Author Topic: Soap Making  (Read 48466 times)

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #60 on: August 07, 2010, 07:20:39 PM »
Bump.  This could also be a good one to write up for Save Our Skills.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #61 on: August 07, 2010, 07:43:04 PM »
Would any of you soapers consider taking some photos next time you make a batch and post here? It would be so very much appreciated...

Offline summer98

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #62 on: August 08, 2010, 07:00:05 AM »
Sure. Here's some pics I took a while back.

My setup, minus the molds and dish towels:


One of my old molds, lined:


Mixing the lye into the water. That's a silicone spoon, not a plastic one.


The oils melting on the stove:


I don't have any for mixing the oil and lye or pouring the soap. I'll try to take some next time I make a batch. Basically, after the lye and water are mixed and the oil is melted you wait for everything to cool to the right temperature, add the lye water into the oil, and mix until its saponified.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #63 on: August 08, 2010, 09:31:16 AM »
Thanks! Summer... you've made it look easy... I'd love to see the photos of the rest of the process, plus some of the finished product. I can't wait to try this... it will have to wait until we have moved, though... too much to do in too little time right now. I think we are moving right past you... from Ft. Worth to near Macon GA.

Offline summer98

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #64 on: August 08, 2010, 11:29:28 AM »
Here's some pictures of the finished product I had my spouse take for the website I'm trying to build. (Trying to build being the operative phrase.) These are a bit more involved than your basic soap, but I have fun doing it. I wouldn't consider any part of the soapmaking process hard. The main thing is that you have to follow a recipe if you want a standard product and that means weighing all of your ingredients. I have a digital scale I bought for about $10 which I absolutely love, but you can use a food scale for homesize batches. I make my soap in 3 and 6 pound increments. One thing you need to be careful of is to not inhale the lye fumes. I open a window before I pour the lye, turn on a fan right after I've poured it, and leave the room for a few minutes. I come back in twice to stir it and the fumes dissipate rapidly. They probably won't be a problem at all if you're making small batches.




Offline LvsChant

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #65 on: August 08, 2010, 12:17:42 PM »
That soap looks positively yummy.

Offline Aelah

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #66 on: August 09, 2010, 07:33:18 PM »
That pic of your soap is beautiful! I've made some soap, but not with that degree of artistry!

Offline CandyBabyE

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #67 on: August 10, 2010, 03:37:37 PM »
Great Posts  ;D My daughter wants to learn to make soap. You all cost me a bet, because I told her no one uses lye in their soaps any more. Dang! Now she gets an " I told you so" moment.

Thanks for the links.


Offline lmeehan1332

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Making soap?
« Reply #68 on: December 05, 2010, 05:48:14 PM »
Soap to me any way is somewhat of a necessity and that would mean being able to make it would be a necessary skill to have. I have done some research on the traditional making of soap and as far as I can tell it seems you take animal fat and heat it in a pot until its liquid close to but not boiling then you add your lye water which is made by pouring water through wood ash in a particular way and then you pore that mixture and let it harden. If anyone could give me more specific directions or point me towards a book or resource it would really be appreciated.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Making soap?
« Reply #69 on: December 05, 2010, 05:50:27 PM »
I think there is a couple of threads already on this.
You may want to "search" the forum. :)

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Making soap?
« Reply #70 on: December 05, 2010, 07:44:21 PM »
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=10373.0
(she appeared, offered a PDF, and disappeared.  but there is some good discussion there)
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=4536.0
(the thread I started with some links to first time instructions.  If you cannot find a local soaper willing to tutor you - check the farmers markets), it can be done by yourself.  The first time I soaped was without an experienced soaper.  just be careful and follow the directions.  Let me know when you decide to try, and I will try to be around to answer any questions during the process.  Also, some good discussion about soaping)

and I agree.  I remember as a kid, maybe 9 or 10 I read a book called the Endless Steppes about a Polish Jewish girl whose family is sent to Siberia at the beginning of WWII (that saved their lives, incidentally, because they were gone when the Nazis came through).  I remember her mom refusing all charity from a well-off friend, until he handed her a bar of soap, and she cried over it.  I remember that scene.  Maybe that is why I always wanted to learn to make soap.

