Author Topic: Anyone make soap?  (Read 20316 times)

regulator

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Anyone make soap?
« on: August 27, 2015, 06:53:57 PM »
Just did a first batch today to start climbing the learning curve.  Seems like fun, inexpensive and useful hobby, and I bet I could sell it at a pretty good profit margin.  Any favorite recipes?

Thinkum

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2015, 07:23:19 PM »
Yes, I make cold process soap. I've made melt and pour, but prefer making my own from scratch. I mostly use olive, coconut, and palm oils. I do not enjoy it enough to sell, but I love making soap for my own use. Nothing like making something from scratch and having the wonderful benefits of a superior product.

backyardfeast

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2015, 10:01:55 PM »
We love making soap!  In fact, one of these days I was going to start a thread on this topic myself, because it's so easy and cost effective, it should be a part of everyone's DIY toolbox, IMHO.

We make a double batch usually in the fall, and that's enough to last us all year and give some as gifts.  We know people who've done really well with soapmaking as a side hustle, and I wouldn't hesitate to do so myself, but around here, in granola-hippy-diy land, the market is totally saturated. :)  But I have a friend who moved to small-town NC and there was no one selling local, handmade soap and she seriously considered it.

The key, especially if you're going to be selling, is to find the least expensive bulk source of supplies online.  The essential oils especially can be killer expensive small scale; we've paid through the nose at the health food store in a pinch, but won't do that again.  We have a local chain that we bought coconut oil and palm oil in 10lb-ish quantities for what we thought was a great price, but the online suppliers are way cheaper again.  It will be a while before we need supplies again, but we'll likely partner up with others when the time comes and pick up some essential oils at least.

MissStache

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2015, 07:23:12 AM »
I was thinking about this just last night as my precious soap-hoard from when I worked in a fancy B&B is almost used up (oh, those sample packs they sent us...).  I'd love to make just enough for myself to use for the year.  Can you link to any good tutorials?  Thank you!

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2015, 07:32:30 AM »
I had a lot of fun making melt and pour- but it certainly wasn't a money saver.

I've  done cold process and did not like my results.  I think I just didn't buy nice enough oils to put in.

Thinkum

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2015, 07:46:09 AM »
I was thinking about this just last night as my precious soap-hoard from when I worked in a fancy B&B is almost used up (oh, those sample packs they sent us...).  I'd love to make just enough for myself to use for the year.  Can you link to any good tutorials?  Thank you!

I bought a book at the bargain bin, but used this site as a reference as well: http://www.soap-making-resource.com/cold-process-soap-making.html. I seen a video of his and it helped get me started. You can also check out Youtube for lots of how-to videos. Just remember if you're going to make cold-process soap, using sodium hydroxide, be VERY careful with it. Wear all you PPE and watch the videos a few times to get acquainted with the steps. If you want to start out in an easy way, you can do melt and pour. No chemical mixing needed.

regulator

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2015, 07:53:24 AM »
I was thinking about this just last night as my precious soap-hoard from when I worked in a fancy B&B is almost used up (oh, those sample packs they sent us...).  I'd love to make just enough for myself to use for the year.  Can you link to any good tutorials?  Thank you!

http://www.soaprecipes101.com/  Is one.  There are many others.

I would suggest you buy a book since the process involves using lye (ample opportunity to burn yourself or worse if you are not careful).  Basically you dissolve sole lye into water, mix it with a specified quantity of oils/fats at 110F or so, stir/blend until it turns into something resembling very thick cake batter, pour in a mold, wait a couple days, unmold/cut bars, and let it cure for a couple weeks.  Along the way you can add colorants, fragrance/essential oils, sparkles, dried flowers...

