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Several of my soaps are organic, I just use organic ingredients (except for the lye and water, which I don't think you can get 'organic'.) I order organic coconut oil and olive oil, plus will use organic herbs, I find the lemongrass to be quite nice.

Have you made soap before? If not, you might want to try with non-organic ingredients for your first few batches as it could get costly with the organic ingredients.

Dawn
 

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Thanks and no, I have never made soap before. I am researching.....i want a greener and more organic lifestyle....
 

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go to www.millersoap.com... read, absorb. Lol... it took me a week to wade through her website when I got started 8 years ago. You can make any soap with organic oils. I'd personally not worry about the organic so much, as source locally if possible.

Prime example - organic shortening in the store is Palm oil, which is a very common soapmaking oil. A nice, organic veggie oil, right? Problem is, tons of rainforest habitat is being destroyed all the time to make room for these palm plantations, organic or not. I'm thinking that sourcing some locally produced oils (think the "100 mile diet") is going to be a lot more earth-friendly than buying palm oil (organic or not) or other non-local items, mainly because of the impact on the earth that the industries create. One of the reasons why I like lard so much - it makes fantastic soap, is cheap, I can get it from local farmers and it's a byproduct of an existing industry.

So basically, I think doing your research here is key, so good job :) Just remember that organic doesn't always mean more earth-friendly :)
 

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Sorry to have to disagree about all Palm Oil farming destroying the Rain forests.. Here's a link to the: Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) http://www.rspo.org/ And as far as I'm aware, the only Organic Shortening which is Palm Oil, at least on the east coast, is put out by Spectrum.. and their Palm Oil is also from sustainable farming.

As far as Lard.. well, I don't happen to like the way animal products feel on my skin, so when I make soap I use all plant oils. Some people like it... some people don't, and some people won't use animal products due to dietary or religious reasons.

But I will agree that research is the key to learning about the procedures and technique of safe soap making and the many ingredients used for their individual properties. Miller's link is one of the best sites, if not the best site and she provides other links to further a new soap makers knowledge.
 

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There is no such thing as 'organic' soap because of the sodium hydroxide that is used. Now, you can use organic oils in your soap making.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil is going to report only on the sustainable palm oil but that doesn't mean that is where the majority of palm oil is coming from! What about all the sources of palm oil (the majority) that do not participate in RSPO??

I used palm oil for a short time when I first began soaping 8 years ago. I started with simple lard/coconut/oil recipes, then went on to palm oil since I heard so many soapers putting down animal oils in soap. My skin didn't like soap with palm oil so I went back to using lard and my skin is happy.

I experimented the first few years making 1, 2 & 3 oil soaps and keeping notes on the results of the soaps. I published the first lye calculator that incorporated the fatty acid makeup of soaps in early 2002 (simple excel sheet) that was used as the basis for the http://www.soapcalc.com/ (with permission).

There are many combinations of soap oils that will produce various results. Thankfully, there are many skin combinations and enough soapers around to keep everyone happy!

Kathy Miller has done an outstanding job with helping new soapers.

We also have a soaping pictorial on one of our webpages:

http://www.mullerslanefarm.com/soapmaking
 

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Oh yeah, here's some info on palm oil specifically
http://www.orangutan.com/orangutans_avoid_palmoil.html
http://www.cspinet.org/palm/
http://www.cmzoo.org/palmoil.html

Another one that comes to mind is certain essential oils that are being harvested more than what can be renewed... I can't remember the one specifically I'm thinking of but it's some sort of tree where more are being harvested for the EO's in the bark each year than what the new growth is. I keep wanting to say redwood or cedarwood except I know it isn't that one.

I think my point is just that while we will always have disagreements, it's imperative to be completely educated and look at the true "footprint" instead of just keying in on buzzwords like "organic." And don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying anything bad about organic products, I'm just saying that sometimes the organic products have a bigger footprint than you'd think, so buyer beware :)
 

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Very good links, Betho.

'Organic' just isn't what it used to be now that the gooberment & corporate farming have got their hands into the pot and stirred it up.
 

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Betho said:
Oh yeah, here's some info on palm oil specifically
http://www.orangutan.com/orangutans_avoid_palmoil.html
http://www.cspinet.org/palm/
http://www.cmzoo.org/palmoil.html

Another one that comes to mind is certain essential oils that are being harvested more than what can be renewed... I can't remember the one specifically I'm thinking of but it's some sort of tree where more are being harvested for the EO's in the bark each year than what the new growth is. I keep wanting to say redwood or cedarwood except I know it isn't that one.

