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Crafty Corner If you are creative, love to knit or crochet, paint, or just enjoy making fun stuff with your kids, this is the forum for you.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 08-06-2002, 11:10 AM
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Re: soapmaking

Quote:
He was astonished that I didn't want to use ashes instead of lye.
Well, you can tell him that very few soapmakers make their lye solution that way nowadays. LOL It's not a very easy or exact method of making a lye solution from what I understand. I recently obtained a copy of Essentially Soap by Dr. Bob McDaniel, and he includes a few pages on this. I haven't read it yet though. I'll have to read it before I can decide whether or not I'd like to try that method.

One woman on a soapmaking list I'm on makes soap using this method. But she only does it once a year, and she makes soemthing like 400 or 500 pounds of soap in one mad, soapmaking craze. She said it isn't easy, but is gratifying to truly make soap the old-fashioned way.

Carol
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 08-06-2002, 05:41 PM
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soapmaking

Carol, I am looking for an easy, but tried and true recipe for beginners. It doesn't matter if it takes a lot of time. I would like a recipe for a good all around soap for the bath. Since you do this a lot I think you might know what I'm looking for. I would appreciate this. Thanks, Lori
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 08-06-2002, 06:12 PM
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Soapmaking

Michele, Thanks for all the great sites. I spent a lot of time this afternoon checking them out. I found a lot of great stuff. Thanks. Lori
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Old 08-06-2002, 08:17 PM
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Wow there is alot of work in making your own soap...I guess I will not try this, I hate the thought of lye, and buying lard...Now my DH mom made all their own soap but that was years ago.

How do you make Laundry soap? With Lye too?

janet
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Old 08-07-2002, 08:12 AM
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Re: soapmaking

Quote:
I am looking for an easy, but tried and true recipe for beginners. I would like a recipe for a good all around soap for the bath.
Well, Lori, there are a lot of tried and true easy recipes. Just about every soaper has one! If I'm remembering correctly, my very first soap was olive, almond and coconut oils. I had found the almond and coconut at an international grocery store that had a lot of Middle Eastern food stuffs.

I'll work up a few recipes using oils typically found in grocery stores. I'll also work up a couple using coconut and palm oils in case you're willing to order those online. Both of these oils contribute to the hardness and lathering of soap.

It'll probably take me a couple of days or so to get the recipes posted. My boyfriend's son has been visiting us for the summer, and he goes back home tomorrow, so I'll be busy getting his stuff organized and packed, and then we have to take him home.

If you're interested in using any oils in particular, or know what's available to you at the store, let me know so I can include them in the recipes.

Carol
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Old 08-07-2002, 08:35 AM
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Wow there is alot of work in making your own soap...
Yes there is a lot of work involved. You have to learn about the various oils and fats that can be used, along with other ingredients, such as milk, herbs and essential oils, and what benefits they contribute to the soap itself and to skin care.

Then there's figuring out how much of each oil to use in a recipe, how much water, and how much lye. Then you have to figure in a lye discount and/or superfatting so that the soap isn't too harsh. Even though I've been learning about and making soap for a good 6 years, I'm still learning! But I absolutely love the entire process, from formulating to using the soaps I make. I get a great deal of personal satisfaction from it.

Quote:
I guess I will not try this, I hate the thought of lye, and buying lard...
A lot of people who want to make soap don't want to work with lye. Unfortunately, if you want to make soap "from scratch", then you have to. Fortunately, there are two alternatives for making soap that don't require the use of lye. I talked about them in a recent post. They're definitely worth considering if you want to be able to make soap, but don't want to work with lye.

However, do know that with a bit of common sense, and a few precautions, working with lye is not difficult or overly dangerous. If you respect lye for what it is, and what it can do, and take the needed steps to ensure safe handling, then you shouldn't have any problems. It's very much like using any other chemical, including those you already have in your home for cleaning, such as oven and drain cleaners. In 6 years of working with lye, I have never suffered any sort of mishap.

As for buying lard, you don't have to make soap with lard. There is a wide array of vegetable oils and butters that you can use. I've never used lard at all. Whether you use lard or tallow, or make all vegetable soap, is entirely a personal preference and choice. Many people use lard because it contributes to the hardness of the soap, and is relatively inexpensive when compared to the cost of other oils and fats. But it is not absolutely necessary to use lard to make soap.

Quote:
How do you make Laundry soap? With Lye too?
Yes, you have to use lye for this. As far as I can tell from looking at the various pre-made soap bases available, none are suitable for laundry use, so you'd have to make this from scratch.

