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Essentially Soap: The Elegant Art of Handmade Soap Making, Scenting, Coloring & Shaping by Robert S. McDaniel
ISBN: 0873418328
ISBN13: 978-0873418324
Author: Robert S. McDaniel
Book title: Essentially Soap: The Elegant Art of Handmade Soap Making, Scenting, Coloring & Shaping
Other Formats: docx lit txt doc
Pages: 125 pages
Publisher: Krause Pubns Inc (April 1, 2000)
Language: English
Size PDF version: 1784 kb
Size ePub version: 1600 kb
Size fb2 version: 1294 kb
Category: Crafts & Hobbies

Consumers are no longer satisfied with the industrial types of soap available at the grocery store. They want specialty soaps with just the right scent, emollients, and eye-appeal. They want to pamper themselves and their loved ones with personal soaps made to suit their own tastes and preferences. Now they can get that perfect custom-made soap by making it themselves.

Drawing on years of experimentation and fine-tuning, author and chemist Dr. Robert McDaniel has developed simple instructions and recipes for making a wide variety of cold process soaps as well as melt and pour and rebatched soaps for the beginner. McDaniel instructs on how to work with fragrances, skin treatments, colors, and shapes, and discusses the aromatherapy benefits associated with many essential oils.

-25 recipes for cold process soapmaking. -Easy to follow step-by-step instructions. -Time-saving melt and pour and rebatch techniques.

Books reviews
Even though this book was published in 2000, it did not feel outdated to me at all! I think this book would best serve someone who already has a bit of Soap making experience under their belt. I do consider this one of my top 5 favorite soap making books! I feel even an experienced soapmaker would get some good nuggets of information and inspiration for their soap making.
1.Written by a chemist!
2.Tons of great basic soap recipies for you to start creating your own from - about 25 of them
3.Loaded with relevant information on areas related to soapmaking ( Essential oil benefits ( and the chemistry behind your citrus oil fades!), starting a biz, oil infusions to name a few)
4. Purchase used at a steal!
1. This is a personal preference, but I don't feel soapmaking books should put the lye calculation in for the reader. I think every single recipie you find online or in a book should always be recalculated by the soap maker as a double check. But then again I am a very OCD RN.
2. Because this is a 17 year old book, the supplier list is not so good. Much better vendors out there now for the soap maker.

As a side note, I noticed a reviewer complained that all the soaps were ugly. They were very rustic looking soaps. Personally I thought some were very nice looking. But after making soap for 3 years now, I am not interested in pictures as much as good solid information that will improve my soap making skills!
I am a soap maker with a definite affection for the chemistry behind the art of making the perfect bar of soap. I have many books on soap making, but this book is the one I grab when I want to formulate a new recipe. Say what you want about this book, the author's assertion that he has the winning "INS" number formula has been proven over and over again by my batches. I've never had a bad batch using these calculations. Now, I can't vouch for *his* recipes, his lye calculations, the beauty of his soaps, etc.

It's just responsible to run any recipe through a lye calculator as well as calculating the correct water amount. Read this book if you enjoy chemistry and understanding the "whys" of a craft in order to create your OWN recipes that will work. As a soap maker, I don't want to simply copy anyone's recipe; I want to make it my own and take pride in it.
Dr. McDaniel's book is a great reference for those who are seasoned soapers as well as beginners looking for an introduction. One of the reasons this book is superior to others is the fact that the photos are instructional as opposed to decorative. For example, on page 57, he has wonderful photos demonstrating what trace looks like and how it behaves. I LOVED that because trace was the most elusive thing for me. People described it till they were blue in the face and I still didn't get it. It wasn't till I saw the photo that the "Aha!" moment came.

The recipes that he features are a mixed bag. There are the simple ones for beginners, cheap ones for us misers, luxurious ones for the fancy folks, facial soaps, shampoos, milk soaps, and even pet shampoos! Also included is a SAP table complete with KOH values and INS values, directions on how to use it, how to calculate water for your own recipes. It also includes directions on how to rebatch soap and of course, the obligatory melt-and-pours. What I found fascinating was the directions on how to make your own potash and how to make your own essential oils. This guy really goes over how to make everything. For those of us interested in learning about the soapmaking process from scratch, this book is indispensible!

On top of all the good information, you really feel like the author has a deep understanding of the subject. The only thing I would change, if I could, is I would ask Dr. McDaniel to also include information on hot process soap making. He covered everything else, I wondered why he didn't at least provide a cursory explaination of the process.

All in all, if you can only get ONE book on soapmaking, this is it.(Though how could you possibly just get one? Who has that much will power?)
This book is the best go-to for beginners. Dr. McDaniel not explains the how, he gives you the why. The recipes are filled with ingredients that you can buy at a local grocery store (except the lye). He walks you through the process and explains what you may have done wrong. I reference this all the time.
A good primer for soap making. It was my first book (and the only one I use now) and is my go-to reference on the subject. About 6 years and 35 batches of cold-processed soap (up to 26 pounds at a time -- the last of which was yesterday) later, I still use it for the information it contains. It contains enough information that I have experimented with my own recipes since batch one, but there are plenty in the book for those more inclined to just follow directions.
Only gives the basic information. Doesn't go into depth much on any of the topics.Leaves me having to go look at my other books for more information.
If you want to know all about soap, how to make, types of soaps, etc., hands down this is a great book. You will go to the next level.
I wouldn't make this my primary, or sole book in soap making collection, but this is a decent book. It has a good deal of pictures, more than the one or two soap making recipes that most books have. I like the fact that the book will teach you how to make your own recipes as well. I like the scientific based approach the book takes with the various oils you can use in soap making. This shouldn't be a beginner soap making book as it does leave out some basic info, but it is well worth the read.
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