I think my point is just that while we will always have disagreements, it's imperative to be completely educated and look at the true "footprint" instead of just keying in on buzzwords like "organic." And don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying anything bad about organic products, I'm just saying that sometimes the organic products have a bigger footprint than you'd think, so buyer beware :)
I think what you are thinking of is Sandalwood. I just got a really good Sandalwood FO from Oregon Trails, for that reason.
 

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Hate to disagree with Cyndi (it's bad karma), but you CAN make organic lye. At least, if you consider 'organic' to be 'naturally made'. Leech water thru woodash. it's the way grandma used to make her lye for soap. pretty caustic of course, and dangerous for spills...but...there ya go.
 

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I don't know whose Palm Oil other people use, my PO comes from one of the companies on that list. I'm not there on the plantations, nor am I a conglomerate involved in the industry. I have to trust whomever I talk with... hoping that I can take their word on face value.

I don't trust anyone who deals with food and ingredients, not after what I've been through! But, I'm not in a position to grow, harvest, manufacture every single thing I eat and use or come in contact with, either. So I have to trust whomever, until I find out otherwise.

I'm quite aware of the propaganda regarding the Rain Forests and Orangutans. I'm also aware of the White Polar Bears swimming for many extra miles, dying from hunger and exhaustion trying to get to a snow bank that hasn't melted to get food and their on the verge of extinction also. I'm aware of the widows in India being cast out after their husband dies, even after years being dutiful wives and mothers. Cast out with just the clothes on their backs to roam the streets as beggers, starving to death. Perhaps some of these women had their infant daughters slaughtered, as a means of population control. I'm also aware of the hunger that exists in our country.. children not having food, a place to sleep or are being physically or sexually abused. I worry about many things, especially when it comes to helpless beings, unable to defend themselves or winding up in very deplorable circumstances as a result issues beyond their control. You think there's help?? Think again!

With the new regulations, even if an ingredient is added that isn't organic, the product can still be considered organic if those ingredients fall within a certain percentage.

Now we're getting into another issue.. are those ingredients "Certified Organic"? If they're not, even though they are grown organically, are they legally considered "organic"?. Perhaps there should be another term coined: "Unoffically Organic".. Some of those ingredients are raised with more care and stricter guidelines that their counterpart who can affort the certification.

Realistically, how many places in the world that don't have issues with pollution? How many people who live in rural areas, don't have a big business facility or fields that Pesticides are being sprayed not too many miles away? What are the variables feeding into down wind, contaminating their 'organically' raised food products?

Granted, some of that pollution is as a result of burning organic matter that undergo chemical changes from the burning, but some are created by man-made chemicals. Is there any place in the US that isn't affected on some level? That pollution gets rained down onto the soil and gets absorbed. We can only do so much to make things as organic as possible, but there's a reality check here!

Whatever ingredients used in making soap, as long as they are not synthetics, are better that what is manufactured. How many people that make soap, use Fragrance Oils??? How truthful are those handmade soaps when they are labeled 'all natural' and use oils that are hydroginated with chemical preservatives added. How many oils are we using that have chemical solvents extracting the oil from the seeds?? What about synthetic coloring? What difference does it make if the Lye is natural or organic? It is an absolute in order to make soap, there are choices, but how many people are going to make their own Caustic Soda? Here's a link explaining more about Lye and it's uses. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_hydroxide

However, even if we do use the lye, we have control over the oils and other ingredients we put into our soap! What about the packaging and labeling? Have you smelled that shrink wrap??? That's a Chemical Cocktail all in it's self! You don't think that doesn't have something to do with those poor Polar Bears dying from exhaustion and starvation? What about the oils you use imported from India?? What guarantee do you have that the purveyors aren't the very people sending their mothers out to die? Or, killing their infant daughters? You still buy your oils and butters, don't you! How many people even know where their oils come from? You know, there's not even an organization set up to try to make changes, and help those helpless women and innocent babies, as there is with PO.

My decision to use PO came long after I started making soap. It came long after I decided I didn't like animal fat used in my soap. I have a right not to like a particular product, just as much as you have a right to like it.