Offline 4bull

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Re: Making soap?
« Reply #71 on: December 07, 2010, 08:09:56 PM »
Stoped by the drug store and found 1 bar of lie soap 4.97
Miss shaped and ugly, badly raped.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #72 on: November 23, 2011, 04:08:22 PM »
I stumbled upon a decent site on how to get lye from wood ash.  But the best thing is down near the bottom.  There's a link to a PDF on traditional soap making.
Lye from wood ash

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #73 on: November 23, 2011, 04:53:41 PM »
the blog to which I linked in the first post here is almost dead.  they have promised to close the site by the end of the year.  so, I will repost that information here.  It was actually an email from my virtual friend who was guiding me through the process.
************
Ok, here goes the soap thing again! :)

For starters, I would go to www.millersoap.com. This is an incredible website!! From this website I learned that it is almost impossible to ruin a batch of soap. You might have to reheat it and do a “remake” –but from this site I got the confidence that enough effort would bring forth soap. They have a troubleshooting page and a “botched batch” page where people write in about their “terrible” soap that can’t be fixed and throw it away before they read the advice to at least reheat it and try again once before giving up. Lol


#2, If you are interested in making soap, I would go here for recipes: http://www.pvsoap.com/recipes.htm

I used the Cold Process #1 recipe from this site. Not only does it give you the recipe, it also tells you what utensils you’ll need.


#3 My husband made me a soap mold out of a piece of left over cedar wood and some extra wood siding we have for our house. It’s 12” x 11” and 3” deep. Roughly. We just used what we had. You can buy a plastic pan to mold it in, or pvc pipe cut longways,or whatever. You just want to be able to wrap it in a blanket. We lined our mold with a garbage bag and it just lifted right out. I have a piece of cardboard for a lid.


#4 Use a stick blender. I haven’t yet, but it’s supposed to cut the stirring time down to minutes!! If you do use a stick blender, especially for the first time, you want to know what soap “trace” looks like. I had to stop and have my husband stir while I went online and searched for a picture to see what we were trying to accomplish.

http://candleandsoap.about.com/od/coldprocesssoapmaking/g/glosstrace.htm

There, you don’t have to search. Hehehe! I stirred slowly for about an hour. I read a novel and my husband played Risk on the computer and I missed it changing colors but it was a great story so I didn’t mind too much. lol


So, basically, if you want to make soap you are going to mix the lye and water. Mine got to 170 F. So keep away from your kids!!!!! Don’t breath the lye for about two minutes after you mix it. If you accidentally do, don’t worry, you’ll be coughing. Then the odor is gone. Mix oils and heat to blend them. Wait for the lye water and oils to be between 90-100F. The trick is to have them CLOSE together in temps. I think my water was 96 and the oils were 97-98. This will help them blend. Then stir. It will get to the consistency of gravy; mine never got as thick as honey. (Or some people’s gravy, lol!) Then you pour into the mold and put freezer paper on the soap (you don’t have to do this, it’s supposed to keep down ash, but ash isn’t the end of the world, it’s just a white film on top of your soap). I used parchment paper, I’m not sure that did the trick. I put the cardboard lid on and wrapped it up in a blanket and left it alone for 18 hours. That might have been the hardest part for me!

That and waiting around for things to cool off. When both pots reached 120, I started putting them in the fridge for 5 mins at a time, taking them out and stirring and checking the temps. That helped speed it up!

If I do it again, I’ll use a stick blender and heat my mold up in the oven for ten mins so it doesn’t suck heat out of my soap. Then it won’t be a bit darker in the middle, it’ll be more uniform.

Now, my husband, who is a numbers genius/geek figured up that it cost $13.61 (approximately) worth of ingredients to make this soap. All of the ingredients costs me $19, with just over $7 of that being olive oil.

[NOTE: if you go to Millersoap.com, they have a few very neat charts. It will tell you what the different oils do, moisterize, condition, foam, whatever. So, while lard soap would be cheaper, it wouldn't be quite as nice as my olive/coconut/veg shortening recipe. Coconut oil is foamy.]

And, I bought some things, like two thermometers and a kitchen scale, the scale was $7 and the two thermometers set me back $6 apiece! Then I bought a pitcher for $0.97, wooden spoons for $1.37, ect.

