Best simple cold process soap design technique for a first time artesian soap maker?

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Saltynuts

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You in the bottle again? No one is being rude to you. You are outraged that a lot of us doubt that you can pull it off. Most people here are trying to save you time money and frustration. I wouldn't try and I have been soaping for years.
Go ahead and learn backwards. I would love to see the results!


LOL, just LOL...
 
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Thank you Sarouche! Olive oil, check, I think I'll do just that. So for the amount of water, what calculator do you use? Because I mentioned in another thread soapcalc.net gives me a very big difference in the amount of water to use versus the brambleberry calculator (the brambleberry one tells me to use a lot more, I am just using their default calculations by the way).

Sodium lactate, check I got that tip from my main girl Tere at Tree Marie Soapworks, had some show up just yesterday!

Hanger swirl I need to check out, will do so.

Thanks!!!

Actually I think I can safely say that most people here would recommend you NOT make a Castile soap since this is your first batch - especially one with full water. 1. It's very slow to trace and can confuse newbies who haven't experienced the differences between emulsion, light trace, medium trace and false trace. 2. it can be difficult to gauge when your batter is at a thick enough trace to perform the type of swirl you want without either becoming so feathery it disappears, or mixes so much it gets muddy. 3. Castile needs a very long cure time (a year), it doesn't lather like typical soap, absorbs a lot of water and easily makes a sticky, snotty lather. 4. I really doubt sodium lactate is going to do much here; 100% olive oil and full water? My 50/50 water/lye Castile takes 4 or more days to unmold with sodium lactate.

If you aren't averse to animal fats, lard is a new soapers best friend. Even something as simple as 75% lard and 25% coconut oil will give you lots of working time, soaping at 80 degrees or lower, with 36% water. Although for you, if would be very helpful to learn how to recognize at least light trace, and to stop stick blending at that point. (many beginners stick blend too much).
 

Benjifrazer

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For the one pot wonder you need your batter traced enough so that as you pour your colours together in one pot they remain separate BUT thin enough it will pour beautifully into the mould.

if you want to play around with a similar technique why not try a ombré pour. This still requires a good knowledge of trace but you work with one colour that you slowly add uncoloured batter to in order to lighten said colour incrementally creating a gradient through the bar.

It’s still a very satisfying pour but it is more achievable in my opinion than working bc with multiple colours.

I’d suggest using mica from a reputable company (Resin8/micamoma in the UK or Mad Micas US). I always disperse my mica first by which I mean I mix my mica with a little light oil (olive or avocado) which means it blends better into my batter (less stick blending means slower trace )
 
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It is my humble belief that Saltynuts is of the X-Y chromosome pairing. The comments, attempt at humor(?) etc., seem to lean that direction.

Also the "CHEW CHEW!!!!! Chugga chugga chugga chugga CHEW CHEW!!!! All aboard the soap making train!!! CHEW CHEW!!!!" sounds like a fraternity chant from the 1980's or earlier.

Thanks so much everyone! First question - here are the cheap colors I got:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077WT912J/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Thoughts on those and how they will behave in the mix?
Ah yes... the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten!
 

Microchick

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Thank you Sarouche! Olive oil, check, I think I'll do just that. So for the amount of water, what calculator do you use? Because I mentioned in another thread soapcalc.net gives me a very big difference in the amount of water to use versus the brambleberry calculator (the brambleberry one tells me to use a lot more, I am just using their default calculations by the way).

Sodium lactate, check I got that tip from my main girl Tere at Tree Marie Soapworks, had some show up just yesterday!

Hanger swirl I need to check out, will do so.

Thanks!!!
Use the soapmakingfriend calculator at the top of the page. To access it if you aren't on the forum just add .com. ITPS was my first and still favorite design. Good for beginners because beginners use the stickblender too much resulting in a thicker trace which works well for ITPS.
Check this video for education about trace

 

Saltynuts

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Hi everyone. Well, I apologize, I was not able to make it today. I was, but my significant other wanted to go out with friends, so I had to watch the kid, I was not really comfortable making soap with him around this young (and wet under the ears) in my soaping career so I just took him to Chuck E Cheese and when I got back earlier I was just too tired.

So hopefully tomorrow will be my big day!

But I did manage to look at the soaps I have (and bought). Here is what I have, probably more as well:

Olive oil (Sarouche mentioned maybe using just this, but lenarenee disagreed whole-heartedly) - I have a ton of it.
Lard (I had one pound of it, but I bought a second on lenaranee's comment that lard is a new soapers best friend) - so I have 2 pounds of it.
Coconut oil - I have a very big amount of it.
Avacado oil - a good amount of it.
Canola oil - a ton of it
vegetable oil - a ton of it (but I am wary of the word "vegetable", that can be a lot of different oils that are covered by that description LOL).
sesame oil - at least a little bit
jajoba oil - at least a litte bit
pumpkinseed oil I think I have some around as well.

