Hi! I’m a Casual Diaper

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The Suds Master
Supporting Member
Feb 5, 2019
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Washington State

I am a casual soaper. I don’t really have plans to sell soap, only because I would want to sell a high quality product and what I have made so far... as my husband says, ‘I just want soap that suds on my hair and doesn’t feel like a cheese grater in my skin.’ So my products have been... interesting.

The first time I made soap was in a tiny chemistry set I was gifted in junior high. I carefully weighed out the ingredients and stirred them with a glass stick in a tiny beaker and then washed out the tiny bits of remnants that I was encouraged not to touch, but suds in cleaning up the equipment. Viola! Soap.

Fast forward several years and being disappointed with regular soap from the store and wanting to make some, I found soap Calc online and this forum and was like... I wanna try that. So I happen to be cheap.

I made a soap form from a gutter, bought various oils from a local grocery discount store and lye from the hardware store. I wanted to make liquid soap, but had a hard time finding koh. The suspicious looks from people asking what I wanted it for was a fun conversation. It’s not like I wanted fertilizer or 300lbs, but it felt like that’s what I was asking for.

Those were lye heavy bars. I think I put way too much lye in them. They had an interesting shape and were hard. Harsh too. Never had DOS and I finally used up the rest of those bars, after finding them in the bottom of an unpacked box after having moved. No longer harsh, excellent suds, super nice. Only 10 years later.

So, after being discontent with store bought soap, making my own laundry detergent with fels, I looked online to see if NaoH and KOH were available and to my surprise both were readily available on a large jungle’s website. Boom, let’s do this again.

I bought some soap forms, some colorant, two types of lye, and then a variety of oils. I still have a half a pail of grape seed oil that is somehow not rancid. I may have stored it well by complete accident. Somewhere I have a hunk of Shea butter that’s about ten years old... if I find it, I know what imma gonna so with it.

So, long story even longer... I approach soap making from a chemistry standpoint. Only a certain amount of lye will react with a certain amount of the reactive ingredients in the oils. Too much lye, you have an excess of lye. Too much oil, not all of it turns into soap. The nice thing about lye, is that it breaks down from moisture in the air over time, rendering it useless. My father has a ten dollar word for it, some chemistry word he used when teaching chemistry.
I carefully weigh out everything. Too much of one is a waste of one thing in the long run, unless you do a small percentage and are not good at measuring. Patience and precision.
I’m just going to let you know, while I won’t say anything, I am secretly judging all of you soapers in silence for eyeballing, guesstimating, and approximation in creating your soaps. This is chemistry and math is important! It is never too late to apply yourself and learn math!
However, when I started making soap again, I made two batches of single soap. One grape seed, which I used an inaccurate scale to weigh, never again will I use pampered chef to weigh something that calls for two decimal places, I knew it was wrong and doubly wrong when my soap was a mess. And I briefly forgot there is a definite difference between weight and volume in ounces. So, to correct the grape seed soap, I made a tallow soap and mixed the two horribly together. I have six, seven bars of those left. Oh and I dumped in an entire bottle of neon yellow, hoping it would cover my mistake. Nope. Somehow made them worse. They are excellent for washing hands, rubbing a washcloth on and scrubbing dishes and sinks and whatever else.

Then I decided to try liquid soap paste. I am convinced that no one really understands how to use phenathalein or ph test strips. You always use a pipet to drip water onto the strips themselves. Did no one take chemistry? Or you dip it into the solution, but to keep your solution pure, use a pipet.

