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hello, I'm new and this is my first batch

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So I'm brand new to "real" soaping. Like 24 hours into it new, lol.
I have used m&p and my skin hates it ( tried multiple bases). so I started researching making my own from scratch so that I could control the ingredients and possibly make an all over bar ( no-poo too ). I read at least 2 dozen soaping books ( yay for kindle) watched months worth of soaping videos on you tube and perused the forum until I couldn't see straight.
Sadly I do not know what happened to the stick part of my stick blender and was worried about causing my fibro to flair up by hand whisking a batch of cp with a lot of soft oils. luckily hp was possible with my super old croc pot.
I used
28.13% shea butter
25% coconut oil
18.75% lard
15.63% castor oil( i know it's a little high, but i want to wash my hair with it)
12.50% cocoa butter
20% sf
water lye ratio 3.2641: 1
2/3s of my water as 4x strength coffee
1/3d of water as canned coconut milk
3 tbsp. honey
2tsp kaolin clay
mica mixed with sweet almond oil to color whole batch

now my problem started when even though i froze my coffee and coconut milk, the lye seemed to scorch the coffee and while trying to get the cocoa butter out of the jar it got super thick( the lye solution)
it took about 40 mins of hand whisking to get to full trace, i then added the kaolin clay mixed with 1 tsp of coconut milk (to make it mix easier) and then it all separated out...... I thought I was doomed and decided to just keep whisking....about 30 mins later when my arms nearly fell off( Need stick blender really bad lol) I finally got the batter to come back together but in doing so, I inadvertently did the "10min hp" thing that is going around( I don't get it, but oh well) and I waited and waited for "gel" and nothing, no Vaseline, mashed potatoes ect... I zap tested and it tasted like soap and I ph tested and it was 8, so I am really curious to see what the experts have to say. I have used it and it feels really nice, I know it will benefit from a short cure to harden it more, but it unmolded and cut beautifully...so... IDK I can post pics when I figure out how lol
and thank you in advance for any advice ( and yes I used soapcalc)
Halley.

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not_ally

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This is going to seem a little terse b/c I am in a hurry, I just wanted to address your points quickly.

Trying to make an all-use bar at this point is not a good idea. Just concentrate on a making a good body bar for now.

Regarding the recipe, too complicated for a beginner with all those additives. If you are OK with lard, as you seem to be, what is most widely recommended here is a bar which is 55% lard, 5% castor, the balance split between coconut and olive (less coconut if you have dry skin or already know that you are sensitive to it). Fewer ingredients will make it easier to change/tinker if there is something you do not like or want to improve.

For me, your recipe has much too much butter. Most people find lather diminishes after a total of 10%. That much CO would also be too much for me, but it works fine for others. If you are not doing well w/MP, though, I would reduce it to no more than 15%. I like MP, but find it drying, in part b/c the oils in most of the bases, even the good ones, tend to be heavy on CO.

Why a 20% SF? That is really not done unless using a recipe which is extremely high in stripping oils, such as a salt bar (80-100% CO.) That will also reduce lather.

Make another batch w/a simple recipe and compare the two at regular intervals, maybe you will love the one you did, but it will be good to have a comparison.

ETA: Your bars do look good, though! Maybe you are doing OK w/all the additives. If that had been my first batch I would have made an unholy mess of it.
 
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Thank you for all of the input Not_Ally, I had been playing around with soapcalc for about a month straight trying to find a recipe for my hair ( I am chemical sensitive and cannot use shampoo anymore) I also do not have a working stick blender atm and in my research found that people were agreeing that hard oils came to trace faster( if you don't end up with false trace) and all of the basic recipes i found had either palm or olive oil ( cannot afford the palm and strangely enough my skin does not like olive oil and yes I have tried health food store bought castile soap) I have the cursed adult acne and an overly abundant amount of oil production on my scalp as well and a more drying soap is helpful bc I have a special moisturizer I use after washing. I have helped my family make soap when I was little and got very used to the idea of lard being a good choice in soap, but never made real soap as an adult. I do make most of the rest of my family's body care products so I am familiar with the chemistry, I am waiting to make a better cp recipe until I can get a new stick blender.
And thank you, I like the way they turned out, it was an experience jumping in head first lol.
BTW, I will make sure to post after I try another recipe :thumbup:
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I would post the recipe BEFORE you try it - helps get a sanity-check on what you're aiming to do.

