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Confessions of a soapmaker

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I cut the toes out of my old socks to use as arm protectors instead of wearing long sleeves so if I get soap or lye on my "sleeve" I can just whip it off and grab another mutilated sock from the box. My mom almost threw out my mutilated sock box because she thought they were trash. My family thinks I'm insane for keeping them. lol
Nothing wrong with upcycle. Its beneficial to your budget. I don't think you are crazy. Matter fact recycling old t-shirts for clean up saves money too.
 

GemstonePony

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Am I the only person who wears long gloves, and just washes and reuses them? I also wear a long-sleeved, zippered jacket so if I spill batter on my jacket I don't have to lift anything over my head to remove the jacket. I haven't spilled batter on my jacket yet, it's just a safety precaution.
 

TashaBird

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Am I the only person who wears long gloves, and just washes and reuses them? I also wear a long-sleeved, zippered jacket so if I spill batter on my jacket I don't have to lift anything over my head to remove the jacket. I haven't spilled batter on my jacket yet, it's just a safety precaution.
I just ordered some long dish gloves to use for soap and dishes. And, I was thinking about a rubber apron.
 

Rsapienza

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May I ask what brand you use? We've tried a couple and they were terrible - didn't absorb and shrank incredibly after a single wash.
I don't currently use them. I had bought a couple different ones off Amazon, but I too found they shrank something awful. Now I just use an old cut up towel.
 

Susie

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I do use gloves, but I stopped using long sleeves or anything else on my arms. I found that I am much better at feeling small splatters and rinsing quickly. I have gotten some bad lye burns from having batter on my sleeves that soaked through.
 

CatahoulaBubble

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Am I the only person who wears long gloves, and just washes and reuses them? I also wear a long-sleeved, zippered jacket so if I spill batter on my jacket I don't have to lift anything over my head to remove the jacket. I haven't spilled batter on my jacket yet, it's just a safety precaution.
They make me sweat too much and I can't stand it.
 

CatahoulaBubble

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I just ordered some long dish gloves to use for soap and dishes. And, I was thinking about a rubber apron.
I don't use a rubber apron, I just have a water resistant apron. I always thought aprons were silly until I started soap making and now I wear an apron every time I am in the kitchen. I've turned into my grandmother. :)
 

Zing

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This thread is just cracking me up! I thought I was crazy to be perseverating on spatulas and I really want to find one-piece ones. I have a spatula where the thingy separated from the handle when I was making lotion bars and beeswax got down into the thingy and now the handle can only go down into the thingy part way (feeling very articulate tonight).

Before I made my first soap (curiously I had not watched any YouTubes) I took all the lye warnings seriously and I got these super long industrially indestructible gloves, plus uber-goggles. My boys made fun of me and said I was out of a "Breaking Bad" episode. Three years later and I'm still wearing the gloves and love them. At least I'm not using one-use gloves and tossing them. And I wear my hoodie that's missing a zipper and has holes and bleach stains. #SexySoaper

However...I do go thru a lot of paper towels. Yes, I said it. And I feel guilty so am glad to get all these suggestions. During soaping sessions is when I use paper towels. But for clean up I use newspaper (for you younguns, it's this thing kinda like cnn.com except it's on paper) and wipe out/off all my utensils and bowls.
 

Catscankim

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For those talking about towel issues I have one word for you...microfiber.

I got tired of wasting paper towels and they really didn't work all that well...wet or dry they just seemed to smear everything around. So one day I accidently grabbed one of my micofiber dust towels instead of a regular dish towels and WOW...it really sucked up the dispersed mica I had just spilt. I was then going to toss it in the washer, but decided to rinse it out with a bit of Dawn and water and again...WOW. Not a trace of mica and the towel didn't feel oily.

Went to Amazon and ordered these: Microfiber Towels. I absolutely love them!
I just ordered these from your link Lol. I have come to love microfiber towels for soapmaking. They are so versatile!

