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Old 01-25-2013, 10:01 AM   #1
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Default Home made bar soap....

Well…. I’m finally getting around to taking a class on soap making next month and I think my girlfriend PrairieFreak’s gonna be able to go with me. Yay!!! A soap 101 class has been on my to do list for years….. the timing of when the classes were offered was always off for me so I never got around to it. This time is different…. the classes are local and…. they’re on a day when I’m not working and the fees won’t break the bank. I was gonna resurrect an old thread but figured it’s too old so might as well start out from scratch.
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I started yahooing and 1 of the 1st threads I ran into is this 1 which reduced me to fits of giggles reading all the replies, So....You THINK you can make SOAP. "just ash + fat = soap" let's see.... The person who started it came out the gate with this, “so....You THINK you can make SOAP. "just ash + fat = soap" let's see...
[link to www.i4at.org]

i have seen so many comments in threads about how easy it will be to make soap if TSHTF. people nonchalantly just saying, ash and fat make soap!

easy, right?

hold on there pioneer...

it might be useful for you to learn what it ACTUALLY entails.

saying ash + fat = soap

is like saying grass seed + water = bread.

so learn your learnings y'all.


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Very next post was this, “Gourds can be used to make soap. All parts of the gourd contain saponin, a compound used in making soap. Root pieces are crushed to make a liquid soap.”
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The thread went downhill after that for a bit but I was crackin’ up all the way down at the many different replies to a lousy soap thread. I kept reading it because I was finding really informative posts with links laced throughout so…. it became entertaining and... educational…. to me at least it did. Simple pleasures for simple minds (mine) I guess.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:06 AM   #2
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Oh oh oh…. and here’s the “simple” recipe for making soap from scratch, Grandpappy's Homemade Soap Recipe by Robert Wayne Atkins, P.E. - Grandpappy. See that..... no problemo.
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I’ll see if they allow cameras when I'm taking my class and if they do…. I’ll add some photos and I’ll take good notes so I can add em here. Until then…. if anyone’s ever done this…. go for it!!! Add any photos you’ve got or your how tos of making bar soap.
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The class I'm taking is like $30. Here's a blurb on it, "The ancient Greeks knew the art of soap making. It was a
necessary domestic activity practiced in the home during the
time of the Civil War. Now, you can learn this ancient and
luxuriously practical art form. The mild soap created in this
class is made the old-fashioned way, using lye and oils. As you
turn one pound of oil into soap, you also will learn its
interesting history. A few days after class, cut your soap block
into bars and wait for it to cure before
using it. A supply fee of $28 is paid to the
instructor.
Class size limited to 10"
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:41 AM   #3
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Congratulations on your soap class!
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:29 PM   #4
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Have fun!
I bought 6 soap making books when we were doing it.
I noticed like everything else- there are videos on the You tube now. I looked at some of them the other night. There was one girl making her soaps look like pastries - really pretty - she was hoping to sell her soaps. She is English - the conversations she holds with her family is so funny!

I also noticed the people on the U tubes were making their soaps all in one step -superfatting it as they make the soap.

We were into making milk soaps?
While you are taking the class -see what she says on adding milk at the beginning? Dose the soap have to sit a while - then milled to make milk soap? That is how we did it.

My son and daughter really loved it.
Instead of cutting out cookie dough for Christmas we all were gathered around a big crock with aprons, safety glasses and wooden spoons making soap for Christmas gifts.

When my children had to take a required class in college called communication - and had to do a required "how to" speech - everyone else was bringing in recipes and food - mine did the how to make soap - milk/herbal soap - and past out home made herbal soap. It was a hit and they received As.

I also made glycerin soap - and I don't mean we bought glycerin and melted it down.

We made it from lye soap. It required 110 proof alcohol - first time I was ever in a liquor store -- I bought the white stuff - forgot the name of it-- wintergreen gin - maybe? Not sure.

The book gave us instructions to use heavy ply plastic over a big canning pot - held it down with bungee cords wrapped around the pot. We all stood back as the plastic swelled up holding back the alcohol.

We did that about four or five times. It makes clear soap - very nice; but it scared my husband - he was such a nervous wreck while we were doing it - we decided to give it up. Heee, heee, heeee - I am terrible; as I think about him while we were making that type of soap.

However; he had a friend at work that was learning how to distill his own alcohol, and he gave my husband a pint. I made soap out of that too - so in that case my husband sort of went along with it-- that one time.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:03 PM   #5
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Ash;
Making lye from ash was a bad business according to my books.
With ash you never knew what the strength of the base would turn out to be - since it depends on the type of wood you burn.

It also takes all day long of constantly pouring water into a barrel of ash as it runs out.

The beginning of the Dow Chemical company began when Mr. Dow learned how to make lye from electrolysis of brine.
For once the strength of the lye could be counted on.

He sold lye and sold it like hot cakes. My Grandmother made her own soap when she was young - I often think what a God sent she must have felt when she could just buy the lye.

