Help and advice please

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

Chris_S

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
Messages
754
Reaction score
658
Location
Wigan, England
Ok so a few things i would really appriciate help with that i have spotted while looking on the forums tonight. Wasnt sure where to post this as its quite non specific but still about soap making so sorry if its in wrong place. I understand if i needs to be moved elsewhere. (moved to beginners)

Firstly i use a glass pyrex jug for my lye solution and didnt realise this has the potential to crack while in use the suggestion was to use ss something id prefer to avoid because as mentioned in the thread it is more difficult to see the solution. So that leaves me with plastic i would guess that it has to be a specific type because of the nature of lye solution and the heat it produces. Is the an international standard or any people from the uk that could point me for what im going to have to look for?

Secondly i am thinking of making a larger mold (slab mold i think they are called) than iv got now i am fine making it im a pretty practical person is there any specific types of wood i have to use or can you use pretty much anything because you need a liner? Iv seen molds than have the end that folds down persumably to get better access to the soap once ready to demold is this nessicary and can i use a door hinge for this purpose. Id be generally looking for about 3 times the width and maybe twice the lenght of a standard box mold with a silicone liner but it would be worked out also on the width of liner i wanted to use on a regular basis. or as an alternative could i use a clean and brand new letter tray and just line it?

When mixing lye solution say a few hours before needed how do i go about adding liquid and solid oils obviously melting them but if the lye solution is room temp what temp do i then mix the oils with the lye solution wouldnt they start to return to solid form at room temp if say i put cocoa butter in the recipe?

Because of the cold this time of year in my part of england my previous soaping area isnt really very practical anymore and if im honest far too dark even when lights turned on for any detailed work so i have decided on using my spare room. i have no carpet down but have an old but big rug in there near the desk i plan on using and will be putting down a thickish probably plastic lined sheet down and washed after each soaping adventure to catch any bad spills then getting cleaned up for everyones safety but particually the cats. the plan is to use the previous soaping space to mix the lye and the kitchen to melt the oils although they will be prepped and wieghed out upstairs in the spare room unless i get a single hob plate thing at some point. I can keep the cats out of that room easy enough while im soaping just need to put one the litter trays in the bathroom while im busy. My questions are can i place my made soaps to gel or harden in a sliding doored wardrobe and shut it entirely until ready to unmold to make sure little kitty noses dont get overly nosy in the night and start causing any trouble knocking things off ect it would be kept out of reach but theres a potential for them to knock the shelves and it cause a problem or fall unless the doors kept shut. Wont be cured in there only stored until unmolded

And another quick question could someone please explain or at least point me in right direction to find the instructions of how to edit what you have inventory wise on sm3 i can input via purchase got that sussed now but i have some oils iv used before i got the software but when inputting them as stock didnt want to put in accurate amounts because that just seemed like more trouble that it was worth. but i now cant find where to change the levels. It would be a guess but i would prefer to be under guessing than over guessing amounts left.

And yet another thing. I bought some olive oil pomace but it was blended type which i only noticed when i got home wasnt aware this exsisted. So i know % of the blend how would i input it accurately into a soap capc? its 52% pomace and 48% rapeseed oil.

Thanks in advance for any help given :)
 

Sanctuary

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
46
Reaction score
18
Hi Chris....lets see if I can help you!
1. The school of Soap (lol!) states that you shouldn't use glass for your lye water. Look at your local thrift store or other store for a plastic container that has the number 5 inside a triangle on the bottom. Also known as HDPE.
2. Any kind of wood would work for a mold, even a sturdy cardboard box would work in a pinch! Just make sure you line your mold.
3. Melt down all of your solid at room temperature oils first, then mix in your liquid oils before adding your lye water. Temperatures very....some folks soap at 85-90 degrees F., Just remember the warmer your soap batter the quicker it will come to trace.
4. Putting your soap in a cupboared would be fine. As long as you don't get wild with all sorts of additives that can make your soap batter really heat up. If you plan on putting your soap through gel phase, you would need to cover it with towels or small blankets, but it should be fine.
5. I can't help you with SM3. I dont use this program.
6. I've never come across blended Olive Oil, so I can't help you on your last question. I can only guess at this and thinking it would go under Olive Pomace? Maybe someone else in the forum can chime in. I hope I've helped you with at least some of your questions and wish you the best on your soaping journey!
 

Els

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
5
Location
Colorado
And yet another thing. I bought some olive oil pomace but it was blended type which i only noticed when i got home wasnt aware this exsisted. So i know % of the blend how would i input it accurately into a soap capc? its 52% pomace and 48% rapeseed oil.

It's math time!

I see no reason you couldn't separate out your Olive Oil and rapeseed (likely on your lye calculator as Canola) like this -- say you want to try using 50% of this oil in a 2-lb recipe, that's 16 oz in total. Separate out the two oils in the blend, by percentage:
16 oz "olive oil" blend
52% pomace/olive oil = 0.52*16oz = 8.32 oz
48% rapeseed/canola = 0.48* 16 oz = 7.68 oz

Put those numbers in to your favorite lye calculator/s or figure it manually, whichever your normal method is. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
 

penelopejane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
5,502
Reaction score
4,352
Location
Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
1. Amazingly the recycling numbers seem to be universal! You can also use plastics with a number 2 in the little triangle on the bottom. Laundry detergent bottles are often #2.

