Hello from St Louis, MO (area..)

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BigJimmyW13

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Hey Guys,

Very new to the the soap making world, but not new to using oils and essential oils for health and beauty. I have beat my head against a wall trying to make some recipes work and for the life of me.. I apparently am not getting it done. I upped my game (or so I thought) by paying a chemist to help (as I have been focused on other things)... So far.. It's been unsatisfactory.

So here I am. To throw myself at the feet of the natural soap gods to learn as quickly as I can to figure these things out! Thanks for having me and sorry for any novice questions that will ensue (if they do).

If anyone is from the St Louis area. PLEASE, Please reach out. I would love to bend your ear. I will supply the booze.

Jim
 
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doriettefarm

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Welcome to the forum. It would definitely help if you shared some of the recipes you've already tried and deemed unsatisfactory. What advice did your chemist provide? And finally what's your definition of natural . . . that can vary widely from person to person.
 

Kamahido

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I would start by watching this 4 part youtube series on the basics of soap making.

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR6ttCSrLJI&list=PLAADF6209996265D2[/ame]

It starts with soaping safety to hopefully keep you out of the emergency room.
 

BigJimmyW13

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Welcome to the forum. It would definitely help if you shared some of the recipes you've already tried and deemed unsatisfactory. What advice did your chemist provide? And finally what's your definition of natural . . . that can vary widely from person to person.
lol you couldn't be more right about the natural part being subjective. As I have encountered that. I have 2 recipes, how in depth do you want the recipes that I have attempted? Just the ingredients or the ingredients and their weight?

I paid 2 chemists and I sent them both a list of ingredients that I would like to use for a soap. One actually attempted the feat with an added ingredient and the other kind of disregarded the list all together (with proprietary ingredients I might add) AND was more expensive...

That's why I'm here.
 

BigJimmyW13

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I would start by watching this 4 part youtube series on the basics of soap making.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR6ttCSrLJI&list=PLAADF6209996265D2

It starts with soaping safety to hopefully keep you out of the emergency room.
Kamahido, I appreciate it. The safety part... I'm well beyond that. I have a respirator, eye protection and elbow gloves. I know what lye is (grew up on a farm) and I know how dangerous it can be (have the burn scars to prove it).

Unfortunately, my internet allows me to watch that 30 seconds at a time (after about 1-2minute load times). Video isn't really that much of an option for me. Use my cell phone you say? Yeah, come visit me and you'll understand that's not much of an option for me either. I really do appreciate the response as it does let me know that people here are real and they are serious about helping others. I am a forum veteran. In college I built a motorcycle in my kitchen with the help of a forum. Amazing guys helped me build that motorcycle (still own it) and I will never forget that.

Jim
 

doriettefarm

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You definitely don't need to pay a chemist to help you formulate a nice soap recipe. Would you mind posting the list of ingredients you provided to the chemist? Knowing what base oils were selected and percentages would certainly be helpful. That way we know what qualities you're shooting for and what you've already tried. Also let us know if there are any particular ingredients that are out of the question (for example animal fats).

ETA: you might get more responses if you post recipe questions in the Beginner or Lye-Based Soap forums
 
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Susie

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Hey and welcome!

Here's a freebie recipe that works well (like they aren't all free on here, LOL)

Lard or tallow or palm 65%
Olive Oil 15%
Coconut Oil 15%
Castor Oil 5%

Superfat 5%

Do post your other recipes over on the beginner forum, and we will be happy to troubleshoot them for you.
 

BigJimmyW13

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You definitely don't need to pay a chemist to help you formulate a nice soap recipe. Would you mind posting the list of ingredients you provided to the chemist? Knowing what base oils were selected and percentages would certainly be helpful. That way we know what qualities you're shooting for and what you've already tried. Also let us know if there are any particular ingredients that are out of the question (for example animal fats).

ETA: you might get more responses if you post recipe questions in the Beginner or Lye-Based Soap forums

Percentages/weight - I can post, but I'm not entirely sure how comfortable doing so. However, that is the basic ingredient list that I started with. Now I know that there is a saponification either Potassium or Sodium, but those are the base ingredients.


 
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doriettefarm

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Understandable if you don't want to post percentages since you paid good money for the recipe but it's going to be much harder for us to help troubleshoot. Can you elaborate on why you selected those particular base oils? And what you did or did not like about the resulting soap. I'm assuming you're asking about making bar soap using the cold process method (i.e. using sodium hydroxide not potassium) but you're not giving us much concrete info to go on.

Based solely on the ingredient list, I can pretty much say my skin probably wouldn't be a fan of that recipe but would like the recipe Susie posted. I'm a hardcore lard/tallow soaper that will occasionally use some palm oil for a harder bar. I'm also a very impatient soaper so don't like waiting for days to unmold a recipe with mostly soft oils. Ditto on waiting months to properly cure a soap with high % of olive oil. Just my 2 cents . . .
 

