Cold Process Beginners Kit How-To + Free Soap Band Template

Making cold process soap for the first time can be intimidating. With so many recipes and options it can be difficult to find a good place to start. The Beginner’s Cold Process Soap Kit was created especially for the first-time soaper. With a simple combinations of oils, a tried and true fragrance and no colorants, making your first batch of cold process soap becomes straight forward.

Not only does this kit include everything you need to make soap, you also receive a PDF booklet. Full of tips, tricks and essential cold process information, this booklet is a great tool for beginning soapers. If you are looking for more information to get started with cold process soap making, the Beginner’s Resource Roundup is a great place to start.

The Beginner’s Cold Process Kit Contains:
2 oz. Cranberry Fig Fragrance Oil
2 lbs. Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
1 lb. Coconut Oil
1 lb. Palm Oil
1 lb. Olive Oil- Pomace
4 oz. Castor Oil
Cardboard Soap Mold
Making Cold Process Soap E-Book
Summer Cigar Bands

 You will need to provide:
Shatter proof, heat resistant, non-reactive bowls (2)
Safety Goggles
Mixing tool (preferably a stick blender)
Freezer paper or plastic

Beginner’s Cold Process Kit Recipe:
6 oz. Coconut Oil
6 oz. Palm Oil
9 oz. Olive Oil- Pomace
1 oz. Castor Oil
7 oz. Distilled Water
3 oz. Sodium Hydroxide
1.4-1.8 (depending on your personal preference) oz. Cranberry Fig Fragrance Oil

If you’ve never made Cold Process soap before, I highly recommend checking out the FREE four part series on Cold Process Soapmaking, especially the episode on lye safety. And if you’d rather do some reading, Bramble Berry carries a wide range of books on the topic, including my newest book, Soap Crafting. You can also checkout the digital downloads for that instant gratification factor.

LYE WATER PREP: Before making soap, you first must prep your ingredients. This involves making your lye water, measuring fragrance and oils and lining your mold. Measure distilled water and lye in two heat safe containers. Wearing gloves, goggles, long sleeves and pants, slowly add the lye to the distilled water. Using a spoon, stir the lye until the water becomes clear. Label the container, and set aside in a safe place to allow the lye water to cool. I like to make lye water about 2 hours before soaping. This gives the lye time to cool down as it becomes very hot.

OIL PREP: The Cold Process Beginners Kit comes with four oils: Olive, Coconut, Palm and Castor. Before soaping, the correct amount of oils need to be measured. Place a large mixing bowl on the scale and tare. Add the oils one by one, taring between each to ensure the correct amount is added to your bowl. Palm and Coconut Oil can become hard when cool. To heat them up, simply pop the microwavable bags into the microwave to fully melt. Oils should be completely clear, and not murky. Note: It’s very important to fully melt the Palm Oil before use. If not completely melted, the stearic and other fatty acids will not disperse evenly and the Palm Oil will not produce consistent soaping results. 

FRAGRANCE PREP: Measure out the correct amount of Cranberry Fig Fragrance Oil into a glass container. Be sure to use glass, as undiluted fragrance oils can begin to disinegrate some types of plastic. You can read more about this in the Undiluted Aroma Oils + Plastic Don’t Mix blog post.

MOLD PREP: The ingredients of the Cold Process Beginner’s Kit come in a sturdy cardboard box. Once lined, the kit box serves as a great mold! Using the box allows you to try cold process soap making first, before investing in a mold. If you already have a mold, feel free to use it! Using parchment paper, line the box with the shiny side of the parchment paper facing up. Without lining the mold, the soap will stick to the cardboard. For more info on how to line a mold, the How to Line Any Mold post may help!

Once the ingredients are prepped, the lye has cooled and the mold is lined, it’s time to make soap!

SAFETY FIRST: Suit up for safe handling practices! That means goggles, gloves and long sleeves. Make sure kids, pets, and other distractions and tripping hazards are out of the house or don’t have access to your soaping space. Always soap in a well-ventilated area.

ONE:  Slowly pour the lye into the bowl of oils. Pouring over the stick blender helps reduce bubbles. Gently tap the stick blender against the bottom of the bowl to “burp” the blender, and release any trapped air bubbles.
TWO: Pulse the stick blender to begin emulsifying the oils and lye water. Alternate between pulsing and stirring with the stick blender.Within about a minute, the soap will reach trace. Trace refers to the stage in soap making when the oils and lye water have emulsified, and will not separate. Trace looks like thin pudding, where faint trailings of soap stay on the surface of your soap mixture when lightly drizzled from a few inches overhead.

THREE:  Once your soap has reached a light trace, the batter will continue to thicken the more it is stick blended. Because this soap is simple and does not feature swirls or an intricate design, you can continue to stick blend until a medium trace is acquired. Below, you can see an example of a medium to thick trace.

FOUR: Add Cranberry Fig Fragrance Oil, and use a whisk to fully incorporate into the soap. Because fragrance can sometimes accelerate trace, it is best to add it last. Using a whisk rather than the stick blender will help avoid the soap from becoming too thick to pour.

FIVE: Once the fragrance is fully incorporated, pour the soap batter into the mold. Firmly tap the box on your work surface to release air bubbles. Optional Step: Spray with  99% isopropyl alcohol to avoid soda ash. 

SIX: Allow the soap to sit in the mold for 3-4 days before unmolding. Remove the soap from the mold, and cut! Allow the soap to cure for 4-6 weeks and enjoy.

Looking for a way to package your project? These Summer Cigar Bands are perfect for giving your soap a professional look. Simply download the free PDF, print, and wrap them around your soap!

