Alkali - Alkalis are bases with a pH greater than 7. When combined with whole oils they produce soap and glycerin. The two common alkalies used in making soap are Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) and Potassium Hydroxide (KOH).
CO - An abbreviation for coconut oil.
Cold Proccess Soap (CP) - Soap that is made with only enough heat to melt the ingredients. The caustic solution and oils are combined at about the same temprature, usually below 150°F. Cold processed soap relies on the heat generated by the chemical reaction of saponification.
Crock Pot Hot Process (CPHP) - Hot processed soap that is made and cooked in a crock pot until saponification is complete.
Cold Proccess Oven Process (CPOP) - Soap that is made using cold processing and then placed in the oven until saponification is complete. This method greatly reduces cure time.
Dreaded Orange Spots (DOS) - Small yellow and orangish dots that appear in the soap. High superfatting, rancid oils or certain combinations of oils.
Essential Oil (EO) - An all natural scenting liquid that is distilled from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, or other elements of a plant.
Fragrance Oil (FO) - A synthetic reproduction of a natural fragrance.

Goat Milk (GM) - Soap that is made by using goat's milk as the liquid to dissolve the lye into.


Hot Proccess Soap (HP) - Soap that is made by further cooking the soap after trace, usually above 170°F. Hot processed soap is cooked until saponification is complete.

Hydrogenated - An unsaturated soft oil that has been converted to a saturated oil. This is done with hydrogenation which is a process of adding hydrogen gas to an unsaturated oil.

KOH - The chemical name for potassium hydroxide also known as caustic potash.

Melt and Pour (MP) - A soap base that has a high ratio of solvents. This makes the soap melt very easily and able to withstand re-melting. No lye is necessary when using MP as it has already been saponified.

NaOH - The chemical name for sodium hydroxide also know as lye and caustic soda.
OO - An abbreviation for olive oil.

pH - A measure of the acidity or basicity of a solution. A pH less than 7 is acidic and a pH greater than 7 is basic. Soap will have a pH of 9 - 10.5.

PKO - An abbreviation for palm kernel oil.


Saponification - The chemical reaction that occurs when a strong akali is combined with whole oils. Soap and glycerin are the end products.

Superfatting - The process of adding extra whole oil ingredients. This makes a gentler soap and ensures the the soap is not caustic hot. Superfatting should be limited to about 5%, much more than that and the soap will be prone to becoming rancid. Superfatted soap can also lead to a softer bar of soap.


Trace - A noticable thickening of the soap while mixing. This is an indication that the ingredients are mixed well enough as to not separate. The soap will leave a "trace" on top of the soap mixture before disappearing back into the soap mixture. This is also an idication that saponification has started.