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Thread: Lets make soap

  1. #21
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    >>>The absolute worse thing about passing 40 has been memory loss!!!!

    After passing 50 I no longer worry about forgetting were I put my glasses. If I start to forget that I wear glasses, I will know that I am in real trouble.

    My mother stopped making homemade soap (lye and pig fat/lard) when I was about 6 years old. And I still remeber that it frequently burned the skin.

    I now plan to make some of the honey soap and take her a sample. She is now 94 but paybacks will still be fun.
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  2. #22
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    Ok, now taking the link Johnbeeman gave for honey soap ie:

    12 oz veg shortening
    4 oz coconut oil
    1 oz beeswax
    1 cup distilled water
    2 oz lye
    1/4 cup honey
    Mix lye and water, allow to cool. melt vegetable shortening. Over a double boiler, melt wax and coconut oil together and keep warm. When shortening is 120* and lye is 100*, pour lye mixture into shortening and stir until tracing occurs. Pour wax and oil mixture into soap mixture stirring constantly ( the mixture will get VERY thick with
    the addition of the beeswax mix) When the beeswax mixture is completely blended, stir in the honey and pour into molds. Unmold after 24-48 hours. Allow to age for 3 weeks.

    I took this recipe and ran it throught the lye calculater at Majestic Mountians Sage web site to find if the lye content was proper for soap with a 6% discount in lye. Or soap that I need because I have very sensitive skin. The calculations showed to use 4 to 6 ounces of water and 2.28 ounces of lye for the lye solution for a 6% lye discount.

    All the ingredients here are readily found in the grocery store, for lye I use Red Devil Drain Cleaner but double check the ingredients on the can. It must be 100% sodium hydroxide, I've been told but haven't seen it that Red Devil is being reformulated, because of meth users? I don't know for sure but what you want is 100% sodium hydroxide. Take very good precautions with lye, cover eyes with a splash shield, you can get one from Menards or Home Depot in the paint depts. for about $7.00 and your eyes are too precious to screw around without protecting them. You need to protect your skin too but it will heal, eyes don't heal well. Also when mixing the lye to the distilled water always ADD THE LYE TO THE WATER, Otherwise you will make a voilent valcano. When the lye solution is mixed expect the tempeture rise to 175 degrees F. and a caustic gas will burn your nose. Carefully mix the lye into the water and leave the room as soon as it is mixed in . Ventilate the area is also helpful. The gassing will only last a few minuites but it's the most dangerous part of making the soap. I use only glass pyrex measures to mix the lye solution and monitor the temps with a candy thermometer.

    Also please measure by weight and not volume. Most failures come from miss measures. A very good digital 3# scale can be purchased online for $30 from myweigh.com.

    I mix and heat my gats, oils and butters in a stainless steel double boiler, a small one can be had at Wal-mart.

    A nice mold can be fashioned from a cleaned out milk carton.Just pour in your soulution and after two days cut the carton away and slice you bars. from your block.

    When you have all the ingredients and your face shield scales,and candy thermometer your ready to start, but before you start please review the instructions found here:

    http://www.thesage.com/recipes/recip...=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

  3. #23
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    Propertly made soap will not burn at all. My wife frequently makes goat milk soap with honey it's very luxurious soap. We use goat milk since that's what we have, but honestly I think any milk would work just fine.
    www.geekfarmlife.com -- Geek.Farm.Life Podcast, The story of two geeks who move to the country, what could go wrong?

  4. #24
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    Red Devil doesn't make plain lye anymore. The 'drain opener' has added ingredients that you won't want in soap. You can get lye at many True Value hardware stores - Rooto brand, or at Lowes, Roebic brand, labeled heavy duty drain opener. At Lowes, it's in the plumbing department, not by the cleaning products. Just look for 100% sodium hydroxide on the label.

  5. #25
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    Wink It's good to disagree

    Quote Originally Posted by beaglady View Post
    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

    Actually, I'm glad you disagree, I'm by no means a chemist, I'm just a beekeeper who has spent a lot of time playing around with soaps and fregrances, and I'm still learning. I think we do pick up biases backed up without fact from stuff we read on the internet and in books that are quoted as gospel. I do hope there are people here wanting to learn to make soap and the more helpful and honest information we can supply the better the experience.
    Soap making is a fun thing to do, and the more input the better for all.
    Thanks beaglady
    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. #26
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    Aug 2006
    Location
    Kansas
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    Arrow

    While reading around, trying to learn more about making soap, I came across this.

    "Some natural ingredients will harden a soap, while negatively affecting a soap’s ability to clean, moisturize or rinse. Like Beeswax. Beeswax is a natural ingredient, but in our opinion, coating your skin with beeswax so water repels off your slick skin is not really what you’re looking for. Beeswax also inhibits lather"

    Sounds true?
    Is beeswax really not a very good ingredient in soap making?
    Last edited by betrbekepn; 08-29-2007 at 10:55 PM.