Yesterday I stirred with a whisk for over an hour with no luck.  Under a minute with a newly purchased stick blender had the mixture ready to go.  Aside from the waiting, I don't imagine it takes more than an hour or two to do a batch.  And I figured out you can make high end lavender soap for like 80 cents a bar if you buy ingredients in bulk.

regulator

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2015, 09:40:21 AM »
Ah yes: While you should learn and follow proper safety procedures when working with lye, it is pretty simple and the danger level is pretty low as long as you do what you are supposed to do.  Relative to my other recently started DIY hobby of reloading my own shotshells, working with lye is no big deal.  About the same likelihood of accidents as making jam or homebrewing.

backyardfeast

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2015, 11:10:29 AM »
I don't have a recipe off the top of my head, but here's our basic process.  It took me a few tries before I realized just how simple this really is.  If you can make muffins, you can make soap! ;)  The links others have provided are great, and as in all things, YouTube is your friend.

Just like with muffins, where you mix your wet ingredients and mix your dry ingredients separately, and then mix them together, with soap you have two parts to prepare, and then, when the temperature of each is right, you mix them together.

Part 1: Lye and Water.  When you mix these together, the chemical reaction creates tremendous heat and some noxious fumes.  We mix them in a glass measuring dish, which we place at the back of our stove, under the exhaust fan running on high.  After a few minutes, the fumes dissipate, and then you're just waiting for the mixture to COOL to about 110 degrees. This can take a while, so do it first.

Part 2: Fats.  You can use any fats to make soap, from lard or beef tallow to olive oil.  Most soaps use a combination of types of fats for different effects, and apparently it's the coconut oil that provides that soft, thick, lather than most of us like.  We use a combination of coconut, palm, and olive, maybe with a little castor oil, rice bran oil, or shea butter if we're feeling fancy or have some on hand.

The oils/fats get put in a big stainless steel (non-reactive) pot, and HEATED on lowish heat until they all mix together and reach around 110 degrees.

Step 3: Mix.  When the 2 parts are within about 5 degrees of each other's temperature, they will emulsify when mixed together.  There is a lot of variation here; using lard apparently can take hours, mixing by hand can take a lot of time too.  The secret is definitely in the stick blender.  Buy a cheap one or a used one and dedicate it to soap making (although we did use our regular one for years and just washed it well, with no ill effects).  Pour the lye water into the pot with the fats and gently swirl the stick blender around until you have a pudding-like consistency (this is called "trace" because if you drip some on the surface, it will stay put and be visible, not blend back into the mix quickly).  Err on the side of a little runny.  This can happen almost instantly or take several minutes.  Then add your essential oils.  Err on the side of runny-ness, because some oils (like our favorite, cinnamon!) can speed up trace and make the mix much thicker very quickly.

Step 4: molds.  Now that everything is emulsified, it's going to keep getting hot for a couple of days.  You need a mold that will withstand the heat, and that you will be able to get a solid lump out of easily.   We use stainless loaf pans that we picked up at Goodwill, and then line them with parchment paper. You can use glass baking pans, cardboard milk cartons cut in half, etc.  I would line any of them.  Don't use plastic wrap, it can melt! Although, I think I usually do put a bit of plastic wrap on top, if I remember correctly.

Pour your "batter" into the molds.  Now you want to keep the soap warm and encourage all of that heat over the next 48 hours or so.  We wrap our loaf pans in lots of towels and put them in a warm place in the house.

Step 5: After a couple of days, unwrap your soap.  It should look and feel pretty solid, and not be too warm anymore.  Empty it out of the molds and cut it into whatever bar shapes you want.  There is some internet fear out there that the soap at this stage is not safe and can't be used until it's cured for a couple of weeks.  From what I understand, if the soap has completely "saponified" (ie, it's solid all the way through when you cut it up), it is safe.  However, it will be very soft and dissolve quickly.  So the last stage is essentially to dry it out a bit.  The longer it cures, the more water evaporates, and the harder and more long lasting it will be.

