Scientific Soapmaking

The Chemistry of Cold Process Soap

Until now, there were just two kinds of books on soapmaking. Books for the commodity soap industry emphasized the economical production of soap by the ton and were written for those with a background in chemistry and chemical engineering. Books for the emerging craft industry emphasized the production of high-quality soap by the pound and were aimed at those familiar with the format of cookbooks. Makers of handcrafted soap often wish they had paid more attention in chemistry class so that the information of the commodity soap books would be accessible to them. Scientific Soapmaking answers that call by bridging the gap between the technical and craft literatures. It explains the chemistry of fats, oils, and soaps, and it teaches sophisticated analytical techniques that can be carried out using equipment and materials familiar to makers of handcrafted soap. Presented in a college textbook format, Scientific Soapmaking guides students and individual soapmakers alike to formulate questions about soap and design experiments to answer those questions scientifically.

About the Author

Kevin Dunn

Kevin Dunn is the Elliott Professor of Chemistry at Hampden-Sydney College. His book, Caveman Chemistry, brought him to the attention of handcrafted soapmakers and because of this he has undertaken a series of research projects on the chemistry of handcrafted soap. This research has culminated in a second book, Scientific Soapmaking, which was published the Spring of 2010.

Professor Dunn has appeared on The Learning Channel's "Mysteries of Magic" and the History Channel's "Modern Marvels".

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