I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this particular book.When I started making soap around 1990, this was the only book I could find. I had only been searching for about 30 years for instructions on how to make soap at home, haahaa.Ann Bramson, whoever she is and where ever she is, gave me a start to the most successful business I've ever owned. As a result, it has completely changed my life.But, about this book.... It is very simple, very basic, and has a lot of information in it that will lead you in completely the wrong direction. Not because it isn't correct information exactly, it all is true for her book and her method of soap making. We soap makers have learned much since we all put our heads together on the internet. By swapping thoughts and failures we've greatly improved how to make soap at home.Probably 90% of soap authors just copy the information in this book. So instead of buying theirs, buy this one. It is much less expensive and you will receive the exact same information.I still love this book. It explains how to make some soap at home and isn't that what you're looking for? With this very inexpensive, no thrills, no daring to be different book, you will make your first batch of soap successfully!I like her recipes and those are the only recipes I made for years. They do make excellent soap!The issues I have with this book are that we do not need to match temperatures on your fats and lye solutions. You really should not use fat temperatures of 98 degrees; this is far too low. Certainly, you CAN add herbs and fruits and all sorts of things to your soap recipe. The reason she says that you cannot is because of the low temperatures she's using in her book.With this book and some help from my web site and the internet soap making community, you can be on your way to being the happiest self employed person on the net too!Buy this book. Even if it is just to share in my joy of getting started with MY first batch that headed me in the right career direction. Pam
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 22 years ago
This is a great soap making book. It contains basic information and four recipes. This book helps you assemble the right supplies, and gives advice while making soap. It also has a nice section of possible scenarios that can happen, and how you can correct a bad batch of soap. I would anyone that would like to start the craft of soap making to get this book as a starter. The price is excellent, and it does provide solid information in order for you to make a quality batch of soap and do it safetly.
Great basic reference
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 23 years ago
I've been making soap for a year now, and this is the first book I bought. Overall, it is a great source. I read it three times before I even tried to make a batch. I would recommend thoroughly reading this book, but do not take all Ann's advise as law. For example: she says that your temperatures must be between 95 and 98 degrees or your batches will fail. Not true! And she says you should not make batches smaller than 6 pounds. Many people make 1 pound batches with no problems. For most people, this is just a hobby and what will they do with 6 pounds of soap, especially when you want to make a few different kinds!
It's easy to see why this is a classic!
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 24 years ago
This is a wonderful book. Very readable, very inspiring, and also entertaining. She has a really nice style of writing -- folksy and easy to understand. This book has four basic recipes -- three are animal fat based, and one is vegetable oil based. Her instructions are clear and reassuring. I really like her comments on carving the finished soap into bars. And I love the chapter on the history of soapmaking, including 100-year old ads for commercial soaps like Ivory and Cashmere bouquet. This book really makes you appreciate soap and the process of making it.
Excellent guide for the beginning soap maker.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 26 years ago
I bought this book in 1973,when the price tag was about $3.00. It's still an excellent value at the present price. This is the ORIGINAL soapmaking book--the only one around at the time--and it's superb for beginners. Ms. Bramson goes through every detail of the soapmaking process. I learned on it; many new soapmakers have also learned on it. It's an excellent buy. It you can buy only one book about soap, buy this one
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