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Aloe and Lanolin bar?

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Lynusann

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So I had a request from a family member to make them a soap loaf with lanolin and aloe - neither products I've used yet. In doing some research it appears there are several forms of both products.

So, which do you prefer (or will work best): aloe gel, aloe juice, aloe butter or aloe oil? What about lanolin: the oil or the waxy butter?

In addition to these oils, what other oils work complimentary to these?

Any other insights are welcome as well!
 

snappyllama

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I love aloe juice as a replacement for water in soap. I normally freeze mine to do a full substitution.

I've only used lanolin in my shaving puck... At a tiny 2%. Even at that small amount, I think it gives a nice waxy protective coating to the face. DH has very coarse bristles with sensitive skin so I figured a nod to his Scottish heritage might work for his face. "If it was good for Great Grandpappy McWhomever, it will hopefully work for you". For a bathing soap, I'd think I'd just use my regular recipe and make way for the lanolin from some of my other oils.

Eta: my lanolin is the waxy kind.
 

cmzaha

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I very much prefer to use fresh aloe gel if you have it available. Many times I make my 50/50 master batch lye with aloe juice and add in fresh aloe gel for the remainder of my liquid. Have not used lanolin in a very long time so sorry, no help there
 

LittleCrazyWolf

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I've never used lanolin but I have used aloe vera juice for a full water sub. I refrigerate the juice and keep my lye mixing container in a water bath. I add the lye very slowly and make sure each bit is fully dissolved before adding more.
 

Lynusann

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I very much prefer to use fresh aloe gel if you have it available. Many times I make my 50/50 master batch lye with aloe juice and add in fresh aloe gel for the remainder of my liquid. Have not used lanolin in a very long time so sorry, no help there
I'm only just recently reading up on master batching (where was this for the last year of my life!?!?!?!) so when you master batch, you make your 50/50 mix with absolutely no water? Am I picking up when you're putting down? If so, does it keep as long as master batching with water?
 

Lynusann

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I love aloe juice as a replacement for water in soap. I normally freeze mine to do a full substitution.

I've only used lanolin in my shaving puck... At a tiny 2%. Even at that small amount, I think it gives a nice waxy protective coating to the face. DH has very coarse bristles with sensitive skin so I figured a nod to his Scottish heritage might work for his face. "If it was good for Great Grandpappy McWhomever, it will hopefully work for you". For a bathing soap, I'd think I'd just use my regular recipe and make way for the lanolin from some of my other oils.

Eta: my lanolin is the waxy kind.
Is there a sharp increase in the cost of making a batch of soap with aloe juice as opposed to water? I haven't even started to price out materials yet until I know what I'm going to use. Where do you get your lanolin from?
 

not_ally

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I normally keep my aloe juice in the fridge just to keep it from spoiling, but otherwise take no special precautions, add the lye all at once like I would w/regular water and haven't had an issue so far. Are you guys so careful b/c it has created problems? Lynn, the aloe juice I have been using is $7.00/gallon (from Trader Joe's) as opposed to about $1.25 for distilled water, so I guess there is a marginal increase. But it's not that much for a hobbyist, not like adding an expensive butter/oil.
 

cmzaha

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I'm only just recently reading up on master batching (where was this for the last year of my life!?!?!?!) so when you master batch, you make your 50/50 mix with absolutely no water? Am I picking up when you're putting down? If so, does it keep as long as master batching with water?
I have never had it go bad, but a gallon of master batch does not last me long. Yes I make my 50/50 with aloe juice I purchase from Walmart for about $6 per gallon. Of course it does add to the expense but not horrifically. My fresh aloe comes from my yard or if I am running low I can purchase huge leaves of aloe at a Mexican Market for $1 each. I do not chill my aloe juice as I find it does not cause extra heating to the lye
 

not_ally

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Carolyn, is it ok not to keep the aloe juice in the fridge for say a month or so? I'd rather not b/c it takes up space, as I said, have only been doing so from fear of spoilage. Would much rather take it out if you think it's not a problem.
 

Lynusann

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I have never had it go bad, but a gallon of master batch does not last me long. Yes I make my 50/50 with aloe juice I purchase from Walmart for about $6 per gallon. Of course it does add to the expense but not horrifically. My fresh aloe comes from my yard or if I am running low I can purchase huge leaves of aloe at a Mexican Market for $1 each. I do not chill my aloe juice as I find it does not cause extra heating to the lye
I had planned to do a master batch of 50/50 lye water to store in my basement this evening. If I chose to go with aloe juice (assuming I like how the batch turns out), could I store it in the same way? In a jug in my mechanical room? It's the darkest, coolest room in the house.
 

cmzaha

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Carolyn, is it ok not to keep the aloe juice in the fridge for say a month or so? I'd rather not b/c it takes up space, as I said, have only been doing so from fear of spoilage. Would much rather take it out if you think it's not a problem.
I have kept the store bought preserved aloe juice at least 3 weeks not refrigerated and it did not spoil. I buy the aloe juice from Walmart. Fresh aloe gel does have to be refrigerated or frozen
 

snappyllama

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I like to use my aloe frozen since I store it in the freezer - along with my milks. I buy the gallon jugs at the local health food grocery store - I forget the name of it, but it's in the laxative section. Since I don't use it in every batch and my batches are small, keeping aloe ice cubes in marked ziplock baggies works for me.