To cure: spread the bars out on a tray in a ventilated area and leave them.  We keep them on a bathroom counter for a couple of weeks, and then put them, on their cooling racks, in an unused cupboard.  After a few months, when we need our racks back for other things, the soap gets stacked in the bathroom drawer or wherever.  Presto! Soap for the year!

Around here, equivalent fancy soaps cost $6-8 for a tiny bar, and even with expensive health food store oils in tiny bottles, our bars might cost us $1.  Not as cheap as bulk Ivory or whatever from Costco, maybe.  But soooo much nicer to use.

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2015, 11:40:09 AM »
I've been making most of my own soap lately. I sometimes make cold process soap but usually end up doing hot process because either:
1. I'm lazy and hot process seems easier
2. I'm out of soap so I don't want to wait a long time for it to cure
3. I experimented with something and it failed. Hot process cures all ills.

I'm hoping I can sweet talk a butcher into just giving me beef fat trimmings.

acorn

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2015, 12:33:06 PM »
Do you have dedicated utensils for making soap (pot/mixer/etc)? Is it ok to use the ones for cooking and wash them really really well after that? I've never tried making soap before, and I'm really tempted to try it this weekend.

Thinkum

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2015, 12:40:18 PM »
Do not use the same utensils. I went to Dollar Tree and bought stainless steel cooking spoons for the lye and I had some left over plastic cooking spoons for the oils. Even if you wash them, it's not good to mix them.

regulator

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2015, 01:21:26 PM »
In general, I don't plan on mixing cooking utensils with soap making. Stainless steel is different, thought.  When I do a larger batch I will be using a stainless pot that I either cook or brew with (depending on batch size).  Clean it well and rinse amply and I cannot see the issue.

Thinkum

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2015, 01:25:37 PM »
I bought a SS pot and pan at Goodwill for a few bucks and use that for soap making. One less thing to worry about.

neophyte

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2015, 03:15:58 PM »
I mix pots and utensils indiscriminately. It's just sodium hydroxide, so as long as I neutralize the base, I don't see an issue. I haven't had any problems, but if someone can give me a compelling reason not to mix them, I'll reconsider doing it.

If I put the lye solution in something plastic I don't use that for food because I figure the lye could degrade the plastic.

GeneralJinjur

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2015, 11:21:01 PM »
I've been making soap for a couple of years now.  I much prefer it to store bought and I like the smell as the oils melt together when I'm making it.  Here's one of my favorite reference sites:  http://www.millersoap.com/

And a few videos that sold me on how to do it.
https://youtu.be/qGfXLznJJY0
https://youtu.be/X0xOVzgkcv4

I've played around with cold process and crock pot hot process.  For $8 total, I bought a second crock pot for soap making from a thrift store, some dedicated spoons and a plastic pitcher for the lye water (one of my kids decorated it with Sharpies so it wouldn't get used for food).  I also got a stainless steel shafted stick blender that I was willing to use for food if the soap thing wasn't for me.  I've kept it cheap by using lard, coconut oil and olive oil.  After I realized I liked both the process and the results, I bought a bottle of Avocado oil that I also use for cooking.

We've used easily accessible colorants to make pretty swirls in our soap, like paprika, turmeric and cocoa powder.  I've been using Silk boxes as molds (the cardboard box the comes with 3 in it is a great size, but you have to line it with freezer paper), but I recently learned about a mold made from corrugated plastic and am giving that a shot soon. 

Here's the recipe I like best:
Fat   Amount (ounces)   
Avocado Oil   4 oz.
Coconut Oil   13 oz.
Olive Oil   11 oz.
Lard   14 oz.

Lye is 6 oz. for a 5% superfat.
16 ounces goat milk
Hot process in the crock pot with 2 oz. oatmeal flour and lots of turmeric shakes.  This fits nicely in my cut down Silk box mold.  I've also done this recipe as a cold process.  The difference is only aesthetic.

