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  1. M

    Lye, lye, lye....

    I just about fainted when I saw that picture! I bet that's enough lye to make soap for everyone in the country, and then some! --Metal Substance
  2. M

    Palm Oil Alternatives

    Mineral oil is totally unsaponifiable, since it is derived from petroleum and doesn't have the same chemical composition as plant and animal fats. I wouldn't think it would work as a substitute for castor oil. --Metal Substance
  3. M

    favorite 3 oils

    Lard, Castor, and Shea (although I'm about to try tallow instead of lard, since I've been able to get it for free from supermarkets). --Metal Substance
  4. M

    Soap Pot Weekend 4/18-4/20

    I just picked up some waste beef fat from my local supermarket, and I'm going to render it this weekend into soap-ready tallow. Other than that, I have just made a peppermint-scented 1-lb. batch of tomato juice salt bars that are waiting to set in the mold before I take them out to cure...
  5. M

    Black soap colouring

    Rumor has it that activated charcoal results in a nice black soap, but I have yet to try it in a recipe. I'd think that the charcoal might lessen some of the soap's fragrance due to its odor-absorbing properties. --Metal Substance
  6. M

    Tomato juice salt bar

    Hi all, I'm attempting yet another experimental batch - a salt bar with tomato juice. I'm aiming for a 15% superfat to keep the bar smooth. Here are the ingredients that I've used: Lye Liquid: 6.10 oz. tomato juice 2.22 oz. lye Soap Fats: 14 oz. coconut oil 2 oz. castor oil...
  7. M

    A Newbie that has never made soap

    Don't forget to pick up a stick blender! However, when making my first three batches, I stirred the soap manually just to get a feel of what it's like (plus, I used fats that resulted in faster trace, like lard and coconut oil). --Metal Substance
  8. M

    Newbie Soap Pics

    Wow, those are amazing! I haven't mustered up the courage to swirl this early; I'm still in the stage where I'm experimenting with various oil formulas. :? --Metal Substance
  9. M

    What is the smallest batch that can be made well?

    Thanks for the tip. I've been making exclusively 1-lb. batches up to this point and I'll have to see how some of my soaps work out in larger quantities. --Metal Substance
  10. M

    How's this for a shampoo bar?

    WOW! I got to testing one of my shampoo bars on my hair, and this batch was INCREDIBLE! The lather was smooth and perfect, and felt really good on my hair. I don't think I ever want to go back to using Head & Shoulders ever again. Next: I will need to use this shampoo on a long-term...
  11. M

    probally the stupidest question ever

    The trouble with U.S. measurements is that there are many different meanings of the word "ounce" -- it could be a fluid ounce (volume), a troy ounce (weight), or an avoirdupois (also weight), all of which mean different things. Most of the time, when we talk about an "ounce" we refer to the...
  12. M

    Weekend Soap Pot 4/4 - 4/6

    It's funny that you mention Mother's Day! In my weekend soap pot, I'll be making a batch for my mother-in-law, with the opportunity to test out some decorative soap molds that I picked up. This will be a one-pound batch consisting of 75% lard and 25% coconut oil, scented with lavender EO and...
  13. M

    "Old" Crisco vs. "New" Crisco

    I just took notice, also, that many "store-brand" vegetable shortenings are formulated similar to "Old" Crisco. I might try using some to see how it turns out in soap, but I wouldn't eat any of it in a million years -- it's too much trans fat for my diet... --Metal Substance
  14. M

    "Old" Crisco vs. "New" Crisco

    Hi all, A number of years back, Crisco reformulated their shortening products to result in fewer trans fats. They switched from this ingredient list: to this ingredient list: For those who soap with Crisco, did this affect the performance of the soap after using the reformulated Crisco...
  15. M

    Well...I'm about to take the plunge

    It might also be soda ash (sodium carbonate) that formed as a result of the lye reacting with the air. Soda ash isn't caustic to the skin; it's just an appearance issue. --Metal Substance
  16. M

    Using Mineral Oil

    I don't think mineral oil is saponifiable at all. It doesn't consist of glycerin or fatty acids; the molecules in mineral oil are simple hydrocarbons that don't react with lye. For the record, has anyone tried to use mineral oil as a superfat? --Metal Substance
  17. M

    Batch Number 6! :)

    Thanks for the tip. I'll let my two latest batches "breathe" for a while before sealing them. --Metal Substance
  18. M

    Getting started, need supplies

    If you're also looking for lye and if you happen to have a Lowes in your area, they might carry the "Roebik Crystal Drain Opener". These are 2-lb lye jars that typically run between $7 and $8 a piece. I bought two jars and was never questioned about my intentions using the product. From...
  19. M

    Food coloring in cold process soap?

    Hi all, What kinds of experiences did you all have using store-bought food coloring for cold process soap? Does the color turn out vivid, and does the coloring cause the soap to seize? The store-bought colordings use water and propylene glycol as its base. Thanks, --Metal Substance
  20. M

    ready to duplicate the recipe... large quantities?

    I'd be curious to know what happens with a blend where the fats that are either all solid at room temperature, or where the majority of the fats are solid (say, 75% lard and 25% olive, or some similar combination). My guess is that since fats are always soluble within each other, the mix will...