I know exactly what I'm missing out on when I don't use Tallow, Lard and Milk because I feel sticky and clammy with a layer on my skin, and don't feel clean when I use animal fats and milks. Furthermore, I certainly know what I'm missing out on when I don't use Honey or any other concentrated saccharides! My choices are very specific born out of 2.5 decades of experience, introspection, research and learned knowledge. I'm missing out on nothing but uncomfortable things, that I can assure you. What I have gained as a result of my choices of oil is smoother skin, it's no longer puckered, as in looking old. What I have gained by not using honey or other such ingredients, are pain-free days, weeks and months. Pain, the likes of which I wouldn't wish on anyone! I'm FREE of pain.. and I like that, VERY much and not a fraction of an ounce of honey is worth reversing that for..
 

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Wisconsin Ann said:
Hate to disagree with Cyndi (it's bad karma), but you CAN make organic lye. At least, if you consider 'organic' to be 'naturally made'. Leech water thru woodash. it's the way grandma used to make her lye for soap. pretty caustic of course, and dangerous for spills...but...there ya go.
Ah, yes Ann, you CAN make a form of lye from potash - hardwoods only - the ashes of soft woods just isn't strong enough.

However, this type of lye is more like KOH (used for making soft soap) instead of NaOH (bar soap). You can't really test the strength of this type of lye so it's difficult to know just how much oil to use to make a safe soap. I definitely wouldn't recommend using this type of lye if you were selling to the public!!

The addition of of salt to this lye will create a lye more like NaOH, but then just how much salt you would need to add is questionable. At least, I wouldn't know! :p

Not truly a disagreement, Ann (your karma is safe!) just another method that is not commonly used anymore!!
 

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Bless your heart, Step. I'm glad you have manufactured products that work for your condition!

I guess being able to raise & grow the majority of my family's food (meat, vegetables, fruit, honey, eggs, milk) and not have to depend on corporate farming methods is part of my decision to use the ingredients I do in my soaps.

I know where my tallow, lard, milk & honey I use in my soaps come from. I know how they are raised & what they eat.

Any properly made homemade soap is better than the commercial store bought since our soap contains glycerin that naturally occurs in saponification. The fact that animal oils produce more glycerin than vegetable oils has been documented.

By the way, I don't soap with animal fat any more than you soap with an olive. The suet or leaf fat is rendered into an oil just as your olive (or olive pit) is extracted into an oil.

I'm very glad you have found what works for you - but many people don't have your condition and are much happier with soaps made from oils different than your own.
 

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Step - that's great you have so much experience and obviously you've had lots of time to mess around with what works for you. One thing that I've noticed since I started in skincare is that different things work for different people. Also - about the palm out - yes, Spectrum makes the organic renewable palm oil and that's awesome - I didn't realize theirs was renewable until you posted the link. Please, however, keep in mind that not everyone buys spectrum palm to make their soap. And so obviously you are an exception but that doesn't make my cautionary post any different, especially since I was posting to a new soapmaker who may have not realized the difference.

Not to mention I was posting a sort of "general" caution, and used palm oil as an example. I'm certainly not saying that palm oil is bad, but you can't deny that most palm oil being produced today is not being produced organically & sustainably.
 

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Step said:
However, even if we do use the lye, we have control over the oils and other ingredients we put into our soap! What about the packaging and labeling? Have you smelled that shrink wrap??? That's a Chemical Cocktail all in it's self! You don't think that doesn't have something to do with those poor Polar Bears dying from exhaustion and starvation? What about the oils you use imported from India?? What guarantee do you have that the purveyors aren't the very people sending their mothers out to die? Or, killing their infant daughters? You still buy your oils and butters, don't you! How many people even know where their oils come from? You know, there's not even an organization set up to try to make changes, and help those helpless women and innocent babies, as there is with PO.
I think perhaps you need to re-read my post. I was calling for people to be educated in what they do - obviously I'm not against the use of palm oil itself, I just happened to use it as an example as it came to mind. I certainly wouldn't recommend someone using imported oils from India, whose purveyors kill the infant daughters of the women who work for them. I tell people to use oils that can be sustainably produced in an ethical manner.
 

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MullersLaneFarm said:
Bless your heart, Step. I'm glad you have manufactured products that work for your condition!

