First ever bar of soap?

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Newbie89

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I'm going to try my first bar of soap today Iv got most ingredients would like the main one to be aloe vera I shave a plant which I have got all the juice out of about 300ml? Would anybody have a recipe? I want a hard but foaming bar??
 
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Obsidian likes her soap like that, and has posted a recipe with aloe in it earlier this month: Obsidian's Aloe Soap

Just be a little careful with aloe as it can warm your mixture up a little bit (but I imagine that you will be watching it like a hawk anyway!).

This recipe will mix fairly slowly, so you don't need to worry or hurry when you notice it coming together. Maybe a 30% lye concentration would be good for this (change it to lye concentration, so you get used to doing that).

Good luck, hope this helps and post photo's! :)
 

Newbie89

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Obsidian likes her soap like that, and has posted a recipe with aloe in it earlier this month: Obsidian's Aloe Soap

Just be a little careful with aloe as it can warm your mixture up a little bit (but I imagine that you will be watching it like a hawk anyway!).

This recipe will mix fairly slowly, so you don't need to worry or hurry when you notice it coming together. Maybe a 30% lye concentration would be good for this (change it to lye concentration, so you get used to doing that).

Good luck, hope this helps and post photo's! :)
Stupid question but when you say 30% lye concentration do you just measure your oils and then take 30% of that and mix with water or the aloe vera?
 
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If you don't know, it's a very good question!

Have you had a look at an online calculator like Soapee or SoapCalc ?

To get a lye concentration, you work off the amount of water you have used (not oil).

Stupid question but when you say 30% lye concentration do you just measure your oils and then take 30% of that and mix with water or the aloe vera?
 

Newbie89

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If you don't know, it's a very good question!

Have you had a look at an online calculator like Soapee or SoapCalc ?

To get a lye concentration, you work off the amount of water you have used (not oil).
Hehe yes Iv even watched the tutorial how to use a soap cal I jist cant vet my head around it for some reason it gives me brain fog
 

BattleGnome

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The calculators that the others have linked are much better than this one, but this one cuts down the options to the bare minimum.

https://www.brambleberry.com/Pages/Lye-Calculator.aspx
(Linking isn’t working too well for me)

I’d advise you to use the others but this can get you started so you can actually make soap
 
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Hi again Newbie89,

I've taken a screenshot of Soapee for you to have a look at. I've added a red arrow to point to where you select lye concentration. The default is 30%, so the rest of the options can be left as they are (grams for UK?).

Hehe yes Iv even watched the tutorial how to use a soap cal I jist cant vet my head around it for some reason it gives me brain fog

Soapee lye calculator (click on the image to see the larger size) :)
Soapee page with Lye Concentration selected.png

Try and enter the oils from Obsidian's Aloe recipe, and ask if you need any help :)
 

Newbie89

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Hi again Newbie89,

I've taken a screenshot of Soapee for you to have a look at. I've added a red arrow to point to where you select lye concentration. The default is 30%, so the rest of the options can be left as they are (grams for UK?).



Soapee lye calculator (click on the image to see the larger size) :)
View attachment 29150

Try and enter the oils from Obsidian's Aloe recipe, and ask if you need any help :)
thank you so much. So are most soaps 30% lye i think thats where i was confused i thought thats what the page worked out
 

penelopejane

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thank you so much. So are most soaps 30% lye i think thats where i was confused i thought thats what the page worked out

Use lye concentration %. You can change the lye concentration to whatever suits your recipe.

There is no “most soaps”. It depends on your recipe, your method, your soaping environment and how you saponify your soap as to what % lye concentration suits you. Start with 30% lye concentration and go from there.
 

Obsidian

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also is aloe butter the same as aloe vera gel or liquid

No, aloe butter is usually soy oil with added aloe.
If you are looking for aloe on the calculator, you won't find it.

The calc only has fats/oils, put in the ones you are using and you will get the amount of lye and water you need. When using aloe juice, replace your water with the juice.
 

Newbie89

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No, aloe butter is usually soy oil with added aloe.
If you are looking for aloe on the calculator, you won't find it.

The calc only has fats/oils, put in the ones you are using and you will get the amount of lye and water you need. When using aloe juice, replace your water with the juice.
thats thank you i am learning very slowly haha
 
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Selecting Lye Concentration

thank you so much. So are most soaps 30% lye i think thats where i was confused i thought thats what the page worked out

Different oils work better with different water amounts, and this becomes most obvious when soaping at the extreme ends of the scale.

