How much is enough?

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by Edward Sebastian, Jan 20, 2020.

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  1. Jan 21, 2020 #21

    Edward Sebastian

    Edward Sebastian

    Edward Sebastian

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    Wow. That's great advice. and Yeeeeaaah, I prefer not having poo scented soap. nope. Not at all. HAHAHAA!

    Fantastic advice. Thank you. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2020
  2. Jan 22, 2020 #22

    bookreader451

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  3. Jan 22, 2020 #23

    Edward Sebastian

    Edward Sebastian

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    Oh wow! That's great. Thank you so much. They even have molds representing Autism... Love it. Sorry, I got a little excited and ventured into the site, randomly. he he he...:) Looks like they're a lot cheaper than BB. Awesome. Again, Thank you. by the way, LOVE your tagline. ;)
     
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  4. Jan 22, 2020 #24

    bookreader451

    bookreader451

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    The shipping is a lot cheaper. I love their no stir palm. I buy it by the bucket.
     
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  5. Jan 25, 2020 #25

    Iluminameluna

    Iluminameluna

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    Hi. Welcome to the soap side.
    I'll put in my 2 cents if I may?
    I'm on a strict budget and have never had a silicone mold or been able to afford micas or FO's.
    However, I've made do with what's on my kitchen counter to great advantage.
    Olive oil from Costco, in Mason jars together with turmeric or smoked paprika, set on a shelf and turned over every few days for a week or so looks beautiful in soaps.
    I just made some chamomile and both turmeric AND sm. paprika decorative soaps with just such infused oil, together with lard and some organic coconut oil also from Costco.
    I had saved some trays from frozen dumplings I thought would look cute. I think I was right.
    The rest of the batter is still in a parchment-lined box I saved from a shipment.
    The point is, when you're starting out, you don't need to spend a bunch of moolah to get a feel for what you want to do. In fact, I've been soaping now for almost 6 years with about 35 batches under my belt and still don't have anything resembling a "professional" type of setup. Everything is either from The Dollar Store, or disposable stuff like I described above.
    It's all good! And it satisfies the soaper addict in me.
     

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  6. Jan 25, 2020 #26

    Edward Sebastian

    Edward Sebastian

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    Heeeeeey, Those look like very nice decorative soaps. Very Nice indeed. well spent two cents of advice if you ask me. Thank you kindly. :)
     
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  7. Jan 25, 2020 #27

    Iluminameluna

    Iluminameluna

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    Frankly, that's about all that was left in my piggy bank!

    Really though, my favorite place to learn to soap was soaping101.com's YouTube channel. She's a marvelous teacher, with excellent communication skills, great recipes, and does exciting ones for those who've advanced.

    I watched her beginner's tutorial videos over and over again, for almost a year, before attempting her most basic Bastile Soap recipe. I broke my piggy to buy some lavender essential oil on sale and made it. I was SO anxious, excited, and couldn't believe I was being so bold! But it was a success! I almost suffocated in my tiny efficiency apt without ventilation as it cured. A year later, my beloved Nanny was asking if I had any more of those beautiful soaps.
    My advice? Do a simple soap, with a small batch of 1 lb of oils. Don't worry about who's going to want them. These will be your babies, so think about who might be the grandparents, aunties or uncles: a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, maybe your grand-aunt who likes to cook and washes her hands all the time.
    Anyway. Take the plunge. You won't regret it.
     
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  8. Jan 25, 2020 #28

    Edward Sebastian

    Edward Sebastian

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    Thank you so much. I will definitely try my best. :)
     
  9. Jan 25, 2020 #29

    Zing

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    The Dollar and thrift stores are your friends. I do love my silicone molds but when I started I used waxy soup and milk cartons. They did tend to bulge out so I had to put heavy books next to them after pouring. I still use empty single serving plastic yogurt containers which cut easily into round pucks. I've had great luck with paprika and tumeric just thrown into the batter.
     
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  10. Jan 25, 2020 #30

    DeeAnna

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    Oh, I can so relate to this. The first year of soap making I often had to get everything ready to go, then I'd sit down for awhile before actually making the soap. I'd get so verklempt about actually putting the fat and lye together, so I needed a little time-out to chill. It got a lot better as I got more experience and learned it would all go okay. Maybe not quite as I wanted it to ... but okay. :)

    As far as supplies go, everyone else is giving good advice. Follow the bits of advice that make sense to you and you'll do fine.
     