1967mama

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2015, 01:19:28 AM »
Posting to follow! This sounds like a really fun, Mustachian hobby :-)

dragoncar

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2015, 02:57:33 AM »
No, but I make my own Nitroglycerine

happy

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2015, 04:35:09 AM »
Poomph goes the dragon.

I just started making my own soap. I've just done my second bar.  I started more for fun and the crafty side of it and wanting to make my own soap without colour or fragrance. I reckon it costs me about $1 a bar, so nowhere near as cheap as shop bought soap, but its much nicer to use. I'm hoping to make some for Christmas presents.

Currently I use a couple of purpose bought bowls, but most of the equipment is shared with the kitchen.  I just wash it well, and  use a bit of white vinegar if I think  the alkali needs neutralising. Its just soap. The powder for the dishwasher is pretty caustic and no-one worries about using it.


gecko10x

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2015, 05:01:10 AM »
My wife has been making and selling for over 5 years.

Here's a tip: it's not profitable. 😛
Well, I shouldn't really say that; it is. But in order to make any money you have to sell a TON. And that's very hard to do without spending a LOT of time selling or having your own shop or something.

MissStache

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2015, 06:46:42 AM »
I cannot be the only one who thinks Tyler Durden when reading the title?!

I told my boyfriend I wanted to start doing this and he said "fine, but I'm not helping you steal any medical waste." So no, you're not the only one...

fitfrugalfab

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2015, 07:00:12 AM »
I've been making soap for a couple of years now.  I much prefer it to store bought and I like the smell as the oils melt together when I'm making it.  Here's one of my favorite reference sites:  http://www.millersoap.com/

And a few videos that sold me on how to do it.
https://youtu.be/qGfXLznJJY0
https://youtu.be/X0xOVzgkcv4

I've played around with cold process and crock pot hot process.  For $8 total, I bought a second crock pot for soap making from a thrift store, some dedicated spoons and a plastic pitcher for the lye water (one of my kids decorated it with Sharpies so it wouldn't get used for food).  I also got a stainless steel shafted stick blender that I was willing to use for food if the soap thing wasn't for me.  I've kept it cheap by using lard, coconut oil and olive oil.  After I realized I liked both the process and the results, I bought a bottle of Avocado oil that I also use for cooking.

We've used easily accessible colorants to make pretty swirls in our soap, like paprika, turmeric and cocoa powder.  I've been using Silk boxes as molds (the cardboard box the comes with 3 in it is a great size, but you have to line it with freezer paper), but I recently learned about a mold made from corrugated plastic and am giving that a shot soon. 

Here's the recipe I like best:
Fat   Amount (ounces)   
Avocado Oil   4 oz.
Coconut Oil   13 oz.
Olive Oil   11 oz.
Lard   14 oz.

Lye is 6 oz. for a 5% superfat.
16 ounces goat milk
Hot process in the crock pot with 2 oz. oatmeal flour and lots of turmeric shakes.  This fits nicely in my cut down Silk box mold.  I've also done this recipe as a cold process.  The difference is only aesthetic.

Do you actually save money using this recipe? I've always wanted to try but can't find avocado oil or coconut oil that aren't crazy expensive.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2015, 07:56:55 AM »
My wife has been making and selling for over 5 years.

Here's a tip: it's not profitable. 😛
Well, I shouldn't really say that; it is. But in order to make any money you have to sell a TON. And that's very hard to do without spending a LOT of time selling or having your own shop or something.

So far, turning pens is the only hobby I've ever seen someone actually turn profitable.

Now many things people do as hobbies can be done as jobs. But they have to be jobs with basically full time effort.

Thinkum

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2015, 08:54:35 AM »

We've used easily accessible colorants to make pretty swirls in our soap, like paprika, turmeric and cocoa powder. 

This seems like a great idea I never considered. When you used these, do they interfere with the EO's used?

backyardfeast

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2015, 09:17:42 AM »
Quote
Do you actually save money using this recipe? I've always wanted to try but can't find avocado oil or coconut oil that aren't crazy expensive.

