First attempt - Which oils should I use?

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HappyBubble

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Hello Everybody.

I'm quite new to this home-made stuff like soap and deodorants and finally came across this forum. I'm lurking around for a few days and I'm impressed by this amazing community. All this useful information and so many tips and tricks. I'm looking forward to be part of this community and, hopefully, get some answers to my questions.

First of all, I started to make my own basic, liquid, ash-soap and a simple soda-based deodorant. Now I want to take the next step ahead to more “sophisticated” stuff. I found a basic recipe for a lye-based soap just using coconut oil, lye and water.

I also would like to add scent to the soap. So my question is what scented oils should I use? I'm mainly talking about the brands here. There are so many out there, it is really confusing, especially for a beginner like me. I already checked out some classified websites like https://www.cheap.forsale/natural-scent-oil where you can buy cheap oils online, but I don't trust them. I mean I don't want to make my own, natural soap and then “spoil” it with a “bad” oil. So are there some recommendations for commonly brands?

Any feedback is highly appreciated.
 
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Susie

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Hey and welcome!

I agree with Catastrophe! You probably do not want to make a soap with just coconut oil. I find them very drying, also.

My first suggestion to you is to go read at least the first five pages of threads in the beginner section. Be sure to read the stickies. Especially the one about how to use Soapcalc.net lye calculator.

My second suggestion is to come tell us what oils you have, and want to use in your soap. We can then help you formulate a good blend of oils.

After that, we will be happy to point you to good suppliers of fragrance or essential oils. Let us know what country you live in, so we can give you the proper answers.
 

shunt2011

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Hello and welcome!

As the others have suggested, reading the beginners section and the stickies are an excellent place to start. Checking out and playing with a soap calc is important as well as having the proper equipment and safety gear.

You can make 100% CO soap but need to use a 20% SF. It's not a bad soap but there are many to be made that are better.

If you have access to lard/palm, Olive, Castor along with the Coconut you can make some awesome soap.

Feel free to run things by us if you have any questions.
 

Scooter

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Also you may want to make sure you have a smallish mold (maybe 2 pounds or so.) I bought some cavity molds and then almost immediately got a 5 pound loaf mold. I would not say I regret it completely but I wish I had a smaller loaf mold. I cannot justify the expense of getting one now.

A smaller mold would allow you to make experimental batches more cheaply. Think about it.
 

artemis

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I totally agree with getting a small loaf mold or two. I have a 1 pound and a 2 pound. When I'm doing something new I like using the smaller one so I only end up with four weird bars if a batch goes wrong.
 

dixiedragon

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This is a great kit:
https://www.brambleberry.com/Natural-Soap-Kit-for-Beginners-P6607.aspx

It contains everything you need except - and I mean this literally - water, a soap-safe pot and a soap-safe spoon.

» Your choice of one of our three best-selling essential oils (Orange, Lavender or Lemongrass)
» Natural Colorant
» Natural Botanical
» Reusable Silicone Mold
» Digital Scale
» Goggles & Disposable Gloves
» Sodium Lactate
» Blend of Oils
» Sodium Hydroxide
» Instructions and Custom Bar Soap Labels
» Exclusive Online video
» FREE SHIPPING!

I have this mold and it is great.

If you want to buy locally, check healthfood stores and look for NOW brand. Read the label to be sure it is 100% essential oil. Some that work well and are inexpensive - lavender, mint and lemongrass. If you want to get a better price, online I like Camden Grey. A lot of people here recommend New Directions Aromatics. Brambleberry has essential oils as well - the price isn't as good as CG or NDA, but better than the local healthfood store. And if you are ordering other soap stuff from them, no point in paying more in shipping from someplace else. Unless you plan to order a lot of stuff.

Majestic Mountain Sage is another good source www.thesage.com. They have the Amazing Dozen with free shipping: https://www.thesage.com/catalog/products/Amazing-Dozen-Free-Shipping.html. You can get ANYTHING that comes in a 1 oz bottle and get free shipping. That includes essential oils, fragrances oils, flavor oils, hydrosols, etc.
 

Alison9712

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Hi, I'm just starting to understand more about soaps and exploring new recipes. But I started with a simple olive oil (pomace) soap. My olive oil soap has always been very mild and moisturizing. Maybe too much so for some people, who say it's hard to rinse off. Also the lather is very small. I buy the cheapest olive oil that I can find. I get mine from local discount grocery store: "Cash and Carry". The cheapest oil, still makes excellent soap. I've recently tried adding some coconut oil with the olive oil, and made a batch with lard. I'm hopeful that the lather will be improved. But I'm still waiting for it to cure. Oh.... and the other thing I did was sit and watch YouTube videos on using the soap calculator, until it made sense. Best of luck to you.
 

Steve85569

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Confused yet?

Each of us has a few recipes that are our own favorites. You will get a bunch of different answers for that very reason. That's part of why I make soap.

I would start with smaller batches say 24 to 32 ounces ( 700 to 1000 grams). That way you can decide which oils you like best.
My very first batch was the already mentioned coconut oil at 20% superfat. Made it twice.
I still use a coconut oil recipe but it also has a lot of salt in it. You'll hear more about that one later.