According to Hazelnut; Red devil lye has been banned?
If that is so Equil - you all might need my ashes -- just let me know and I will save ya some. Just kidding--- I hope.

See where/how your teacher is getting the lye for this class.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:27 PM   #6
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I did it and…. I did have fun!!! I drove up deep into cheeseland yesterday and took a day of soap making classes!!! I left before the crack of dawn!!! What a drive…. quite a few roads off the interstate weren’t plowed well!!! I’m really glad I did it even if I had to white knuckle it getting there. There’s so many chemical processes going on that it was hard keeping up. I did take really good notes so I’m definitely gonna be able to do this at home on my own. The class was limited to 8 people and I was the only 1 who took notes. I got a photo of the little set up in front of each 1 of us but pretty much after that I had a choice…. I could either take notes or I could take photos. I only had time to take 1 photo before the 1st class started up and 1 photos on my way out after the 2nd class was over. We were kept pretty busy.
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I can’t take photos of the basic soap I made in the morning or the soap I made in the afternoon soap 102 class because it’s wrapped up in towels right now and I need to leave it alone for another 3 or 4 days. After that…. I can take it out of the forms and cut it. I will need to let it sit for another 6 weeks though.
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The instructor had at least 20… maybe more….. soap making books there we could look at. These were the 2 that seemed most useful to me, The Soapmaker's Companion: A Comprehensive Guide with Recipes, Techniques & Know-How (Natural Body Series - The Natural Way to Enhance Your Life): Susan Miller Cavitch: 0789112051499: Amazon.com: Books and The Complete Soapmaker: Tips, Techniques & Recipes For Luxurious Handmade Soaps: Norma Coney: Amazon.com: Books. Neither of those publications is like a Torah of soap making… they’ve each got their limitations and it’d be really great if Coney updated her book since it’s got its fair share of errors but I saw Amazon offering them used so I’ll probably buy them.
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Liquid> “I also noticed the people on the U tubes were making their soaps all in one step -superfatting it as they make the soap.” Super-fatting is in soap 103. Supposedly…. super fatting soap is the ultimate in soap decadence…. we’ll see. I’d like to take that class…. I just don’t know when I can get back up there again.
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Glycerin soap I haven’t made…. that’s probably soap 104…. who knows. Right now I’m pleased as all punch with basic bar soap in a tray I can cut and use. I will say 1 thing…. I definitely know why artisan soap costs so much. I’ve got some stainless steel bowls I can use so I won’t need to buy those. Just an FYI…. lye eats aluminum and formica counter tops so you do need to cover your work area well. I will need to buy a stick blender and 2 candy thermometers…. 1 for the water I mix my lye into and the other for my olive, coconut, and palm oil. I have a candy thermometer but you can’t use anything you use making soap in your kitchen again. I do have good scales so I won’t need to buy any of those either. The actual cost of making my basic batch with no additives was $14 because we used her equipment…. I’ll get 6 small bars of soap out of it. That’s a cost of $2.33 each. The 2nd batch had botanicals and fragrance oils added to it. I made a Patchoulli (sp?) Sandalwood mix that cost an extra $13 in just the fragrance oils that were added. I didn’t use any colorants…. that woulda added to the costs. I did toss in nutmeg…. you can’t smell the nutmeg in the soap but when it moistens during the process…. it adds little bursts of color to the soap. I can take a photo of that soon as I pull it out of the form and cut it. The other botanical I added was Hershey’s cocoa. You can’t smell that in the soap either but it added some nice flecks and an overall “earthier” color to my soap. Total cost per bar of my hodge podge soap was $4.50. Eeeeesh. But…. my hodge podge was “unofficially” voted best smelling and best looking so that made me happy!!! I guess it pays to “experiment”. Other soap hodge podges that turned out nice were a Eucalyptus and Spearmint scented mix with thyme added as a botanical and a tintz of minty green colorant, a mango peach with cinnamon and parsley added as botanicals and a tintz of orange sherbert colorant. There was a classic lavender with lavender bud and a tintz of lilac coloring added that was nice… albeit common…. and a peony with coffee grounds as a botanical and poppy seed added as an exfoliant and a tintz of pink colorant that was really interesting. I got into a good group of people. Nobody was afraid to screw around tossing in botanicals so we got to see a wide variety of classic and off the wall results. I tried a lavender and bergamot concoction with lavender petals added as a botanical and a tintz of lilac colorant added. It smelled great and looked great but…. I was told that because I didn’t crumble the petals in my hand and roll them around before adding em to the soap that my soap would have to be shaved down and used as laundry soap because it would scratch anyone using it. Live and learn.
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Goggles and gloves are a must…. if you don’t have them…. paleeeeeease BUY them before trying this. Look at the photo I took on the way out of where we mixed. The whole class was mature adults….. there’s just no avoiding splashes. Wearing pants and long sleeved shirts and mixing your lye into your water outside in the open air is a must IMO too. I wouldn’t do that even in a well ventilated area. Wear old clothes…. lock up all your animals and get somebody to keep any little kids out of the area before you start because some of the mix will splash out soon as you start mixing the lye water into the oils…. there’s no getting around that using a stick blender. You could do it by hand…. if you’ve got the time and energy but even then…. you’d still splash and the mix is caustic.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:51 PM   #7
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Oh my you all are a messy bunch!