The key is not to buy the organic, high food quality stuff (avocado oil nothwithstanding!).  We buy pomace olive oil in the steel gallon jugs (I would never eat this stuff, it's the last, desperate press from the olives, usually using solvents), coconut oil and palm oil from soap suppliers, not organic in small jars from the grocery/health food store.  Our neighbours have used lard from their pigs that was a year old and just never got eaten...that sort of thing.

GeneralJinjur

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2015, 10:41:56 AM »
Do you actually save money using this recipe? I've always wanted to try but can't find avocado oil or coconut oil that aren't crazy expensive.

I buy the coconut oil at Sam's Club when they bring it out for holiday baking.  A jar of 55 ounces is around $13.  I got the liter of avocado oil at Costco, I think, for around the same price, but probably a little less. http://chosen-foods.com/products/avocado-oil

The first batch I made with 10% avocado oil and it felt too soft in the shower and kinda sticky.  After several months, those bars feel great and don't get used up any quicker than any other batch.  I think they just needed to cure longer. 

As you are trying it out, stick with the oils that are inexpensive in your area.  Some people make just lard and olive oil soaps.  You can do straight olive oil, but the cure time is months, not weeks. The Miller soap site is very down to earth, compared to a lot of the elegant soap hobbyists that turn out pricey works of art for their shower, which is why I linked it.  Most other sites want you to get gobs of supplies and that's not my style.

GeneralJinjur

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2015, 10:44:55 AM »
This seems like a great idea I never considered. When you used these, do they interfere with the EO's used?

I don't use any essential oils, but from what I've read from the fragrance users, I don't believe it interacts.  We have lots of asthma, eczema and allergies in our family, so the less opportunity to irritate lungs or skin, the better!

Thinkum

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2015, 11:24:08 AM »

I don't use any essential oils, but from what I've read from the fragrance users, I don't believe it interacts.  We have lots of asthma, eczema and allergies in our family, so the less opportunity to irritate lungs or skin, the better!

Ah, that would make sense.

As for oils being expensive and whatnot, I use Pomace Olive Oil I get by the gallon at a local Indian market. A lot cheaper than using the regular Virgin olive oil. The other oil I use is palm oil I get in bulk from a soap supply place online. WAY cheaper than buying in the store. The 3rd oil I use is coconut oil I get from Costco for around $13 and it lasts a while. The soap that I've made is so rich in lather that you only need a little to wash hands or body.

GeneralJinjur

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2015, 11:59:27 AM »
As for oils being expensive and whatnot, I use Pomace Olive Oil I get by the gallon at a local Indian market. A lot cheaper than using the regular Virgin olive oil. The other oil I use is palm oil I get in bulk from a soap supply place online. WAY cheaper than buying in the store. The 3rd oil I use is coconut oil I get from Costco for around $13 and it lasts a while. The soap that I've made is so rich in lather that you only need a little to wash hands or body.

Nice idea!  When I finally get through my big jugs of cheapy Costco olive oil (not the EVOO), I will hit up my Indian market.  If I were producing more than my family uses, I would definitely order from these guys:  https://www.soaperschoice.com/

Lis

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2015, 01:40:48 PM »
Bumping to follow. I've always wanted to try making soap but it seemed too difficult. This thread has made me think otherwise...

I do admit (and feel free to facepunch me) I buy specialty handmade soap online through etsy. I found this woman's stall when I was visiting a friend in Boston and I've been hooked over since. I love her scents (no idea if I could recreate it, though I'm tempted to try now) and I like the idea of supporting someone's small business. She's always been very friendly and helpful (many scents will trigger a migraine for me, so I usually ask your standard 20 questions before trying a new scent). Plus she always sends me freebies :)

I'm a red panda

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2015, 02:05:33 PM »
Bumping to follow. I've always wanted to try making soap but it seemed too difficult. This thread has made me think otherwise...


