Discover the Best Soap Making Classes in San Francisco
When you peel the wrapper off a bar of soap from the store, you might not think about where that soap came from or why it forms suds and cleans so well. The formula for soap dates back thousands of years and it’s the basis for making soap even today. When you combine oils or fats with an alkali, such as sodium hydroxide, a chemical reaction called saponification occurs and transforms these ingredients into a cleansing product that can power away dirt and grease.
It was probably an accidental discovery in the beginning – people noticed that natural substances like ashes had a cleansing effect as they came into contact with fats or oils during cooking. In ancient Babylon a clay tablet described the process of using fats and ashes for cleaning. Hygiene was a sign of status in Egypt where they eagerly embraced soap-like products. The ancient Greeks and Romans used a mixture of tallow and ashes to create soap bars.
You’ve probably seen artful baskets of handmade soap at markets and boutiques, so pretty they look like edible confections. There is magic in the chemical reaction that produces soap, but it’s simple enough for anyone to make at home.
Why You Should Learn Soap Making in San Francisco
San Francisco is known for its thriving and diverse creative community and eco-friendly culture. There is strong demand for unique and sustainable products among health-conscious people who seek alternatives to commercial ingredients. The city is also a robust tourist destination – visitors to San Francisco spend over $7 billion per year – and travelers often seek out distinct, locally crafted items.
Soap makers can easily access locally-grown, high-quality ingredients like essential oils, botanicals, and herbs for their products. The Bay Area’s 38,500 agriculture and food businesses have an annual value of around $113 billion.
Many soap hobbyists choose to become business owners. Soapmaking is a growing industry globally, valued at $147 million in 2021 and expected to reach $228 million by 2028. The average annual income for handmade soap makers is $28k. San Francisco has a thriving entrepreneurial environment where new soap makers can access mentorship, workshops, funding opportunities, and business development programs. There are many lively craft fairs and over 30 farmer’s markets in the area where you can sell hand-made soap and connect with other artisans.
Making soap is a fun hobby that relieves stress and provides satisfaction as you enjoy your finished product. When you create handmade soap you have full control over the formula, because it’s made in small batches using natural, skin-loving products. You can select nourishing oils and butters, choose your favorite scent, and express your creativity with colors and textures. Mold your soap into unique shapes or make rustic bars that tell the world they are one of a kind.
Join the national Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild, the largest handcrafter association in the world. They promote the handcrafted soap, cosmetic, and candle industry with how-to videos, supplier discounts, affordable insurance, and time-saving tools.
In-Person Soap Making Classes in San Francisco
Soap Making at The Black Squirrel in Berkeley, California is a beginner-level soap making class where you'll learn to create your own organic, vegan, palm-oil-free soaps, scented with pure essential oils and decorated with natural flowers and spices. All materials are included in the class fee, and you'll walk away with an entire mini loaf of custom soap that is gentle and nourishing for your skin and smells heavenly. Enjoy it yourself or cut it into multiple bars to give as gifts. You'll get to keep the recipes you used and take home a reusable soap mold. The Black Squirrel is a retail space filled with inspiring fabric, yarn, and craft supplies and a fun workshop area, to inspire creativity in the local community.
DIY: Organic Springtime Soap and DIY: Organic Soaps of Summer at Jewish Community Center of San Francisco in San Francisco, California begins with a basic soap-making foundation but offers a wide selection of botanical ingredients that you can add to make your creations unique. You'll walk out of class with a mini-soap loaf worthy of any farmers' market. The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco is the oldest Jewish center on the West Coast, providing educational, social, cultural, and fitness programs to anyone in the community since 1877.
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Virtual Soap Making Classes
If you can’t find the soap-making class you’re looking for in San Francisco, explore these online soap making classes. You can take classes taught anywhere from the comfort of your home and save yourself a stressful commute. You’ll need to have a web-enabled device with a microphone and a space where you can attend class undisturbed.
In Soap Making from El Camino College, you’ll have fun making luxurious bath products you’ll love. Learn to make bar soaps, cleansing gels, and bubble baths using various techniques and recipes. Plus, learn to create specialized products for people with sensitive skin. Create soaps for the ultimate home spa experience or for gift-giving.
Virtual Melt & Pour Soap-Making Workshop from Love & Make covers all the basics of melt and pour soap making and even a little history. You’ll learn when and how to use the various ingredients, why it matters, and try different recipes for soaps that you can use at home or give as gifts. This workshop is designed for the Love & Make DIY Soap-Making Kit, which you’ll need to purchase prior to the class along with a funnel pitcher melting pot, stir sticks, soap molds of your choice, and an alcohol spray bottle.
Virtual Bath Bomb Making from Love & Make is a live, virtual workshop that covers the sometimes-tricky process of making your own bath bombs. This workshop uses the Love & Make Bath Bomb DIY kit, which is available to order in their online shop. If you want to use your own materials, have your recipe and tools ready before the workshop begins.
Private Group Soap Making Classes in San Francisco
For your next team-building event for your business or organization, how about a fun soap-making class or another crafty project? Coursehorse offers soap making classes for private groups in San Francisco that are planned and delivered directly to your group.
Virtual Soap Making Workshop introduces you to the art of handmade melt-and-pour soap making. You’ll learn about soap making materials, basic techniques, the benefits of hand-made soap, and a variety of recipes. Plus, you’ll learn how to use botanicals and other additives to make your soaps even more unique and special. You’ll finish the class with bars of your very own hand-made soaps.
Virtual Candle Making is a soy candle-making class designed for beginners. Your instructor will teach you to make beautiful, environmentally friendly soy and beeswax candles, wherever you are. You’ll be proud to say "I made it myself!" when you show off your candles.
The class includes a candle-making kit shipped to your participants which has everything you'll need in it, including a small melting/pouring pitcher, stir stick, wax chips for two candles, two candle tins, two wicks, two clothespins for centering wicks, wick adhesive and candle labels, and fragrance oil.
Virtual Macramé Workshop teaches you how to create plant hangers using cord and knot patterns, an art that traces to 13th-century Arab weavers. These simple knots become beautiful designs that you can endlessly customize. You will finish the class with a beautiful hanging planter to display your favorite plant. All needed materials are shipped to participants, including enough cord to make three plant hangers.
If you don’t see the class you’re looking for, Coursehorse can provide a customized class for your group. Use the “Contact Us” button on the website to learn about the options available. It’s easy to book with Coursehorse – just estimate your group size, pay the minimum deposit, and reserve your date. You’ll receive a confirmation within 24 hours. They recommend using the Zoom platform but can accommodate Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx if you provide the meeting details.