Soap Making Books – These books will get you started

The top three soap making books

The selection of soap making books are the market are many, I have a few books; but the following are the ones I like the best, some books are just so good you keep them around forever.  I have these three books and the pages are soaked with oil and warn out from much use over the years.
Top Soap Making Books

I don’t pick them up as often anymore, but will always hold on to them.

Soap Naturally is a book I own and treasure, this book is written by Patrizia Garzena and Marina Tadiello. It contains just about everything a person needs to know when getting into the soap making business.

Two other books that I really like are booth written by Susan Miller Cavitch.   She first wrote “The Natural Soap Book” and then later “The Soapmaker’s Companion”  Both are excellent books to have in any soapmakers library.
Soap Naturally : Ingredients, Methods and Recipes for Natural Handmade Soap by Patrizia Garzena (2004-05-03)
Soap Naturally, Soap recipesThis 316 page book contains:

  • History of soap
  • Industrial and Natural soap
  • Sodium and Potassium Hydroxides
  • Bulk Oils
  • Superfatting
  • Infused Oils
  • Storage and Shelf Life of Oils
  • Essences from Essential Oils to Fragrance Oils
  • Coloring soap with Plants, minerals and synthetic colors
  • Adding Live Additives such as Aloe Vera juice, Seaweed and Silk fibres
  • Natural Anti-oxidants and preservatives
  • Step by Step instructions on making soap the Cold Process and Hot Process way
  • Rebatching soap, recycling and reusing
  • cleaning your pots and tools
  • Making liquid soaps
  • Troubleshooting
  • 62 pages of Soap Recipes and how to create your own recipes
  • How to render fat
  • Then it goes on from soap to skin and many other recipes lip balms, massage bars, skin balms, salves, ointments and pomades, creams and lotions
  • Soap and the laws
  • Supply sources
  • Online suppliers
  • and a section of useful tables such as sap values, shelf life of oils and INCI names.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is getting into the soap making business for the long term.  Although I don’t believe it is in print anymore. I did find that Amazon has copies available from time to time.

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

The Natural Soap Book, soap recipesThis 182 page book is broken down into four sections “Understanding the Basics”, “The Ingredients”, “Making Soap” and “Beyond the Basics”.

In the First section you will learn the different types of soaps that can be made.

Section two talks about the ingredients including the oils, lye, scents, colors, nutrients and preservatives.

Section three is about making your soap – the supplies you need, recipes, diagnosing problems and cutting and trimming your soap

Section four talks about the chemistry of soapmaking, suppliers, how to wrap your soap, and soapmaking as a business.

Something I like is within the pages of this book are some soapmakers stories.  It is a nice added touch.

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

the Soapmakers Companion, soap recipes This is a really great book for getting started in soapmaking.

It contains 281 pages of really good information, and consists of 3 Parts.

In part one Susan talks about working with soduim hydroxide, the equipment needed to make soap, preparing your work area, molds for soapmaking and making and pouring your soap.

You will also find in this book:

  • Recipes for vegetable based soaps
  • Using Special Techniques such as making cobblestone soap or imprinting you soap
  • Making transparent soaps (Glycerin) with recipes
  • Information on soapmaking oils, colors and scents
  • Diagnosing problems
  • Answers to some of the most asked questions
  • Soap Temperatures
  • Resins and how to incorporate into your soap such as Balsam
  • Selling your soap as a business
  • Income tax planning
  • Paying Sales tax
  • Insuring your business
  • Federal Regulation and Guideline

The Natural Soap Book also has some interesting facts, warnings and tips on the inside margin which I have found to be very helpful.

I think any of the three books will help you if you are interested in making soap.  They are all written by professionals and have valuable information required when you start making soap.  They also touch on the business aspect should you choose to further your soap making.

What I really like is all three books talk about the regulations and guidelines that you need to know whether making soap as a hobby or a business.

When you are making products that other people will be using on their skin, it is important to label properly and read and know the laws in your country.

Regulations in Canada

Regulations in United States

Top Soap Making Books
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14 Responses to Soap Making Books – These books will get you started

  1. Anh Nguyen says:

    Making soaps can be a very fun hobby, while I’m not big on this type on craftsmanship, I think my sister does so I will tell her about these books.

    I like the fact that some of the books you mentioned also teaches you how to sell these. Do you have a simple post on how you can get started on making soaps so I can learn about how difficult it is, and if I can do it?

    Thanks for sharing!


  2. Michel says:

    You have some great books recommended here for soap makers, but if you had to choose one, which one would you start with.

    You seem to prefer the first one in your post called Soap Naturally, but you say it is out of print. I personally like the look of the last one entitled ‘The Soapmakers Companion.’

    • Teresa says:

      I do really like the first one, but The Soapmakers Companion is a very good book. It is well laid out and easy to read with lots of tips and information. I think you will really like this one.

  3. Rina says:

    I see so many gorgeous pictures of hand made soap, so I have always wanted to try it! These look ,like awesome books to get started with. Is the soap making process hard to do? I am going to have to get the book ‘The Natural Soap Book’ that seems right up my alley. Thank you for all the great information!

  4. Monica says:

    I love when I run across homemade soaps. I have often thought about making some of my own. But have never been sure about where to start or if it would be something I could actually do. I bought a scent many years ago and only bought one because I had never used homemade soap before. Which is bad for me because I loved the scent and have never been able to find it again. I like that you give your readers the three books you really love, too bad the first one you list is no longer in print. That is the one that I found the most interesting from your post. I will have to go to some local resale bookstores in my area which are now few and far between or local library to find it. Thanks for the great information.


    • Tes says:

      Hi Monica, I didn’t realize the first book is no longer available.  It really is a good one.  Hope you can find one at a second hand book store.  Or check on-line sometimes those old ones come up for sale as used.  Saying that the other two are also very good books.

  5. kemdi21 says:

    if i can remember the first time i made soap was when i was in high school in chemistry lab with my friends and teacher so it’ll be great to learn how to do it again. Out of the three books, the natural soap book seems best for me since its concise and still offers great value at an amazing price!!

    Nice and awesome post. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Tes says:

      I too started making soap back around the time of high school, back then we were not so artistic with soap, it was pretty plain.  I love adding scents and colors and creating new soaps, these books give you the knowledge to be able to do that. 

  6. Alix says:

    I am always looking for home made gift ideas and it is always fun learning something new. Even though I have no soap making experience it looks like one of these books would be able to teach me exactly how to do this!

    The Soap Makers Companion probably excites me the most because it also tells you how to turn soap making into a business. I am a sucker for interesting business ideas and I love the thought of selling beautiful hand crafted soaps. 

  7. Christine says:

    Thanks for your book reviews for soap making. These 3 books contain lots of information.  With these 3 books, We will be able to make our own soaps.

     I like the Soapmaker’s Companion. There are recipes for vegetable based soaps and transparent soaps. They even teach you how to sell soaps as a business!

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