So there is some investment. The nice thing is, if you try this and absolutely hate it, you can use the rest of your oils for cooking and pour the lye down the sink to unclog it. I’m not sure what to do with extra thermometers and stuff you don’t want to reuse, but all in all, it’s not too bad. I think I spend $40 in setting up with ingredients and utensils. Most of that is because I’ve only been married less than two years and I don’t have extra spoons or anything like that I could part with to just use for soap. My mom gave me a big pot she didn’t want anymore, so that helped.

I was somewhat surprised at how making it was a lot easier than I expected. I guess that’s why it’s called “cold process” soap. But I expected to stir this hot, bubbling toxic mixture until everything cooked together, and it really wasn’t like that at all. The lye does pretty much everything. When I poured the soap into the mold, it was really cool, like 80F, but the next day when I unwrapped it, it was quite warm to the touch. That’s the lye still at work.

We cut up the soap last night –we used a knife, everything I read said to use a wire and two chopsticks but we couldn’t get that to work—and there is 29 creamy white bars of soap drying on top of the entertainment center now!

Olive oil, coconut oil, and veg shortening, the recipe I used makes a nice white bar. My husband likes it, but I might eventually (I’m not sure I want to mess with this recipe, it worked, you know!) try to find a recipe with canola oil. I read that it lends a pink shade to the soap!

So, anyway, there it is.  easy soap.  and it is such nice soap too….  happy soaping, and let me know if it works for you!

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #74 on: January 27, 2012, 01:36:31 AM »
For goat milk soap, I combine mousemommy's advice of freezing the milk into ice cubes, (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=4536.msg125180#msg125180) with this recipe here:
http://www.thesage.com/recipes/recipes.php?.State=Display&id=98 (I quadruple it so that it is actually worth doing.)  I also get my oils ready and cooling before I start the lye/milk process since that ends up so cold from the milk ice cubes

the milk takes the place of the water with which you mix the lye

I like this soap.  it is very nice on my skin.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 01:45:31 AM by Morning Sunshine »

Offline sarababy99

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #75 on: January 27, 2012, 08:43:31 PM »
I have been wanting to start making soap for some time now, this is a great topic and lots of great info! Thanks!

Offline Cocobella

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #76 on: March 11, 2012, 07:24:01 AM »
I need advice!! I'm new to this and did not have success with my first batch. For whatever reason,
the soap did not harded (it was like 'pudding' when i put it in the mold). It still looks like pudding after two weeks.  My question is can I save it somehow? Can I remelt and add a little more NaOH or is it a total waste? I have been looking everywhere for troubleshooting on soapmaking and cannot find any sites - any links would be appreciated.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #77 on: March 11, 2012, 08:18:44 AM »
I need advice!! I'm new to this and did not have success with my first batch. For whatever reason,
the soap did not harded (it was like 'pudding' when i put it in the mold). It still looks like pudding after two weeks.  My question is can I save it somehow? Can I remelt and add a little more NaOH or is it a total waste? I have been looking everywhere for troubleshooting on soapmaking and cannot find any sites - any links would be appreciated.

Have you tried millersoap.com?  I know they have a troubleshooting page.

I have never had this happen, so I cannot advise you.  I would like to know, however, what recipe you were using?

Offline Cedar

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #78 on: March 11, 2012, 09:38:04 AM »
For whatever reason,the soap did not harded (it was like 'pudding' when i put it in the mold). It still looks like pudding after two weeks. 

It does look like pudding when you put it into the molds. How long was it stirred for? Often that is an issue. How much oils did you use? That is also an issue. Did you follow the recipe to the letter? Did you weigh it or measure it? Were your temps right on? Did you use any perfume/'essential oil' in it that contained alcohol? Depending on the recipe,  I have seen soaps with a higher oil content or certain oils to take FOREVER to set up.

Can I remelt and add a little more NaOH or is it a total waste?

Can you check the pH? It may be possible to remill it, or to make it into liquid hand soap or shampoo.