As N/A said, an all-in-one bar might well be a bit of a stretch in general, as hair and body requirements are totally different. What is wrong with having to soaps, one for hair, one for the body?
 
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I agree a sanity check could have been helpful, But thankfully I skated by just barely with a small test batch. mainly to see if I could hand whisk a batch of hp. As soon as I can replace my stick blender I will be trying a more liquid recipe and prob a cp batch and will def post the recipe before making. I was being stubborn in nor actually joining smf and getting input from others ( I have always just come up with recipes and or remembered recipes that I made with my family, lip balm, body butter, cuticle salve, mineral makeup, sunscreen, spa soak, sugar scrub, perfume, candles ect...
 

not_ally

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*Definitely* post here before you go forward. You will get a lot of really good practical advice. You will probably go off on some strange tangent now and then anyway, like most people do, but at least you will be forewarned :)

And really, from what you have said, high amounts of lard (relatively slow tracing, non-comedogenic, non-stripping, good lather, well-hardening, pretty light bar), will be a good friend to you.
 

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Welcome Halley! :wave:

Wow- talk about jumping right in and going all-out for your first batch! :lol: You used about 4 of the most potentially trouble-making ingredients all in one soap. lol But it thankfully looks like your soap came out on the other side none too worse for the wear. Well, one thing's for sure- at least things should be easier for you from here on out! lol

If you want a great shampoo bar that's good for the body, too, you can't go wrong with Genny's shampoo bar: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=30946

I myself don't use shampoo bars on my hair (my hair hates lye-based shampoo bars), but I made a batch of Genny's shampoo bars for a friend to be used as a facial soap, and in doing so, I discovered what a great body soap it made (I've been using it in the shower lately). The recipe contains 40% olive oil, but if olive oil bothers you, you can use something like HO Sunflower or HO Safflower oil in it's place (just make sure to adjust the lye for the different SAP#'s). I myself tweaked her recipe for the batch I made by using a different oil in place of the soy.

Definitely get that stickblender asap! You won't be sorry! :)


IrishLass :)
 

dixiedragon

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Welcome to the forum!

I think you were trying too many things at once here. Also, get the stick blender, especially if you have fibromyalgia!

It seems like you are in a hurry to get a good shampoo bar. Which I can understand. We have a lot of folks on the forum who are hard-core professional sellers - in your position, I'd order from them. Just because I'm assuming you want a solution to the shampoo issue ASAP.

I'm not sure why you added coffee to your shampoo bar?

Not sure why used cocoa butter and shea butter since you were using lard. Usually people only use those in soap when they are avoid animal fats and palm.
 
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Thank you all for the invaluable input, I had to go to the grocery store and (even though I forgot more vinegar) I picked up some olive oil, I decided to try it again with non evoo and went with just oo. The main issue I'm having is finding a decent enough cheaper stick blender ( the one I had was a Christmas gift 4 years ago and looking at replacing it with the same one is a bit spendy ) I want one that is not going to conk out on me when making anything even remotely pudding textured ( last one died while I was making lotion )but I can't afford to pay too much either in the off chance that it does not like soaping.
Does anyone suggest a particular place to purchase said stick blender or a favorite brand/make/model?
while I'm ok with manually whisking in a pinch, it really wore me out.
any suggestions on where to go would be awesome.

oh, lol and btw.... the reason for the coffee is bc my hubby smokes like a chimney and I don't smoke at all and sometime his cloud makes my hair smell like an ashtray and I know that coffee is a really good deodorizer in lew of certain EO's.
and the soap ended up smelling like a coffee shop that I used to frequent in high school ( on biscotti day... they made their own and the dark chocolate orange were the best lol)
The lather is lovely btw... very creamy but also nicely bubbly and my hair and skin feels amazing( i even shaved with it and WOW!) I seem to have really lucked out with my overachieving soap lol( and all the hard oils were to make it easier to hand whisk to trace bc they are supposed to trace faster) and the lard WITH the cocoa and shea butter is bc I like the moisturizing effects of the three mixed lol, I know it's weird, but I actually use a mix of them on my hands after doing dishes and my hands just suck it up .

AND sorry for being so far off on tangents atm I'm sleepy and new to posting on forums and such lol.
I will try to post a lather pic tomorrow and maybe try to come up with a new recipe if i can find a stick blender I like
 

MrsSpaceship

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Not sure of your location, but if you're near a Walmart, they have a stick blender for $15. It's not a power horse, but will certainly get you through a few batches as long as you're not going for thick trace (it does have a metal bell though, and I've noticed it tends to scratch the glaze of my crock pot if I'm not careful.)
 
