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  1. J

    What is the hardest soap you have ever made?

    Sorry, I didn' t make it! Didn't read your question properly.
  2. J

    What is the hardest soap you have ever made?

    100% coconut 20% superfat soap, hard as a rock, unmoulds in a few hours but doesn' t last, boohoo, its my favourite soap. Seasalt soap is hard and I think, longer lasting. The ultimate I have come across is a 22% laurel oil/78% olive oil Aleppo soap I have just been using prompted by a...
  3. J

    Natural colorants

    There is quite a lot of info if you Google it. I use natural colours and I found quite a bit if helpful info from the Lovely Greens website. Sometimes a particular colourant can be used multiple ways or sometimes one way is best, as Tara H says, it depends. I use madder root. I have never...
  4. J

    Avoiding U-shape top

    Pears soap is oval shaped with a dip in the middle. I read somewhere that this dates back to when Pears first started making soap and this occurred naturally as part of the making process. Presumably nowadays they make the dipped shape deliberately because it is such an iconic shape.
  5. J

    Superfat Suggestions for Aleppo type recipe

    Ha, I'm a cancerian and am just the same. I think it is known as having a "butterfly mind" . Too many interesting things and not enough time so I end up learning little bits about lots of (largely pointless) stuff. I really respect people who have focus to stay on one thing and know...
  6. J

    Superfat Suggestions for Aleppo type recipe

    I just admit that I just used it once and put it away again. Perhaps if you use it a lot and it doesn't dry out if will go slimy. I' m using a 75%/25% olive oil and sweet almond oil one at the moment and it is really slimy with no bubbles at all. In fact it's hard to see that it's actually...
  7. J

    Superfat Suggestions for Aleppo type recipe

    Hi Gardengeek, I have some real Aleppo soap which I have had in my curiosity box for several years. I've just looked at the label and it is past it's use by date (June 2020). I've just tried it and it is not slimy at all, quite good lather in fact, not super foamy but some bubbles and no...
  8. J

    Natural Calendula Petals Soap

    You can put quite a lot of things straight into the lye. Paprika and madder root are two examples, but if you leave it in you'll get some scratchiness. I use a madder root tea seived out to avoid this. I've not tried paprika tea. I don't know if that would work. The calendula petals don't...
  9. J

    Natural Calendula Petals Soap

    I also use calendula petals but straight in the lye mixture while it's hot and left in the final soap. I find this gives a very acceptable light yellow colour. I have never tried orange petals as I have a truly vast bag of yellow petals to get through. I was rather surprised at how much you...
  10. J

    Reducing Lye %

    Sudsmaster, in answer to your earlier questions - I use cold madder root tea in my lye for pink and calefular petals in the hot lye and left in the soap mixture for pale yellow, cocoa powder in the batter for brown and green tea wax heated in the oils for green. Otherwise, just using 5 fold...
  11. J

    CPSR lye concentration

    I can't really help but I recently contacted them to ask if I could change my lye concentration in an approved recipe from 1:2 to 1:1.5. They said you can't make changes, I would have to resubmit and pay for a new certification. But they didn't say that a higher lye concentration would be a...
  12. J

    Soda ash inside the soap?

    Tara, I have experienced something similar. I use single cell moulds.(8 cells to a mould). On some of my soaps I used to get white, bleached looking, crumbly corners on the bottom, the bit NOT exposed to the sir. Always the same soaps, and not all of the varieties despite the base recipe...
  13. J

    Soap in History

    Baby shoes, no I haven't. I read a book about Bernard Spilsbury which was very interesting and also Keith Simpson. He was in on a number well known cases such as Acid Bath Haigh. Dad aslo had some delightful books called Murder What Dunnit (or something) and Murder Whereabouts focussing on...
  14. J

    Soap in History

    Don't read on if you are of a delicate disposition. I knew under certain conditions human fat from buried corpses could turn to what is in effect soap. It's called adipocere and the chemical process that causes it is in effect, saponification. Some gruesome things I've come across include...
  15. J

    Calendula Powder?

    The petals don't dissolve, you can still see the petals in the soap but as the soap is yellow they don't show up enormously. I also use the lye method for colouring with madder root. In this case I make a madder tea first seiving out the bits and adding the lye afterwards. (When it has...
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