But if you did all of this in one step -- I well understand!

You all were having to use your time well, learn all you could during that one class, esp after white knuckling it over slippery, snowy roads.

If you start really doing this - I guarantee you will find it better to just make coconut soap, tallow soap, olive oil soap -- what ever other fat and just put it away for six weeks -- mill it all up much later and then put it away again to deal with it later - with botanicals, oils, alcohol tinctures, and powdered milk, and such.

Much more relaxing that way.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:43 PM   #8
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Oh oh oh…. about the Red Devil brand of lye…. that came up in the 1st soap class. Supposedly they “voluntarily” withdrew their 100% lye product…. I have no clue whether that’s true or not but it makes sense because the formulation they’re “allegedly” using now has heavy metals and other known carcinogens in it and a chemist in the class said it was “cheaper” to manufacture. My bet is…. they timed everything right and went with the cheaper formulation so they could save a buck while claiming to be onboard saving all the methheads out there from themselves. 100% lye can be ordered online for your soap…. you’ll just have to pay a huge haz mat fee that’s tacked onto all orders thanks to the feds. I don’t think the feds ever banned 100% lye (Sodium Hydroxide)…. maybe some states banned it though. I know there’s a brand that can be bought that’s 100% lye in WI at some hardware stores. I haven’t seen it for sale in IL so my state might have banned it at the same time they imposed all the restrictions on some over the counter decongestants and whatnot.
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Liquid> we weren't acting like little piggies in a trough.... it just happened. That's why I took the photo. I was walking out... stepping on botanicals we'd been sniffing and feeling and I realized.... we'd trashed the place. The photo is my reminder it's something I can't do without clearing the area I'm working in and wearing gloves and goggles.... me personally.... I'll wear an apron and bring 1 to any other soap classes I go to.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:27 PM   #9
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The feds are ready to tax everything to oblivion.
We are innocent as babes but still ----
I never thought I would write those words and bitterly believe and feel it.

So I can still get lye on the internet, if I pay a large tax on it.

I still have bags and bags of milled soap down stairs and when that is used up -- I guess I will not make anymore. I have had a good time with it - the kids did too. I have some calf milk that we ended up with, in bottle feeding some calves -- I want to use on it and then I am done with soap making.

The federal government is just a squeezing and a squeezing. If they want to stop the users of meth they are going to have to address mental health. For some reason that is too hard for them.

It is easier to spend money on big helicopters to beat the sky over my head in the summers, and catch me out in the garden early -in a night gown; in my own back yard to get some tomatoes and eggs for breakfast.

Of course that is not all the federal government has done by any means.
I wanted to make a copy of my grandmother- in- law sitting in a rocking chair as a young girl in 1902 or something. Her grand daughter's place burned down and I was trying to get a copy of it at Wal Mart.

They informed me they could not do it. I would have to contact the photo company (if it was a photo company) There were no signatures or signs or anything to indicate it was. I was suppose to get this unknown company's permission. Looks like some photo companies have been lobbying up in Washington.

After I spend 100 dollars for a photo from Olan Mills or anyone else - I should own that photo of myself and my family.

The federal government is becoming a burden to it's people it would seem, even the most lowly and in the most unexpected places- like just a hobby to make soap or to get a tomato while still in your night gown, or a copy of a grandmother that no one else in the world would want.

Ohh off my soap box and no I did not think you were pigs -- just very busy learning something in one day's time.

---and I used ceramic lined crock pots -- not the one you heat up -but the old fashion kinds -- I have a collection of them -- they are white outside, black inside - very tall - less chance of splattering out. It worked so well that I never wore gloves, or aprons and a couple of times no goggles.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:47 PM   #10
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We were little piggies but... nobody meant to be. That was my whole point. It just happened.
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Ya.... I'm pretty sick of all the senseless regulation going on too. We've got bigger fish to fry than women like us out in our bathrobes deadheading what with all the environmental destruction going on. I blame EVERY politician out there. Just remember.... we've still got our own yards where we can REALLY make a difference and we've still got our $. I'm reminded daily how important it is that more of us start letting our $ do our talking. My goal is to grow even more of my own food and make 100% of my own cleaning supplies and soaps. I'd LOVE to have a shopping cart filled with 100% organic too. Right now there isn't enough demand for organic. If there was.... the day would come when everything I normally buy was available in organic. It's a lot better than it used to be though because of a lot of little people out there doing what they can but.... we're still not quite there.
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