New to Soap Making

Discussion in 'Soapmaking' started by wetlakefarm, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. wetlakefarm

    wetlakefarm New Member

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    I am wanting to start making our own soaps. Could someone please share their wisdom and help me know how to get started? Thank you
     
  2. kyweaver

    kyweaver Well-Known Member

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    What are your goals? Liquid or bar? Luxury or utility? Avoiding additives or just like doing stuff? What's your budget: anything goes or penny pinching? Are you willing to order supplies or stick with grocery store stuff?
     
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  3. roadless

    roadless Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There are some great tutorials on YouTube that helped me the first and only time I did it.
    Would like to do it again though.
    Good luck!
     
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  4. Nsoitgoes

    Nsoitgoes Well-Known Member

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    I would also suggest YouTube. Look for The Soap Queen for many informative videos. Tina Moenck (sp?) also has several very good ones. To start out you should choose a very simple and inexpensive recipe so that you learn the process with little investment. There is one floating around the internet called "Walmart soap recipe" or variations on that. It uses only coconut oil, crisco and olive oil + lye and water if I remember right. It works well and is halfway decent soap, too. Before making any soap you should familiarize yourself with a soap calculator - I use SoapCalc - and use it for every recipe. I cannot count the number of recipes I have found on the net and even in soaping books that have incorrect lye amounts for the recipe given.
     
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  5. Jlynnp

    Jlynnp Well-Known Member

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    I have found way to much misinformation on You Tube, some of it dangerous. I like this web site http://www.millersoap.com
    It is important to double check any recipe you use to be sure the amount of lye is correct. The best lye calculator is soap calc.
     
  6. Jlynnp

    Jlynnp Well-Known Member

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  7. kyweaver

    kyweaver Well-Known Member

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    I like the Miller soap site too. There is a lot of information there. Using a soap calc is a good idea for any recipe, just to make sure everything adds up.
    Soap can be very simple or very complex. I personally can't tell the difference between soap made with lard and coconut oil from soap made with fancy stuff like Shea or cocoa butter, so I use plain ol grocery store oils. Be careful measuring and mixing your lye, but don't be afraid of it.
     
  8. WannabeWaltons

    WannabeWaltons Well-Known Member

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    Years ago I made soap ordering soap making supplies form a company. I would like to find out how to source supplies locally and in expensively. Does it really matter if I use good lard instead of the cheap bucket form the store? Do I have to buy lye online or does the kind for cleaning drains work? I would like to try making a batch or two of soap again just because i feel like it is a skill I have let fall away.
     
  9. Jlynnp

    Jlynnp Well-Known Member

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    You can buy your ingredients locally, maybe not inexpensively. If you are only going to make a small amount you can get most everything at Walmart. I have used good old Crisco in the beginning, I buy olive oil at Sam's Club and Coconut oil where ever I can find it cheapest.

    As for your lye, you have to be sure it is 100% lye. I just order it on line.
     
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  10. Chris

    Chris Administrator Staff Member

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    The Sam's club near me was getting rid of Organic Coconut Oil for $4 for gallon of it....so I'm happy....suggest you looking for it there as well.
     
  11. sonya123

    sonya123 Well-Known Member

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    I have been making soap for years, but not for sale, just for us and I give some to friends. It basically costs me almost nothing. I get free beef fat ( tallow) at the grocery store ( well, used to , we moved and now I have to find a new source) , order lye online ( Duda Diesel) , costs very little.
    I use a crock pot to render the beef fat, and then to cook the soap in ( hot process) and then pour the finished soap in a plastic wrap lined cardboard box. The only thing I add is sometimes some fragrance oil
    This makes perfect hard, white lye soap that is great on your skin.

    To me it seems a little strange that people make soaps out of expensive oils they have to pay for, when the result is not any better. I have tried olive oil soap once and it was soft, and didn't work anywhere near as good as my tallow soap
     
  12. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I also started out making a pure olive oil soap. Beautiful silky lather. I added coconut oil to the olive oil and got a lot more suds. Then, I added castor oil and got a lot of rich suds. Now, I save up my lamb fat for the soap and have also used lard. Nothing wrong with experimenting, just use the soap calc when you do.
     
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  13. Chris

    Chris Administrator Staff Member

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    I imagine some folks might have an issue with animal products....due to vegan beliefs etc.
    Same folks petitioned McDonald french fries years ago.
     
  14. Jlynnp

    Jlynnp Well-Known Member

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    Some folks do, when I sell it I use all veggie/nut oils.
     
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  15. copperhead46

    copperhead46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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  16. Nsoitgoes

    Nsoitgoes Well-Known Member

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    There is a tutorial on the site. I suggest you spend some time playing around with it, making several hypothetical soaps. In essence, though, you should probably leave the stuff at the top alone, other than choosing 'ounces' instead of pounds for weight. Leave the water percentage as is at 38% for now and leave the lye as sodium hydroxide (potassium hydroxide is for liquid soap generally) if you plan on adding fragrance 0.5 to 0.75 ounces of fragrance per pound of oil is usually plenty. Be aware that each has a regulated "safe usage" amount.

    To use the calculator: go down the list of oils and choose the first one you intend using. Click on it to highlight it, then click the "add" box at the top of the ingredients column. That igredient will now appear on the first line. Make sure that "ounces" is selected instead of % and add the number of ounces you feel you should add. Then go back to the list of oils, choose your second ingredient, highlight it, add it to the ingredient list and so on. When you have the recipe you think you want, click on the "calculate recipe" button to get your recipe calculated, then press the "view/print recipe" button to see the actual recipe. This will show the amount of water and lye needed for the oils you chose. It will also give you a profile of that hypothetical soap with properties such as the hardness of the bar, how cleansing it is, how moisturizing, whether it will lather well, along with a suggested range for each of those properties.

    You might want to print a few promising looking recipes so that you can compare them. When you decide on one that looks good my advice is to make only a small batch so as not to waste money in case of a failure. My test batches are always one pound. That is large enough to weigh accurately (VERY important!), small enough to be economical.

    Good luck! If you have questions I am happy to help.
     
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