Good first basic recipe please

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Jennfromoz

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Well I've been reading and watching YouTube videos, and am eager to make my first batch of cold process soap. My head is spinning with so much information often contradicting.
Could someone please give me a basic soap recipe using easily obtained ingredients like olive oil, coconut oil and sunflower oil? (I also have a bottle of apricot kernel oil).
Also this is my 2nd attempt of soap made with grating Hotel soap and melting if with water. I added some olive oil. This is just practice until my ordered moulds and essential oils arrive.
 

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lenarenee

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Sure. Can you get palm shortening or lard or tallow or cocoa or Shea butter?
 

Zing

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Welcome! You do know that you're playing with fire, right? Soaping can easily become an obsession!

Here's a super easy recipe, http://www.s
oapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/back-to-basics-simple-gentle-cold-process-soap/ . Just make sure you run it through a lye calculator which is good process to double-check. Typos happen.

Most of my ingredients are from a grocery store.

When I started, I was blissfully entirely unaware that there is a massive sub-culture of soapers! I can easily do endless research and procrastinate taking action -- so I'm glad I did not know about YouTube, websites, facebook, this forum, etc. I'm suggesting you just jump right in. Leave out colorants and scents so you get a firm grasp on the steps and trace.

I love this forum but I get what you're saying about conflicting advice. Once you get several batches under your belt, you'll gain confidence on your choice of oils, lye amounts, and design elements. There is hard science on the amount of lye necessary for oils -- and then there is a lot of idiosyncratic preferences.

Good luck! Keep us updated!
 

lenarenee

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Hmm...Zing's link isn't working for me - anyone else?

I'll post a couple of basic recipes for you to consider. If you don't know how to use a lye calculator, it's important to learn.

The classic basic soap recipe is made of equal parts coconut oil, palm oil, (not palm kernel oil), and olive oil. Many of us here on the forum would tweak that recipe to something like:

5% castor
20% coconut oil (not fractionated oil)
40% palm oil (or tallow, or lard, or a mix)
35% soft oils (liquid oils like olive, rice bran oil, sunflower, safflower, avocado etc. The high oleic versions of sunflower and safflower are recommended. If you have regular sunflower oil, use it up to 15% and then use olive oil or rice bran oil for the other 20%

If you prefer to not use palm, lard or tallow, then shea or cocoa butter can be used at about 20%, but then I'd recommend using at least 30% or more olive oil for your soft oils. Something like:
5% castor
20% coconut oil
20 % cocoa butter
55% olive oil

A 5% super fat is recommended until you get a feel for different soaps and see what you like. And set the lye calculator for it's default water setting.
 

Jennfromoz

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Thanks everyone, I think I'll try this one soon.

Basic Cold Process Recipe (Super fat 5%):
8 oz. Coconut Oil (24%)
15 oz. Olive Oil (44%)
11 oz. Palm Oil (32%)
4.8 oz. Lye
11.2 oz. Distilled Water

Just one question, palm oil is actually hard to get here in Cairns Australia. Is there another oil I can use in its place that's easy to get like canola oil? I've heard lard can be used, but I would rather my soap be vegetarian. I'll use it if I have to but alot of my friends are vegetarian lol. Thanks in advance.
 

ResolvableOwl

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Just one question, palm oil is actually hard to get here in Cairns Australia. Is there another oil I can use in its place that's easy to get like canola oil? I've heard lard can be used, but I would rather my soap be vegetarian. I'll use it if I have to but alot of my friends are vegetarian lol. Thanks in advance.
The bad accessibility of basic things like palm oil for end customers was one of the reasons why people got creative in the Grocery store soap challenge . Feel free to get lost in that thread 🤭 And/or check the shortenings section of a supermarket for something that discloses its composition accurately enough to be able to enter it into a soap calculator with good faith.
The so-called “butters” (hard tropical fats) like cocoa or shea work well, but usually they are prohibitively expensive if you find them in stationary trade at all.
A secret tip is to check the candles section. Sometimes they have candles made from hydrogenated vegetable oils (soy, canola) or even pure palm stearin. None without caveat, since they are even more reluctant with details about composition than food manufacturers, but worth a try anyway.
 

earlene

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Do you have palm shortening in Australia? Check your grocery store for the ingredients of the shortenings; often palm oil is an ingredient in the shortening and sometimes it is 100% palm oil shortening. Spectrum brand here in the US makes 100% palm oil shortening, and that was what I used for my first soap made with palm oil.

Some lye calculators list shortening like Crisco or Great Value shortening, which can be purchased in many countries, but I don't know what you have in OZ.