The lanolin I have is from Natures Garden.

I'm just a hobbyist so I don't have to worry about profit margins. I just keep my hobby costs "reasonable" and have a self imposed monthly hobby budget that I almost stick to...
 

Lynusann

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Well...this was a hobby for me, but over the past 6 months I've increasingly received so many requests for soap that I had to make the decision to move it to the business realm in order to survive the cost and time involvement. It wouldn't be so bad if it was just a couple hours a week I was making soap but now in order to keep up with special requests I'm having to make product every evening, after my day job. I have no idea how I'm going to keep up once my masters classes start back up in the fall. So basically everything I do now has to have cost as a consideration.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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You could always ask them to wait?

I say this often, but if it is a hobby then you do as much as you can afford - if that is once a month or once a week or every day. If you loved going to the cinema, you wouldn't try to make money from it just because you wanted to go more often than you could afford, rather you'd go as often as you could afford to do so.

If someone wants something big specific then asking them to pay for the ingredients for the batch is one thing, but that isn't going in to business. As for the time, if you don't enjoy soaping enough to make it that often, then maybe telling people to wait a few weeks is in order.

You don't HAVE to monetize a hobby - hobbies do cost money and time.
 

Lynusann

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You could always ask them to wait?

I say this often, but if it is a hobby then you do as much as you can afford - if that is once a month or once a week or every day. If you loved going to the cinema, you wouldn't try to make money from it just because you wanted to go more often than you could afford, rather you'd go as often as you could afford to do so.

If someone wants something big specific then asking them to pay for the ingredients for the batch is one thing, but that isn't going in to business. As for the time, if you don't enjoy soaping enough to make it that often, then maybe telling people to wait a few weeks is in order.

You don't HAVE to monetize a hobby - hobbies do cost money and time.
It's not so much that I mind it turning into a business. It just sort of turned faster than I had planned and I learned the hard way that I need to keep my head above water. Come this fall, I will have to tell people to wait though (I'm not throwing away a past year of grad courses).

In the mean time, I still do enjoy it which is why I have a hard time really considering it a "business." However, when I spend 6+ hours literally every evening making product just to keep up with requests, my time has a monetary value as well, beyond just covering products. Anyone that's gone full force at anything knows there is a time value for money.

Right now I consider it to be walking a very fine line between hobby and business for me, but given that as of two months ago I've been getting significant requests from non-friends/family, I did have to foot the cost for insurance too (wow was that a brutal expense). I don't really want to come across the one random, disgruntled person that destroys everything I've built.

As for hobbies costing money, I'm all too familiar with that :) I used to breed seahorses for research/conservation studies, I spent 3 years racing a cobra, and only recently did I sell my jeep trail rig (by far the most expensive hobby!!!). From a hobby perspective, this is easily the most affordable one.

I'll tell you what though, this forum has been a blessing! For ages I was making soap from a single family recipe that was around 100+ yrs old. I had no idea soap could be made with colorants, fragrances, etc and be made to look so pretty. And you guys are a fabulous resource with endless info (and the occasional laugh that gets me caught at work reading the boards)!
 

Lynusann

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But I digress now...didn't mean to jump ship from my original post and talk shop!
 

not_ally

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Wow, that is a lot of time to spend on soapmaking if you already have a job/school. It sucks that you had to pay for insurance to cover your bases.

You are nice, I would just say no, but nicely. I make soap for me, family and friends. I give out a lot to them, and have had people (usually not the closest friends) say "oh, I've been giving your soap to my friends, they love it, could you give me more?" At that point I draw the line and tell them that I'm cutting back on soaping sessions because it is getting too expensive/taking too much time, just to let them know that (a) it is not a cost-free exercise and (b) I love to give away to people I care about, but not necessarily to all the people *they* care about. I don't think these folks are greedy, they just don't realize how much goes into it.

Exceptions exist here, obviously, but usually the people they apply to are not the ones abusing the "lots of nice free soap" privilege.
 

Cindy2428

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Lanolin and coconut milk are staples in my base recipe. I have purchased and worked with both the lanolin oil and the butter. I buy both from Soaper's Choice. The oil is much easier to work with but a little more expensive. I have not noticed a quality difference.
 

not_ally

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Cindy, this might be a PITA question, if so just ignore. Have been wondering about lanolin and wondered: (a) does it change the smell of the soap? I got the impression that it was a fairly assertive smelling oil, wasn't sure if (like eg, lard) the animal-y smell went away after addition of FO and some curing; (b) what does it add to cp?; and (c) how do you add it, in what quantities. Again, ignore if a bother.
 

Lynusann

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Cindy, this might be a PITA question, if so just ignore. Have been wondering about lanolin and wondered: (a) does it change the smell of the soap? I got the impression that it was a fairly assertive smelling oil, wasn't sure if (like eg, lard) the animal-y smell went away after addition of FO and some curing; (b) what does it add to cp?; and (c) how do you add it, in what quantities. Again, ignore if a bother.
^^ I'm also interested in this. I've been reading on lanolin and many people say that it does smell quite pungent at least in waxy form. But I'm assuming the oil may not have the same strong smell?

My uncle wants a lanolin soap because he says it's amazingly moisturizing, but I've never used it before so I can't confirm that.
 
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