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Finally got all my ingredients :)

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not_ally

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Because you know how much fun you are going to have doing this, for a long time. Just begin, once you do it the nervousness will go away and the real craziness will start (don't be surprised if you have soap dreams :)
 

Obsidian

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I was a bundle of nerves the first few times I made soap. Just take your time and make a check list to make sure you don't accidentally leave something out.
 

gigisiguenza

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Ally - LOL I already have soap dreams
Obsidian - oh that's a great idea!

:)

Question, is it ok to mix up the lye solution ahead of time? Like if I did it outside on the patio, then come in and put it up while I go about setting up everything else? Even if that takes a while to do?

This is probably a very silly question, I know, but I don't want to mess it up - yanno, like when you mix hair dye... you better be ready to use it before it turns... Lmao

Oh, btw - I found the castor oil at Wal-Mart for cheap, like 2 bucks a bottle. And the Manteca too - big tubs for $5 each, and LouAnnes coconut oil too.

Plus, after seeing the recent threads regarding lye and tools people thought were SS but turned out to be aluminum, I got a silicone whisk because I can't tell if mine is SS or not and the idea of a big ole fizzy science experiment happening while I'm trying to soap just had me cracking up at the mental image of me running in circles yelling "ahhhhhhh!" like in home alone ... LMFAO
 

Susie

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Yes, you can pre-mix the lye and water, then bring it in. I was a bundle of nerves my first few batches.

You do have a stick blender, right?
 

gigisiguenza

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Susie - yep, my cuisinart. Expensive one, which I'm right this minute looking online to make sure is totally SS LOL
 

snappyllama

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The cusinart should be fine. One tip I have is to get everything ready to go before you start to mix anything. Print out your recipe and check off each ingredient as you use it. It's a nice place to take notes. And remember to take pictures! Have fun!
 

gigisiguenza

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Susie - I can't believe I found the box for the stick blender lol. I'm safe, it's brushed SS.

snappyllama - I don't have a printer, but I have my soap batching book, which is what I'm using to track the recipe I use and notes. :)
 

ArtisanDesigns

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I was so nervous the first batch. SO great a way to express yourself. You are going to love it :)
 

gigisiguenza

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AD - thanks, I'm excited! I'm currently looking for a balanced beginner recipe. Trying to find the one I wrote down from a previous thread too LOL.
 

cmzaha

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I always mix my lye in my sink and leave it. The more you carry around a container of lye the more chance of a spill. The only time I ever spilled lye I tripped on my deck and splashed some out of my pitcher. None on me, but I deck was not happy. The more you carry it around the more chance of an accident, and you are already nervous getting your first soap made. I just hold my breath until I get all the lye poured in and mixed and keep my face back from the container. The actual plume of vapor only lasts a few seconds.
 

gigisiguenza

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I always mix my lye in my sink and leave it. The more you carry around a container of lye the more chance of a spill. The only time I ever spilled lye I tripped on my deck and splashed some out of my pitcher. None on me, but I deck was not happy. The more you carry it around the more chance of an accident, and you are already nervous getting your first soap made. I just hold my breath until I get all the lye poured in and mixed and keep my face back from the container. The actual plume of vapor only lasts a few seconds.
I was thinking along those lines myself, about just mixing it up in the sink or on the counter n letting it sit there until my oils are ready. Then bring the oils to the lye, add lye solution to the pot, *then* there would be less chance of an oops.

Thanks for the tips! I'm still debating on a recipe so I'm not starting yet :)
 

Jstar

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Once you get past the first 'fear of the lye', and get that batter poured and resting for the night, you will be like 'that really wasn't that scary' {ask me how I know..I was 'terrified' my first time} :lol:

You will be assimilated overnight...heh heh ;)
 

spenny92

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I agree with everyone else about getting "the fear" when it comes to lye. I was so terrified making my first batch that I managed to coerce my boyfriend into mixing the lye for me, so I could see first-hand what happened. Which was absolutely nothing! As long as you follow basic safety precautions (I'm sure you know already, but eye goggles, gloves, long sleeves, closed toe shoes, etc...) then it's not as scary as it sounds. I always mix my lye solution in an ice bath in the sink, that way if there ever is an oops, it'll be easier to control.

If it makes you feel any better, I'm probably the clumsiest person I know. I trip over my own feet, smash glasses or dishes at least once a week and sometimes stab myself in the mouth with a fork when I'm eating. But I can make soap, so you can too. Once you get your first batch out the way, you'll just be excited to make more and those nerves will be long gone. I've only made 10-15 batches, but I already look at my first one and almost cry with laughter. It's horrendously ugly, weirdly shaped and absolutely coated in either soda ash or mould. I'll never use it, but it helped me learn. I'm excited to hear how your first batch goes, and definitely take lots of photos and lots of notes. I didn't have a printer when I started, and my notes are a little mish-mashed, but it really helps to have thorough notes once you're a few batches in, as it's oh so easy to get confused with minor recipe differences between batches.

Good luck!
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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As all of the above - it's to be respected, certainly, but not feared. If you can make a cup of tea without pouring boiling water all over the place then you can make soap!

As for a recipe, a great starting point (with castor as you have it) is-

50% lard
30% olive oil
15% coconut
5% castor

Makes a very creamy lather - might not be able to make a fake bubble-beard in the bath with it, but such a creamy lather!
 

gigisiguenza

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You guys are so awesome.... thanks so much for the reassurances and advice! I'm sitting here looking at recipes to find a basic that I can tweak a little cuz I've been too chicken to actually go make a batch yet LOL. I'm getting closer tho, so I'm sure it will be by tomorrow! I'm being my usual ocd self and hyper organizing myself hahaha. I wanna feel fully prepared to rock socks when I step up to the soap table :)

:::: going back to making my index card reference stuff::::

As all of the above - it's to be respected, certainly, but not feared. If you can make a cup of tea without pouring boiling water all over the place then you can make soap!

As for a recipe, a great starting point (with castor as you have it) is-

50% lard
30% olive oil
15% coconut
5% castor

Makes a very creamy lather - might not be able to make a fake bubble-beard in the bath with it, but such a creamy lather!
TEG - awesome, thank you! And as I'm not currently jonesing for a bubble beard, I'm pretty sure that won't be an issue LOL
 

Susie

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If your stove has a vent hood, just crank that on high and mix the lye and water under there. Work at arm's length, and it will be fine.

I am going to second Craig's recipe. We have all made that(or close enough), so we can troubleshoot it with no problems if something goes wrong.
 

dillsandwitch

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As all of the above - it's to be respected, certainly, but not feared. If you can make a cup of tea without pouring boiling water all over the place then you can make soap!

So are you saying then that I shouldn't be making soap? Haha.

I make quite the mess when trying to make tea, coffee, 2 minute noodles... Then theres all the falling down I do and walking into planks and banging my head on things... Yeah I'm quite the dingus and DH would say.
 

shunt2011

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You've received excellent advice. I agree with the others on not transporting the lye too much. I mix mine in the sink with the window cracked. I generally make mine the night or day before I plan on soaping so it's ready to go.

Jump in and have fun with it. Keep great notes and you'll have soap!
 
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