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@Mrs Spaceship...I went to my local Walmart earlier this evening and found the same one I had that did not survive my lotion( it was not vey thick at all) the whisk part actually came apart and then the motor died:cry: I am in in north Texas and a metal bell doesn't really bother me as my neighbor donated an old croc pot( the pot doesn't even come out lol, not easy for cleaning, but still made soap and was free lol:-o)
sadly I even had to make my whipped body butter by hand whipping it bc I also killed my hand mixer( stand mixer cost way too much for a decent one). I may just have bad luck with mixy/blendy/emulsifying equipment lol.
 

Susie

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So I'm brand new to "real" soaping. Like 24 hours into it new, lol...

...I have used it and it feels really nice, I know it will benefit from a short cure to harden it more, but it unmolded and cut beautifully...so... IDK Halley.
In addition to all the other advice above, my advice is that you give that a proper cure of 4 weeks minimum. I know some soapers out there say HP does not need a cure, but it really still does.

You may also want to check your local thrift stores for stick blenders and old crock pots. I got my back ups there.
 
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In addition to all the other advice above, my advice is that you give that a proper cure of 4 weeks minimum. I know some soapers out there say HP does not need a cure, but it really still does.

You may also want to check your local thrift stores for stick blenders and old crock pots. I got my back ups there.
I agree, I put the croc pot ball( what was left of it) in a soap dish to try to let it air dry and it turned to a clay like texture, like modeling clay. I am actually planning on visiting my mom in California this spring once she is done with chemo so I can teach her and my sister how to make real soap and told them to be on the lookout at thrift stores for both as well lol. they have 2 stores that are amazing ( according to them) Grocery outlet and winco, they tell me frequently that they have just picked up a gallon of hemp seed oil, coconut oil, mango butter, ect. they both have eczema and practically themselves in oils and apparently that is how my mom kept her hair through almost two back to back rounds of chemo.
So hopefully I can get a good recipe learned and perfected by spring.
 

snappyllama

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Welcome to the addiction!

You've gotten some really good advice here. My only thing to add is to remember to take excellent notes so you can reproduce your successes and tweak your failures. I like Evernote, but a paper notebook works fine too. Test your soap each week for a month to see how it changes over time. If you don't like a particular recipe, just keep testing it once a month. Some soaps aren't great at a month but feel fantastic after 3 months...
 

Susie

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I am going to suggest the following recipe:

Lard 65%
Coconut Oil 15%
Sweet Almond Oil 15%
Castor Oil 5%

Superfat 5%

You could even go with:

Lard 80%
Coconut Oil 15%
Castor Oil 5%

Superfat 5%

Those make lovely soap with rich, creamy lather.

I have fibro also, and I have to tell you that I made my first batch without a stick blender...never again!
 
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Welcome to the addiction!

You've gotten some really good advice here. My only thing to add is to remember to take excellent notes so you can reproduce your successes and tweak your failures. I like Evernote, but a paper notebook works fine too. Test your soap each week for a month to see how it changes over time. If you don't like a particular recipe, just keep testing it once a month. Some soaps aren't great at a month but feel fantastic after 3 months...
I am OCD about notations, I use office and have notation software on my phone that connects to my 2 in 1 netbook as well as a 1 terabyte external hard drive to save notes and recipes I also have hp instant ink so I can print a ton of my recipes so I can write on them as they are taped up in front of me in the kitchen and be able to put the notated recipe in a clear protective sheet thingy and be able to refer back to it ect... I was doing R&D for starting a body care line but a lot of my products would be considered cosmetic AND pharmaceuticals so I have tons of pages of recipes and notes lol. and I plan on letting it cure as it is still so soft, but I couldn't wait to try it and am looking forward to it being ready ( it smells so good ) and hopefully I can try a cp recipe and do another hp as soon as I get a new stick blender. I'm hoping to have something nice ready to send my mom for Christmas and do a basket type thing with other products that I make.

I am going to suggest the following recipe:

Lard 65%
Coconut Oil 15%
Sweet Almond Oil 15%
Castor Oil 5%

Superfat 5%

You could even go with:

Lard 80%
Coconut Oil 15%
Castor Oil 5%

Superfat 5%

Those make lovely soap with rich, creamy lather.

