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cold process soap question

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fladais

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hi everyone,

i've been making melt & pour soaps for about a year now and i enjoy working with it.

i was reading on a website where a lady states she has a recipe she uses for cold process soap and when it's cured, there is no lye in left in any of the bars.

is this possible? i've been curious about making cold process soap, but i've been a bit afraid of, well...lye.

i'd like to try a batch but i don't have any recipes. i'll search the board to see if i can find some but i'm very curious about how much lye is left in a bar of soap. does anyone know?

oh, and what's a "trace?" i think i need to do a bit of research. ;)

thanks,

fladais
 

sassylady

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Hi fladais. If you calculate your recipe correctly there should be no lye left in your soap. If there is lye left, you have lye heavy soap that isn't usable.

Check the recipe sections or go to Kathy Miller's site, which you can google for. Alway run any recipe through a lye calculator, of which there are many on the web. The one I use is soapcalc.com. It takes a little getting used to, but I can spend hours formulating recipes, most of which will never be made. LOL! I think I saw a soapcalc tutorial somewhere on this site, you could search for it.

Making soap is so much fun! I find it very rewarding to use soap that I made myself, and it's so much better for my skin than store bought stuff.
 

IanT

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Welcome to the forum!!

Have you ever made cake before?? I compare trace to when the cake batter... when you lift the spoon/whisk/Stick Blender in to the air with a small amount of the batter on it, and let some drool off on to the top of the batter, you know youve reached trace when the batter that drools off sits in whatever pattern it drools off in for a second before assimilating back into the mixture.

This is usually the point where things speed up quite a bit in soapmaking, usually people wait for a very light trace, add essential oils (known as EO here on the board and elsewhere online, or Fragrance oils--FO's), and whatever other herbal ingredients you can use...


just do alot of research! i reccomend getting a notebook and writing down all the things you find useful, or develop a list of questions and research them... ive got two batches under my belt before, did research for about a week and Im pretty confident now that I can make a batch of soap....but we are always learning (and my notebook is growing full!)


if you need any help dont be afraid to ask!


Ian
 

Neil

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Fladais;

Did you ever stop to think the stuff you use to make melt and pour soap was made using lye? Yet you find no lye in it. Same with the Cold process if it’s done right the lye goes through a chemical change and becomes neutral. Everyone, me included would like to make soap without the use of Lye... But it’s kind of like wanting a beef hamburger without killing a cow.

Using Lye takes extra care especially around Children and pets. here
are a few tips from me.
1. have the kids and pets in another room or location.
2. dont have any distractions.
3. Have a solution of vinegar and water at the ready to neutralize any spills.
4. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.
5. Use cold water when mixing lye and water.
6. Always pour the lye into the water, not the other way around.
7. Treat the new soap as you do lye until its cured and neutral.
8. When you mix the lye and water it will heat up on its own (Hot).
so make sure the mixing container can take the heat.
9. Use stanless steel or a plastic that can withstan the lye and heat.
10. Read what others have done and ask questions.
 

Soapmaker Man

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Yup, no lye, either sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide, no soap on any kind, impossible. I liken it to a cake batter or recipe. You need flour, water or milk, eggs, sugar, baking soda, etc to make a cake, but when done, show me the eggs, the milk, the flour, the baking soda, you can't. :wink: They have combined to change into ... cake. Same with any soaps, soft hand, cp, hp, M&P, all took oils, or the acids, and some type of lye, the base, to chemically change the items into a sum, soap. :wink: But no lye left like no baking soda or eggs left, changed, transformed into something wonderful to enjoy, like our soap is. :wink: 8)

Paul
 

IanT

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lol couldnt think of a better word to explain it!!

EDIT: No worries, thats what the forum is here for, learn and teach...its a constant process, and I think everyone ...no matter how much they think they know can allllllllllllways learn more... :)
 

lotionlady

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I personally think that the first time you make soap it is a good idea to get someone who has done it before to show you how to safely handle the lye. Or take a class. Or even watch a video. Here's one I found searching for "video how to make soap"

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/1870 ... -ready.htm

There are probably others out there. I didn't actually watch it so I don't know if it's any good, but you get the idea :)
 

SouthernEssence

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i was reading on a website where a lady states she has a recipe she uses for cold process soap and when it's cured, there is no lye in left in any of the bars.
All soap is made with lye, that doesn't mean it contains lye.

4th question down:
http://southern-essence.com/FAQs.html

Even your melt and pour soap was made with lye (http://www.brambleberry.com/stephenson.html):
Glycerine, Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Lauric Acid, Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sorbitol, Triethanolamine, Sodium Chloride, EDTA
 

fladais

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thanks again for all your help. i can't wait to make a batch now!

:)

i've ordered "smart soapmaking" by anne watson. i was searching around for books and this one had a lot of good reviews.
 

IanT

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Even your melt and pour soap was made with lye (http://www.brambleberry.com/stephenson.html):
Glycerine, Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Lauric Acid, Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sorbitol, Triethanolamine, Sodium Chloride, EDTA
[/quote]




"Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sorbitol, Triethanolamine, Sodium Chloride, EDTA" what is that stuff?? I thought Sorbitol was a FOOD sweetener?? are they maybe using this in place of sugar to make better bubbles??, I dont like stuff in my soap with lots of syllables...is that stuff all o.k. to use??
 

lotionlady

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IanT said:
"Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sorbitol, Triethanolamine, Sodium Chloride, EDTA" what is that stuff?? I thought Sorbitol was a FOOD sweetener?? are they maybe using this in place of sugar to make better bubbles??, I dont like stuff in my soap with lots of syllables...is that stuff all o.k. to use??
Detergents, ph balancers, sugars and who knows what all. Oh, and salt. Yeah, I think sugar(s) give a more stable lather. I don't like using these things myself. I guess it depends on what your focus is.

If you want to make sure there is no free lye in your finished soap, be sure to superfat at least 5-6% if not more in some cases.
 

SouthernEssence

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IanT said:
Even your melt and pour soap was made with lye (http://www.brambleberry.com/stephenson.html):
Glycerine, Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Lauric Acid, Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sorbitol, Triethanolamine, Sodium Chloride, EDTA


I dont like stuff in my soap with lots of syllables...is that stuff all o.k. to use??[/quote]

LOL me either...that's why I make my own from scratch. I know exactly everything that goes into my soap and so do my customers.
 

IanT

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lol exactly! thats the WHOLE reason i got into soapmaking in the first place!! Take all the unknown nasties out of my life equation :)


princess---lol!!
 

fladais

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whew! ok, so i just made a batch of soap. when it's time for slicing, i'll post pics.

the recipe i found made a 4 pound batch. i wish i had a recipe for a smaller batch. i'll keep looking!

:)
 

Neil

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fladais

I sure hope your soap comes out well. anticipating photos.
 

fladais

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i'm going to take a sneek peek at it when i get home. will it be ok to slice today or should i wait til tomorrow?
 

IanT

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if its semi hard throughout...i say give it the knife!!!


I am so bad at waiting when I am excited :)

Mine were fine after an 18hr schnooze
 

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