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Picklekin

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Hi Mamo! That's a fairly sensible choice (not that I have tried it yet!) for a first project, slow moving and you don't need a lot of oils and stuff. Were those your reasons for starting with that or did you just fancy it? :)
 

Zany_in_CO

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Hiya, Mamo! When you have a moment and if it isn't too much trouble, please tell us a little about yourself and especially your level of experience. That would be SO helpful to us going forward. It's also good for us to know where you are located in terms of finding sources and other issues you may want help with. For example, I make an awesome castile but it's for intermediate-advanced soapers so I'm reluctant to share it with you, because it assumes you have at least a few batches under your belt. Know what I mean? :D
 

Mamosan

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Thanks for the warm welcome!

So I live in Scotland and am completely new to soap-making, but I am a lab-based scientist with a little knowledge of chemistry and some good measuring skills ;) I might hold off on the more advanced protocols for a bit though, cheers!

The Castile sounded like a relatively cheap and simple starting point that makes a nice creamy bar suitable for sensitive skin - hopefully I’m not too far off?!

We’ve got a wee one due in January - hoping it’ll be ready by then so we won’t have to go buying fragrance free soaps!
 

Zany_in_CO

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@Mamo Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about yourself.:thumbs:

The "good measuring skills" will come in handy. We measure ingredients by weight not volume. I assume you have a good scale? You will also need to learn to use an online lye calculator. There are many. I use SoapCalc because it has been around for years, it is more widely used than others around the world and most soapers are familiar with it.

Soapmaker's Friend is a recent product developed by and for members of SMF. It's a slightly more advanced calculator that has some things in it that you won't find in other calculators.

Castile is indeed a wonderful soap suitable for sensitive skin. However, Newbies often think castile would be the easiest to make. The truth is, whether CP (cold process), HP (hot process) or LS (liquid soap) it's one of the trickiest to make. I won't discourage you but just be aware that it's not like any other soap formula.

The first time I made 100% olive oil castile (in 2004), it took FOREVER to trace. Once it was in the mold, it was so soft I waited a week before it was ready to unmold and another week before it was ready to cut. It took 3 months to cure and, because olive oil contains "unsaponiables", the lather, while "creamy", had low suds and it felt like washing with slime. Some people love it; some hate it. I was in the "I don't much care for it" group.😜
 

Mamosan

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Thank you for the advice and feedback, @Zany_in_CO.

We’ve got a good (but old) set of scales that may be on the way out - fingers crossed they’ll last long enough to see whether this newfound interest in soaping sticks!

Glad to hear the Castile should be ready before we’re due. Sounds like the longer you leave it the better it gets. If it’s anything like the Greek “olive oil soap” we were once gifted, we hopefully won’t be too averse to it!
 
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earlene

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Thanks for the warm welcome!

So I live in Scotland and am completely new to soap-making, but I am a lab-based scientist with a little knowledge of chemistry and some good measuring skills ;) I might hold off on the more advanced protocols for a bit though, cheers!

The Castile sounded like a relatively cheap and simple starting point that makes a nice creamy bar suitable for sensitive skin - hopefully I’m not too far off?!

We’ve got a wee one due in January - hoping it’ll be ready by then so we won’t have to go buying fragrance free soaps!
Welcome to the forum, Mamo. I adore your country and your countrymen. It is such a lovely place on earth!

As for Castile soap, there are some who absolutely love it and others who really do not. I like Castile soap, so yes, I agree with you and find it quite gentle. Be aware though, that if you purchase pomace olive oil, the batter can move a lot faster than if you use plain (not pomace) olive oil. At least that is my and many others' experience. A few have said they don't find that to be the case, for whatever reason.

In any case, Castile (using plain Olive Oil) was one of my first soaps as a new soapmaker, and I have made many since because I enjoy making and using it. The first time I made it, it did take a long time to harden sufficiently to unmold, which I expected based on the tutorial I was using. I later learned that by adjusting the water in the lye solution via adjustments in the [email protected] calculators could speed up unmolding and cutting time. But the cure really did make a huge difference in how much I liked the soap.

True, traditional Castile can be used very soon, but I prefer it as it gets older. But then, I lean toward a longer cure for most soaps, anyway, because I have so much of it on hand and do not sell soap. So most of the soap I use has all had a long cure.

edited to correct spelling error
 
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Mamosan

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Thanks for all the pointers, @earlene.

I was planning to use extra virgin olive oil - would that be suitable or is plain better for a Castile?

The recipes I’ve been looking at do mention a water discount. I’ll need to find some time to sit and work the maths out for myself so I understand it better.

Thankfully long hardening/curing/etc times suit us well - things tend to sit about for a while with a toddler running about the place, haha!
 

earlene

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Thanks for all the pointers, @earlene.

I was planning to use extra virgin olive oil - would that be suitable or is plain better for a Castile?

The recipes I’ve been looking at do mention a water discount. I’ll need to find some time to sit and work the maths out for myself so I understand it better.

Thankfully long hardening/curing/etc times suit us well - things tend to sit about for a while with a toddler running about the place, haha!
I use whatever olive oil is least expensive in my area. Some people prefer Virgin Olive Oil, but here it is the most pricey OO on the market & I prefer it for use with foods rather than in soap. However, in some parts of the world it is the least pricey, so if that were the case, that is what I would use.
 

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