BigJimmyW13

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Understandable if you don't want to post percentages since you paid good money for the recipe but it's going to be much harder for us to help troubleshoot. Can you elaborate on why you selected those particular base oils? And what you did or did not like about the resulting soap. I'm assuming you're asking about making bar soap using the cold process method (i.e. using sodium hydroxide not potassium) but you're not giving us much concrete info to go on.

Based solely on the ingredient list, I can pretty much say my skin probably wouldn't be a fan of that recipe but would like the recipe Susie posted. I'm a hardcore lard/tallow soaper that will occasionally use some palm oil for a harder bar. I'm also a very impatient soaper so don't like waiting for days to unmold a recipe with mostly soft oils. Ditto on waiting months to properly cure a soap with high % of olive oil. Just my 2 cents . . .
I can tell you that I am attempting to vaguely emulate a recipe that is already listed. Actually it's a creamy liquid. The chemist chose sodium instead of potassium based on the sample. The chemist that actually gave me a real attempt suggested (with modification):
 
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IrishLass

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Hi BigJimmy! :wave: What type of soap are you trying to make with your ingredients - i.e., bar-type soap, liquid soap, shaving soap, etc....? That will help us to help you better.


IrishLass :)

Edited to add- woops- looks like we were posting at the same time! Bar-type soap I take it. With the glycerin and guar gum in it, I'm guessing a shave soap?
 

doriettefarm

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So you're trying to make a creamy liquid soap? And your chemist used NaOH instead of KOH? If so, I'd be mightily pissed off to spend money on that!

ETA: What exactly did you give the chemist a sample of? Are you trying to dupe a product already on the market? The more I read the more confused I get.
 
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BigJimmyW13

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So you're trying to make a creamy liquid soap? And your chemist used NaOH instead of KOH? If so, I'd be mightily pissed off to spend money on that!

ETA: What exactly did you give the chemist a sample of? Are you trying to dupe a product already on the market? The more I read the more confused I get.

Hey, now you know my confusion and frustration... Just FYI the more expensive one that WAS WAY WORSE. There is a product that I would like to simulate, but improve on (make it more oily). I don't care if it's creamy colored or clear. Frankly it doesn't matter to me.

Like my hairdresser friend told me. When it comes to soap: there's a fine line between moisturizing and oily, well I want it to be on the oily side... for sure.

Jim
 
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lenarenee

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Hey, now you know my confusion and frustration... There is a product that I would like to simulate, but improve on (make it more oily). I don't care if it's creamy colored or clear. Frankly it doesn't matter to me.

Like my hairdresser told me. When it comes to soap: there's a fine line between moisturizing and oily, well I want it to be on the oily side... for sure.

Jim
Do you mean you want to make a shampoo?
 

doriettefarm

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If you would just spill what product you're trying to tweak it would help immensely. Not a fan of guessing games but I can only assume you're trying to make a Dr Bronner liquid soap dupe or a shampoo.
 
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BigJimmyW13

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If you would just spill what product you're trying to tweak it would help immensely. Not a fan of guessing games but I can only assume you're trying to make a Dr Bronner liquid soap dupe.
I know that would be easy on your part. I would be glad to do so in private with restriction, but I will say, it has nothing to do with Dr Bronner Soap.

Before I posted, I did a search for what dupe I am posting about and it did not show up. So I don't feel comfortable posting it.
 
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doriettefarm

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I know that would be easy on your part. I would be glad to do so in private with restriction, but I will say, it has nothing to do with Dr Bronner Soap.

Before I posted, I did a search for what dupe I am posting about and it did not show up.
No, it would be easy on your part to just state the product instead of beating around the bush. You came here for help but are expecting us to do all the work. There's nothing wrong with trying to dupe a product . . . we've all done it a million times.
 

BigJimmyW13

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No, it would be easy on your part to just state the product instead of beating around the bush. You came here for help but are expecting us to do all the work. There's nothing wrong with trying to dupe a product . . . we've all done it a million times.
You're right, I'm sorry, it is easier for me, but that is almost the literal ingredients list. Hence, the double Essential oils on the list. You're right, would it help me? Indefinitely. However, Call me cautious, but I won't. Like I responded previously, I will privately give more information.
 
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doriettefarm

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I'm not curious enough to continue this discussion outside the group. I think the knowledge could benefit others and don't see the harm in trying to dupe something you love while adding your own tweaks. Anyway my last piece of advice before I peace out of this thread is to review Susan Barclay's blog. She is a wealth of info regarding product formulation and a go-to source of mine. http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2011/04/duplicating-products-introduction.html
 

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