First Soap done yay!

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Johnez

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Ok guys, I finally did it. It's ugly, it's simple, and the recipe ain't the best but I made it. This was a hot process crock pot recipe.

First the recipe:

  • 10 oz olive oil
  • 20 oz coconut oil
  • 9 oz distilled water
  • 4.78 oz 100% pure lye
  • Essential oils for scent (optional)
Followed directions to a T, but created a 2/3 version of this batch as I have a small crock pot to work with here and wasn't 100% it's fit in my pringles can mold. I have to say I'm not a big fan of the mold because getting the soap in is not as easy as I imagined. If I go about this again I'll try tamping down further as you can see in pics I had some gaps that are a little unsightly.

Unmolded after 18 hours to cut. Thankfully it was hard and cut-able. Will cure for 2 weeks. Used 0.5 oz total of EO, evenly split b/w bergamot and mandarin.

Some things I picked up:
-dont try to reincorporate the dried soap that accumulates on the edge.
-keep a watchful eye on the crock
-I need more working surface!
-put down something to catch spills
-wear gloves (will have to research what's safe)

Things I like about HP with crockpot:
-fewer things to clean.
-seems more streamlined
-fewer EOs necessary

I measured my CO and OO in the crock and set it to melt while I mixed the lye. Cool thing is my crock fits perfectly on my scale so fewer things to clean woohoo! Set crock on scale, tare, scoop in CO, tare, scoop in OO, tare. Love it.

I'm not 100% pleased with the scent. I am ok with the EOs but can smell the soap base oils which are ok but feels like it clashes and isn't a "smooth" smell IMO. Fairly certain the oils are fresh as I got em from Walmart.

Freezer paper in the pringles can worked like a charm, soap slid right out.

Next batch will probably be a Trinity batch with lard since I have it on hand. I may retry this batch in 50/50 for fun later and to note the differences as well. These soap rounds are HARD. Was quite satisfying to cut through them, very smooth except for the areas that crumbled for my lack of tamping. Will cure these for 2 weeks before using first bar, the rest 4 weeks. I can't wait to try!

Pics:
 

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Tara_H

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Well done!

If I go about this again I'll try tamping down further
I think you got this advice already in another thread, but if you do CP instead you have a lot more control - most of the time you can just pour the soap in as a liquid and no 'tamping' is required! It's very simple to do a batch of CP and there's a lot less hovering and messing around involved in my experience!

Hope you're enjoying yourself anyway :)
 

Zing

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Congratulations!! It sounds like you have a handle on the steps and are taking good notes. I will not tell you how long I soaped before figuring out that I could weigh my hard oils directly into the soap pot -- and you got that from the get go. I love hacks to minimize dishes.

A couple of years ago I purchased gloves for use with harsh chemicals from Menards. One pair has lasted forever.

You did not ask for feedback on your recipe but I will give you some anyway. Coconut oil can be drying and hard on skin. I think most people on here do a max of 20%, I can stand 25-29% myself.
 

Johnez

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Well done!



I think you got this advice already in another thread, but if you do CP instead you have a lot more control - most of the time you can just pour the soap in as a liquid and no 'tamping' is required! It's very simple to do a batch of CP and there's a lot less hovering and messing around involved in my experience!

Hope you're enjoying yourself anyway :)
Thanks, and yes I did receive that advice heh. It is funny that HP with a crockpot is the opposite of cooking in that cooking is basically set it and forget it, while turning away from a hot crock of soap is not a wise choice. I did a fair amount of research regarding CP and HP and decided to go HP but I'll definitely go CP if for nothing else but to give it a try. For now I kind of want to take this experience a little further with HP, tho I'm not going to that crazy HTHP route any time soon lol.


Congratulations!! It sounds like you have a handle on the steps and are taking good notes. I will not tell you how long I soaped before figuring out that I could weigh my hard oils directly into the soap pot -- and you got that from the get go. I love hacks to minimize dishes.

A couple of years ago I purchased gloves for use with harsh chemicals from Menards. One pair has lasted forever.

You did not ask for feedback on your recipe but I will give you some anyway. Coconut oil can be drying and hard on skin. I think most people on here do a max of 20%, I can stand 25-29% myself.
Thanks Zing! I've got that hack from years of messy post cook messes and my better half suffering a messy aftermath. And yes, the feedback is more than welcome! I've read of CO being drying go the skin, and decided to go with it anyway as this recipe had it all laid out from beginning to end. This will probably be my first and last recipe with this high of a CO percentage, thankfully the trinity recipe stickied here adds another oil and I can play around with that. I might use this bar after work or keep it on the sink for my hands, thankfully I don't have a 5 lb loaf to go through.

I pass by a Menards everyday on my way to work so that's going to definitely be on the shopping list. Thanks for the suggestion!
 

Babyshoes

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Yay! It might not have been quite what you hoped for, but a first batch seldom is.

