Tag Archives: cold process soap

Ridgeside Soap Company

IMG_7299Time to share our exciting soap news: we have launched Ridgeside Soap Company! Our handmade soaps are all natural, plant-based, and feature earthy, woodsy, and herbaceous scents. They are cleansing and moisture rich and are always free of palm oil, fragrance oils, and artificial colorants. Soaps are now available for purchase via our new Etsy shop.

We are currently listing the following soaps for sale, but these offerings will change throughout the year with the seasons and availability.

  • the blue ridge bar – scented with pine and Virginia cedar essential oils
  • the lavender sage bar – with French green clay
  • the beer bar – with local porter
  • the smoked salt bar – with smoked sea salt and activated charcoal
  • the adventurer’s bar – with poppy seeds and scented with eucalyptus and Virginia cedar essential oils

IMG_7327I’ve tweaked and perfected our base recipe and am thrilled with the final result. This base recipe includes olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, and either shea butter or cocoa butter, depending on the particular soap. Our soaps produce a great lather while providing moisture to the skin.

If you aren’t familiar with natural soap, you are in for a treat. At Ridgeside Soap Company, we make small-batch cold process soap, a method in which a chemical reaction occurs between water, lye, and fats and oils. Through this process called saponification, nourishing soap with glycerin is created. Commercially made bars contain irritants and can dry out your skin, and the glycerin is extracted and used in other products, like lotions. Our soaps have pure ingredients and are good for your skin!

IMG_7282Another nice note about natural soaps – they are biodegradable and environmentally friendly, so they are great to bring on outdoor adventures and camping trips. Plus they are gentle enough for kids and pets.

IMG_7226Ridgeside Soap Company will be the sister company to the future Ridgeside Bed and Breakfast. Guest bars will be included with each stay, and full size bars of various scents will be available for purchase to take home with you.

We are so grateful for everyone’s support, and we are enjoying this Ridgeside journey so much.

Natural Beer Soap with Cocoa Butter

IMG_6757Beer soap has been on my “to do” list for a while, but I wanted to wait until I had perfected my standard soap recipe since beer soap is a more advanced project. For beer soap, you need to make sure it is flat – any carbonation in the beer could create a volcano effect when you add the lye. Additionally, adding lye to room temperature beer heats up the beer, creating an unpleasant smell. To retain the wonderful properties in the beer and to keep it’s nice aroma, I made beer ice cubes once all the carbonation was removed.

beer soap 3Both Josh and I are beer drinkers, and we are lucky to have a lot of great local breweries nearby. I selected a dark stout for this soap and chose not to add any essential oils. Instead, I complimented the stout by adding cocoa butter. Cocoa butter has a wonderful chocolaty smell, plus it creates a hard bar of soap with moisturizing lather.

beer soap 2I didn’t add any natural colors to the soap, either, since the beer already has a warm brown color after saponification. The only additive I used was a dusting of cocoa powder on the bottom of the mold. When I poured the batter over this, it created neat splotches of darker brown on the surface of the soap. I think it turned out really great! Keep in mind that beer will cause your batch to reach trace quickly, so if you do want to add essential oils or color, you’ll need to work fast.

beer soap 1


I can’t wait to make more batches of beer soap with different beers – maybe a citra hopped pale ale or a sour beer? Here’s a crazy idea: wine soap! That could be a fun experiment with some local Afton wine.