Cedar

Offline mrdan

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #79 on: March 11, 2012, 10:37:08 AM »
In reviewing this thread, I noted that the website that I use is not listed, or at least I didn't see it.

http://www.SoapCalc.net/

This is the site recommended by Brian over at the Bubbatanicals podcast. I've made 6-7 batches of soap now with no issues. Each batch has been different, with different ingredients and different properties. While it's great to follow someone's recipe, I really like being able to play with my recipe in soapcalc and develop my own. That's especially helpful to me as I was using a BUNCH of beef tallow from a recently processed cow and I really wanted the recipes to include a lot of tallow to use up what I had. It takes a bit to get the hang of the calculator but once you do you can create whatever you want whenever you want, and print the recipes for later use so you can recreate your winners.

Edit: I forgot to add. Here is a tutorial on how to use soapcalc. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS39XbWv1vo
« Last Edit: March 11, 2012, 10:44:20 AM by mrdan »

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #80 on: March 11, 2012, 11:09:24 AM »
cool.  thanks, MrDan.  I am not yet so bold as to make my own recipes, but I am curious about doing so.

Offline mrdan

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #81 on: March 11, 2012, 02:08:37 PM »
cool.  thanks, MrDan.  I am not yet so bold as to make my own recipes, but I am curious about doing so.

Even if you don't make the soap, it's helpful to play around with soapcalc. Or for fun take a recipe you already know and put it in there. That way you can see what the properties are. Once you've made it that far, I promise you'll start saying, "Hmm, what if I add shea butter, what happens to my conditioning metric?"

And then of course, you'll go all mad scientist and start making all kinds of cool creations!

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #82 on: March 27, 2013, 07:11:42 AM »
Just want to keep tabs on this thread, now that I've done my first soapmaking project!

If anyone is on Pinterest, I've started a board w/recipes, etc. . .

Soapmaking and DIY Personal Products

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #83 on: April 12, 2013, 02:25:49 PM »


Hey guys and gals,

I recently wrote a blog post on making soap to encourage newbies to make their own soap. Check it out if you are new to soap making, I hope it breaks it down for you. If you are a veteran soap maker, and want to tell me how I am doing it wrong, have at it.  ;)

http://www.littlecountryhouse.blogspot.com/2013/04/soap-making.html

Patrick


Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #84 on: April 12, 2013, 02:40:16 PM »
oh what pretty soap.  It makes me laugh when people say that soap is too hard, or "why make it - you can buy it so cheap at the store" or when they run away afeared of the lye.  Lye is no more dangerous than bleach.  be careful and keep away from children and pets.

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #85 on: April 17, 2013, 10:33:12 AM »
I agree, lye is dangerous but, with a few precautions it is quite safe to work with. There is something very satisfying about grabbing a bar of soap that you made, instead of opening a pre-packaged store product.

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #86 on: April 24, 2013, 07:47:25 AM »
Just FYI, I found a lady who had all the info for SAP values of oils and the formulas for calculating Lye  etc on a spreadsheet you could print out:  http://www.millersoap.com/soapsheetdwnld.html

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #87 on: April 24, 2013, 08:24:45 AM »
Thanks Frugal,

Downloaded and saved. You can't always expect resources like soapcalc to be around when you need them. I always save a recipe on paper when I find one that works really well.

Patrick

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #88 on: November 06, 2013, 08:06:01 AM »
by request, my lard soap recipe, adapted from here: http://www.millersoap.com/soapanimal.html#OatHoney

Oatmeal and Honey Soap (Kathy Miller)

32 oz. cold water (4 cups)
12 oz. lye crystals
2 oz. beeswax (melt with fats)
4 pounds lard (64 oz.)
12 oz. olive oil
8 oz. coconut oil
4 oz. cocoa butter
Fats and lye solution between 95-100 degrees, the lye a bit cooler.

[Oatmeal and Honey Soaps]

Add at trace:
2 T. - 1/4 cup honey (I confess, I found out at the last minute, I was short! I would go with the lesser amount for lighter color and better texture, but some folks LOVE their honey! :-)
1 - 2 T. bitter almond fragrance oil (you might prefer to use some cinnamon oil and/or ground cinnamon, or clove oil)
1 cup pulverized (fine) oatmeal or rolled oats - measure AFTER pulverizing


--------------
I made this as written for about 4 years, then decided to try without the oats and honey, and it works great.  It is one of my favorites.

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Re: Soap Making
« Reply #89 on: November 06, 2013, 08:44:58 AM »
My adult daughter makes soap and it's quite good. She makes her own laundry soap as well.