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I've recently taken up soapmaking. It started when I learned that oil soaps can be much easier on your skin than regular commercial ones. But they are also expensive. Making your own takes a little effort, but it's much cheaper.

So far I've made one batch, with olive and palm oil, some herbs. I'm gearing up to really go into production. I think I've found a great creative outlet.

Anyone else ever try it?
 

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I've thought about trying it. I'm just not sure I have the patience. Was there a page you went to for instructions? The ones I've seen in the past seem to indicate you need to wait several weeks for the finished product.
 

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I am SO interested but it seems kind of complicated especially since there are so many different recipes. I have been reading up on it for about a week (online, books, etc) and hopefully I'll feel confident enough to try it after the new year.
 

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It's something I might consider...I find it intriguing. I have played around with facial/body scrubs using oatmeal, cornmeal, olive oil, soymilk. That was fun!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post

I've thought about trying it. I'm just not sure I have the patience. Was there a page you went to for instructions? The ones I've seen in the past seem to indicate you need to wait several weeks for the finished product.
You're right that some types of soap require several weeks. I make soap using the cold process method or variations of it and it normally takes anywhere from 2-8 weeks for the soap to be ready. If you'd rather not wait that long, look into hot process soap making and you could use your soap the next day. The texture is somewhat different, but it's all a matter of personal tastes and time as to which you choose.

One site with a lot of good beginner information is Kathy Miller's soap page. Another page that includes information on the hot process is located here: http://www.teachsoap.com/hp.html

I liked making soaps so much, that it turned into a business. I've been selling them for 3-4 years now.


ETA: I just finished digging through my notes. Here's a tutorial for making hot process soap in a crockpot. http://www.soapnuts.com/cphp.html
 

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Hobby Lobby has some soap making kits. They are pretty basic but give you good practice so you become accustomed to everything before moving onto to the more "intimidating" projects. I had actually been intimidated/scared to try soap making and candle making for a while because there's just so much stuff, but the kits are lots of fun!
 

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i'm just starting to get into this. i'm collecting the various materials (particularly hand mixers and old pots, molds, etc) by-the-by and going to get started in the next few months. my husband loves home-made soaps. at $3/bar, i figure i might as well start making them since they'll cost something like $.50/bar if i make it myself.
 

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i make soaps! i love homemade soap, my brother is the one who got me interested, he started doing it at least 10 years ago.

its the best.

i get a lot of supplies at reasonable price at camden gray.

www.camdengrey.com

here is a good site for recipes and info

http://www.teachsoap.com/recipes.html

Sandy Maine has a great site called sunfeather soap

http://www.sunsoap.com/

she also has some good books on soapmaking!
 

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to make cold press soaps at home, what are the basic ingredients that one needs--hardware ingredients like pots, etc?
 

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Hi zoe,

you would need a scale, to accurately measure lye, oils, essential oils etc......goggles, gloves, pot for blending the oils and melting.....lets see, i use a pyrex measuring pitcher for the oils, a thermometer........something to stir the oils and lye......

and the basic ingredients, lye, water, and food grade oils such as olive, palm, coconut, soybean, then you add the essential oils and/or herbs you want.

hth
 

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Originally Posted by Bonoluvr View Post

Hi zoe,

something to stir the oils and lye......

hth
A cheap stick blender works really well for this.

You also need a mold of some type to pour the soap into. These can be fancy and expensive or as simple as a shoe box lined with a garbage bag. That's how I did my first batch.
 

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I made soap this year for Christmas gifts- it worked wonderfully! I couldn't get coconut or palm oil around here so I used a combination olive, canola, castor and flax. I entered it into a soap calculator to find the amount of lye and water to use. I got organic essential oils at a craft fair. You do have to wait a few weeks before using it though. You can melt it down into liquid soap or bubble bath too.

Good luck everyone with your soap making endevours...
 

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An empty orange juice container (the cardboard ones) works well as a mold too, it's already coated with wax inside. You just peal the container away. That would make a block of soap you have to cut up later (i used several thicknesses of dental floss wrapped around two cheap chopsticks to cut mine).
 

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If you want to be perfectly natural and souce all ingredients from scratch, you can make a saponifying agent yourself from wood, instead of using lye. And press oils yourself, from oil seeds. And see the link, within the above link, to "how colonists in the US made soap."

I'm not sure but don't think you really need much besides a pot.
 

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my husband is really supportive of my starting this process.

i considered making my own 'lye' via wood, but i'm not allowed to start fires near my home--even in a fire pit. so, i'll use the commercial lye for now. otherwise, i would definately 'make my own' with white wood ash.
 

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I'm signed up for a soapmaking class at the end of February (an early b-day gift from my BF)... I can't wait! The instructor seems really nice and said she'd preblend essential oils for me prior to the class if there was a specific combination I was looking for.

There's a soapmaking Yahoo Group called "Southern Soapers" which is a very active list and has been a wealth of information (I signed up in prep for the class in February).

I'll have to report back next month after taking my class.
 

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My class in February was wonderful! I made a vegetable soap fragranced with lavender essential oil and blended with ground lavender and chamomile botanicals. It's still curing, but it smells great! I'm going to give it a try in the shower come May!

This weekend, I tried the class recipe again by myself and made an oatmeal soap. I think soapmaking could be my new addiction. LOL It's so much fun!
 

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I make a lot of oatmeal soaps. Love how they feel on my skin. Did you scent yours with anything? It sounds like your class went well.
 

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zoebird
Quote:
i considered making my own 'lye' via wood, but i'm not allowed to start fires near my home--even in a fire pit. so, i'll use the commercial lye for now. otherwise, i would definately 'make my own' with white wood ash.
Fantastick! At least you looked into making your own potash and got an idea what is involved in making soap from scratch.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonoluvr View Post

i make soaps! i love homemade soap, my brother is the one who got me interested, he started doing it at least 10 years ago.

its the best.

i get a lot of supplies at reasonable price at camden gray.

www.camdengrey.com

here is a good site for recipes and info

http://www.teachsoap.com/recipes.html

Sandy Maine has a great site called sunfeather soap

http://www.sunsoap.com/

she also has some good books on soapmaking!
I love your soaps!! I'm going to need to order some more from you soon.
 
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