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  1. M

    Shop Soap Recipe

    As I was mixing up a batch of my new shop soap recipe, I realized that I hadn't ever shared any of my recipes here on the board. Sort of funny, considering that I'm always coming up with new ones. :) Anyway, here's a new shop soap recipe of mine: Oils 800g Coconut Oil (Virgin, USDA...
  2. M

    CP recipe question...

    For local sources of palm oil, try your local health-food store. Their prices won't be as good as if Wal-Mart were to carry it, but it can still be cheaper than shipping it in. Look for a tub of something labeled 'Vegetable Shortening'. If you're lucky, the ingredients will read '100% Palm...
  3. M

    Using PVC as a soap mold

    PVC works great for round soap molds. You'll want to make sure that the inside is clean and free of burrs so that you don't get a gouge down the side of your soap when you demold. PVC caps like you buy at Lowe's, HD, and the like are rounded, so unless you build a frame for the pipes to sit...
  4. M


    If we only went by the fatty acids in creation of 'sap numbers' then your concern would be 100% appropriate. As it is, the analysis of an oil's sap number is such that the unsaponifiables are taken into account. This is why, for example, Olive Oil (Pomace) has a different value than Olive Oil...
  5. M

    What is everyone "cooking" this weekend?

    I'm 'cooking' up a circuit for a new soap-mold idear I have :) One part Atmel microprocessor, two parts FR4 PCB board, a dash of thermistor, a measure of nichrome, one LCD display, some miscellaneous other 'ingredients'...and voila - new invention :) I'm also spending some quality time in...
  6. M


    Short answer: No :) Longer answer: Yes, but many don't consider it 'making' soap. It's called Melt & Pour. You basically melt down pre-made soap, add fragrance/colorings/et cetera, and mold. If the above appeals to you, give it a try. If you're more of a do-it-yourselfer than that...
  7. M

    Soap Party

    Here are a few off the top of my head... Game - Identify-the-Fragrance: Have each guest smell a selection of EO/FOs and score by how many they correctly identify. Harder than it sounds, believe it or not! You could make this an order of magnitude simpler by making it multiple-choice or...
  8. M

    Nifty Soap 'Gadget'

    I take it you're french then? :)
  9. M

    Nifty Soap 'Gadget'

    Er, yes... One might also say that the Hope Diamond is nothing more than a hunk of charcoal, or that a vintage recording of the Beatles is just a bunch of magnetized rust. Can't be any worse than a loose bar on a soap dish, with the advantage of not slipping out of a child's hand or being...
  10. M

    Nifty Soap 'Gadget'

    I may have to set my sister's soap mold aside in order to create one of these this weekend. They fit the very definition of 'Cool': ... /soap_hook
  11. M

    Work-in-Progress: Bar Mold

    Being the consummate do-it-yourselfer, I make all of my own molds. So far these have been produced out of silicone, polyester resin, or for simple log/slab molds - Lexan or polyethylene. My sister is starting to get into soaping and wanted a simple bar mold where she wouldn't have to go back...
  12. M

    making soap in small quantities

    Well, we can probably thank Wal-Mart's artificial-intelligence-based inventory and pricing systems for that :) Once the word got out to people about how cheap it was they probably noticed how quickly they were selling out. I know I'm now glad that I bought them out the last time I was in...
  13. M

    making soap in small quantities

    If you're OK with 70 degree coconut oil, one solution may be to buy it in smaller quantities at Wal-Mart. They brand they stock is very very inexpensive compared to every other source I've seen.
  14. M

    What Coloring to buy?

    A lot of people swear by the 'natural' colorants. These come primarily in powder form and include things like micas, oxides, and other plant-based colorants like alkanet root, red sandalwood, et cetera. If you want to stick with the plant-based colorants, you could try the following...
  15. M


    Containers are going to be tough because you may wind up paying as much or more for the packaging as you are the NaOH. For 2 lb. of NaOH you'll need about a 1000mL container. I didn't look all that hard, but the least expensive option I could find that would be suitable was this, at...
  16. M

    exfoliant soap

    If you want to go the 'unnatural' route, polyethylene beads seem to be the industry's first choice as an exfoliant. These are more commonly known as 'microbeads'. Hard to source though, and most handmade soap purchasers probably prefer something more natural. I second all of the above...
  17. M

    Brand lye?

    If you are looking for Sodium Hydroxide at a big box store, Lowe's generally carries Roebic Crystal Drain Opener that is labeled on the back, "100% Sodium Hydroxide". Here is a picture of the exact bottle for which you are looking: Depending on local availability of other options, it...
  18. M

    lining your molds

    I make all of my molds myself from either silicone rubber or plastic casting resin. Lining these is of course unnecessary. Last weekend, my sister came by and wanted to cook up some Lavender Castille. She wanted to do rough-cut slab bars so we grabbed a large 12x17 inch rectangular steel...
  19. M

    time to trace

    The modified Castille that I usually make (64% Olive, 18% Palm, 18% Coconut) takes about 7 or 8 minutes to get to the pour-trace phase. This is for a 3kg (6.6 lb) batch with a 12.5M (33%) NaOH solution. Generally speaking I would say the smaller batch size in proportion to your mixing...
  20. M

    Soap company name opinions needed!

    I've always been partial to "Paper Street Soap Company" myself...