Making soap

Discussion in 'Crafts and Arts' started by Terri9630, Aug 9, 2018.

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  1. Aug 9, 2018 #1

    Terri9630

    Terri9630

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    Well, as requested.... I started making my own soap because of allergies. All those wonderful smelling soaps, including my favorite Irish Springs, either trigger my asthma or my allergies. Some just give me sneezing fits and make my eyes puffy while others make me break out in hives.

    I'm a hands on type of learner so even though I have several soap books I had to watch hours of YouTube videos and went to a friend's house to watch her make it. She tried to give me some soap but can't seem to understand that I can't use all her heavily scented stuff.

    I make a simple lye soap. Milk, lye and lard. That's it. Since I have dairy goats I use that and freeze several Ziploc bags of (pre weighed) milk. The lye creates a ton of heat and will burn the milk when they are mixed if its not frozen first. After the milk thaws and the mixture starts to cool a bit I add the lard. I know some people will say that the milk/lye mixture and lard need to be about the same temp but I've never done that. I just add the lard directly in and let the heat from the lye melt it. I stir until it starts to thicken up a bit and pour it into my mold. Remove and cut it the next day when its firm and store on a wire rack for a month then into a plastic bin to await use.

    Make sure you always use safety equipment. Lye will burn the heck out of you. Kitchen gloves are a must as well as good ventilation. I always do it out in the sunroom with the door and windows open. The lye puts off some nasty fumes when it gets wet.

    Now if I could just find a good recipe for shampoo maybe I wouldn't have to pop a bunch of benadryl before washing my hair....
     
  2. Aug 9, 2018 #2

    Meerkat

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    I tried making soap once and hope to try again soon.
     
  3. Aug 9, 2018 #3

    SheepDog

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    I use the same soap for hair that I do for body and hand soap. Why do you need a different soap to clean your scalp and hair then you use to clean the rest of your body?
     
  4. Aug 9, 2018 #4

    Terri9630

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    Because I have lots of hair and it makes it feel rough like it doesn't rinse completely out.
     
  5. Aug 9, 2018 #5

    joel

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    I found this.
    https://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/yucca-soap-yucca-shampoo-zmaz81mjzraw


    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
    The various species of yucca — some of which are known today as Spanish bayonet, Adam's-needle, soapweed, datil, whipple or dagger plant — were of prime economic importance to many native tribes of the American Southwest. The sharp-pointed, waxy leaves furnished excellent fibers for weaving. The long flower stalks and creamy white blossoms were used by the Apaches as food. And most important for our purposes, the roots of the yucca provided many native Americans with natural shampoo and natural laundry soap.

    Yucca root (called a mole) contains the compound saponin, which has detergent properties and seems to exert a particularly beneficial effect on the protein in animal fiber.

    And there's no reason why you can't try making yucca soap and yucca shampoo yourself, because the versatile plants — formerly classified as Liliaceae, but more recently placed in the new family Agavaceae — are found in the southwestern (and, to some extent, southeastern) United States, Mexico and the West Indies.
     
  6. Aug 9, 2018 #6

    snappy1

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    I've made soap once. Used olive oil. I have all the equipment and was supposed to have room when we bought our house last year and then eBay took over and that was the end of that. At least for now. I still have all equipment though.
     
  7. Aug 9, 2018 #7

    Terri9630

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    Its worth a try.
     
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  8. Aug 25, 2018 #8

    Patchouli

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    @Terri9630 I've never been present with someone when they're making soap. I've watched videos but apparently I have a learning disability and can only learn by doing. I've gotten books out of the library, bought my own books, talked to people, watched videos, but I am still too freaked to do it on my own.
    You went to a friend's house to watch, and that was it? And you took off on your own after that?
    If you ever have someone do a video of you while you're making your soap, please share.
    One of my favorite soaps long ago was Camay. They quit using the same formula. I haven't been able to find it anyway. My other favorite is the seashell soaps by Crabtree & Evelyn, but they have become hard to find and terribly expensive.
    I know that somewhere the formulas for these soaps has got to be written, but I don't know how to find them. Trade secrets I guess.
     