My sodium lactate arrived as well!

Can anyone suggest a good recipe? Lenarenee suggested 75% lard 25% coconut, is that a good way to go? I'm fine with that, and fine using other oils as well, whatever works!

Thanks so much everyone!!!
 

Babyshoes

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Looking at that list, I'd say keep it simple. A reasonably balanced, nice soap can be achieved with just 3 of those. Some of the others can be used in soap, but many with caveats so best to stay away from them until you fully understand the properties of each in soap.

From your list, I would personally use 40% each lard and olive, and 20% coconut. 5% superfat, 33% lye concentration/ 2:1 lye ratio. (Water to oils setting is more useful for hot process, best avoid it for cold process.)

Stick with plain distilled water to start with. If you want to do coloured swirls, ideally avoid fragrance in this batch.

A useful test batch size is around 500g/a pound of oils. Weighing out less than that will amplify tiny inaccuracies in your scales, but it's a small enough amount that you won't feel too bad if it goes totally wrong.

If you don't have a suitable mould in that size, you can use a plastic or cardboard box and line it carefully with freezer paper. My first few batches were made in a well washed plastic cat food tub, but a margarine tub would work well too. You can also use a Pringles tube.

This should give you a perfectly decent finished bar of soap which isn't too drying on the skin for most people, but still has a reasonable amount of lather in use.
As long as you don't work too warm and avoid over-blending, this recipe should stay at the level of trace where you stop stick blending for quite a while before it thickens too much. Certainly it would be long enough for all the basic swirls that I've tried so far...

I use a similar recipe which also includes a bit of Shea butter and castor oil, and of I've worked at a very light trace, that often needs to sit on the counter for a good 10-15 minutes after pouring before I can add texture to the top and/or move the mould anywhere. It's more likely to happen in cold weather.
 
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Can anyone suggest a good recipe?
Why don't you purchase a book on cold process soapmaking? IF someone suggests a recipe you probably won't follow it to the "T" anyway, or you won't like this or like that or whatever. We are here to help you with issues or problems or friendly suggestions, but not to give you the whole kit and kaboodle in one fell swoop.

Click the following link to get this book at Amazon:
The Natural Soap Making Book for Beginners
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Personally I make bar soap with coconut oil, palm oil and/or lard, shea butter, cocoa butter, sodium hydroxide, distilled water, sodium lactate, sodium citrate, sorbitol or sugar, kaolin clay or French clay, and sometimes titanium dioxide. The proportions are mine to keep.

Use the Soapmaking Friend Calculator associated with this forum. If you scroll to the top of the page you will see a tab on the far right titled "CALCULATOR". As Babyshoes stated, stay around 500 grams for your first batches. The calculator defaults to 500 grams or since you have a silicone mold and wood box for it, plug in the dimensions in the area on the calculator and it will automatically calculate the total amount needed to fill the mold. Plug in some different oils and varying amounts and see how the calculator works and what the net result will be for your intended batch.

Use the KISS principle, don't get all fancy and try to become an artisan soapmaker overnight. Many of the contributing members on this forum have been making soap for years, and many of those sell their products too.

BTW, you misspelled artisan as artesian, which is a type of water well that flows under it's own pressure from the aquifer it's associated with.
 
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Can anyone suggest a good recipe? Lenarenee suggested 75% lard 25% coconut, is that a good way to go? I'm fine with that, and fine using other oils as well, whatever works!

Thanks so much everyone!!!

Lots and lots of nice recipes in this forum using those oils of if you use the search feature.

Hope
 

Benjifrazer

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I’d suggest running the following through a soap calculator

30% Olive
30% Coconut
5% Avocado
5% canola (rapeseed in the UK)
30% Lard

It gives you 60/40 split in favour of hard oils -which should help you with a harder bar (but i think you may need to leave it in the mould for a couple of days.

Lard soap is a slow trace so i think this recipe should be slower to trace.

I would recommend making a 500g batch to start - review the recipe and the making ( you should make notes at every point)

this would then give you an idea of how the soap behaves, how it feels to work with and the 48 hours means that saponification will have certainly occurred.

and when you unmould you can test it for later and bubble (and also compare the later and bubble after cure too) - and then you can tweak the recipe... add in other oils and play with the %

ALWAYS ALWASY ALWAYS run each recipe through a soap calculator EVERY TIME

Oh plus have fun, and warn your significant other / friends / work colleagues you are going to be come a soaping addict!
 