As an example, if I made a pure olive soap, I would want to increase the lye concentration to at least 38% to speed up the reaction and to decrease the shrinkage as the soap cures. If I was making a salt bar with 100% coconut oil, I would want to use a lower lye concentration to slow the reaction (it is normally a fast reaction).

For the moment, 30% is a good percentage that will make you a predictable bar of soap that is least likely to fail (it can be used for both of my examples above).

You still need to manually click the button that says lye concentration. Once you have done that, you can leave it at 30% (but it is good to remember where to change it).

Unfortunately, if you don't click this button, you will get unpredictable results in your soap, as most online calculators have an old calculation that worked out water according to how much oil you used, and this didn't take into account the varying saponification values of the oils. The effect of this old method (which I don't recommend you use) is to change the lye concentration to 28% for my olive example, which will leave it soft for months, and it will change the lye concentration to 35% for my salt example, which will give you about 2 and a half minutes from adding the lye to getting it into the mold, before it sets up on you.

So, click the button that says "lye concentration", even if you are leaving it at the default value of 30%.
 
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Newbie89

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Selecting Lye Concentration



Different oils work better with different water amounts, and this becomes most obvious when soaping at the extreme ends of the scale. If I made a pure olive soap, as an example, I would want to increase the lye concentration to at least 38% to speed up the reaction and to decrease the shrinkage as the soap cures. If I was making a salt bar with 100% coconut oil, I would want to use a lower lye concentration to slow the reaction down a little (it is a fast reaction).

For the moment, 30% is a good percentage that will make you a predictable bar of soap that is least likely to fail (it can be used for both of my examples above).

You still need to manually click the button that says lye concentration. Once you have done that, you can leave it at 30% (but it is good to remember where to change it).

Unfortunately, if you don't click this button, you will get unpredictable results in your soap, as most online calculators have an old calculation that worked out water according to how much oil you used, and this didn't take into account the varying saponification values of the oils. The effect of this old method (which I don't recommend you use) is to change the lye concentration to 28% for my olive example, which will leave it soft for months, and it will change the lye concentration to 35% for my salt example, which will give you about 2 and a half minutes from adding the lye to getting it into the mold, before it sets up on you.

So, click the button that says "lye concentration", even if you are leaving it at the default value of 30%.
thanks so much for your help.i will also watch a few videos tonight then decide n t a recipe to put in the soap cal :)
 

Obsidian

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Oh, and just for the record, I use 33% lye concentration for my soaps or two part water/1 part lye.
 
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thanks so much for your help.i will also watch a few videos tonight then decide n t a recipe to put in the soap cal :)

Still going to want photo's :)

(no pressure or anything :D)

Just one more thing ... Never go above 50% lye concentration.

It is at about 50% lye concentration that you reach the most amount of sodium hydroxide that can be dissolved in water. Much above that and you get undissolved lye, which will make your soap dangerously unusable.

So, keep your lye concentration at the default 30% for your first few batches (just to get used to what the oils bring to your soap), then between 30%-33% once you start experimenting (there are some amazing differences for you to discover while experimenting in this range) and then between 25% and the strongest lye concentration of 50%.

Edited to add: Whichever first percentage you use (in the 30-33% range), make sure you use the same lye concentration for your first few batches, so you can get used to the different oils.

Good luck!
 
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Newbie89

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Still going to want photo's :)

(no pressure or anything :D)

Just one more thing ... Never go above 50% lye concentration.

It is at about 50% lye concentration that you reach the most amount of sodium hydroxide that can be dissolved in water. Much above that and you get undissolved lye, which will make your soap dangerously unusable.

So, keep your lye concentration at the default 30% for your first few batches (just to get used to what the oils bring to your soap), then between 30%-33% once you start experimenting (there are some amazing differences for you to discover while experimenting in this range) and then between 25% and the strongest lye concentration of 50%.

Edited to add: Whichever first percentage you use (in the 30-33% range), make sure you use the same lye concentration for your first few batches, so you can get used to the different oils.

Good luck!
Don't worry I will be sure to take loys of pics! So can I ask what is the diffrence in a low lye percentage and a higher lye percentage? What would be the outcome difference?
 

Newbie89

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Oh, and just for the record, I use 33% lye concentration for my soaps or two part water/1 part lye.
Do you do that for all soaps then even if the ingredie ts is different? Would they all turn out ok? What made you choose that percentage
 

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