One thing i have learned...dont put them in the dryer. It ruins them. They attract every piece of lint.

The one i use in my sink is perfect for cleaning soapy/oily containers with some dawn. I was using sponges, but they just got eaten away, i guess from the lye. Plus you can get the towel into all the crevices to get things really clean.
 

CatahoulaBubble

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For those talking about towel issues I have one word for you...microfiber.

I got tired of wasting paper towels and they really didn't work all that well...wet or dry they just seemed to smear everything around. So one day I accidently grabbed one of my micofiber dust towels instead of a regular dish towels and WOW...it really sucked up the dispersed mica I had just spilt. I was then going to toss it in the washer, but decided to rinse it out with a bit of Dawn and water and again...WOW. Not a trace of mica and the towel didn't feel oily.

Went to Amazon and ordered these: Microfiber Towels. I absolutely love them!
So I bought some last week and used them today. Holy soap cleaning these are fantastic. I just ordered a pack of 50. They cleaned up the oils and residue soap 100 times better than paper towels and just tossed them in the washing machine for when I next do laundry.
 

TheGecko

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One thing i have learned...dont put them in the dryer. It ruins them. They attract every piece of lint.
I haven't had any issues with drying, but I do use the Bounce dryer sheets in the black box because I have cats. They still stick to each other, but now to my other towels.

So I bought some last week and used them today. Holy soap cleaning these are fantastic. I just ordered a pack of 50. They cleaned up the oils and residue soap 100 times better than paper towels and just tossed them in the washing machine for when I next do laundry.
I'm glad you like them. I would suggest rinsing them with some soap and then letting them dry before tossing in the washer...any batter residue turns to soap.
 

LilianNoir

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This thread is just cracking me up! I thought I was crazy to be perseverating on spatulas and I really want to find one-piece ones. I have a spatula where the thingy separated from the handle when I was making lotion bars and beeswax got down into the thingy and now the handle can only go down into the thingy part way (feeling very articulate tonight).

Before I made my first soap (curiously I had not watched any YouTubes) I took all the lye warnings seriously and I got these super long industrially indestructible gloves, plus uber-goggles. My boys made fun of me and said I was out of a "Breaking Bad" episode. Three years later and I'm still wearing the gloves and love them. At least I'm not using one-use gloves and tossing them. And I wear my hoodie that's missing a zipper and has holes and bleach stains. #SexySoaper

However...I do go thru a lot of paper towels. Yes, I said it. And I feel guilty so am glad to get all these suggestions. During soaping sessions is when I use paper towels. But for clean up I use newspaper (for you younguns, it's this thing kinda like cnn.com except it's on paper) and wipe out/off all my utensils and bowls.
@Zing, go buy thee the spatulas I linked to! (here) Do eeeeeeet!
I used to make gourmet cupcakes in college(for friends,family, coworkers, nothing serious but I did bake a lot) and that was when I learned that I hate two part spatulas. NEVER AGAIN.

Interesting to see the convos re: arm warmer and aprons.

Over the past year, I've gone through different types of protective gear, trying to find what works for me; my old lab coat (sleeves are too wide and hang and I have dipped them in soap batter more than a few times. PASS), long sleeve cotton shirts(not bad, but my kitchen is always warm and that doesn't help and I don't like that I have to take the whole shirt off if batter or lye solution soaks it), then 3/4 sleeves with long gloves(better but there's a tiny gap where they don't quite meet), and finally a waterproof canvas work apron with long gloves. The last one has been what I've done in my last few sessions, and while it IS warm, I like all the storage/pockets of the apron, but there are still parts of my arm exposed.
I got this, if anyone is interested:

I will still recommend an apron though. With separate protective arm gear. I hadn't even THOUGHT about arm warmers... which is hilarious because I'm gothic kind of girl in my aesthetic and I own no less than half a dozen fancy, decorative arm warmers(I live in FLORIDA. I don't even wear them but like one month a year. 😂 🤣 Don't judge me ;))

Honestly the arm warmer thing sounds like a perfect solution. Cheap and easy to make. Easy to take off if it gets something on it. Easy to clean.
AND! the timing couldn't be better, because I had just gone through old clothes and was about to get rid of a bunch of long/knee high socks that didn't fit me and/or I didn't wear (see: Florida).They were in a bag to go to goodwill when I saw the posts about arm warmers and using old socks. Thanks for that!

