making homemade soap - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-30-2003, 01:21 AM
 
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Citric acid, while natural, is still an acid, and it might change the pH enough to make the soap uncomfortable for your family. I believe that normal skin has pH of about 5.5, but your people may be different. Fragrance is also something that many people will react to. As far as lye is concerned, it should be used up in the chemical reactions that make the soap, or it would be neutralized by the citric acid. It should not be present in the finished product. If it is, the soap would feel pretty harsh to most people, not just people with sensitive skin.
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Old 02-05-2003, 02:44 AM
 
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How cool!! I really want to try this and am going to look over these wonderful suggestions/web sites. Can anyone recommend good books on the subject?

Thanks, and can't wait to get started now!!
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Old 02-05-2003, 05:41 AM
 
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The soapmakers Companion is supposed to be good but I dont remember who wrote it..

It might be the citric acid I have heard of problems with it before...

there is citric acid in most vitamin c tablets..you could probably use one of those to check if you have some laying around...

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Old 02-05-2003, 09:37 AM
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The Soapmaker's Companion- A Comprehensive Guide With Recipes, Techniques & Know-How by Susan ****** Cavitch

And if you purchase it through this link Mothering gets a percentage of the sale.

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Old 02-06-2003, 12:51 AM
 
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I tried making soap using just room temperature olive oil and sodium hydroxide dissolved in water and it worked. It took a long time to look like it had traced (about an hour of stirring), and for the next few days I had to stir in oil that formed a film on top of the soap, but after a few days it was solid so I have cut it and set it to dry. I intend to make a rosemary soap for the kitchen with it.
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Old 02-08-2003, 10:42 PM
 
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Bestbirths, I have allergies to all of the soaps at the healthfood store because they alway have "healthy" essential oils. The plain recipe works great for me, even used a little crisco from the cash and carry.
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Old 02-17-2003, 03:48 AM
 
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I have been making cold-processed soaps for about a year now. I have made 60+ batches now. Be forewarned it is addicting, and can be a VERY expensive hobby. Soon after I started soaping I was begged into making candles, then lip balms...and so on. I now make dozens of toilety items. It is addicting, and FUN!

For the Mama with allergies in the family...aloe vera can also be an allergen, as well as the peanut and lanolin oils. I would start off using 2 base oils at a time and NO additiives or fragrances. Maybe try adding one at a time.

I have made soap with ONLY 1 oil and lye as well. Actually several one oil batches. I tend to like the ones with more oils though. Adding beeswax to an all olice oil soap will help it trace and harden more as well. I have a beekeeper in my town, so, mine is all local, local honey can actually help with allergies...check into it.

Also, some soapers will not use beeswax as it can clog pores.

I will have to look up amounts for you (sleeping babe on lap), but, I have a great recipe with just vegetable shortening, olive oil and beeswax.
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Old 02-18-2003, 11:20 PM
 
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I have researched soap making for over 2 years! (but yet to make a batch) does anyone have a great milk-based soap recipe? (buttermilk or cows milk) and any tips for making milk soaps?
thanks
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Old 02-19-2003, 01:30 AM
 
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I use goats milk alot. I did use cows milk for the 1st time the other day. I use whatever recipe I like best and sub water for milk. You can also add half water to the lye then add 1/2 milk after lyr solution cools.

I have recently started using a stick blender whenever I use milk soaps as it really makes them smoother.

Oh, also, with milm soaps be certain not to over insulate them.

PS. Mine always smell icky for the 1st few days when they cure. Have no fear, after a week or so they smell great!
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Old 02-19-2003, 06:49 AM
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I have yet to make a milk based soap but I do put dairy cream into a few of my soaps. After the soap mixture has reached traced I add about 6-8 oz of fresh heavy cream, blend it well with the stick blender and then pour into the mold. It Has always turned out lovely.

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Old 02-21-2003, 03:06 AM
 
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I agree about subbing milk for 1/2 the water and adding at trace..it works great!!! I am quite getting the hang of the milk soaps now..I like to use coconut milk...dying to try the heavy cream thing though...yum!! And I would like to try some breastmilk soap for dd..not exactly the sort of thing you'd want to put in a craft swap though..heh

I have never read about beezwax cloging pores I have read that about cocoabutter but not beezwax and I have researched oil properties pretty extensively..weird..there is a beekeeping supply store in my area and they have such fantastic stuff!! I cannot get enough of their honey..my tea consumptin has probably tripled since finding them..

I use shortening sometimes but it does make for a softer bar and you wouldn't want to do just shortening as it isn't very moisturizing but it does cut costs a little. It is great to use when you are new to soapmaking as it will keep costs down while you're still learning...

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Old 02-22-2003, 02:40 AM
 
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Does anyone have any advice or info about hand milling soap? I used an olive oil and lye recipe at room temperature to make some soap and it was lovely. I milled it with honey and wheat germ and it seems very "fluffy" and light and soft. I am afraid to get it wet unless it disintegrates on me. Any advice? Thanks!
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Old 02-22-2003, 07:46 PM
 
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just let it sit out a few weeks and it should harden. To get the soap to melt down really well you need to use a lot of water and it just has to dry out a bit before it gets nice and hard.

I have rebatched soap that turned out like that and it ended up fine.

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Old 02-22-2003, 07:47 PM
 
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have you cut it yet?? go ahead and do that it will dry faster cut...

