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Basic Recipe Question Cold Process

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oneroomschoolmarm

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I have a recipe that says the following:

6 lbs. melted fat
1 can Lye
2 1/2 pints water

Add lye to water and dissolve. When container is warm, add the fat and stir till cool. Pour into cloth lined box, cover. Cut soap into squares when set.

Question:

As a beginning soap maker, how many ounces do I need of the lye? (12 oz.)? And are there any hints as to make this process very simple. I work at a children's camp and have to use limited resources and ingredients and not stove/fire to melt the fat.

Can I: Put the water in an enamel pot. Pour in the 12oz? lye. Stir. Place room temperature blocks of lard into pot. Stir until trace and pour into mold?

I've never done this before so please educate me.
 

Birdie

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You have a lot of research to do! :D I would suggest visiting Kathy Miller's site( http://www.millersoap.com/ ) and spend some time there learning exactly what is involved in soapmaking. Then we will be more able to help you with a recipe. :wink:
 
G

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Hi Schoolmarm and welcome to the forum! :)

First of all I think you need a crash course in soapmaking and I urge you to read up on the subject on the Internet. Your description of the process is more or less correct but a bit overly simplistic. Not only is the devil in the details, but you've left out the safety procedures which are VERY IMPORTANT! Lye is very dangerous to handle unless you take proper precautions including having safety glasses and a respirator mask. Don't even think of beginning without them! (And read up to find out the correct lye to use. The wrong type will produce dangerous soap.)

First read up on how to. I like Kathy Miller's Soap Page. Another good site is About's Soap Making Basics. Please peruse both sites and you will be better prepared to ask good questions.

You can heat the fats with a water bath if you have hot water and a sink. The cold process (CP) is often done at only 80-100 degrees (130 is as hot as I've seen). This Continental electric single burner stove is all you need to heat your oils, $15 at Walmart and you can order online. Or there are room temperature methods of making soaps but you'll still have to melt any oils that are solid at room temperature or they will not mix properly. The other members can help you with this RTCP method. And by the way, you can also make soap in a crockpot.

Note also that soap making is done by weight so you will need an accurate scale. Many hobbyists (including me) use cooking scales that read out in tenths of an ounce up to 30-40 ounces (and sometimes grams too). You need that except for a very few recipes specially developed to go by volume, but they are only for people who can't wait to start. You need a scale!

And being in a children's camp, please make sure they are not around while you are making your soap.

In essence CP soap is made by getting on your safety gear and measuring and mixing your lye and water. Then you measure your oils, melt your solid oils and add liquid oils. As the lye mixture cools and the oils heat up the object is to get them both about the same temperature, usually somewhere between 80-130 degrees. Then you add the lye mixture to the oils and stir until you get trace. Note that many of us use stick blenders to speed up the process and a good one is also available from Walmart. Finally you pour it into your mold and cover it with blankets and let it sit for 18-24 hours then cut it up and dry it for 2-4 weeks.

So somebody else will explain RTCP to you and you should study up those two websites in the mean time. Good luck!

Greg
 
G

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Hahahah, Birdie writes faster but Greggie writes longer! :) Interesting we both like Kathy Miller's site. She's good!!! :)
 
G

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If you're going to be doing this around kids you might also want to consider hot process or melt and pour. Definately read up on it. Libraries sometimes have high dollar books.
 

dragonfly princess

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I have kids and have never had a problem with doing CP soap. I think as long as you are careful, you will be fine and so will your kids.
 
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