I get my oils at local stores ( watch the expiration dates) and as has been stated try to get the least expensive oils for soap. There are some oils that *may not* be what the label says so do some research on who may not label correctly. Olive oils can be diluted with other cheaper liquid oils.
I do not make liquid soap or deodorant so I can't help you there.

Welcome to the forum!:bunny:
 

Cactuslily

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The only thing I would add to all the great advice you've gotten, is to study various oils and butters properties, (fatty acid profiles). This will give you great insight in creating your own customized soaps. If anyone is able to post a link to a chart, that would be helpful for the OP. Happy soaping! The fun is just starting
 

Susie

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If you don't want to buy a kit, or expensive mold when you are not sure you want to make soap long term, you can buy plastic drawer organizers from Dollar Tree. The long one in the picture below makes an excellent no-line mold that holds 32 oz of oil batch (51 oz of total soap). I used it for a long time.

https://www.dollartree.com/Assorted-Plastic-Drawer-Organizers/p351875/index.pro

You can also get plastic spoons there (still using same set I started in), silicone spatulas (still using same spatula), safety goggles, disposable gloves, and plastic tablecloths (until you get the hang of the stick blender). I would not get the mixing bowls there, as they heat up and get soft. I would go to Lowe's or Home Depot and get some of these to mix lye and water, and then the soap in (they have different sizes):

https://www.lowes.com/pd/United-Solutions-1-Quart-Residential-Paint-Bucket/3735443

Whatever plastic you get, be sure it has a #2 or a 5 in the little triangle on the bottom. I prefer the #5, as they seem sturdier when hot.
 

mx6inpenn

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If you don't want to buy a kit, or expensive mold when you are not sure you want to make soap long term, you can buy plastic drawer organizers from Dollar Tree. The long one in the picture below makes an excellent no-line mold that holds 32 oz of oil batch (51 oz of total soap). I used it for a long time.

https://www.dollartree.com/Assorted-Plastic-Drawer-Organizers/p351875/index.pro
I still use these exact ones! I have finally ordered a wooden mold with silicone liner since I don't like having to trim the sides for a 90' angle now that I'm making more. But for starting out, you can't beat the price and it works great!
 

Scooter

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... you can buy plastic drawer organizers from Dollar Tree. The long one in the picture below makes an excellent no-line mold...

https://www.dollartree.com/Assorted-Plastic-Drawer-Organizers/p351875/index.pro

... I would go to Lowe's or Home Depot and get some of these to mix lye and water, and then the soap in (they have different sizes):

https://www.lowes.com/pd/United-Solutions-1-Quart-Residential-Paint-Bucket/3735443
This is really great advice. I wish I had known about these when I was starting out last year.
 

BrewerGeorge

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This is a great kit:
https://www.brambleberry.com/Natural-Soap-Kit-for-Beginners-P6607.aspx

It contains everything you need except - and I mean this literally - water, a soap-safe pot and a soap-safe spoon.

» Your choice of one of our three best-selling essential oils (Orange, Lavender or Lemongrass)
»...
If I had to do it again, I'd go this route for the first time. I would, however, strongly recommend that you do NOT choose the Orange option. Orange simply does not hold up in soap, and I'm not sure why they even sell it.
 

Susie

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Yep, citrus EOs are notorious faders in CP. Just save your money and buy lemongrass EO or citrus FOs that will stick.
 

Debs

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Hi HappyBubble - I only started making soap last year ish and read pages on this forum and on other sites to get an idea on which oils and butters to use. Then I simply started experimenting which was fun!! It took me 8 months to decide on a base recipe I liked. I still use a plastic container I found which takes 18oz oils and was very cheap in a local discount store. I now, very bravely, (lol) divide my base recipe up into 3 bowls and add different combinations of scent and pour them into 3 molds. This means i get to test an 18 oz base recipe with 3 scents and don't feel i am wasting money!!
Happy soaping!!!
 

penelopejane

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Also you may want to make sure you have a smallish mold (maybe 2 pounds or so.) I bought some cavity molds and then almost immediately got a 5 pound loaf mold. I would not say I regret it completely but I wish I had a smaller loaf mold. I cannot justify the expense of getting one now.

A smaller mold would allow you to make experimental batches more cheaply. Think about it.
You can rig up a vertical divider for your mold to prevent batter seeping through to make smaller batches. Or use it as a slab mold and make a small batch that is only 30mm thick and cut it into bars.
 

HappyBubble

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Hi HappyBubble - I only started making soap last year ish and read pages on this forum and on other sites to get an idea on which oils and butters to use. Then I simply started experimenting which was fun!! It took me 8 months to decide on a base recipe I liked. I still use a plastic container I found which takes 18oz oils and was very cheap in a local discount store. I now, very bravely, (lol) divide my base recipe up into 3 bowls and add different combinations of scent and pour them into 3 molds. This means i get to test an 18 oz base recipe with 3 scents and don't feel i am wasting money!!
Happy soaping!!!
Hey Debs. Thanks for that hint.
 
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