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Old 03-27-2003, 06:00 AM
 
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bumping for other soap thread...

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Old 03-27-2003, 12:20 PM
 
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Would anyone be willing to set up a step-by-step instruction sheet for how to make soap? PLEASE????

I need it put in VERY simple terms to begin.

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Old 03-30-2003, 05:54 AM
 
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look in the www.millersoap.com site...it is fantastic!! Lots of soapers use her site..

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Old 03-30-2003, 07:01 AM
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Old 04-02-2003, 03:53 AM
 
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For those of you who sell your soap (and forgive me that is no one -- it is late, I should be in bed, and I was reading very quickly), do you list lye as an ingredient? I have not (I do sell my soap) because I have never seen it listed on any soap and it seems to sound so "chemically." In the interest of honest advertising, I indicate what the soap "contains" and don't have an ingredient list. (which means that I list all the ingredients except lye, and water, come to think of it now).
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Old 04-02-2003, 05:15 AM
 
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lye isn't an ingrediant really..the lye is neutralized in the soapmaking process...

I don't sell my soaps, but almost ALL soap is made with lye...and NONE that I have ever seen list it as an ingrediant..even glycerine/melt and pour soaps started out as lye soap...

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Old 04-02-2003, 08:56 AM
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If you were to list the ingredients you used in making the soap it would read like this, for example: Lye, coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, water, lavender essential oil. That is basically how it would list in a recipe.

But once it's cured you'd label it as:
saponified oils of olive, coconut and palm, lavender essential oil
because there's no longer any lye or water in there once the bar has properly cured.

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Old 04-02-2003, 10:04 PM
 
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Old 04-03-2003, 01:37 AM
 
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Oh my, you are all so inspiring! I have got to try this!
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Old 04-03-2003, 02:27 PM
 
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On the labelling issue, I have read huge debates about this on some of the soapmaking boards I'm a part of (handcraftedsoap.org is a good one). It really all depends upon how you interpret the FDA requirements for labelling...

First of all, if you don't claim that your soap does anything but clean, the FDA allows you to label or not in any way you choose. It's not regulated (though most folks label anyway out of courtesy to the customer).

But... as soon as you say (in promotional materials or even when you're describing your soap in a conversation with a customer) that your soap moisturizes or exfoliates or is good for sensitive skin or anything else, the FDA considers it a cosmetic and it *is* regulated. This means that you must list ingredients in descending order of predominance and list in INCI names (fancy latin names). And, some soapmakers interpret parts of the regulations to mean that sodium hydroxide (lye), as an ingredient used in the manufacturing of soap, must be listed. And many of them will tell you their customers have never blinked an eye.

But, again, this is a subject of controversy and different soapmakers interpret the guidelines differently. I've seen both on soap for sale.

And, check out URL=http://http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-pol.html]FDA cosmetic info[/URL]
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Old 04-03-2003, 11:04 PM
 
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That is why I dont sell soap..all of that just makes my eyes go..

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Old 04-04-2003, 02:14 AM
 
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I do not believe the statement "no lye, no soap" I picked up a book in the store once ( of course i cant remember the name of it) and it listed a few things that can be used instead of lye. these things were not easy to find, mind you, but they do exist. If anybody knows please reply. I am looking for a practical way to make my own soap, while living in a very isolated part of the jungle in costa rica. I would like to use only local ingredients. can vegan soap be made without olive oil, and use only cocoa butter, coconut oil, palm oil, and some others that may be available? I am looking to make not only bath soaps, but laundry and cleaning soaps. any suggestions? Would making liquid soaps be a good alternative to lye? does anybody know where I can get recipes for liquids?
thanks
jenny
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Old 04-04-2003, 02:16 AM
 
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I don't sell my homemade products anymore because it was too crazy to try to keep on top of all those regulations! I just make them for fun...for trade and gifts etc
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Old 04-04-2003, 07:07 AM
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There are plants/herbs that have soap qualities. Only thing that comes to mind is soapwort and yucca. Their roots and or leaves produce a lather of sorts and work as a gentle cleanser. So you're correct in that lye is not necessary to create a cleanser. BUT to make a bar of soap which involves the saponification of oils and water, I don't know of anyway that can be done without lye.

Liquid soap is made with potassium hydroxide instead of sodium hydroxide. Though you might be able to make some sort of liquid cleanser with soap quality herbs and water.

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Old 04-05-2003, 01:14 AM
 
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jennymoon, take a look through this site
http://www.alcasoft.com/soapfact/historycontent.htmland you will have all you need to know being in an isolated area.
Yes, you can make a soap from just cocoa butter butter it won't have much lather but that does not mean it won't cleanse. You can use any fat to make soap but be aware that the softer the fat (oil) the softer the imediate resulting soap will be. They will harden eventually but some may be 'dentable' for quite a while. Again, that doesn't mean it won't clean. It just won't last as long as a harder bar.
A "good" laundry soap is made from lard (pig fat) but most, and notice I said most, will clean clothes if grated to flake form. Coconut oil would be the next best choice. You would need to use a very low to none lye discount for laundry soaps, though.
If at all possible, use an on-line calculator or get a hold of a sap value chart to figure the amount of lye to use. Be very careful when working with it. Lye, in any capacity is very dangerous if not handled with respect. It will be touch and go until you determne the approximate strength of your homemade lye but this can be done. My great-granny did it and many more did. too.
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