Not difficult to make soap.  Difficult to make the exact perfect soap you hoped for :)

regulator

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2015, 07:42:18 PM »
Bumping to follow. I've always wanted to try making soap but it seemed too difficult. This thread has made me think otherwise...

I do admit (and feel free to facepunch me) I buy specialty handmade soap online through etsy. I found this woman's stall when I was visiting a friend in Boston and I've been hooked over since. I love her scents (no idea if I could recreate it, though I'm tempted to try now) and I like the idea of supporting someone's small business. She's always been very friendly and helpful (many scents will trigger a migraine for me, so I usually ask your standard 20 questions before trying a new scent). Plus she always sends me freebies :)

DW is addicted to L'Occitaine soaps, which are unbelievably expensive.  Basically the only time the kids and I go to an actual mall is to buy L'Occitaine for Mother's Day and it always astonishes me how stoopidly expensive that stuff is.  I had a look at the ingredients and I am pretty sure I can pretty much replicate their stuff for a buck a bar, plus I can avoid using palm oil (goodbye rainforests!) and know exactly what is going into the soap.  If you have a supplier that is willing to tell you everything and you like supporting them, great!  I have no need to help pay L'Occitaine's rent on high end mall space.

Plus I can make stuff not readily available.  Beer soap, for example.  If I am lucky enough to bag a deer this fall I will keep the fat to make soap with (pretty unique, you have to admit).  And so on.  But if I never sell a single bar, learning a new skill and being able to control what goes into my soap will be worth it for me.

1967mama

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2015, 12:27:49 AM »

DW is addicted to L'Occitaine soaps, which are unbelievably expensive.  Basically the only time the kids and I go to an actual mall is to buy L'Occitaine for Mother's Day and it always astonishes me how stoopidly expensive that stuff is.  I had a look at the ingredients and I am pretty sure I can pretty much replicate their stuff for a buck a bar, plus I can avoid using palm oil (goodbye rainforests!) and know exactly what is going into the soap.  If you have a supplier that is willing to tell you everything and you like supporting them, great!  I have no need to help pay L'Occitaine's rent on high end mall space.



I'm so lucky -- my husband brings L'Occitaine products home from hotels he stays at for work -- oh, wait .. he's at hotels for work:-/ Nevermind.

kiwichick

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #33 on: September 02, 2015, 12:46:07 AM »
Made a couple of batches of soap a year ago. First was a castile soap (except not really because I added a bit of coconut oil as someone suggested it would be too soft without it). That one gets really gloopy and slimy when sitting in water. The other I actually made as a shampoo bar, which is much nicer (has shea butter, cocoa butter, almond oil, jojoba oil, olive and coconut). Works out about the same price or a bit cheaper than the cheapest supermarket soaps. But they're unscented (better for sensitive skin) - my understanding is the real cost comes from scenting oils. You have to use a lot for the scent to be noticeable.

I think I have enough from those two batches to last another 3 years!
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 12:48:11 AM by kiwichick »

tyort1

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #34 on: September 02, 2015, 01:01:33 AM »
My company is the Paper Street Soap Company.  Maybe you've heard of it.  I'm not allowed to talk about it.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #35 on: September 02, 2015, 07:10:04 AM »
I'm so lucky -- my husband brings L'Occitaine products home from hotels he stays at for work -- oh, wait .. he's at hotels for work:-/ Nevermind.

This is one of my small perks of my current job. I travel and we stay in nice hotels.  I have a good stash of high end soaps now :)

Rosy

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #36 on: September 02, 2015, 08:30:09 AM »
I have a question - could I use olive oil and peanut oil that has been open for a while? As in bought over a year ago, opened but not used up yet?

My DIL told me the oils would get rancid, but I don't know, the peanut oil still smells fine to me, but now I'm loath to use it for cooking.