Please don't hesitate to ask more questions about soapmaking, be it about "from scratch" or using a pre-made base. I'll be more than happy to share my knowledge, suppliers, and anything else I can. I love talking about soap, plus making other bath & body products! And I love helping people in whatever way I can.

Carol
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 08-07-2002, 01:24 PM
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Last time I made soap was 35 yrs ago at Girl Scout camp, using wood ashes and lard. It was fun, but then I was young too...

But, my husband and a couple of the kids seem to be developing increasingly severe chemical sensitivities (I used to think Multiple Chemical Sensitivity was just an ailment of hypochondriacs who had too much time on their hands - would never have believed this if I weren't seeing it with my own eyes!). Soap, laundry detergent, and shampoo are becoming serious problems for them. I look at the ingredients in even the hypoallergenic commercial stuff and have to wonder at all the preservatives and other stuff in them.

Personally, I love castille, but hadn't known until reading here that it's so tricky to make. After some practice, I'll probably give it a try because even commercial castille has other stuff in it.

Have tried looking on the web for hypoallergenic recipies, but usually can find only people who want to sell it to you rather than learning how to make it myself.

Carol, sorry to ask these questions before I've started digging around in the sites you gave. Still... Can you make soapless Cetaphil-like stuff at home? Do you have any specific suggestions or sites for hypoallergenic products?

Thanks loads (of suds)!
-Chris
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2002, 01:35 PM
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Exclamation Future Soapmaker!

Hi! I just wanted to say I share in your enthusiasm when it comes to learning how to make soap. I recently got 6 books on soapmaking and have my shopping list all ready for my soapmaking kit (utensils I will need just for soapmaking). My interest is because I like herbs and I want to make all the fancy herbal soaps and use EO's (essential oils) in the soaps too. I also am interested in making all the bath treats, like the sugar scrubs, bath salts, massage oils, etc.

I would love to chat with anyone else interested in the above. I am compiling links to sites right now and will be making a website shortly of all my favorite pages... etc. I have a 3-ring binder I print off and keep any recipes I find online that I like. It works for me. I look forward to chatting with some of you! Ciao!!!
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 08-09-2002, 05:25 AM
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I just want to say that Carol's advice has been excellent! I've been soapmaking for about 5 years and just love it.

There is a lot to learn and I too am still learning new things. There are a lot of soapmaking books out right now. Many of them are not very good. Many long time soapmakers feel that the soapmaking "bibles" are Susan Miller Cavitch's "The Soapmaker's Companion" & her "Natural Soap Book". Other books are helpful for their inspirational pictures and recipe ideas such as Melinda Coss's Handmade Soap or Mike Hulbert's Country Living soap book (although their is an error on the lye amount of his doublemint soap recipe) I would recommend checking soapmaking books out from the library before buying.

Another great online source is Kathy Miller's soapmaking web site
http://users.silverlink.net/~timer/soapinfo.html
Although I don't agree with her coloring methods the rest is pretty
good!

I hope this helps!

Jennifer
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 08-09-2002, 05:33 AM
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chuckle Homemade laundry soap...NO lye

Hello ladies and gents,

I have been making my own laundry soap for years, without lye.

Here is how I do it :

This batch makes 4 gallons of soap. I make 7 batches at a time but, I have a 30 gallon plastic barrel I use for it sitting by the dryer.

Need :

1 large pot for cooking the soap
(not to be used for food again..buy at rummage if needed).
1 container large enough to hold 4 gallons of liquid.

1 bath size bar ivory soap (do NOT use smaller...it will not work right)
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax powder
4 gallons of water

First grate the bar of ivory and put it in the pot on the stove, next add enough water (from the 4 gallons) to cover the soap.
Turn on the fire and cook this enough to melt the bar soap...I set it to low when hot and let it sit for a while...you need to stir once in a while and when melted turn off fire.

Second add the borax to the HOT soap and mix until borax is desolved.

Third depending on the container you are using, you may need to let this cool down before you put it in the container. Put it in the container you will use and add the rest of the water (of the 4 gallons) to it and mix.

Fourth add 1 cup of this liquid soap (you just made) to your washer after the aggitator has started o run. You can use more if clothes are very dirty (kids clothes/work clothes).

Along with this I use Downey for rinse. I dulite the downey by at least half with water and it works fine.

This is cheap and clothes smell great when done.
Marcie in IN.. [email protected]
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