  7. #27
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    I've been making soap for about 5 years now, and sell it at craft shows & a local farmers market. One of my basic resipes uses both beeswax & honey. Both ingredients bring a bit of trickiness to the soapmaking process. Beeswax can make your soap set before it has traced. Honey can make it over heat and expand out of the mold.

    Both are manageable, but I'd suggest learning to make a simple basic soap first, then, once you've got the process mastered, you can start adding things like fragrance, or honey or beeswax. This is a simple recipe that uses oils that are inexpensive and can be found at the grocery store, so it makes a good 'practice' soap. http://www.millersoap.com/soapallveg.html#Cocanolive

    My only suggestion is to use an online lye calculator to resize it into a 2 or 3 pound batch. Its a good habit to check any published recipe with a lye calculator rather than just trust it to be correct. Smaller batches also let you experiment a lot more and still not be over run with soap.

  8. #28
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    I went back to the http://www.soapnuts.com/ website to read more about cold process soap making. I found that their recipe main page contains links to recipes to lip balms and face creams in addition to all the other info. Many of these recipes use both honey and beeswax. Theree are other links to other suppliers that include lip balm tubes, cream jars, etc.

    http://www.soapnuts.com/indexnook.html

    Some buzy bee could easily setup a cottage industry.
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  9. #29
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    The soapnuts site also has a page on proper labeling, with a link to the FDA requirements.

    Basically, if you sell soap, and make no performance claims such as 'good for acne', 'cures dry skin', etc, then you do not have to list ingredients. Listing ingredients is still a good idea though, so customers with allergies can avoid troubling ingredients.

    Lip balms, salves, creams, etc are considered cosmetics and are required to have the ingredients listed on the label.

  10. #30
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    I wish I could make my own Aveeno line of soap, lotions and body washes. That stuff is soo expensive and it's the only thing I can use due to eczema issues. Oh well.....
    ~What do you know there's so much to be done
    Count all the bees in the hive, Chase all the clouds from the sky~

  11. #31
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    what is castor oil?

    anyone recomend a hand cream with honey in it?

  12. #32
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    and where can you get castor oil?

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chef Isaac View Post
    and where can you get castor oil?
    Hey Chef, here's a link to the common fixed oils used in soaps and other things. I believe castor oil comes from the castor bean.

    http://www.soaperschoice.com/cgi-soa...nge=0&cart_id=

    enjoy!
    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. #34
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    can u just use a different oil?

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chef Isaac View Post
    can u just use a different oil?
    Yes you can but now your getting into soap design. Each oil has it's own sap value. If you were to substitute oils or change ratios in recipes then you need to recalculate how much lye you need using the lye calculators on some web sites already cited in this thread. ie soapers choice or majestic mountian sage. When first starting out you would be better server with known quality recipies, and even then always check lye content against a lye calculator
    Steve<br /><br /><a href=\"http://www.cozynestfarm.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.cozynestfarm.com</a><br /><br />All that\'s golden must be honey

  16. #36
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    If you just need a few oz of castor oil, most pharmacies carry it.

  17. #37
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    Hey Soapers!!!

    I have been reading this thread since it started. I encourage you all to continue on with your own formulas........ Thats the learning curve and the "art" of soap making.

    There is a difference in our world of soapmakers..... Crafters and artitian Soap makers.... although I also sell at craft/art shows and local farmers market. And before I moved, also in my own small display area to my massage clients.

    Its kind of like beeswax candle making and all other learning experience. You have to DO the experiments before anyone will tell you the specifics. LOL.... yuk I know!!!!

    I have my own special formulas I don't give out to anyone, as I am sure some of you do also. Thats the fun of it!!!!

    Its even a blast to get requests from the people that WANT the ole soap like "grandma used to make", that is lye heavy made with animal fats and TRUE, homemade lye.

    I hope to experiment with the LYE, this next summer after another winter of burning wood. I have had sooooo many requests for that ole stuff, I almost have to make it for those customers....somehow so it won't burn their old fragile skin off now. LOL

    Happy soapin!!

  18. #38
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    I hope to experiment with the LYE, this next summer after another winter of burning wood. I have had sooooo many requests for that ole stuff, I almost have to make it for those customers....somehow so it won't burn their old fragile skin off now. LOL

    I was wondering how you would measure the lye consentration of the lye water? You would need to know this to calculate your fat weights so to balance the ph of your 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

  19. #39
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    If anyone ever has the chance to pass through the area of central Pennsylvania, don't miss the opportunity to visit a farm market that beaglady might be at. I've had her soap for a couple years. The first couple bars were perfect and I never even opened them up. She had to recently give my wife some "ends" from the soap molds, so she would actually have some to use.

    Beaglady has some of the best made soap. Burt's Bees has nothing on this lady! I don't know if you could beg her for some to be mailed, but I certainly would try.

    Best handmade soap I have ever seen. Hands Down! No question about it!

    One day....when I have more time, I plan on "stealing" all her tricks. It will at least make me the second best soap maker....

  20. #40
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    ((((blush)))) Thanks, Mike.

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