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Honeychiles

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Hello,

It's great to have found (and joined) this forum!

I am a very, very green hobbyist based in New Zealand. I've made exactly one batch of cold pressed soap. Unfortunately I didn't find SMF until after I made the batch or else I'd have likely not made quite as many errors 🤣 Through sheer blind luck, and possibly my laboratory experience, I avoided anything dangerous. I did however:

-use a far too large recipe. I am now the semi proud owner/ creator of 1.5kg (3.3 lb) of soap. I have no idea what possessed me!
-I got a little stick mixer happy and processed the soap to a very thick trace. Filling the last moulds was tricky and look very er handmade 😆
-I made the soap in the middle of a cold snap and used individual silicone moulds. I didn't insulate them well and turned the heat off over night. They're covered in soda ash!
-I used 75% olive oil and 25% coconut oil. I now know it needs a long cure time so I have to keep waiting 😭

TL;DR I have learnt many lessons already and have a mountain of soap that even it's creator can only describe as 'homely'
Im looking forward to learning more from others here
 
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Hi! And welcome!! You sound a LOT more adventuresome than I was, and you should be proud! It sounds like you didn't do too badly actually. And a soap that's only 3/4 olive oil shouldn't take more than 8 weeks to try out, supposing that you kept the default settings on whatever lye calculator you used. The soda ash is only cosmetic, in any case, not toxic or anything. Once your soaps have cured about 2 weeks or so, you can actually rinse them, then dry them, and should look quite ok. Shiny even!
If I may ask, would you mind sharing your recipe so that we, and by "we" I mean us curious cats that love being nosey about others' soapy business! 😻
And please, don't despair about making mistakes! Don't you see that if you didn't make any, how else would you learn???
Soaping would be SO boring if none of us had volcanoes, cracked loaves, or brains growing in our molds! Even veterans of the lathers still have run ins with the soap gremlins. True Story.
I hope you have a great time here. Mosey on over to the gallery, read some threads that interest you, and don't forget to post your recipe! We all love to read other folks' adventures!
And happy soaping!
 

Marsi

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Congratulations on your first soap!

Here's a few links to great forum topics for new soapers

What advice would you give to your beginning soaping self?

Emulsion, Trace, False Trace, and Acceleration

Stickblending to Emulsion

...
and over in the Beginners Soap Making Forum ...
... there is a short list of pinned posts you can browse though, and after that, searching the forum and asking questions is a great way to get advice.
 

Honeychiles

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Thank you for your responses!

Iluminameluna and Marsi, I really appreciate the time you've put into your messages.

My recipe was:

1000g olive oil
250g coconut oil
450mL water
172g caustic soda

I made my first lot of soap six weeks ago. I tried it and was a bit disappointed with the lather and it wasn't as mild as I hoped. I started researching why and found this forum. I the found myself falling into the rabbit hole that is soap making and all the soap making wisdom that is on this forum 🤣

I'm giving the soap another couple of weeks before I try it again. Can anyone let me know how long they'd normally let a olive oil & coconut oil soap cure for to get a nice mild bar?

I can't wait to put my research to work and try out a -small- batch of the tweaked recipe. Not that I need more soap 🤣
 
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Hiya Honeychiles! Where are you? I'm in Hamilton.
Mildness might come with time - or it might be that your CO is too high at 25% (Although technically that would mean your OO was 750g). Some people can only tolerate CO in low amounts. Some people don't like OO in soap - it can make their skin 'tight'. How much superfat did you have? If that was very low that might be another factor.
You also might want to try @Zany's No-Slime Castile ( do a search on the forum). I make this quite successfully with sea water and 10%CO, 5% castor.
What's your tweaked recipe? - we can scrutinise it for ya ;)
 

Marsi

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Hi Honeychillies,

You're welcome :)

Traditional French olive oil soap (Marseilles Soap) includes the use of seawater in the manufacture.
(The use of seawater in soap making has been used for centuries.)
Dissolving salt to your lye water, before adding the lye, can help you to achieve a similar result.

The recipe you have used takes a longer cure time than 6 weeks.
The old advice was to leave plain olive (or olive/coconut) recipes to cure for 6-12 months.
Plain olive oil based soaps really do improve noticeably after a long cure :thumbs:

So please keep one bar, to test in a years time!
(keep notes, so you can compare your thoughts on cure time for your recipe)

I am one of those unfortunate few, who gets tight skin if I used Olive oil based soaps, especially in Winter, but I can tolerate it better when there's salt in it.
 

Honeychiles

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Hi KiwiMoose. I'm in Christchurch so a bit further south.
Thank you for picking up my typo earlier- I should have written 80% olive oil + 20% coconut. I had a superfat of 5%
I did read a bit about Zany's Castile recipe but found it a bit intimidating for some reason. Not quite sure why!
I will definitely take you up on your offer and run recipes past the soaping wise ones first 😁 I'm keeping things very plain for now and resisting the urge to buy butters etc. I'm thinking of reducing the coconut, replacing some of the oilve oil with rice bran and adding in castor oil.

Marsi, don't worry I'm taking lots of notes. I love me a notebook with detailed records (Life of the party I am!) I've got 1.5kg of this soap so I can keep testing (and taking notes!) For the next 10.5 months 🤣
 

lgilchrist33

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Aug 17, 2022
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Hello,

It's great to have found (and joined) this forum!

I am a very, very green hobbyist based in New Zealand. I've made exactly one batch of cold pressed soap. Unfortunately I didn't find SMF until after I made the batch or else I'd have likely not made quite as many errors 🤣 Through sheer blind luck, and possibly my laboratory experience, I avoided anything dangerous. I did however:

-use a far too large recipe. I am now the semi proud owner/ creator of 1.5kg (3.3 lb) of soap. I have no idea what possessed me!
-I got a little stick mixer happy and processed the soap to a very thick trace. Filling the last moulds was tricky and look very er handmade 😆
-I made the soap in the middle of a cold snap and used individual silicone moulds. I didn't insulate them well and turned the heat off over night. They're covered in soda ash!
-I used 75% olive oil and 25% coconut oil. I now know it needs a long cure time so I have to keep waiting 😭

TL;DR I have learnt many lessons already and have a mountain of soap that even it's creator can only describe as 'homely'
Im looking forward to learning more from others here
Hi, I'm in New Zealand too, and I've just discovered this forum. So looking forward to learning more.
Best wishes for your soap making journey.
 

Zany_in_CO

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