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Hello! New here - appreciate advice.

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Susie

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Good catch, DeeAnna! I completely missed the "bulk" sentence!

Yes, everything that DeeAnna said!

You may get to the point where you have "your" recipe, and "your" method, using "your" scents, so you can do a bunch and get it over with. Maybe in a year. Not trying to make you mad, but soaping is both an art and a science. You use the science with the soap calculator (always use a soap calculator, no matter where you found a recipe), but the art is up to you. Not every recipe is good for every skin type. Not all scents act like you want them to. And if you are making it for family and friends, I promise you that one of them is going to need a specific recipe. It just almost always is that way.

Not to mention that soapmaking is addictive. If you are like most of us, it is our "fun" time. Our "me" time. You are probably going to want to make soap throughout the year. And that is OK. Because you can always use soap. And your family and friends can always use soap.
 

GrannyTidbits

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I have 3, but I could really get by with just one if push ever came to shove- i.e., my 6 qt stainless steel pot, in which I make the majority of my batches, which are 2.8 lbs. The other two are smaller ones, one of which is stainless steel and the other plastic, which are perfect for my smaller 1.3 lb batches.


IrishLass :)

Thanks. I am looking at the thrift stores now to find some pots. I purchased the spoons online just to know I did not get aluminum.
 

GrannyTidbits

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You mention about making things in bulk, and soap is certainly something that can be made in large batches. But if I could offer some advice ... big batches aren't a good idea when a person is a beginner. Better to make small batches more often to build skills and learn what you like and don't like.

Most people suggest starting out with batches using about 16 ounces or 500 grams of fats. That will give you about 4 typical-sized bars of soap per batch.

That's not a lot if you like to get 'er done and over with ... but if something doesn't go right, a smaller batch size won't saddle you with a big pile of unusable soap. Or even if the soap turns out fine, you might not like the recipe so you don't want to get stuck with a big pile of soap that you don't like.
Thanks - I will keep that in mind. I hope to find one or two that we like that I can just make for the year. It's almost an hour to town so we stock certain goods.
 

cmzaha

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Sadly soap does not always last a year, no matter our recipes and how long we have been making soap. Soap simply has a way of doing what it wants to do. It is very seldom I have soap turn rancid but it does still happen even using my tried and true recipe. There are so many factors that go into play when making soap. You simply cannot depend on soap lasting a year or more. I have some that are 5+ yrs old and some that have gone rancid in 6 months. You just do not know what will happen, especially if you decide to go with the so-called "all-natural," using no additives to deter rancidity. Which is a route I see many new soapers choose. So if you have to drive far for supplies it may be better to order online. I would think it is better to pay shipping cost than toss large amounts of soap in the trash. Even living in the city I have to order most supplies online other than my bulk oils.

I have been making soap a long time and I will say what I sold when I first started selling, while it was good soap and sold well I would not even consider selling it today, as I would not consider it good. It was actually just a couple of years ago I finally settled on my actual vegan non-vegan based only tweaking the liquid oils and butters or no butters. It takes a long time and many batches of soap to even know a good or not so great soap for your skin. For example, some folks love OO soap I personally hate it and I also find my skin hates other HO oils in high percentages. It takes time to learn all the little nuances.
 

JoeyJ

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Write notes of all soaps you made, ingredients, method additives... or photo journal the process, labels of ingredients, etc because as much as you are certain youll remember what you tweaked, it flies away in the excitement! later in 6 weeks to 6 months when you want to know "exactly what was in that one..." it will be one big blur.
Start with really simple recipes, @Zany_in_CO has a simple one that a lot of people have had success with, and is a personal favourite of mine. I hot process it, but thats a whole other thing.
you will know if lye gets on you, it will start to itch, and then burn and you wipe or wash it off, the burning subsides and life goes on. I find no sleeves is better because you wash spills or spots off much quicker from a bare arm and risk spreading spills by shuffling sleeves around.

Honestly tho, the best teacher is experience...and that first lye water is survivable, lol!
🤔by the way has anyone mentioned that soapmaking is addictive?🤭
 

LilianNoir

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Hey there! As a fellow Floridian, I might caution against making your lye solution outside, at least during our summer. (So, you know, from now until October ;) 🤣 )
Lye LOVES water, including the humidity in the air. I found that when I measured my lye outdoors, and mixed my lye into my water, I could see it reacting with the humidity in the air as I was pouring!
Overall, that's not a super big deal, but 1. it was startling! and 2. it can cause "lye lint". You certainly can mix outdoors. A local friend of mine does and has been for years. But I find that doing it on the stove (We have a glass top) under the vent is fine. :)

Just wanted to at least give you a heads up.
 

GrannyTidbits

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Sadly soap does not always last a year, no matter our recipes and how long we have been making soap. Soap simply has a way of doing what it wants to do. It is very seldom I have soap turn rancid but it does still happen even using my tried and true recipe. I have some that are 5+ yrs old and some that have gone rancid in 6 months. You just do not know what will happen,
Thanks, Do you ever have the same soap last and then the next time the same one turns in only a few months? I had hopes that over time I would find 2 or 3 that we like and be able to stick with them.
 

GrannyTidbits

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Hey there! As a fellow Floridian, I might caution against making your lye solution outside, at least during our summer. (So, you know, from now until October ;) 🤣 )
Lye LOVES water, including the humidity in the air. I found that when I measured my lye outdoors, and mixed my lye into my water, I could see it reacting with the humidity in the air as I was pouring!
Overall, that's not a super big deal, but 1. it was startling! and 2. it can cause "lye lint". You certainly can mix outdoors. A local friend of mine does and has been for years. But I find that doing it on the stove (We have a glass top) under the vent is fine. :)

Just wanted to at least give you a heads up.
Wow! I never thought about the humidity! Good to keep in mind. I only have a microwave to vent from my stove so it vents back into the room. I didn't think that was such a good idea with the lye. We do plan on building a canning house but that is a few years away yet.
 

GrannyTidbits

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Write notes of all soaps you made, ingredients, method additives... or photo journal the process, labels of ingredients, etc because as much as you are certain youll remember what you tweaked, it flies away in the excitement! later in 6 weeks to 6 months when you want to know "exactly what was in that one..." it will be one big blur.
Start with really simple recipes, @Zany_in_CO has a simple one that a lot of people have had success with, and is a personal favourite of mine. I hot process it, but thats a whole other thing.
you will know if lye gets on you, it will start to itch, and then burn and you wipe or wash it off, the burning subsides and life goes on. I find no sleeves is better because you wash spills or spots off much quicker from a bare arm and risk spreading spills by shuffling sleeves around.

Honestly tho, the best teacher is experience...and that first lye water is survivable, lol!
🤔by the way has anyone mentioned that soapmaking is addictive?🤭
Great idea. I started doing that with my garden for just that reason. It helps to know what made a fruit grow or why you killed it.
 

Zainab91

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Hey
I’m new to soap making as well.
I saw you mention your worry about fumes and wanted to say that I use ice as 50% of my liquid and I never get fumes or steam. I even see some people who do 70% of their liquid as ice.
 

GrannyTidbits

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Hey
I’m new to soap making as well.
I saw you mention your worry about fumes and wanted to say that I use ice as 50% of my liquid and I never get fumes or steam. I even see some people who do 70% of their liquid as ice.
thanks. That is interesting. I am gathering my tools and supplies and thought I would wait for better weather but maybe I will give this a try. We are in the high 90's here with lots of humidity.
 

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