Great thread - been thinking about trying to make my own soap, mostly because I love good quality scented soaps - but instead of bars I was thinking of making body wash. My favorite body wash is around $5 and if I could recreate it for say $1 or $2 that would be a major win for the budget.
Mr. R. prefers hard soaps - so I might try a set of three for him as a X-mas gift.

For me it is all about the scents and I want to use goatsmilk - if it turns out alright that would be a great gift for my best gf.

One last question - could I use ground cinnamon and ground coffee beans? I have a nice selection of my favorite Essential Oils already that I could use, but I'd like to experiment with the scents a bit.


Lis

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #37 on: September 02, 2015, 08:33:48 AM »
Bumping to follow. I've always wanted to try making soap but it seemed too difficult. This thread has made me think otherwise...


Not difficult to make soap.  Difficult to make the exact perfect soap you hoped for :)

Very fair :)

Side note, if anyone wants to do an exchange - amber soap for homemade truffles and fudge - I'm all for it!

regulator

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #38 on: September 02, 2015, 11:45:38 AM »
I have a question - could I use olive oil and peanut oil that has been open for a while? As in bought over a year ago, opened but not used up yet?

My DIL told me the oils would get rancid, but I don't know, the peanut oil still smells fine to me, but now I'm loath to use it for cooking.

Great thread - been thinking about trying to make my own soap, mostly because I love good quality scented soaps - but instead of bars I was thinking of making body wash. My favorite body wash is around $5 and if I could recreate it for say $1 or $2 that would be a major win for the budget.
Mr. R. prefers hard soaps - so I might try a set of three for him as a X-mas gift.

For me it is all about the scents and I want to use goatsmilk - if it turns out alright that would be a great gift for my best gf.

One last question - could I use ground cinnamon and ground coffee beans? I have a nice selection of my favorite Essential Oils already that I could use, but I'd like to experiment with the scents a bit.

I would smell and taste the oils.  Rancidity is pretty noticeable.  If it is rancid it should be pretty obvious.  Otherwise you can use it.  The one caution is that I have read peanut oil tends to lead to short shelf life in soap.

I have seen recipes for liquid soaps, so that should be doable.

Coffee (brewed and grounds) will give color and aroma to soap.  Whether it needs fragrance or essential oils on top of it is something you will have to decide for yourself.  Don't know about cinnamon.  The challenge with a lot of ingredients is that during soapmaking you expose them to lye and that can really kill aromas/colors for a lot of things.

TRBeck

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #39 on: September 02, 2015, 01:00:13 PM »
Adding cinnamon will add color but not much scent; you need the concentrated EO for that. Cinnamon is also a very common skin irritant, so I would not use it in soap, at least not in any real quantity.

Body wash/liquid soap is different than hard soap, but you can make it at home. I suggest learning the basic process for soapmaking before trying other stuff like liquid soap, cream soap, etc.

Peanut oil = short shelf life for soap. Olive oil might be okay, but fresh oils are cheap.

I stick to olive, coconut, tallow, and lard for most soap, but I do occasionally use palm, castor, and some butters. Other liquid oils tend to be high in fatty acids like linolenic that are easily oxidized, leading to shorter shelf life for the finished soap. It will develop DOS (dreaded orange spots), which is localized oxidation that turns the soap soft, slimy, and unpleasant to use (and smell).

Rosy

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #40 on: September 02, 2015, 01:53:07 PM »
Thank you regulator and TRBeck - I appreciate your input - good information.

onehair

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #41 on: September 02, 2015, 03:33:54 PM »
My last batch of cold process soap failed but one day I will try again.  I would recommend purchasing soap fragrance oils from reputable soap places such as Wholesale Suppliers, Sweetcakes etc.  Essential oils can be gotten various place as well.  I am sticking to melt and pour for now but one day I hope to work with my shredded soap to do something.
If you choose to sell it local flea markets and farmers markets are good places to start.  For that you'll need a canopy, foldable chairs and a table to display your wares.

gecko10x

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #42 on: September 04, 2015, 11:11:04 AM »
Adding cinnamon will add color but not much scent; you need the concentrated EO for that. Cinnamon is also a very common skin irritant, so I would not use it in soap, at least not in any real quantity.