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  11. Jan 25, 2020 #31

    Edward Sebastian

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    Awesome! Thank you. Yeah, it's been a lot of fear and apprehension on my part. oh and a whole lot of procrastination. all due to the fear of Failure, I carry around...lol. :)
     
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  12. Jan 25, 2020 #32

    Kathymzr

    Kathymzr

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    The milk containers are flimsy, but so handy. It is an effort, but they make perfect size bars. I cut off one long side, slice cardboard boxes to reinforce the sides and make a stop on the pouring end. Secure it all with tape. Line with freezer paper. You can reuse a time or two, or just toss.

    I finally bought a couple of molds, but still like the size of my milk carton bars!
     
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  13. Jan 25, 2020 #33

    ShirleyHailstock

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    I'm a beginner and I didn't spend a lot of money. I followed advice here, but I always knew about the Dollar Store. I was concerned about using plastic for the lye-water. I thought it might melt, but it didn't. Then I read the using glass could have the lye etch the glass. Many of the supplies I already had. I took some duplicates and dedicated them to soap making. A large bowl I bought at the Goodwill for $2.00.
     
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  14. Jan 25, 2020 #34

    TheGecko

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    Failure is nothing more than an opportunity to learn. During my first three months of making soap, I had a many failures as I did successes. I learned when making multi batch of lye solution for different recipes to label them so you don't put lye meant for a 2lb batch into a 1lb batch. I learned to do the same when making multi batches of oils/butters for different recipes because I've added the ingredient meant for one batch in another batch. I rewrote all my recipes so the ingredients are listed in the order I add them, I check off each one AFTER I add them and I wrote the weight of each mixing bowl on the bottom so I can weigh it before I add my lye solution because yes, I have forgotten to add an ingredient. I always print a new copy of a recipes regardless that I have it memorized because no two days of soap making are the same. One day you might be spot on with your measurements and another day...oops, I added 12 oz when I was only supposed to add 10 oz. Or maybe today it is 90F with 90% humidity and the next time you make that soap it's 40F and dry as a bone. Or this batch you gel and next time you don't or maybe you don't want to wait for your lye to cool down so you decide to try the HTM (heat transfer method) or your supplier was out of Cocoa Butter Wafers and you bought chunky instead.
     
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  15. Jan 26, 2020 #35

    Edward Sebastian

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    very cool, thanks.
     
  16. Jan 26, 2020 #36

    Edward Sebastian

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    Makes perfect sense.
     
  17. Jan 26, 2020 #37

    Edward Sebastian

    Edward Sebastian

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    I had taken the lye water, heating up, into account and had bought Stainless steel mixing bowls instead of glass or plastic. Plus it should last forever, right?...:thumbs:
     
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  18. Jan 26, 2020 #38

    Edward Sebastian

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    I see. hmm. I guess pencil and paper is a must...lol! Thank you
     
  19. Jan 26, 2020 #39

    Estee

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    Think of this as making a cake. If I have a 5lb bag of flour, and only use 2 pounds can I use the remaining 3lbs (or a portion of the 3lbs) to make the next cake..... YES, you certainly can. Now let's say you have a dozen eggs and only use 2... so you have 10 remaining.... can I use some of these remaining eggs to make my next cake.... answer, MAYBE.... how long has it been.... have these eggs gone bad, how did you store the eggs.... you might have been better off to buy only a half dozen eggs to start with. So let's talk soap ingredients.... some things have a very very long shelf life like LYE (mind you I don't like to have lye hanging around so I buy small amounts and use all of the lye by adjusting my recipe -- like making a batch and a half all at once, or a double batch). Now let's think about castor oil.... the shelf life here is about 6 months, and in small quantities this stuff is super expensive, but in a 5 gallon jug 100 grams of castor is very affordable..... but what to do with the remaining portion of the 5 gallon jug ????. To make intelligent decisions you need to factor in the shelf life, and how you need to store the ingredient.... maybe freezer space in your household is at a premium... maybe, like me, you put anything in your freezer just to fill it up so it runs efficiently. So look at quantities required verses sizes available and pricing.... then consider storage/shelf life and when you next figure you will use the stuff. If your like me your first soap making "series" will be about 5 different batches in a couple of weeks..... then since I had over 60 bars nothing for almost a year. In my 5 different batches common ingredients were: Lye, castor and sunflower oil...... then different oils and butters depending on the batch. I didn't use any colours (micas) despite having them around from cosmetic making, and I used very little fragrance, as this was not a priority.
     
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  20. Jan 26, 2020 #40

    lsg

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    I have Castor oil that is much older than 6 months. I keep my supplies in my basement craft room, which has a fairly stable temperature, year round. You can also prolong shelf-life of oils by adding rosemary oleoresin when the container is first opened.
     
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