After researching on the internet about liquid soap paste, I made a batch, from the internet. Some crockpot hot process method. Followed it, came to the conclusion after doing it, that lye is a great cleaner. Bought several books specifically about soap making and one on liquid soap. I supposedly bought ‘the’ book on liquid soap making, and it is a good book. Here’s some things about a chemical reaction. As long as there is enough of two things in a solution that will react with each other present in solution, they will react with each other. Heating up the solution, makes the reaction happen faster. Cooling it slows it down. If your paste isn’t clear when you are done cooking it for the day.
Store it in jars for a while. Your paste will look like it’s supposed to, if you have calculated correctly, because, all the chemicals present in the solution will have reacted with each other. You don’t have to cook it forever to finish it, it will do that on it’s own, unless you are impatient. I currently have three quarts of shampoo paste that didn’t get cooked all the way, but now look like they’re supposed to, and it time them about two weeks to get that translucent gel look. Because: science. I’m still working on getting it from a gel to a suitable liquid that is store like, I’m convinced I can make xanthan gum work. I have a pound of it, leave me alone, I will make it work.

Oh and then I made some bars this last summer with about seven different oils. Castor, coconut, cocoa, grapeseed (gotta use up that pail yo), tallow, crisco, and I honestly don’t remember what else. Oh, eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils at trace for scent. And then I decided it needed oatmeal. But not just any oatmeal, no I wanted something that would be an excellent exfoliant. So, yes, yes I went with the largest chunks of oatmeal, steel cut oats. Stop. We both know this was a horrible idea. And I wanted to make sure there was enough of this exfoliant, so I dumped in about a pound into my two pound soap recipe. Laugh. Please, at my expense, I deserve it. Now you understand my husband and his cheese grater soap. I use it too. It’s actually excellent soap if there weren’t so many pieces of oatmeal.

I’ve used a stick blender for all my soap, except liquid paste. I use my stainless steel mixing bowls for soap making and cooking! Shock! I know. Just make sure you clean them well before using them for food. Hand wash with hot soap and water and then run them through the dishwasher or wash them again. Lye doesn’t react with stainless steel which makes it ideal for soaping. Plastic materials retain scent and are pourous, which once they get used for something other than food, they’re pretty much ruined. Stainless steel is not porous. I’m pretty sure the silicon might be porous as well, since my dollar silicon spatula I purchased from the thrift store smells like scent after using it for making a batch of shampoo.

I currently have a workbench in my garage with ten pounds of utility or laundry bars. About forty more pounds of used oil waiting to be turned into more utility soap. And plans for some friends to come over and make soap. Because who doesn’t want more soap? Well, since I just purchased a bucket of lye, I now have a serious reason to make soap. If I don’t, my lye will go bad.... yes, that’s my new reason.

So, I’m a casual soaper with some chemistry knowledge, thanks Dad.

My goal is to make artsy soap for myself and people I like. I don’t want to shell out ten bucks for a fancy piece of chemistry if I can do it myself, which I can.

Things I have learned:

never spill lye on your linoleum floor, or vinyl, unless you plan on doing a kitchen remodel.

If your friends have a difficult time making candles, or following directions or reading and following recipes to the letter, don’t have a soap making party with them.

Utility soap is way cheaper to make than the five ounce bars for a dollar at the store. I don’t know if it works yet. I’m still working on my last batch of fels based laundry detergent.

Liquid soap made from bars is... gross. IMO

Buy in bulk. Bulk. Bulk. Bulk. Unless it’s a pail. Then buy less, unless you are selling and making like crazy. I’m a casual soaper.

For some reason, autocorrect on my phone wants to change every word ‘soaper’ into ‘diaper.’
Lols I also did a double take and ventured in here to see what's it all about, which I rarely do lol. Then I remembered mu phone did the same a couple of times too haha.. Welcome to the forum!
I saw the title (diapers on a soapmaking forum!?) and absolutely HAD to look. I thought I would see a diaper themed soap or cloth diaper stain removing soap or something. I know this is an old thread, but I haven't laughed so hard in a quite a while. Thank you @SoapySuds 😂🤣
I saw the title (diapers on a soapmaking forum!?) and absolutely HAD to look. I thought I would see a diaper themed soap or cloth diaper stain removing soap or something. I know this is an old thread, but I haven't laughed so hard in a quite a while. Thank you @SoapySuds 😂🤣

It's a lesson to watch your autocorrect, for sure! "Diaper" is the most common autocorrect for "Soaper." I've seen it crop up in lots of soapy posts.

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