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Thread: Lets make soap

  1. #1
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    Smile Lets make soap

    I was thinking,dangerous I know, but what if we beesource members designed a honey-beeswax soap recipe? We could brain storm and come up with a truly unique soap and label it as your basic beesource honey beeswax all natural soap. We could market it as such and people would get a truly nice bar of soap, beesource some advertisement and we a few dollars; plus it could be a good excersize in how to make cold process soap for those that haven't done it before. Maybe this isn't the proper forum?
    What do you think?
    Steve<br /><br /><a href=\"http://www.cozynestfarm.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.cozynestfarm.com</a><br /><br />All that\'s golden must be honey

  2. #2
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    Soap making is a truly interesting process. My wife and I currently make cold process soap using honey and beeswax. Without a doubt it makes a truly fantastic product.
    There are of course drawbacks with all good things. Realize of course that you will not have instant gratification due to the curing time necessary. Finding the proper fragrances can also be a challenge and lastly the education part of marketing can be time consuming and emotionally taxing. How many people are really willing to pay 4+ dollars for a bar of soap when you can prurchase a whole box of soap for the same amount from the store.
    After making soap for several years now, I can say that we will never go back. But it ain't easy and it ain't always fun!

    Kurt

  3. #3
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    I tried a honey-beeswax soap for the first time (first time soap). It was interesting, I'm a bit too much of an experimenter, and ended up with a soft slimy soap that works great for removing grease and oil.

    So when I work on the cars it works great. But not too many mechanics willing to shell out the cash for soap that smells nice and leaves their hands supple and soft.

    Rick

  4. #4
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    >>>>>How many people are really willing to pay 4+ dollars for a bar of soap when you can prurchase a whole box of soap for the same amount from the store.

    Sell it to horse people as hoof and mane soap ( or at least label it that way).
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  5. #5
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    Smile the business of soap

    The wife and I have been making the soap for four years now. You are right about the fact people balk at $4.75 per a 6 oz. bar of soap at first. Then it's your job to educate them about all natural soap, the one thing we did was to get it in their hands. We gave samples gave door prises, gave gift baskets of honey, lip balm, lotion bar and the soap to charities events. Little by little poeple started to tell their friends and now we have a good little soap and lip balm business. And the neat thing about it we were out there selling our honey anyway. We're not getting rich by any means but it does help our honey business and we benifit from having the soap in the bath all the time. I think if your doing county fairs, flee markets and the festivals you would benifit from a varity of products from the hive.

    Lets start with what ingredients we want to use.
    beeswax and honey (of course)
    Shea butter
    sweet almond oil
    coconut oil
    distilled water
    lye

    anything else, remember let's make this special
    Steve<br /><br /><a href=\"http://www.cozynestfarm.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.cozynestfarm.com</a><br /><br />All that\'s golden must be honey

  6. #6
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    There are many that are willing to pay $4 a bar for soap. But it also depends on the area where you are.

    I know people in the DC area that buy it constantly at $4 to $5 a bar and believe it to be a real deal for them to get 5 for $15. much the same in other areas. The Grand Rapids area also brings $4 pretty easily.

    In the Atlanta burbs, I have somewhat of a tougher tine getting it. I have on occasion, but can get $3 easily. And I know plenty of folks that love the soap and like you say are not willing to pay the price when they can buy (detergent bars) at Wally World for .80 cents a bar.

    I am putting somewhere from $1.30 to $1.60 into my bars. Depending on what I'm making. Doubling my money in the sale makes me perfectly happy. But then I come from the school of value based pricing, not todays all the market will bare pricing. Sorry, I don't agree.

    Just the same, the folks that are going to buy your soaps are going to be the folks that care about what they put on there skin. They are likely to be the same folks that care about what goes into their bodies too. They are willing to pay more for what they feel to be better for their health than the garbage in many cases, you find on the shelves or from a hidden origin. Usually hidden for a reason.

    I don't pinch pennies when I'm making my soaps. I use better than good materials. I don't do organic ingredients, but you certainly can. They are very expensive, but if you have the base for selling them......

    I don't use any kind of synthetic ingredients. Most people that are allergic to soaps, are because of those ingredients. No fragrances here. Only essential oils for scent. They can be more challenging, but far better in many ways. Some folks even prefer no scents.

    Friday a man ask me for a dozen bars of soap. It doesn't bother him in the least that they are $3 a bar. And I didn't have any problem telling him what was in them and what they cost me to make. I make a product that I feel god about and using. And what I feel is a fair price. Anyone that would expect me to give them away. Needs a brain overhaul! But there are plenty of them too!

    Back off on the wax Scads. It makes a bar harder which makes the bar last longer, but to much kills the foam. Slime is the result.

    I kinda don't see the point of honey in cold process soap?? Maybe in milled soap, which I haven't played with much. (basically melt and pour, only a thousand times better)

  7. #7
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    I found a basic honey soap recipe at http://www.soapnuts.com/cp3.html for us beginners.

    I also wonder about maybe a small addition of royal jelly - for the mystic effect.
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  8. #8

    Default Soap?