I have fibro also, and I have to tell you that I made my first batch without a stick blender...never again!
Susie, thank you for the recipes, I look forward to the second one( sweet almond is an oil that I have to wait to purchase as I have to replace my stick blender)( I only have about 2 oz of it left, but I have about 4 oz of grape seed?)
And It's nice to know that another crafter with fibro tried hand whisking, I can deffinatly understand why everyone uses them. even without fibro it would be a lot of hard work and possible failure , add fibro to the mix and it could end up making someone give up on soaping:-(.
speaking of which, do you ever have issues with any fo or eo triggering a flair or other unpleasant fibro reaction? I would love to try fo but am concerned since I already can't handle commercial chemical fragrances .
 

rparrny

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Welcome! We come from similar roots...I also started making soap because I could not use commercial soap and buying handmade was getting too expensive (that was 20 years ago before handmade soaps were the rage). I too started with M&P but I had good results with glycerin and added botanicals so I stayed with that for many years. When I went to CP I was fortunate in that the only recipe I had was very simple and I had no colorants to try out. After years of simple soaps with only one color at best, I broke out this year and started with swirls and micas and oxides and now...FOs.
I don't sell, I make mine for myself, friends, family and charity, but if your not selling I would suggest you continue with the size batches you are doing now so you can get the most experience with different recipes and techniques. I use end cuts of each loaf divided into quarters and test one each week. I have found that to be invaluable about learning of the curing qualities of different recipes.
I have three stick blenders, one for soap and two for cooking (I am kosher so I need one for meat and another for dairy). My cooking ones are expensive, probably because of all the attachments it came with, but my soap one was under $20 and has lasted for years with no issues...and if it conked out tomorrow I wouldn't cry about it. My only regret is that it's all one piece and doesn't detach and when I make my laundry detergent in 5 gallon buckets it is not long enough to do a good job and I have to split the batch into smaller buckets. Walmart and Amazon both have really cheap stick blenders. Kohls has sales and coupon codes all the time as well.
Most important, have fun and welcome.
 
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Susie

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I use only EOs due to migraines and allergies triggered by perfume, cologne, air fresheners, etc that were "not from nature". I just thought I could skip paying good money for something I may have to throw away because I could not tolerate it.

None of my EO's cause me any sort of problems, but I tend to stick with ones I know are safe for me: citrus, any of the herbs and spices, the ones from different woods. Citrus does not stick in CP, but I can use it in liquid soap with excellent results. Some of the herb/spice ones need to be used in lower amounts to avoid skin irritation-peppermint, cinnamon, cloves.

I learned the hard way that patchouli makes me nauseated, even at very small amounts. A whole batch of soap, plus a 2 oz bottle of the stuff all went in the trash.

My very favorite EO is lemongrass. It gives a nice lemony scent, sticks well, and is well behaved in CP. It is very reasonably priced for an EO.

Lye and EOs are the only two things I order online exclusively. The prices are better, and I order from reputable vendors who have a high turnover of product, so I am reasonably sure of quality.
 
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I use only EOs due to migraines and allergies triggered by perfume, cologne, air fresheners, etc that were "not from nature". I just thought I could skip paying good money for something I may have to throw away because I could not tolerate it.

None of my EO's cause me any sort of problems, but I tend to stick with ones I know are safe for me: citrus, any of the herbs and spices, the ones from different woods. Citrus does not stick in CP, but I can use it in liquid soap with excellent results. Some of the herb/spice ones need to be used in lower amounts to avoid skin irritation-peppermint, cinnamon, cloves.

I learned the hard way that patchouli makes me nauseated, even at very small amounts. A whole batch of soap, plus a 2 oz bottle of the stuff all went in the trash.

My very favorite EO is lemongrass. It gives a nice lemony scent, sticks well, and is well behaved in CP. It is very reasonably priced for an EO.

Lye and EOs are the only two things I order online exclusively. The prices are better, and I order from reputable vendors who have a high turnover of product, so I am reasonably sure of quality.
Susie, I'm so glad that I was fortunate enough to have you comment on my post. your knowledge is invaluable, thank you so much. I love citrus and cannot get enough of the lemongrass, my sister who also has fibro is also bonkers for lemongrass. I'm slightly sad about citrus not sticking in cp. do you know if orange stays with like clay or something... or if it stays in hp? it's my other citrus fave.
 

penelopejane

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hcreading
I understand fibro is different for everyone and sensitivity to chemical/natural products vary greatly too but have you researched salicylates in relation to fibromyalgia?

You might want to test if coffee, coconut oil and olive oil are the base oils you want to use.
 

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