Yes. Also, cinnamon EO can/will cause serious seizing of the soap making it very difficult to pour.

Clove EO is a good alternative by itself or as a blend.

onehair

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #43 on: September 04, 2015, 03:27:13 PM »
Or maybe use fake cinnamon fragrance oil.  Not an EO true but definitely not a skin irritant.  I use fake Sandalwood to give the trees a break.  And I mix fake and real eucalyptus for my mom's soaps to give it extra kick....


TomTX

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #44 on: September 05, 2015, 03:20:23 PM »
I've made a few batches of cold-process (stick blender) soap. Three ingredients:

Coconut oil (20% superfat)
Lye
Water

I use some silicone muffin pans for molds.

I'm a chemist by training. I use my regular kitchen equipment - but other than the muffin pans, it's all stainless steel or pyrex. I rinse off any residue and run it through the dishwasher. No issues, and if there was an issue, MrsTX WOULD notice it. ;)

Anyway, it worked quite well. I demold next-day and let it age at least a month.

TomTX

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #45 on: September 07, 2015, 06:41:20 AM »
After posting that, I got out a bar of my coconut - wow, that lathers nicely compared to the freebie hotel soaps I've been using!

stripey

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #46 on: September 07, 2015, 07:58:35 AM »
Bars with coconut do lather gorgeously!

20% superfat would be lovely for the hands! Maybe not the hardest though.

I use normal kitchen equipment, but same as TomTx it's all stainless and pyrex anyway. I tend to leave my stainless steel stockpot for a day or three after making soap in it, wait until it turns to soap, then clean it out. Much less bother.

Best recommendations on the web I've found:

Soapcalc  has a fabulous calculator: http://soapcalc.net/calc/SoapCalcWP.asp
Down to earth's post- note she uses copha blocks (hydrogenated coconut oil) as a lot of people do as it's much cheaper http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com.au/2011/08/how-to-make-cold-processed-soap-v-2.html
Humblebee and me. She often adds sodium lactate to help bars harden up: http://www.humblebeeandme.com/category/the-basics/basics-articles/


happy

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #47 on: September 07, 2015, 03:54:37 PM »
Thanks for the humblebeeandme link Stripey, its just what I was looking for.

stripey

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #48 on: September 07, 2015, 08:19:54 PM »
Looked at the qualities of a 100% coconut/20% superfat soap... sounds incredibly intruiging, going to have to try this!

Carless

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Re: Anyone make soap?
« Reply #49 on: September 15, 2015, 09:02:47 PM »
I made my first batch last weekend, so this is a timely topic.  I used pomace (ie low grade olive oil) for the bulk of it.  It did reach trace very quickly, but I was ready for that, and Pomace is cheap and also supposed to make a harder bar.  This seems to be true as I could unmould the soap after a day despite the silicone moulds.  I got most of my supplies second hand, and actually this started because I'd bought some fancy oils (avocado and almond) and never really used them.  Figured they might make a nice soap addition.  In Canada the only place you can easily get Lye is home hardware which surprised me.  I tested the bars tonight, and the pH was 10, so a bit more basic than the supermarket goat's milk soap which tested as 9.  Still safe to use though.  For my next batch I plan to use goat's milk instead of water.  I think these will make nice Christmas presents.  Don't think this will turn into a major hobby though as one batch can produce enough soap for 6 months or so- this will probably turn into something I do once a year.  I got every cold process book the library has but I can't see myself doing that fancy colouring or EO stuff though.  Looks way too fussy.  Mostly I just like the idea of knowing exactly what's in there and making a premium bar at bargain cost.