    Why is lard or rendered fat used for in soap???

  9. #9
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    Arrow Soap?

    I'm a beekeeper and would like to make myself soap? I know absolutely nothing about what makes soap, soap. Antibacterial\Abrasive? Hot\Cold process, Milled soap, which is best? Are there any more methods? Ideally I won't have to buy anything. I'm set in the honey\wax department. What else is needed. I'm not sure what I could use as an abrasive, maybe all the crap under my screened bottom boards? My grandfather once told me they used to make soap from wood ashes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBeeMan View Post
    I found a basic honey soap recipe at http://www.soapnuts.com/cp3.html for us beginners.

    I also wonder about maybe a small addition of royal jelly - for the mystic effect.
    This is a very good site for basic soap recipes. Thanks for sharing! The Honey soap would be a good recipe to start with. There isn't anything there that you can't find in a grocery store. You could fortify it with the royal jelly but I'm not sure what benifit you would derive from it. Moistureizer cream is where you could use and benifit from royal jelly. But if you did opt to use it wait till the trace before you put it in.

    So I for one vote for this recipe
    Steve<br /><br /><a href=\"http://www.cozynestfarm.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.cozynestfarm.com</a><br /><br />All that\'s golden must be honey

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolina-Family-Farm View Post
    Why is lard or rendered fat used for in soap???
    In lye soap there is basically two ingredients lye and fat. In the old days a ready source of fat was tallow or animal fat, lard. Today we know that animal fat cloggs the pores of the skin causing skin irrations and an oily film that the skin can't readily absorb. So now we use better sources of fat in vegetable oils, and butters, beeswax. There is recepies out there that still call for tallow but I wouldn't use them.
    Steve<br /><br /><a href=\"http://www.cozynestfarm.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.cozynestfarm.com</a><br /><br />All that\'s golden must be honey

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by betrbekepn View Post
    I'm a beekeeper and would like to make myself soap? I know absolutely nothing about what makes soap, soap. Antibacterial\Abrasive? Hot\Cold process, Milled soap, which is best? Are there any more methods? Ideally I won't have to buy anything. I'm set in the honey\wax department. What else is needed. I'm not sure what I could use as an abrasive, maybe all the crap under my screened bottom boards? My grandfather once told me they used to make soap from wood ashes.
    Hi Mr. betterbeekeeping, soap is really sonething I think you would find fun to make. The basic lye soap grandma made was a cold process soap. The simple act of mixing lye in to a fat solution and blending it together causes a chemical reaction called saponfication. Once blended to a consistency of heavy cream pour it into a wooden or stainless steel mold and it will set into a cake in about 24 to 36 hours. Then you can cut into bars. The bars are the left to age or cure for about 4 weeks before you can use them.

    There is many processes and types but for making a nice soap, but at home, cold process is really what you want to do. As far as using wood ash, grandma rendered her sodium hydroxide, lye, from washing her wood ashes. Soaking wood ash in water causes the lye to leach out of the ashes. Problem here is your never sure how strong the lye content is, hence grandma made soap that was mabe mild with one batch and another would burn your skin.

    You can use anything in your soap as an exfoilent. Sand, dirt, but I would steer you to something milder like oatmeal or coffee grounds or dried herbs. Use something others wouldn't feel shy about putting on their skins.

    Hope this helps,
    Let's make soap.
    Steve<br /><br /><a href=\"http://www.cozynestfarm.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.cozynestfarm.com</a><br /><br />All that\'s golden must be honey

  13. #13
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    Default A link on how to make soap

    Since it seems a lot of us are new to soap making I'm adding this link . It is a very good overview on how to and safely make soap in your kitchen;

    http://www.the-sage.com/recipes/reci...=Display&id=15
    Steve<br /><br /><a href=\"http://www.cozynestfarm.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.cozynestfarm.com</a><br /><br />All that\'s golden must be honey

  14. #14
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    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by bee crazy View Post
    In lye soap there is basically two ingredients lye and fat. In the old days a ready source of fat was tallow or animal fat, lard. Today we know that animal fat clogs the pores of the skin causing skin irritations and an oily film that the skin can't readily absorb. So now we use better sources of fat in vegetable oils, and butters, beeswax. Soaking wood ash in water causes the lye to leach out of the ashes. Problem here is your never sure how strong the lye content is, hence grandma made soap that was maybe mild with one batch and another would burn your skin.
    After reading your posts I think I want to make a cold processed lye soap. I guess I should buy lye. Can you buy it at Walmart? Is there a best brand of lye? What about the source of fat? Is beeswax\honey the source of all the fat that's needed? If so, how do I process these ingredients to make soap? Do you know of a website that sells mild exfoliants materials so I can get an idea what all that could be used? THANKS!
    Last edited by betrbekepn; 08-27-2007 at 07:54 PM.