What it is, is soap. That you made. From scratch. That's definitely something to be proud of!
 

Johnez

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Is a 2 week cure long enough for this soap?
Good question-I don't know! It's hard as heck and passed the zap test out of the crock so I'm imagining yes from safety POV, but for durability maybe 4-6 weeks would be best. Is there a way to tell?
 

SPowers

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It was my understanding that while you 'can' use the soap that soon it won't be nearly as good as it will be 4 to 6 weeks down the line. I'm still relatively new so not sure if there are circumstances when 2 weeks would be ok. Also I've never done HP.
 

Johnez

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Yay! It might not have been quite what you hoped for, but a first batch seldom is.

What it is, is soap. That you made. From scratch. That's definitely something to be proud of!
Thank you. I just took one of the ugly discs and gave it a lather and I thought of this post. It's smooth, it smells good, and it's real genuine soap. Man oh man the hook just sunk in. Thank you all for your contributions. :)
 

maxine289

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Yes, it is true you can use HP sooner than CP, but HP soap should be cured just like CP for 4 - 6 weeks. The cure time is for more than just residual saponification and water evaporation. There's a whole scientific/chemical thing that is going on internally in the soap (a bit over my head, to be sure). There are lots of posts in other threads that address this issue. Bottom line is I have found it is best to cure HP like CP for best soap results.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Man oh man the hook just sunk in.
Smack Laugh.gif
Welcome to the Wonderful World of Soapmaking!

For a better understanding how to design soap recipes you may want to read:
SECRET TO THE BEST SOAP RECIPE

In addition to the above, you can get a fairly good idea of how your recipe will turn out by making the lye calculator your BFF. For example, I entered your recipe into SoapCalc:

67% Coconut Oil
High Coconut.png

The default setting for #3 Water is 38%.
I used 30% to replicate the lye & water amounts shown in your recipe.

67% CO Results
CO result.png

Then I switched the % of each oil
67% Olive Oil
High Oiive.png

67% OO Result
OO Result.png


By comparing the values of high CO vs. high OO, just looking at the INS Value alone, (INS 160 being the so-called "Perfect Soap") the olive oil is the better choice for a soap that lands within the recommended ranges. There are other factors that enter into the equation which you will learn in good time but that's enough for now.

HAPPY SOAPING!
 

Quanta

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Just so you know, essential oils don't last long in soap, especially citrus. Some people add clay as it's believed to help the scent stick longer, but you will still eventually lose the scent. Synthetic citrus I think has the same problem, but some have found a few synthetics (fragrance oil as opposed to essential oil) that seem to work better than others. Do a search for the kind of oils you want to use in the "Aromatherapy, Herbs, and Essential Oils" section, or the "Fragrance Oils/Fragrance Reviews" section to see what others recommend.

I would honestly not trust Wal-Mart as a source of essential oils, as well. There are better sources online, especially if you're going to be buying oils in bulk. Wal-Mart typically only sells in little bottles, which gets expensive fast, and with an unfamiliar brand you have no idea as to the purity.

You can search the forums for recommendations for essential oil and fragrance oil suppliers.
 

Johnez

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View attachment 56016 Welcome to the Wonderful World of Soapmaking!

For a better understanding how to design soap recipes you may want to read:
SECRET TO THE BEST SOAP RECIPE

In addition to the above, you can get a fairly good idea of how your recipe will turn out by making the lye calculator your BFF. For example, I entered your recipe into SoapCalc:

67% Coconut Oil
View attachment 56017
The default setting for #3 Water is 38%.
I used 30% to replicate the lye & water amounts shown in your recipe.

67% CO Results

Then I switched the % of each oil
67% Olive Oil

67% OO Result


By comparing the values of high CO vs. high OO, just looking at the INS Value alone, (INS 160 being the so-called "Perfect Soap") the olive oil is the better choice for a soap that lands within the recommended ranges. There are other factors that enter into the equation which you will learn in good time but that's enough for now.

HAPPY SOAPING!
It's kinda funny how by simply flip flopping the percentages one comes out with a far better bar of soap (by those numbers at least). If the lye number wasn't dead on I'd wonder if this was an old recipe she picked up and reversed the numbers on.

Just so you know, essential oils don't last long in soap, especially citrus. Some people add clay as it's believed to help the scent stick longer, but you will still eventually lose the scent. Synthetic citrus I think has the same problem, but some have found a few synthetics (fragrance oil as opposed to essential oil) that seem to work better than others. Do a search for the kind of oils you want to use in the "Aromatherapy, Herbs, and Essential Oils" section, or the "Fragrance Oils/Fragrance Reviews" section to see what others recommend.

I would honestly not trust Wal-Mart as a source of essential oils, as well. There are better sources online, especially if you're going to be buying oils in bulk. Wal-Mart typically only sells in little bottles, which gets expensive fast, and with an unfamiliar brand you have no idea as to the purity.