  9. Aug 26, 2018 #9

    VThillman

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    Now I'm wondering if raccoon fat makes good soap. :ghostly:
     
  10. Aug 26, 2018 #10

    Patchouli

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    Bovine being vegetarians, raccoons not, I'd say, @VThillman probably not good to use raccoon fat. But you'll give it a try, huh? Wait a second, do you make soap?
     
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  11. Aug 26, 2018 #11

    VThillman

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    I am a theoretical soap-maker.
     
  12. Aug 26, 2018 #12

    Terri9630

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    Pull up a soap calculator and see if its listed.
     
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  13. Aug 26, 2018 #13

    Terri9630

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    Bears are omnivores and their fat is on some soap calculators.
     
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  14. Aug 26, 2018 #14

    Terri9630

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    I watched lots of videos and read lots of books but I'm a hands on learner too. I just watched my friend make a batch took a few notes and went home and did it. I was extra paranoid and careful with my measurements and bought some ph test strips to test the soap before I'd actually use it.
     
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  15. Aug 26, 2018 #15

    dademoss

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    I think Camay was discontinued in the mid-1990's if I recall correctly. Camay will be tough unless you have a lot of really expensive equipment :( I think it was a 60:40 soap (tallow/coconut) with some added superfat (3-7 % as an estimate?) The base soap was made, then vacuum dried. The base soap was mixed with the other ingredients (perfume/color/preservatives/opacifiers, etc) , then triple milled, extruded and stamped to shape.

    You can probably get close to the ingredients with a frame soap, but it won't be same look and feel without the other steps.
     
  16. Aug 26, 2018 #16

    Flight

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  17. Aug 26, 2018 #17

    Terri9630

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    I don't know if I'm good enough for that. I've only been doing it a couple of years and just plain, basic soaps and I have no idea how to do pdf.
     
  18. Aug 26, 2018 #18

    Flight

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    Well your few years beats my never have done that any day. To do the pdf you type out your paper and do a "save as" and look for pdf.
     
  19. Aug 26, 2018 #19

    Flight

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  20. Aug 26, 2018 #20

    dademoss

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    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  21. Aug 31, 2018 #21

    Patchouli

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    You guys are so nice (I mean everybody is so nice).
    I have a question about making soap. Still not anywhere near set up for it, still asking questions...
    If I were to have an area in the garage to do it, with the big door open, would that be sufficient for the fresh air that is needed? I would wait until temps are cooler of course.
    Sometimes the wind will pick up and being inexperienced with making soap, I don't want to be caught off-guard.
     
  22. Aug 31, 2018 #22

    dademoss

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    I would think that would be fine. Maybe a fan behind you to keep any fumes away, but done slowly and carefully the fumes shouldn't be a problem. If you are using crystals of lye, consider VERY slowly adding them to the water called for in your recipe, then letting that mixture cool before adding it to your fats/fatty acids/oils.

    I made soap for R&D purposes decades ago, and we used very pure ingredients, digital temperature controls, digital mixers, and accurate balances in an effort to remove a lot of "the art" and replace it with a process that could be replicated reliably. (it didn't help all that much, there was still art involved) :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
  23. Aug 31, 2018 #23

    Terri9630

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    We have near constant winds here and I just make sure to do it early before the winds pick up and have my back towards where the wind would come from, just in case. There are 2 kinds of lye, one is used for hard soap(Sodium Hydroxide) and one for liquid(Potassium Hydroxide) . I use the Sodium Hydroxide and get mine from https://www.thelyeguy.com.

    A kitchen scale that has grams and ounces is needed to.
     
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  24. Jul 15, 2019 #24

    Patchouli

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    Post some soaping photos if you have any, @Terri9630 .
    I'd love to see your finished products or even a photo of it being processed. I found a woman nearby who did say I could come to her farm and watch her make soap. She uses their goat's milk as they also had soap allergies and sensitivities.
     
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  25. Jul 16, 2019 #25

    Terri9630

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    I don't have any photos yet and my soap making stuff is packed up. I'll try to get some pictures next time I make soap.
     
  26. Aug 11, 2019 #26

    MoBookworm1957

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    Interesting, thanks for sharing.
     

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