All-Natural Cold Process Soap Course: the basics

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This beginners course is designed to give you all the tools you need to make your first successful batch of cold process soap!

Cold process soap making uses sodium hydroxide (lye), combined with water and oils to form soap. If you are new to making soap from scratch, or are intimidated about working with caustic lye, you’re in the right place.

This course is designed for DIY and zero waste folks who want a simple bar of soap for use within the home. This course is also foundational for folks that are interested in moving on to part 2 (see part II – intermediate soap skills below).

NOTE: this course does not include any soap making supplies. We will provide a full supply list and links to all supplies needed to make soap, but these items will have to be purchased separately before you can make your first batch of soap. Turn around time for ordering supplies online is usually around 2 weeks. See lesson 1.1 for full supply lists and estimated cost.


  • Key soap vocabulary.
  • A comprehensive supplies list for soap making success.
  • The history of soap making.
  • How to determine the proper measurements of your ingredients using online tools.
  • Best oils and butters for desirable soap qualities.
  • A step-by-step video guiding you to make your first soap batch. The provided recipe can be used for a lifetime of successful soap making.
  • The soap curing process
  • Troubleshooting guide for when things go wrong – practice makes perfect!

This course is a multi-media smörgåsbord of pre-recorded videos, slides, and text, that allow you to set your own pace.


Once you have a handle on the basics, join us for part 2 of this All Natural Cold Process Soap Course. Here we will explore the chemistry of soap making, how to determine saponification values using some simple math, take a closer look at raw ingredient profiles, add organic texture, scent, and color to your bars, and have longer conversation on all-natural preservatives.

Course Features

  • Lectures 13
  • Quizzes 0
  • Skill level Beginner
  • Language English
  • Students 75
  • Certificate Yes
  • Assessments Yes
Colleen Bingham Solis, a California native, began developing her first products as a young child, mixing and combining the soaps and perfumes she found in cupboards. Always a nature enthusiast, Colleen spent most of her childhood playing in the waves at the breach or on adventures with her family touring the country's state parks in their camper. Then, in 2010, Colleen began studying Herbalism, and instantly plugged in to a community and consciousness that reflected her love of nature and wellness. She signed up for her first herbal studies class, made her first batch of skin care products, and began her journey as a product formulator and herbalist. Colleen's knowledge of holistic health and wellness fused with her topical formulations resulting in the development of Poppy Botanicals. Colleen is now a Certified Herbalist, instructor at The California School of Herbal Studies, contributing writer at the Herbal Academy, and herbal product developer and consultant for cosmetic companies nationwide. Herb Nerd is a culmination of her passion for her craft and her love of teaching. Herb Nerd upholds her vision to provide a fun, interactive, and informative learning space in the fields of Herbalism and Natural Cosmetic Formulation. Our goal is to make this information accessible to every type of learner, while providing our students with the mathematic and scientific tools to convert this information into innate knowledge to last a lifetime.


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