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  1. L

    A wish for consistency of UNITS! Is it only me?

    I love the soapmaking community so much, and so appreciate everyone's generosity with their knowledge. So I hope no one is offended by this question--it's pretty likely you'll all just educate me (again) as to why this is actually a good way to do it! But right now as I work out calculations...
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    Principles for developing a recipe (and technique) for swirling?

    Are there good rules to follow in developing a recipe, and managing your batter, to be used for swirls? I'm hoping to enter this month's challenge and want a good approach. I'd like to know rules, rather than actual recipes, so I can tailor to oils on hand, and my own preferences about oils to...
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    Looking for scraper technique tips

    I recently made a soap using scrapers to contour layers for the first time. The design called for some pointy "V's". I found it was easy enough to make V channels, but making Vs that stood up were another story. When the batter was thinner, the points just slumped down. However, as the batter...
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    Crayons for color - experiment results

    I made some sample soaps trying out Crayola crayons for color. Here are the results: at pour, 2 days, 3 days, 24 days, 39 days, and ~7.5 months. Top row left to right used green and blue-green crayons; middle row was a dark red and blue; last row is red and purple. You can see the actual crayon...
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    how much shrinkage to expect

    I'm embarking on what's probably an over-ambitious project, involving making a custom mold, and making my own M&P soap base for the first time, and tinting it, and embedding the molded result in CP soap. Anyway, in planning this I would like to know how much, if at all, I should expect the...
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    scrapers and timing

    Last night I used my new 3d printer to make scrapers for a design idea. First use of it for soap, and that's what I bought it for! Super excited! But also nervous. The design includes some pretty deep slots and up-standing points. I will need each layer to set up pretty well before I do the...
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    Ghost swirl came out backwards!

    Yesterday I had a wonderful self-indulgent day of soap...it took me about 3 hours to plan and about 3 more to make Auntie Clara's Ghost Swirl soap. Well, my clunky approximation of it, but I'm still pretty happy about it. It basically worked, aside from getting thicker trace and hence swirls...
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    3d printer recommendations?

    My downstairs neighbor said he's been spending money lately like it's the end of the world...because who knows right now? and I think it's catching. I don't think I can resist much longer. 3d printers are now available at pretty low cost, and I can imagine so many soapy things I can make, even...
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    Longevity and? vs? rinsability--is it a tradeoff?

    I made an 85% CO and 15% OO with a very high superfat, and loved it--BUT it went way too fast. As I try to adjust the recipe to increase longevity, I'm realizing this may all be a straight tradeoff against how easily it rinses off, which I and my soap giftees really like. Are both of these...
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    "Hiding" fragrances that discolor in multi-color soaps...

    Does anyone do that? I bought some really lovely FOs I couldn't resist, even though they are noted as causing discoloration, such as to tan. I got the idea of perhaps only adding the fragrance to the darker of the colors in a swirled soap. Is there any reason not to do this? Such as...might...
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    Grainy-feeling texture

    I made a soap using master-batched lye at 50/50--and forgot to add the necessary water to get to my desired 33% lye concentration. So I accidentally made a soap with a 50% lye concentration. I'm trying it out now at just a hair under 6 weeks out. It's every so slightly grainy on the surface...
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    Calculating recipes that include colorant-infused oils

    I love math and spreadsheets--and yet I'm finding this challenging and frustrating! I'm hoping there might be some shortcuts or simple logic that I'm missing for doing this sort of thing. Just as an example, here's the soap I want to make now: - highly superfatted (20%) all coconut oil -...
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    Expect the unexpected (safety first!)

    Just used a new "found object" mold for the first time--a nice little canister from tea bags. Can opener to remove the bottom, which became the top of my mold, and a good friction fit top on the bottom. Which I promptly forgot was just held there with friction, when I let my batter get too...
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    titanium dioxide not doing the trick

    I'm experimenting with rice bran oil, which I'd love to use as it's dirt cheap here and vegetarian, both qualities I value. I love a bright white soap, and also want that as a base for adding color. But so far I've made three batches with most of my oils being RBO, and adding titanium dioxide...
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    Beautiful pure white...from?

    I made Zany's no-slime castile with an "unrefined olive oil"--the cheapest olive oil I could purchase in bulk from an organic grocery store around here. It came out a gorgeous pure white. Was this likely from the oil? From the "faux seawater" that is used in Zany's recipe? A combination? I'm...
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    Question for the chemists: mixing soaps for recipe experimentation

    I'm a relative newbie, exploring different recipes and looking for my favorites. I am now pondering what might be a ridiculous idea and would love the thoughts of those with expertise on just what happens to various oils during the soap-making process. The idea: - Make several different single...
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    joining soap?

    I have an idea for a soap pattern that I think is going to require me to create it in pieces. I will want to create some very defined shapes, and then connect them to create the final bar. A reverse embed--2 giant pieces, then joined by a last pour. Basically a stripe down the middle, but...
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    new soap design / calculator app prototype

    I'm designing and building an app for soap making that I hope makes it easier and more fun to design recipes. The key feature is that it allows you to experiment with your oil proportions and see the soap qualities calculations update as you do that. I'd love to get feedback from folks on this...
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    Unusual soaping oils or ingredients...

    The thread on Personal Use Favorite Soaps just brought up water buffalo milk, which made me remember a favorite soap of mine... I first tried soaping many, many years ago (then stopped; recently re-obsessed) when when my boyfriend was a hunter. At some point he brought home African wild boar...
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    Oil separation (before any soapmaking)

    I'm excited to experiment with rice bran oil and found it dirt cheap (seems like the wrong phrase in a soap forum but oh well) at a bulk natural foods store near me. When I pulled it out to soap with after a few days on the shelf, the oil had separated into layers. Does this have any...
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