2. Really good idea to make a timber box the size of a commercially available silicone liner so even though you line your timber mold now, later you can buy a silicone liner for it. The batter will probably get too hot while saponifying to allow you to use a letter tray.

3. Yes some oils do turn solid at lower temps. This can cause clumps and lumps and bumps in your soap. Good idea to mix your lye, wait for it to cool and then heat your oils to match it. Depending on your recipe you might want to soap at 43*C to ensure everything stays nice and melted and it also helps the soap move towards gel in the dead of winter. I soap at 43*C because I use shea and high stearic oils and I don't want swirls or lumps in my soap. Some just go with the flow and think that is nice and handmade. Up to you.

4. You might find a little microwave is a good solution for you in your new soaping area rather than running back and forth from the kitchen.

5. Are you on facebook? If so, ask to join: "SoapMaker3 Support Group". It's a closed group so your friends don't see your posts. The guy that wrote the SM3 program and other users will help you with detailed answers far better than I can even though I use the program.

6. List your 52% pomace and 48% rapeseed (canola) as separate oils in soapcalc.
 
Last edited:
A

amd

When mixing lye solution say a few hours before needed how do i go about adding liquid and solid oils obviously melting them but if the lye solution is room temp what temp do i then mix the oils with the lye solution wouldnt they start to return to solid form at room temp if say i put cocoa butter in the recipe?

I soap at room temperature... kind of... with 65% hard oils. I live in the US northern midwest so my winters are cold (often spending weeks at -30°F) and I don't have heat in my soap lab so it is often cooler than room temperature. Last year I was using fresh made lye and masterbatched oils - meaning that I melt all of my oils together 12lbs at a time into a big bucket. I cool my buckets outside in the winter and in the fridge in the summer, so everything cools at the same rate, I don't have chunks of say cocoa butter, or tallow. It's a nice smooth mixture. So my first advice is to make sure that your oils cool at a consistent rate, this should help prevent the chunks you're worried about. Once my oils are completely cool, I remove it from the fridge (bring it in the house) and let it sit at room temperature. When I measure out what I need, I always give my big bucket a stir to make sure that it is a nice smooth mixture, or if it's gotten warmer that there isn't liquid oil sitting in pockets somewhere. Even with 65% solids, room temp oils work well with fresh made lye.

This winter things are a bit different as I have switched to masterbatched lye, so my lye solution is not getting as warm as fresh lye. I've found I've had to microwave my oils for a minute, just enough to loosen everything up to a more liquid mix. I don't take temps, and as long as I'm not using an accelerating FO, and minimal use of the SB, my system works very well.

And another quick question could someone please explain or at least point me in right direction to find the instructions of how to edit what you have inventory wise on sm3 i can input via purchase got that sussed now but i have some oils iv used before i got the software but when inputting them as stock didnt want to put in accurate amounts because that just seemed like more trouble that it was worth. but i now cant find where to change the levels. It would be a guess but i would prefer to be under guessing than over guessing amounts left.

To edit the amount of an ingredient in SM3:
upload_2018-12-11_9-36-44.png

This is from the users manual found here.
 

Chris_S

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
Messages
754
Reaction score
658
Location
Wigan, England
Awesome thank you everyone whos helped im out at the moment so ill give everything people have said a good read when i get home. And amd i did have a look in the user manual but still couldnt see anything related to that so thank you so much for the screenshot.
 
A

amd

Awesome thank you everyone whos helped im out at the moment so ill give everything people have said a good read when i get home. And amd i did have a look in the user manual but still couldnt see anything related to that so thank you so much for the screenshot.
No worries! Sometimes it's hard to find answers unless you know what process to look for. In this case it was easy for me to look because I knew it was editing the purchase order, but couldn't remember the exact steps. (I actually have to look the process up every time, I still don't have my specific gravity set correctly for Kaolin Clay, it keeps telling me I've run out but I have LOTS. ha! I edit that one quite often.)
 

Chris_S

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
Messages
754
Reaction score
658
Location
Wigan, England
No worries! Sometimes it's hard to find answers unless you know what process to look for. In this case it was easy for me to look because I knew it was editing the purchase order, but couldn't remember the exact steps. (I actually have to look the process up every time, I still don't have my specific gravity set correctly for Kaolin Clay, it keeps telling me I've run out but I have LOTS. ha! I edit that one quite often.)

oh ffs iv not even touched on getting right sg yet for anything other than the preset stuff. as iv been going along iv just been putting 1 in and left it for a later job but now iv got the majority of the stuff iv got on the system i will start to research the sg of everything not looking forward to that part think ill need my proper desk chair for that lol

It's math time!

