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I have recently decided to take up soap making. I am currently in the stage of collecting data so I can order what I need to get started. I have been playing with soap calculators and ideas of what soaps to start off making. Also need to dive into making liquid soaps.

Purchased 30 pounds of African black soap from Ghana to play around trying to make it into a liquid.

plan to make my own wooden soap box
looking for any recommendations on best size/brand silicone molds for loafs.

I have zero experience with scents so any major smells I need to incorporate in my lineup feel free to share the knowledge. I plan to have my wife help and order samples but there an overwhelming amount. Any sampler packs a huge bonus!

hope all is well at the homestead and I’ll be lurking in the forums studying.
 
A

amd

30lbs of black soap! That sounds like a lot of experimenting.
I can't give advice on size and brand for silicone molds, I rarely use them. Many of the soapmakers I watch on YT though use Workshop Heritage.
For scent recommendations, look at supplier best sellers and then pick what you like.
Do you plan on selling? In which case we (the forum) recommend making soap for at least a year to make sure that you are selling a good product.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Purchased 30 pounds of African black soap from Ghana to play around trying to make it into a liquid.
ABS (African Black Soap) lovely stuff. I've done that. Best to start a new thread in the Liquid Soap Forum so others can chime in. ;)
plan to make my own wooden soap box
looking for any recommendations on best size/brand silicone molds for loafs.
Best to start a new thread about that too. Both subjects have been discussed many times before. Look for the magnifying glass at the top right of this page to search both topics. :thumbup:

Last, but not least... in an effort to get you off on the right foot...

ADVICE FOR BEGINNERS
 
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Been making soaps for about a month now. I have made 13 soap batches, sugar scrubs, leavin hair conditioner and expanding my additives and oils/butters Arsenal.

I have played with black soap a bit and need to find a way to stop the butters/oils from separating out of solution after being I mix.

Have a lot of trial and error bars about to go to customers for review. All my products will be released to family, friends and current customers.

I tried a couple with tussah silk.
My goats milk always has a huge crack in loaf. I tried cooling mixture before adding milk then Putting directly into refrigerator after trace. No luck as of yet.
one salt detox bar with activated charcoal.
one rainforrest bar with no coconut,palm, or animal products.
aside from the trial bars I am also playing with scents. I had one sent from BA that made my recipes seize very fast and ruined two batches. First I thought it was me then after the second and reading about culprit fragrance that I determined it to be the culprit. Amazing grace was the name

I am thinking of diving into the shampoo/conditioner market as well.

Oil stock!
 

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Zany_in_CO

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CONGRATULATIONS! 13 batches in 1 month is impressive!
I had one sent from BA that made my recipes seize very fast and ruined two batches.
TIP: I've found that the best thing to do when a batch seizes is to set the timer and walk away for 5 minutes. When I come back, the soap is going into gel. Then it's fairly easy to stir it up. Maybe add cold water (IF you discounted the water, you can add the difference between the full water amount (38%) and the amount you used); stir for one full minute to get it thoroughly mixed, then pour. :thumbup:

When you have time, post your pretty soaps in the Photo Gallery so we can all oooh & ahhh.
It is also a good place to keep a log of each product you make as you progress. Include detailed notes of how it was made, how it performed, any surprises, etc. so a year from now, if you want to repeat something, all your notes are readily available. ;)

Keep up the good work!
 
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@Zany_in_CO gave some great advice there. You can also hot process the soap with a bit of added water. That gets it fluid enough to pour or plop into the mold.

You made this comment: I have played with black soap a bit and need to find a way to stop the butters/oils from separating out of solution after being I mix. I am not positive, but I think you are saying that you have tried to mix your solid ABS with a liquid, perhaps in the hope of making a shampoo or liquid soap. Is that correct? If so, because solid soap is made with NaOH (sodium hydroxide), it will always separate out and start going back into clumps. That is the nature of soap made with NaOH, and why liquid soap is made with KOH (potassium hydroxide).
 

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