  15. #15
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    Cold process is nice stuff. No, wax and or honey is not a fat source and are not saponfied. Wax is an additive that hardens the soap only. It serves no other purpose. Honey as you know is water and sugar. You are probably aware of the healing properties of honey. The main healing property of honey as I understand it, is the ability to prevent air and contaminates from entering a wound? And I believe other elements contained in raw honey. Someone can jump in her and correct me if I'm wrong. In making your soap, you will bring your ingredients to near 110 degrees before mixing. You will be cooling your lye to that temp. After trace and it's poured up in the mold(s). It will again heat up. In a very caustic solution until the saponification process is complete.

    That in mind plus given the fact that the dilution factor of such a small amount of honey being used. Maybe you can see why I don't see the significance of using honey? It sounds good I suppose...... Please if someone can disprove my thoughts?!?! DO

    Oils are not very cheap! Please do do your reading and get what you can here and anywhere else before you get started. Start out simple. Until you get the feel for it, and see how the whole process works. hopefully avoid your first batch turning out being a big blob. Not that I would know anything about that. It's one of those things I feel that has it's learning curve for sure, but not all that difficult and very rewarding, if only making the soap for yourself. I love using my own soap!!

    Anyway, here's a big hit for you guys! This is one of the best places I know of for oils. Sure shop around, but these folks have good prices and they don't rip you off on shipping to make up for the price. Never had a problem with an order yet!

    http://www.soaperschoice.com/

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by betrbekepn View Post
    My grandfather once told me they used to make soap from wood ashes.
    They would often pour water thru wood ashes to make the lye.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bizzybee View Post
    The main healing property of honey as I understand it, is the ability to prevent air and contaminates from entering a wound?
    Wounds getting exposed to air is a good thing. The oxygen prevents anaerobic bacteria from taking off and producing gangrene. I think the healing property of honey has more to do with honey being a supersaturated solution. This dries out the bacteria enough to kill them or slow their growth. I've heard of hospitals also getting good results with plain old sugar syrup. However honey also has a lower pH and produces hydrogen peroxide which also helps, and if the nectar source has intrinsic medicinal qualities that helps too.

    But, seriously, it's hard enough getting chocolate syrup out of sheets...

  18. #18
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    Thanks Apuuli!!!

    You know now that you mention it, I can remember some of what you said. Man, if only I had someone to follow me around all the time and remind me of what I should remember!!!!

    The absolute worse thing about passing 40 has been memory loss!!!! It drives me completely crazy!!! I figure by the time I'm ready for social security I'll be sitting in a rocking chair somewhere, playing with my lower lip, not remembering I should even care the feds aren't giving me my money!!!!

  19. #19
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    Quote: "In lye soap there is basically two ingredients lye and fat. In the old days a ready source of fat was tallow or animal fat, lard. Today we know that animal fat cloggs the pores of the skin causing skin irrations and an oily film that the skin can't readily absorb. So now we use better sources of fat in vegetable oils, and butters, beeswax. There is recepies out there that still call for tallow but I wouldn't use them."

    Sorry, but I absolutely disagree. All oils, whether vegetable or animal source, are made of the same 8 fatty acids in varying proportions. A mollecule of stearic, or any other fatty acid doesn't know if it comes from a cow or a shea nut. The chemical composition is the same either way. Any oil that is solid at room temperature has the potential to clog pores in a leave-on product such as lotion, but not when washed off in minutes. And beeswax is certainly more solid and difficult to wash off than lard or tallow.

    There was a popular soap making book by Susan Miller Cavitch that maligned the use of animal fats in soaps, without any scientific basis. The nasty animal fats from rendering plants that are used in commercial soaps make a soap that isn't very special, but you don't hear about hoardes of people breaking out from Dove and Ivory. Both have a reputation as very mild gentle soaps and are often recommended by dermatologists - main ingredient in both is tallow (sodium tallowate) Food grade animal fats actaully make a very nice soap, and the same logic that dictates local honey is better than foreign, also correlates into obtaining soaping oils locally from small farms rather than from half a world away.

    Here's a link where you can study and compare the fatty acid compostion of various oils. http://www.soapcalc.com/calc/oillist.asp

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolina-Family-Farm View Post
    Why is lard or rendered fat used for in soap???
    The lard combines with the lye to make soap

    Quote Originally Posted by betrbekepn View Post
    I'm a beekeeper and would like to make myself soap? I know absolutely nothing about what makes soap, soap. Antibacterial\Abrasive? Hot\Cold process, Milled soap, which is best? Are there any more methods? Ideally I won't have to buy anything. I'm set in the honey\wax department. What else is needed.
    It dependes on the recipe but some other ingredients are lye, coconut oil, shortening, olive oil, castor oil
    I'm not sure what I could use as an abrasive, maybe all the crap under my screened bottom boards? My grandfather once told me they used to make soap from wood ashes.
    people used to put ashes in a trough and run water through to "drip lye" I've heard that it was hard to get consistency in the strength of the lye so that made the consistency of the soap vary in harshness. My mom said they would use any kind of lard available such as from beef or pigs.
    I made my first batch this spring and it's amazing. Everyone who has tried it loves it. I used vegetable shortening and the ingredients listed above plus a little honey and didn't add any fragrance. It has it's own pleasant smell.

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