I see no reason you couldn't separate out your Olive Oil and rapeseed (likely on your lye calculator as Canola) like this -- say you want to try using 50% of this oil in a 2-lb recipe, that's 16 oz in total. Separate out the two oils in the blend, by percentage:
16 oz "olive oil" blend
52% pomace/olive oil = 0.52*16oz = 8.32 oz
48% rapeseed/canola = 0.48* 16 oz = 7.68 oz

Put those numbers in to your favorite lye calculator/s or figure it manually, whichever your normal method is. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Thanks so much i had a feeling it would be some pretty simple maths but i just wanted to have it confirmed by someone that i was right and hoping for the sums to help me along. Unfortualy me and ozs and lbs dont really mix that well unless its to give me a rough idea. Im in england so we mostly use kg and grams ect but i can just convert once iv done the sums as you have shown them
 
Last edited by a moderator:

penelopejane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
5,502
Reaction score
4,352
Location
Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
No worries! Sometimes it's hard to find answers unless you know what process to look for. In this case it was easy for me to look because I knew it was editing the purchase order, but couldn't remember the exact steps. (I actually have to look the process up every time, I still don't have my specific gravity set correctly for Kaolin Clay, it keeps telling me I've run out but I have LOTS. ha! I edit that one quite often.)

SG for kaolin clay is 2.6
 

Chris_S

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
Messages
754
Reaction score
658
Location
Wigan, England
Hi Chris....lets see if I can help you!
1. The school of Soap (lol!) states that you shouldn't use glass for your lye water. Look at your local thrift store or other store for a plastic container that has the number 5 inside a triangle on the bottom. Also known as HDPE.

Thank you for your reply and especially this part i happened to pick up some cheap plastic jugs at asda the other day for soaping and they have a triangle with a 5 in them so ideal and just to make sure i have enough when i move to my new moap cave i went and bought 4 more they seem pretty sturdy and after trying them for a swirling technique they seem easy to use so absolutly ideal at 40pence a pop lol(Moap cave not a spelling mistake its like a man cave but for soaping its a mash up lol)

Another question someone might be able to help with sg of oils and eo. im guessing sg of fragrance oils will be in the safety data sheet (iv called it that as i know we have massivly different names for simular things) as a standard thing to include?
 

penelopejane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
5,502
Reaction score
4,352
Location
Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
Another question someone might be able to help with sg of oils and eo. im guessing sg of fragrance oils will be in the safety data sheet (iv called it that as i know we have massivly different names for simular things) as a standard thing to include?

Google Specific gravity of...
If not go to the SM3 Facebook group. They know it ALL and they are not like other Facebook groups. Messages are all straight to the point.
 

Chris_S

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
Messages
754
Reaction score
658
Location
Wigan, England
Google Specific gravity of...
If not go to the SM3 Facebook group. They know it ALL and they are not like other Facebook groups. Messages are all straight to the point.

Thank you found all for eo now just to find them for all my fo this is gunna be the fun part.

Iv found a sg for mica of between 2.6 and 3.2 does this mean its that for each mica regardless of colour or will it just be a general and it depends on colour brand ect? iv set them all at 2.9 for now at a guess half way lol

@penelopejane i know you suggested a microwave but i really have come to my spending limit. Iv got a spare slow cooker could this be used as an alternative to a double boiler methid i have been using? Im not really mega keen on microwaves anyways for fear of over heating and having to keep a close eye on them i like being able to nip out the room to finish organising myself.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

penelopejane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
5,502
Reaction score
4,352
Location
Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
@penelopejane i know you suggested a microwave but i really have come to my spending limit. Iv got a spare slow cooker could this be used as an alternative to a double boiler methid i have been using? Im not really mega keen on microwaves anyways for fear of over heating and having to keep a close eye on them i like being able to nip out the room to finish organising myself.

I don’t use mica - I go for natural colours - but I think an average SG would be fine.

2nd hand things are great! Slow cooker would be slow and no doubt would work. They are really heavy though and difficult to scrape stuff out of. Sometimes you have to go with what you have even if it’s a compromise!
 

Chris_S

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
Messages
754
Reaction score
658
Location
Wigan, England
I don’t use mica - I go for natural colours - but I think an average SG would be fine.

2nd hand things are great! Slow cooker would be slow and no doubt would work. They are really heavy though and difficult to scrape stuff out of. Sometimes you have to go with what you have even if it’s a compromise!

Mmmmmm i might just not bother and keep using the double boiler methid and carry it upstairs i use a big ss bowl and dont do big batches at the moment it'll be no worse what i was doing before.

I go in charity shops pretty often and i dont think iv ever come across a second hand microwave but saying that the idea hadnt even crossed my mind so ill keep my eye out or might get a cheap new one in january sale
 

penelopejane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
5,502
Reaction score
4,352
Location
Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
Mmmmmm i might just not bother and keep using the double boiler methid and carry it upstairs i use a big ss bowl and dont do big batches at the moment it'll be no worse what i was doing before.

I go in charity shops pretty often and i dont think iv ever come across a second hand microwave but saying that the idea hadnt even crossed my mind so ill keep my eye out or might get a cheap new one in january sale

I got a new microwave from a discount store for $99 AUD. Amazing price. Just so I don’t have to carry melted oils From my kitchen to the laundry (my soaping room).
 

Latest posts

Top