What was the first soap recipe you ever made? And if you haven’t tried soaping yet…what’s holding you back?

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  1. Emmeline says

    Hi! I really want to buy this kit but are there some other fragrances you have tried for this recipe that work well? I do like cranberry fig but i was wondering if there was something that had a bit more spring/summer smell. If I get the kit I would maybe save the cranberry fig fragrance oil for later:) But i may just want cranberry fig. I really don’t know:)

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Elsa!

      We haven’t done a lot of testing with red palm oil, so I’m not 100% sure! I think that would be OK though. From a quick internet search, it looks like it adds firmness to your bars like regular palm oil. A small test batch may be helpful! :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

  2. Cadence Chung says

    I’m going to be trying cold process soap making for the first time! I just have a few questions.
    1. Can you use any type to stick blender to make soap, or does it have to be stainless steel?
    2. Will my soap take longer to cure in a silicone mold?
    3. Can essential oils accelerate, discolour, rice or anything like that? P.S: I’ll be using lemon grass essential oil.
    Thanks, Cadence.

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Cadence!

      That’s so exciting! Cold process soap making is a lot of fun. :)

      You can use another type of metal stick blender, just make sure it’s not aluminum. Aluminum reacts with the lye and creates toxic fumes. We love using the Perfect Pink Stick Blender:

      The soap will take a little bit longer to unmold in a silicone mold. This is because it isn’t exposed to any air. To speed that process up, you can add 1 tsp. of sodium lactate per pound of oils to your cooled lye water. However, the silicone mold doesn’t affect how long the soap cures. It will still be 4-6 weeks, depending on your recipe. :)

      Sunday Night Spotlight: Sodium Lactate:

      Also, some essential oils can accelerate or discolor the soap. For instance, 10x Orange Essential Oil is a deep orange color, meaning your soap will have an orange tint to it. Each essential oil will say how it performs in the description on :)

      Essential oils:

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Silvia!

      We soaped around 120F for this recipe. We recommend having your lye and oils around 100-130F, and ideally within 10 degrees of each other. Those temperatures give you plenty of time to work with your soap. :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

  3. michelle says

    Hi, I have one question — the water that we dissolve the lye in — ideally it should be room temp or cooler, so as not to get too hot and create a lye volcano once lye is added, correct? Is it ok if I use very cold water, like if I store my jug of Distilled water in the fridge? Thank you for your help!!

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Michelle!

      Correct! If you add your lye to hot water, it can potentially bubble over. We recommend adding the lye to room temperature water.

      Also, you can definitely use cool water if you like! Keep in mind it will take longer to stir the lye in if the water is cold. Just stir until it’s completely clear and there are no more bits of lye. :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Dawn!

      That’s a great question! While your cold process soap is curing, you want it to be out in the open so any excess water will evaporate. It will also create a milder bar that lasts longer in the shower.

      We cure our soaps in a cool, dry place on a metal rack. This allows it to get plenty of air! We also use small cooling racks on counter tops (like the ones you use for cookies).

      If you don’t have any racks, that’s fine too! Just make sure to turn your bars every few weeks so all the sides are exposed to the air. :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Michelle!

      You can substitute milk for water in cold process soapmaking.

      Milk is a little trickier to work with than water. If it gets too hot it will scald, which can make your soap discolor or smell unpleasant.

      To keep it from scalding, we recommend freezing your milk into cubes. Then, add the lye a spoonful at a time until it is fully incorporated. It helps to keep your milk in an ice bath during this process.

      After your soap is in the mold, pop it into the freezer to keep it cool.

      I’ll include a video about making soap with goat milk that shows this process in action! :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

      Goat Milk Soap:

  4. says


    I noticed that Brambleberry does not offer food grade lye, any recommendations on sourcing lye? And, is there anything to the idea of “food grade” lye? Some companies offer just “lye”?

    Love the video’s! You are great on camera. I used to work for CNN.

    Be well,
    Dean D.

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Dean!

      I’m not entirely sure! We sell lye for soapmaking purposes. You may want to do an internet search for “food grade lye” to find out where you can buy it. :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

  5. Letitia says


    i’m a newbie in soap making and i’d like to know what i can use to substitute coconut oil with in my soap recipe. i live in africa, and finding coconut oil is difficult, unless i make it myself, which is a hassle.

    thank you

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Letitia!

      Coconut oil is very cleansing and makes great bubbles in your soap. There is not an oil that will replace it directly.

      However, you can make a soap that is 100% olive oil. Called castile soap, it’s very gentle and soothing. Because it is made up of olive oil, it will be a lot softer and take longer to come out of your mold. It will also take longer to cure.

      Here’s a great recipe for castile soap:

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

  6. Jair Blackbird says


    Excuse me, I have a little problem, and the problem is that here in Mexico freezer paper is scarce and expensive, the brand Reynolds hasn’t launched yet their freezer paper to Mexico. Can I use another kind of paper? If I can, What paper can I use?
    Thanks and I really Like your videos

  7. Seerah says


    I was just wondering if I could swap out the fragrance in this kit for an essential oil like grapefruit. I want to gift this to someone whose skin is sensitive to fragrances. Can I have it removed from the kit altogether?


    • Kelsey says

      Hi Seerah!

      This kit comes as is, and can’t have changes made to it. Sorry about that!

      However, you can purchase some extra essential oil and add it to this recipe. :)

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry

  8. Michael says

    This is a great kit! It’s the very first thing I ever bought from Brambleberry, this is the exact same one with cranberry fig (YUM!) fragrance oil. The only thing I didn’t use was the box that came with it to be used as a mold, I used my own individual bar molds. It’s a great tried and true basic recipe and makes a nice soap.

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