What is cold process? Why lye?

The goal behind Stormy Garden Soapworks is to provide limited ingredient soap and skin care the old-fashion way.

Cold process soap is melted oils and fats mixed with sodium hydroxide (lye). After the oils and fats are melted and mixed, lye water is added. Combining the two creates a chemical process called saponification. This allows the lye to be neutralized without any outside heat source.

Soap must cure for 4-6+ weeks to allow for a gradual saponification and evaporation of the excess water. This allows the soap to harden and become the quality that I strive for.

To be regulated as soap by the FDA, the product must be composed mainly of the material you get when you combine fats/oils with an alkali, such as lye. The cleaning action must be done entirely as a result of that material. If it isn't made with an alkali, such as lye, it is not true soap.

The art of soap making can be traced as far back as ancient Babylon when archaeologists first discovered a soap material inside clay cylinders dating as early as 2800BC.