Author Topic: First Post! Making your own Soap  (Read 792 times)

MangoAtPlay

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
First Post! Making your own Soap
« on: March 09, 2017, 02:57:34 PM »
Hi Everyone -
 This is my first post!
 I'm interested in making my own soap for personal use and *possibly* to sell at a later date once I learn appropriately.  Do you have any experience in this?  I've looked for classes near me but can't find any. 
  Any info is appreciated!

Spiffsome

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 120
Re: First Post! Making your own Soap
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2017, 06:15:15 PM »
Hi! I've made two batches of soap so far using a good book and advice from the Internet. Things I've learned:

1. You don't need an electric mixer, but you will get pretty strong arms if you mix your soap by hand. Using a balloon whisk will take about 20 minutes of hand mixing.
2. Check the sodium hydroxide content of your lye. Generic drain cleaner can be as low as 50% sodium hydroxide, and all the extra crap makes for poor soap results.
3. Pretty soap requires a decent soap mould. You can set batches of soap in cake tins or bread pans, but they will turn out looking slightly improvised-looking.
4. Cutting soap is harder than it looks.
5. The finished product feels great, is cost effective and is totally worth it, but vegetable soap (I make coconut / olive oil bars) gets used up more quickly. Still, I'm on my second batch and I don't think I've bought soap for six months.

MangoAtPlay

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: First Post! Making your own Soap
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2017, 07:25:34 PM »
Thanks so much for the reply! 
 Did you find it hard to use the lye?  Or dangerous?

kellyincville

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 175
Re: First Post! Making your own Soap
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2017, 08:49:52 PM »
I've been making my own soap for about ten years. I'm big on water discounting so I've never had long stirring times- 10-15 seconds total maybe? 

PVC from lowes cut into 6-12" sections make great molds and paper coffee filters are good wrappers for once they're dry.  I've seen very pricey imported European soaps with exactly the same dimensions/wrapping. My favorite soap recipe uses a combo of palm, coconut, olive, castor and shea with 3% superfat.  The longer you cure your soap, the longer it will last. Recommended minimum is four weeks; I try to cure for 3-4 months but I live in a humid environment.

Do classes if you want but it's really not necessary. Watch a couple YouTube videos, check soap making forum for a starter recipe and maybe purchase soapcalc for the future if you're serious of doing your own recipes.  The margins on selling soap are really small so I would only sell if you genuinely enjoy doing it.

Fireball

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 117
Re: First Post! Making your own Soap
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2017, 11:57:55 AM »
I've made hundreds of bars of homemade soap - it's a ton of fun and makes great Christmas gifts. With that said, here is my advice:

A stick mixer - Yeah, you need one. They're dirt cheap, and just generally good to have around the kitchen. I've tried every oil in every proportion imaginable and honestly there is little difference in how they feel on your skin IMO. I would focus more on the various butters . If you're impatient, make hot process soap.  Otherwise, do your research, try different things and have fun.

swick

  • Global Moderator
  • Magnum Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2864
Re: First Post! Making your own Soap
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2017, 12:17:20 PM »
Welcome to the forums :)

If you really want to understand the chemistry and create your own recipes safely (or double check the recipe someone else provides, there is lot of suspect recipes out there) This is the most valuable resource I have come across: http://soapcalc.net/calc/soapcalcwp.asp

stashgrower

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
  • Location: Australia
Re: First Post! Making your own Soap
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2017, 10:19:20 PM »

Spiffsome

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 120
Re: First Post! Making your own Soap
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2017, 07:21:55 PM »
Using lye requires some simple precautions, because the reaction when you add it to water is exothermic and releases a lot of energy.

1. Do it outside to avoid the fumes.
2. Add the lye to the water (little volume of reagent to large volume of water).
3. Make sure the water is in a heatproof container and standing on a surface that will not be damaged by heat.
4. Eye protection is probably a good idea.

TomTX

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2210
  • Location: Texas
Re: First Post! Making your own Soap
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2017, 07:57:36 PM »
Using lye requires some simple precautions, because the reaction when you add it to water is exothermic and releases a lot of energy.

1. Do it outside to avoid the fumes.
2. Add the lye to the water (little volume of reagent to large volume of water).
3. Make sure the water is in a heatproof container and standing on a surface that will not be damaged by heat.
4. Eye protection is probably a good idea.

Eye protection is a requirement, if you enjoy having eyesight.

MoonLiteNite

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 380
Re: First Post! Making your own Soap
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2017, 06:19:36 AM »
Hopefully not breaking any rules here.
But i have several large unopened bottles of lye.

If anyone wants to buy them PM me :D
They are great for making homemade soap! Just too lazy to do it, really not worth the cost/time and i personally do not find any enjoyment from making it.

edit:
Also making your own lye can be fun! I did it once and made SOMETHING, i think it ended up being lye haha was a ton of work though!
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 06:23:07 AM by MoonLiteNite »

MoonLiteNite

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 380
Re: First Post! Making your own Soap
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2017, 06:22:40 AM »
Using lye requires some simple precautions, because the reaction when you add it to water is exothermic and releases a lot of energy.

1. Do it outside to avoid the fumes.
2. Add the lye to the water (little volume of reagent to large volume of water).
3. Make sure the water is in a heatproof container and standing on a surface that will not be damaged by heat.
4. Eye protection is probably a good idea.

Yes, lye  burns, and it hurts! I could not think of how bad it hurts in your eyes....
ALWAYS be safe!