especially if you're in the UK.
2 Comments 214 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I will start by admitting that it was a chance encounter with this book in my local library that started me on what has now become an obsessional interest in soapmaking. However, as I have learned more, I'm afraid that dispite lots of very pretty pictures, this book gives some serious misinformation.
Firstly, within the first few pages, there is a section where she has a highlighted section of the 10 main points to remember, one of which is to always ADD THE WATER TO THE CAUSTIC SODA, rather than the reverse!!! Luckily, she does explain elsewhere that in fact the reverse is true, but still, a beginner (as I was) could just go to that section to refresh their memory as to which way the two should be combined with disasterous results.
Secondly, she translates the measurements of essential oils from teaspoons/tablespoons into grams (that might be mls - I've given the book back to the library) completely wrongly. (It's o.k. if you follow the teaspoons/ tablespoons measures).
Thirdly, the amount of Sodium Hydroxide in some of the recipes is wrong - e.g. in one recipe (I haven't checked them all), it is 25% TOO MUCH!
Fourthly, she uses 'vegetable oil' and 'vegetable shortening' in many of the recipes; if you don't know what type of oil or shortening you are using you cannot accurately calculate the amount of Sodium Hydroxide to use. On realising this, and with a fridge half full of Cookeen, I contacted them only to be informed that their product does not include either Soya or Palm oil, and that they would not in any case disclose the recipe.
Fourthly, you will never be able to legally sell that soap in the U.k., because you will not be able to accurately declare the ingredients.
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9 Comments 155 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Overall this is an excellent book BUT be very careful! Base oil quantities are measured in ounces or grams and these are fine. Essential oils and other additives, however, are specified in table spoons and in grams... The gram measurements are WRONG! It appears that whomever translated the spoonfulls into grams had been on the sherry! I have just made a batch of soap which called for four tablespoonfuls of Callendula petals or 45grams! 45grams of Calendula petals are about four cups! The same is true of the essential oils. The recipe calls for one teaspoon or 5 grams... 5 grams is about three teaspoonfuls!

Buy the book by all means, its a good book; but when measuring out ingredients use grams or ounces for the base oils but then teaspoons or tablespoons for the additives.

Also... Page 13, under the "ten commandments", step 5 reads "As you add the water to the sodium hydroxide" DO NOT DO THIS it would be bad, very bad! Always add the sodium Hydroxide to the water.

So I have three wrecked batches of soap because I followed the gram measures. I'm wiser now... and so are you.

Derek
2 Comments 71 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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