You can search the forums for recommendations for essential oil and fragrance oil suppliers.
Yes I'm aware of both. I just wanted to get started so I went with what's convenient to get and doable. I'm collecting quite a collection on sources thanks to this forum however.
 

linne1gi

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Check your essential oils that you got at Walmart - I thought they were only for aromatherapy - in other words, not skin safe. It should say it somewhere on the bottle (or maybe check the website).
 

Johnez

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Check your essential oils that you got at Walmart - I thought they were only for aromatherapy - in other words, not skin safe. It should say it somewhere on the bottle (or maybe check the website).
Good catch. The Mainstays brand states not to apply to broken or irritated skin and to not apply undiluted. I assume these are ok. Better Homes & Gardens brand however explicitly states not to apply topically. I am not sure if this is for CYA purposes, however there are plenty of oils to choose from and soap with so I'll be avoiding BH&G and eventually getting out of Walmart altogether.

I did do a search for walmart essential oils and many posters heartily used em so I'm a bit surprised, but appreciate the heads up.
 

linne1gi

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Good catch. The Mainstays brand states not to apply to broken or irritated skin and to not apply undiluted. I assume these are ok. Better Homes & Gardens brand however explicitly states not to apply topically. I am not sure if this is for CYA purposes, however there are plenty of oils to choose from and soap with so I'll be avoiding BH&G and eventually getting out of Walmart altogether.

I did do a search for walmart essential oils and many posters heartily used em so I'm a bit surprised, but appreciate the heads up.
I think we all started out with some "inexpensive" essential oils. I originally got mine from a store near me call Nutrition Smart - sort of a Whole Foods kinda store. The fragrance oils and essential oils I get online are ever so much better. There are many suppliers.
 

Quanta

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Good catch. The Mainstays brand states not to apply to broken or irritated skin and to not apply undiluted. I assume these are ok. Better Homes & Gardens brand however explicitly states not to apply topically. I am not sure if this is for CYA purposes, however there are plenty of oils to choose from and soap with so I'll be avoiding BH&G and eventually getting out of Walmart altogether.

I did do a search for walmart essential oils and many posters heartily used em so I'm a bit surprised, but appreciate the heads up.
I'm glad you know to check the label. If you want to use the skin safe ones, they're probably fine but my main concern is how diluted are they out of the bottle? Probably not enough to use on skin without diluting further, but you're still going to get a less strong scent than using pure, undiluted EOs. Cheaper brands are frequently diluted with vegetable oils that have no scent of their own.

If the bottle says not to apply topically, then it's probably not essential oil, and/or has been diluted with something that is not skin safe at any dilution.
 

Johnez

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Just finished my post mortem note taking.

Total yield (finished w/crumbs): 25.5 oz
Total cost (all materials incl water): $15.61
Total cost per oz: $0.61
Total cost per bar (8 good, 2 uglies): $1.61

Not bad regarding cost. I'm pleasantly surprised being those EOs aren't exactly cheap. Fully 1/3 of the cost comes from EOs here-thatbeas an eye opener. I can see costs going down in the future when I get sources figured out. An curious if 25 oz is considered normal considering 30 oz oil and 9 oz for lye+water and would appreciate some word on that. I honestly expected a lighter weight being I thought the water would mostly evaporate from what I was reading about HP. Don't know if I'm on the right track or if there's anything I should watch for. Weighed a cup of water on my scale and it came out to 8.04 oz so scale should be ok.
 
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Quanta

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Just finished my post mortem note taking.

Total yield (finished w/crumbs): 25.5 oz
Total cost (all materials incl water): $15.61
Total cost per oz: $0.61
Total cost per bar (8 good, 2 uglies): $1.61

Not bad regarding cost. I'm pleasantly surprised being those EOs aren't exactly cheap. Fully 1/3 of the cost comes from EOs here-thatbeas an eye opener. I can see costs going down in the future when I get sources figured out. An curious if 25 oz is considered normal considering 20 oz oil and 9 oz for lye+water and would appreciate some word on that. I honestly expected a lighter weight being I thought the water would mostly evaporate from what I was reading about HP. Don't know if I'm on the right track or if there's anything I should watch for. Weighed a cup of water on my scale and it came out to 8.04 oz so scale should be ok.
Yes, fragrance is almost always going to be your most expensive ingredient. This is true even for things like lotion and candles.

With HP, you want to prevent the water evaporating out during the cooking process. Some people even put cling film over the crock to prevent water escaping. Most of your water loss should be during the cure.
You're also going to lose a little soap due to the fact that you can't scrape every bit off your equipment and into the mold. There will be that bit that gets washed down the drain when you do your washing up after soapmaking. So your total weight of the finished soap is never exactly what your lye calculator says you should have, even if you manage to totally prevent water loss during cooking.
 
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