Soy Wax is a good substitute; I use GW415 Soy Wax. There are several threads here at SMF on using soy wax in soap.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Basic Cold Process Recipe (Super fat 5%):
8 oz. Coconut Oil (24%)
15 oz. Olive Oil (44%)
11 oz. Palm Oil (32%)
4.8 oz. Lye
11.2 oz. Distilled Water
That is essentially the BASIC TRINITY OF OILS STARTER FORMULA

Is there another oil I can use in its place that's easy to get like canola oil?
The basic trinity of oils is Coconut Oil, Olive Oil and Palm Oil.
When you go to that thread linked above you will learn what each leg of the trinity brings to the formula. For example, you can substitute Canola Oil for the Olive Oil but not for the Palm. I like lard but for a vegan sub, shea butter works nicely. ;)

Make small 500 gram batches to start with and vary each leg of the trinity to find a combo that you like. Be sure to run every recipe through a lye calculator before making a batch.

HAPPY SOAPING! :hippo::hippo::hippo:
 

maryloucb

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There are a lot of palm free recipes out there. Here's one from Lovely Greens:
Lye water
Solid oils
Liquid oils
I haven't personally used this one, but it seems pretty simple. I do a combo of cocoa butter and shea butter and extra olive or avocado oil instead of palm oil. As others have mentioned, be sure to run any recipe you plan on using through a lye calculator.
 

Catscankim

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My first CP soaping experience was supposed to be a few recipes that I got from Brambleberry and bought all their ingredients for. They take a really long time to ship and I am impatient, so I went ahead and got it out of my system and made a castille soap since I already had all of the equipment, lye, and olive oil.

I am not a fan of castille soap it seems, so I still have all that soap that I made. But it came out a really pretty white and is super hard. Basically I have lovely bars that I hate.

But it was fun to do while I was waiting for my shipment from BB. I got a batch of cp under my belt that only used three ingredients.

And because I already got the bug from making this soap (and not yet realizing that I dislike castille soap), I made another batch with Lavender and Peppermint EO...again, really pretty and about a year and a half later, it still smells of lavender.

Since the all-olive oil soap took a year and a day to sb, I thought all soap needed to be blended for that long. So when I finally received all of my ingredients for my BB recipes, my first soap used a plop in the mold technique and my lemon bars did not come out very pretty.

So if you try a one-oil soap first, be aware that sb times may vary...so learn to detect emulsion vs various traces.

I also feel that making that first soap helped me learn certain beginners things like avoiding air bubbles, tapping the bell, mixing lye and water without time constraints, and learning safety, again without having to rush anything.
 

Cat&Oak

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My first CP soaping experience was supposed to be a few recipes that I got from Brambleberry and bought all their ingredients for. They take a really long time to ship and I am impatient, so I went ahead and got it out of my system and made a castille soap since I already had all of the equipment, lye, and olive oil.

I am not a fan of castille soap it seems, so I still have all that soap that I made. But it came out a really pretty white and is super hard. Basically I have lovely bars that I hate.

But it was fun to do while I was waiting for my shipment from BB. I got a batch of cp under my belt that only used three ingredients.

And because I already got the bug from making this soap (and not yet realizing that I dislike castille soap), I made another batch with Lavender and Peppermint EO...again, really pretty and about a year and a half later, it still smells of lavender.

Since the all-olive oil soap took a year and a day to sb, I thought all soap needed to be blended for that long. So when I finally received all of my ingredients for my BB recipes, my first soap used a plop in the mold technique and my lemon bars did not come out very pretty.

So if you try a one-oil soap first, be aware that sb times may vary...so learn to detect emulsion vs various traces.

I also feel that making that first soap helped me learn certain beginners things like avoiding air bubbles, tapping the bell, mixing lye and water without time constraints, and learning safety, again without having to rush anything.
I did the same @Catscankim I have 11 year old castile soap that I hate. I have bought castile from other soapers and still don't like it 🤣.

For OP don't worry too much about the first batches you make, they are really practice batches as you get your soaping groove. Just make it simple as possible to make it easier on you.

It's great advice to give but most of us start with recipes that we do not have the experience for leading to bad batches and wasted money and ingredients. It's all part of the learning process really.

Welcome to the obsession.
 

Susie

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My best advice for safe handling of lye is to mix your lye and water in a container set down in the sink. It is far less likely to get knocked over, and if it does, just congratulate yourself on a really clean set of pipes there. Then start over.

Also, for the first 6 or so batches, learn to cover your counters and floors where you are going to be mixing the soap with something that is either disposable (newspaper) or easily cleanable (cheap plastic tablecloth). It takes a few times to really get the hang of leaving the SB down in the batter.
 

Lin19687

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There are a LOAD of recipes all over this forum. And even one section about recipe feedback. You might want to start there
 
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