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Canola oil - a ton of it
vegetable oil - a ton of it (but I am wary of the word "vegetable", that can be a lot of different oils that are covered by that description LOL).
sesame oil - at least a little bit
jajoba oil - at least a litte bit
pumpkinseed oil I think I have some around as well.
Only use one of these at a time, and at first at maximum 10%. Only go higher when you have an otherwise proven recipe, and you know how to make these behave well.
 
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My 2 cents is to save jojoba oil for other bath and body products. It is expensive and does not retain its characteristics during saponification -- and soap washes off right away. It feels great on skin and can be used in lotion bars or lotion. I know you're just getting started on soap, but once the addiction starts you'll soon find yourself making homemade everything! :)
 

Saltynuts

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Well, I got it made, I can say that at least. But it was a complete failure. I was going to do a "one pot swirl" or "one pot wonder", but against good advice I did add fragrance, and when I added that and sodium lactate and the colors my soap went from what I think was a "heavy emulsion" - it was not trace yet but not far from it probably - to the consistency of play-dough in like 13 seconds, not sure if it was the fragrance, the sodium lactate or the colors that did it, or all three. But wow. So I ended up just making a 3-color soap and mashing the 3 colors in the slab one at a time. Dear lord.

Well, I'll post more details or the recipe and exactly what I did, and pictures of the monstrosity, in the next day or so.

Thanks for all the help everyone.
 
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Well, I got it made, I can say that at least. But it was a complete failure. I was going to do a "one pot swirl" or "one pot wonder", but against good advice I did add fragrance, and when I added that and sodium lactate and the colors my soap went from what I think was a "heavy emulsion" - it was not trace yet but not far from it probably - to the consistency of play-dough in like 13 seconds, not sure if it was the fragrance, the sodium lactate or the colors that did it, or all three. But wow. So I ended up just making a 3-color soap and mashing the 3 colors in the slab one at a time. Dear lord.

Well, I'll post more details or the recipe and exactly what I did, and pictures of the monstrosity, in the next day or so.

Thanks for all the help everyone.

Hey, congratulations on your first soap!! What was the fragrance? (If it went from fluid to play - doh in 13 seconds, I'd say it was the fragrance. Or false trace, but you'd know that soon after because you'd see oil and lye separating). Any idea what the general temperature of your lye and oils were?
 
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Well, I got it made, I can say that at least. But it was a complete failure. I was going to do a "one pot swirl" or "one pot wonder", but against good advice I did add fragrance, and when I added that and sodium lactate and the colors my soap went from what I think was a "heavy emulsion" - it was not trace yet but not far from it probably - to the consistency of play-dough in like 13 seconds, not sure if it was the fragrance, the sodium lactate or the colors that did it, or all three. But wow. So I ended up just making a 3-color soap and mashing the 3 colors in the slab one at a time. Dear lord.

Well, I'll post more details or the recipe and exactly what I did, and pictures of the monstrosity, in the next day or so.

Thanks for all the help everyone.
Did I or did I not tell you to watch your fragrance? :oops: You did not listen did you - you just chew chewed right through the station! LOL. Oh well, you will still have soap, and it's fine to use it so long as everything else is fine recipe-wise.
 

TheGecko

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But it was a complete failure.

One of my jobs at work is to train folks as to processes and procedures. Folks that choose not to listen don’t last long…not because of me as an individual, but because the processes work, because it makes everyone’s jobs easier. FYI - I am a Senior Staff Accountant for a CPA firm. When I train someone in how we do things, I also explain why we do it this way and the benefits gained. I also explain why we don’t do it a different way, the problems that it can cause. There is a certain amount of flexibility built into the processes because every client is different, every person works differently, but the end result has to be the same.

Soap making is about processes and procedures. There is a lot of flexibility…so many oils and butters and additives and colorants and scents and molds to choose from; hot process, cold process, cold process oven process, melt & pour, rebatch; to gel or not to gel; to make every batch from scratch or to master batch; but the end result has to be the same…soap.

We are here to help you. We want you to be successful. There is literally hundreds of years of experience here and it’s not just local…it’s world wide.
 
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consistency of play-dough in like 13 seconds, not sure if it was the fragrance, the sodium lactate or the colors that did it, or all three.
Usually it is the fragrance oils that cause a fast trace. At least in my experience. These days I add the fragrance oils to the warmed oils and stick blend them in before adding the lye solution. This method has, for me at least, given very good results in that trace is slowed down quite a bit and overall easier to work with. I doubt the colors caused the quick trace issue. Also, in cold process soap, add the sodium lactate to the cooled lye water prior to adding the lye to the oils.
 
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