How soap is made by hand in a Löffingen workshop – Löffingen

Angelika Laufer has been making her own soaps for over ten years using the so-called cold mixing process. This can become very difficult. She showed the Badische Zeitung how it works.

It smells wherever you point your nose. In fact, every few centimeters in Angelika Laufer’s candle and soap studio smells of something else: lavender or rose, orange or strawberry, cinnamon or vanilla. Angelika Laufer has been making her soaps here by hand using the so-called cold mixing process for over ten years.

It’s all about the right relationship

The bars of soap are smaller than you would expect from industrially produced bar soaps – and pleasantly more fragrant. What she uses for her soaps are primarily vegetable fats and oils, such as coconut or shea butter, olive oil, rapeseed. oil, goat’s or sheep’s milk, sometimes also beeswax. Soap is made from it through a chemical reaction with a lye, explains Angelika Laufer. This must be added to the fat base heated to 38 degrees. It sounds easy, but it is a difficult thing and the real art. “If the ratio is not right, the soap mass either does not set or it goes rancid.” Caution is also required for your own health because the lye is corrosive to the skin.

In the kitchenette, part of her studio, Angelika Laufer mixes rose soap. She dips an ordinary household electric immersion blender into the plastic bowl with the oils and soap suds, stirs the mass until it is smooth and creamy, adds essential rose oil and cosmetic color so that the subsequent bar of soap also conveys the rose theme visually.

“The chemical reaction now lasts 24 hours.” Angelica Laufer

In the next step, she fills the mass, which now has a consistency like butter, into a mold that divides the mass into the later pieces of soap, closes it and covers it with wool blankets. “The chemical reaction now lasts 24 hours.” When the reaction is complete, the bars of soap must first be stored in the cellar, because here the bars of soap must mature for four to six weeks and are regularly changed during this time.

Shampoo soaps are trendy

Angelika Laufer’s soaps are in demand, even though they are significantly more expensive than those found in stores. There are now quite a few people who leave the plastic bottles with the washing cream on the shelves and prefer to use bar soaps. “It is currently a trend, also among young people,” she says.

Shampoo soaps for washing hair, which she also makes herself, are currently a hit. She welcomes this bar soap trend, saying it’s better for the skin and the environment. The environmental thing makes sense, since millions of plastic waste is avoided this way. But why better for the skin? Because of the moisturizing effect, Angelika Laufer says: “After production, cold-mixed soaps still contain seven to ten percent of the fat used, which is good for the skin.”

Couldn’t you make soap for your own use at home, since you obviously don’t need complicated equipment and the ingredients are freely available on the market? Yes, you can, and you can find instructions for it on the internet, for example, she says. In any case, it should be noted that the production is not risk-free due to the chemicals used.

The sale of soap is highly regulated

It gets complicated as soon as you want to sell homemade soaps. Then begins a bureaucratic certification process that swallows thousands of euros. “You must register each individual prescription with the EU Commission in Brussels, and you must have a certificate for each individual prescription, for example with regard to the allergens it may contain,” she explains.

In addition to her studio, where she also sells candles she has made herself, she has a spare time job in her profession as a restaurant specialist. It gives her the material support to keep experimenting with new ideas in her studio, and Angelika Laufer has a lot of ideas. This is how newer creations have come into being, such as the gardener’s soap, where she works some poppy seeds (“It has a slight exfoliating effect, and the lavender and peppermint act as a disinfectant”), or the coffee soap (“It is suitable in the kitchen because it removes herbal odors neutralized”) or men’s soap, where she concocts aromas that men would like.

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