AY Honors/Soap Craft - Advanced/Answer Key 2

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Soap Craft - Advanced

Skill Level






Approval authority

North American Division

Soap Craft Advanced AY Honor.png
Soap Craft - Advanced
Arts, Crafts and Hobbies
Skill Level
Approval authority
North American Division
Year of Introduction
See also


Have the Soap Craft honor.

For tips and instruction see Soap Craft.


What safety equipment should be used when making soap with and without lye?

With lye - Safety glasses, long sleeves, long pants, gloves, close toe shoes, hair net or head covering, mask, accurate scale

Without Lye - Pot holder, hair net or hair covering, gloves, accurate scale.


Name three types of lye. Explain what lye is and why it is needed to make soap.

  • sodium hydroxide (NaOH)
  • potassium hydroxide (KOH)
  • lithium hydroxide (LiOH)


  • rubidium hydroxide (RbOH)
  • cesium hydroxide (CsOH)

Lye is a strong alkali which is highly soluble in water, producing caustic, basic solution. The Lye is needed to react with the fat to form a new product which is a surfactant. Surfactants are molecules that spontaneously bond with each other, in the case of Lye and fat, they form soap.


Describe what happens when a strong base is added to an oil or fat. What is it called?

When a triglyceride (fat, oil or lipid) is treated with a strong base (lye), it cleaves the ester bond, releasing fatty acid salts (soaps) and glycerol.

It is called Saponification.


What makes “hard” soap versus “soft” soap?

Hard soap is made with sodium hydroxide, whereas soft/liquid soap is made with potassium hydroxide.


What types of fats can be used in making soap?

Vegetable fats such as olive oil, corn oil, palm oil, and coconut oil.

Animal fats such as tallow and lard.


What is used in making soap transparent?

Transparent soap is simply "hot process soap" that uses solvents (sugar, glycerin and alcohol) to dissolve the soap crystals that form. This allows light to pass through the soap, creating transparency.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of soap and detergent?

Soap is biodegradable, derived from natural sources, but does not work well in cold water and forms soap scum. Detergent works in all temperatures and in saline water, does not form scum, but is not biodegradable and is made from synthetic materials.


What makes soap float?

Air is whipped into the soap as it hardens.


Learn the following verses: Jeremiah 2:22, Malachi 3:2.

For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before Me,” says the Lord God.
Jeremiah 2:22 (NKJV)

“But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap.
Malachi 3:2 (NKJV)


Identify some things that can be added to soap.

Essential oils, perfumes, seeds as scrubbers, colorants


What can be used as soap molds? Discuss what should not be used and why.

Use wood molds lined with parchment paper, or silicone molds and forms that will not react with the lye. Use containers that will not react with the soap, while keeping in mind a way to release it, if desired.

Do not use aluminum as the lye will dissolve the surface, or wood by itself as it will absorb the liquid soap.


Describe six methods of making soap. Note which ones do not require the use of lye and explain why it is not needed.

Methods include:

  • melt & pour
  • rebatch
  • cold process
  • hot process
  • oven process
  • hot process liquid

Melt & pour and rebatch do not need lye because they are already saponified.


Make two soap projects. One using the melt and pour method and the other using the rebatching method.


Do one of the following:


Visit a soap-making establishment, commercial or non-commercial.


Watch a video about how cold process soap is made.


Write a report, tell a story, or use some other creative means to explain how soap is made.