The Art of Soap Making with Arbor House Soaps

Have you ever wondered how the soap you buy in our shops is made? We "virtually" sat down with Maureen Tomko from Arbor House Soaps and got the scoop on her soap making process.

Arbor House Soaps came to life in 2016 when Maureen's curiosity about handmade soap drove her to take a few soap making classes. She got hooked and with so many bars of soap, why not start your own business?

The Process 

Maureen describes soap making as both an art and science. She uses the cold process method by mixing oils, lye, and water together at the right temperature. This produces a chemical reaction called saponification aka the making of soap!

Before choosing the ingredients for the soap, you need to decide the soap's purpose. Do you want it to be moisturizing? More exfoliating? A fun color? When choosing your ingredients you're actually choosing the unique qualities you want the bar of soap to have.


Maureen starts by adding sodium hydroxide to distilled water then sets it aside in a well-ventilated area to cool. She then measures out the hard oils to be melted and mixed with her soft oils. After that, she waits for the ingredients to match up in temperature and the lye water solution is blended with the oils to trace the emulsion of the mixture. 

Once that is done, essential oils, fragrance oils, cosmetic grade colorants, and botanicals can be added to the soap to make it decorative. 

Finally, she pours the mixture into a mold, covers the surface, and wraps the mold in a towel for 24 to 48 hours then releases the batch from the mold and lets it cure for an additional 4 to 6 weeks.

Getting Creative 

Aside from making moisturizing and beautiful smelling soap, Abor House Soap's is known for its creativity when it comes to soap designs. Maureen works hard to design, blend the oils, and swirl colors when creating each batch. She enjoys making landscape and seascape soaps and uses photos she's taken to help her choose color palettes.


No two soap bars are ever the same and that's what Maureen from Arbor House Soaps loves most about creating handmade soap bars. We are so lucky to have Maureen as a maker we carry and hope you give her soaps a try!

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