Oh man, it's been like a month plus since I made soap. I need to make it again sooooon.
 

TheGecko

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@Zing, go buy thee the spatulas I linked to! (here) Do eeeeeeet!
I have them...got them from the Dollar Tree. IMHO they are good for some things, but I can't scrape out a bowl with them so I go with the softer rubber ones (Betty Crocker - Dollar Tree). And I agree about the two part ones...as for cooking/baking. I pulled one apart and OMG, it was black inside. All my the BC ones I got from the Dollar Tree got a good bleaching and I only use them for soaping. I then went and order a set of one-piece silicone ones off Amazon.

Interesting to see the convos re: arm warmer and aprons.
I tried using long sleeves, but they just got in the way and it was too warm for the summer. I just wear an old t-shirt of my husband's, leggings, sometimes slippers and an apron. Mind you, I don't need an apron, but when I saw the Cat Apron on Amazon I just had to have it. It sits on the same hook as my stick blender so I don't forget to put it on and I keep my eye protection in one of the pockets.
 

CatahoulaBubble

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I haven't had any issues with drying, but I do use the Bounce dryer sheets in the black box because I have cats. They still stick to each other, but now to my other towels.



I'm glad you like them. I would suggest rinsing them with some soap and then letting them dry before tossing in the washer...any batter residue turns to soap.
Oh I put them in a bucket of water as I'm cleaning up so I can just wring them out and wash them.
 

GemstonePony

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Target has single-piece, smooth, convex, silicone spatulas for $5 right now. Relatively stiff with thin edges. I bought 4, and I'm thrilled with them. Considering getting more for actual baking.
 

earlene

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I do this, too! I thought I made up this trick so it cracks me up that someone else had the same thought.
No you are not the only one; I suspect hundreds of people do this or something similar. I've used old sleeves from cardigans as well; what I cannot donate to Goodwill goes into the rag bag; what I can re-purpose gets re-purposed. I have even used waistbands from skirts as head bands to keep my hair off my face (back in the day when I wore knit skirts with knit waistbands - don't have that figure anymore :hippo: ).

Although I prefer not to cover my arms when making soap, because like Susie, I feel the soap on bare skin sooner than if it soaks through fabric. Clean-up is easier for me this way.

Old flannel pjs happen to be very useful for insulating soap or cleaning up spills, or any number of things, depending on how good shape the fabric is still in and with the right color scheme, I even use them for decor purposes. But that's beyond soap.

Regarding aprons: I use a normal kitchen apron - okay what is normal? For me it's a big apron that also wraps around the bottom half and ties are long enough to wrap all the way around to tie in a bow in the front. Plus I like pockets, just in case I need to pocket something. I have some white ones just for soaping, but also a pillow ticking apron and a fancy-ish one given out by the Guild at a conference I attended. It's a little short. I like the close to knee-length ones better. I also don't wear socks while soaping. I can feel raw soap if it splashes on my toes, but not if I'm wearing socks. I don't wear close-toe shoes ever unless it's snowing or raining or I'm hiking in the woods. I'm a flip-flops gal all the way most of the time.

Regarding gloves: I prefer nitrile gloves that cover my wrists. I don't like thick kitchen gloves for soaping; they make me sweat too much and I just don't have the dexterity with them that I do with nitrile gloves. I sweat in them, too, but it's not as bad as with kitchen gloves.
 
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