I guess being able to raise & grow the majority of my family's food (meat, vegetables, fruit, honey, eggs, milk) and not have to depend on corporate farming methods is part of my decision to use the ingredients I do in my soaps.

I know where my tallow, lard, milk & honey I use in my soaps come from. I know how they are raised & what they eat.

Any properly made homemade soap is better than the commercial store bought since our soap contains glycerin that naturally occurs in saponification. The fact that animal oils produce more glycerin than vegetable oils has been documented.

By the way, I don't soap with animal fat any more than you soap with an olive. The suet or leaf fat is rendered into an oil just as your olive (or olive pit) is extracted into an oil.

I'm very glad you have found what works for you - but many people don't have your condition and are much happier with soaps made from oils different than your own.
Your life style is to be admired. And I agree that any properly homemade soap is far better than store bought. I do have resources around me.. but there's nothing like home grown to be absolutely sure.

I finally found Goat Milk about 30 miles away, and when I visited the farm I enjoyed every second I was able to be with the goats. Was even ready to take one home! That would have been cute traveling the highway with a baby Goat sitting on my front seat..

Many people do have my condition and aren't aware that these offending ingredients just might be causing them to be sick, as they do me.
 

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Betho said:
I think perhaps you need to re-read my post. I was calling for people to be educated in what they do - obviously I'm not against the use of palm oil itself, I just happened to use it as an example as it came to mind. I certainly wouldn't recommend someone using imported oils from India, whose purveyors kill the infant daughters of the women who work for them. I tell people to use oils that can be sustainably produced in an ethical manner.
India elected their first woman president.. How great is that for moving in a positive direction!

You wrote: "I was calling for people to be educated in what they do"
I'm all about education Betho, and this thread certainly has been enlightening. But I find it curious that you come to the conclusion of: "obviously you've had lots of time to mess around with what works for you."

Let me address 'what works for me'... Though each of us are unique all the way down to our fingerprints, our anatomy and physiology is fairly consistant as human beings. Being simplistic, when we get cut, we bleed.

I never had the 'time' to mess around. I got sick in my prime, and was a single parent, homeowner, was working 7 days a week and still managed to cook food from scratch, clean my house, etc., etc. etc., as most of us do. I was also an involved parent. And if I had to stay up an entire night to finish a project, I stayed up to finish that project! Being divorced and low on cash meant that if something needed repair, I had to repair it. I was quite self sufficient, as many at this forum are.

As my symptoms got worse, I wasn't about to give into them, but in time they did take-over. I didn't believe that a person has all these maladies for no reason as doctors would like their patients to believe. The process in my recovery took over 25 years and I continue to be proactive because I have to and whatever I have to do, I have to make that time to do it, if I don't, nothing else gets done as a result of getting sick again.

I'm making soap because I have to.. I researched the ingredients because I had to and that's educational. I view my renewed state of health as nothing short of a miracle and it is as a direct result of choices in what I eat and use topically. Empowerment to make those choices has been a result of subjective experience, research and education.

I don't use Spectrum's Palm Oil Shortening because of organic ingredients used in the processing that I can't use. The Palm Oil I do use is from a member of the Round Table of Sustainable Palm Farming. There are hundreds of companies that belong to that organization.. there are people who scout different approved farms every day, collecting availablity and bidding is done daily which involves hundreds of thousands of dollars. I'm not nieve enough to think that there aren't problems along the way, but on the most part an organization such as this one, having as many members, regulating prices, with profits into the billions are not about to shirk their responsibility in going against the very issue they were established for to begin with. I would suspect that responsible companies most of us are buying our oils from, are buying sustainable PO now.
 

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I think you are getting too much into this. When I said you've had lots of time to mess around with I was referring to this, bolding mine:

My choices are very specific born out of 2.5 decades of experience, introspection, research and learned knowledge.
It had nothing to do with DNA, your skin or mine, etc, your single parenthood or my single parenthood, either of our busy lives, etc.

I'm sure there are many companies that use sustainable palm oil and I think it's great that you can source yours sustainably (shipping costs aside). I do have to disagree that most companies who sell palm oil source theirs from sustainable farms - I would agree that some probably do, but the vast majority probably doesn't.

In any case I'm going to let this rest, the original post was intended as a caution but it seems to be somewhat of a soapbox for some people so I'll bow out of a discussion that I feel is going nowhere.

ttyl
 
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