"I will PAY you to teach me!"

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

mandy318

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
126
Reaction score
126
I have two acquaintances lately, to whom I've gifted soap, and who want to learn how to make it themselves. For each of them I've sent them the link to this forum, told them what supplies they would need and also directed them to a few blogs and articles that got me started and helped build my knowledge.

The response is "Can't you just teach me?" or "I don't have time for all that research." or "I'm not really a 'researcher' like you are, can't I just come over to your house and you can show me?"

This just kills me. I feel like its sort of lazy--like I've read and researched for months, then finally took the leap and just did it, and they want to leach that knowledge and experience from me without any effort on their part.

Add to that that I'm very new! I've only made 8 batches of soap. Just because I've turned out some usable bars does not mean I'm qualified to teach someone else to make soap. I've also been lucky so far not to run into overheating, ricing, glycerin rivers, volcanoes or any number of problems--so I'm not qualified to tell anyone how to avoid them or identify them.

I also feel like if a person's personality type is such that they are put off by the thought of researching something thoroughly, seeking out new information, trying it on their own, evaluating results and waiting on cure times to test the soap--then are they really cut out for soaping?

Soaping is a slow process that can't really be hurried.

What about all of you experienced soapers--do you get requests to teach soaping and how to you respond??
 

commoncenz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2015
Messages
595
Reaction score
760
Location
Ohio
I've received exactly three requests to teach someone how to soap. It was surprising how each turned out.

First was my daughter, who I thought would be "the one". Figured she'd take the blue pill, open her eyes and soap for the rest of her life. When I soaped with her, we had ricing, partial separation of the batter and I forgot to add the FO. I think I was more nervous than she was. In any event, while she enjoyed spending time with her father and seeing what it is I do ... no go. Soaping wasn't for her.

Second was my son. He's never seen me prepare things from beginning to end. Just working with masterbatched oils/lye. He has lined a mold, mixed colors, added lye to oils, SB etc. I think he's hooked as he's now made two batches in the last week. I'm introducing him to the rest of the process slowly.

Third was my uncle (not the "older teen" for those who have read any of my posts). He wanted to learn step by step, but no research. Just wanted to jump right in and be shown how to make soap "like you do". ... Also wanted my recipes so he could start "selling that soap if you won't". He was respectfully told to ... well, this is a nice site so, I'll leave it to y'all to gather what he was told. We haven't spoken in about 4 months.
 

navigator9

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
2,713
Reaction score
3,092
Location
New England
When people ask me if it's hard to make soap, I always have a difficult time answering. Because it's not hard, and yet it's complicated. It's not hard, because the actual process pretty straightforward, but there are so many variables, depending on the oils you use, the FOs, the techniques, so many things that can go wrong, that you need to know about, how to identify them, how to deal with them, how to avoid them, etc. etc. etc.

So I think you're wise, after having made only 8 batches, to decline teaching your friends. I've had people ask me "how do you make soap", and when I start to explain, they look at me like I'm deliberately trying to make it sound complicated, to discourage them, like if I really wanted to, I could explain it in a couple of minutes, and then they could go home and do it themselves. There's a lot to learn if you want to make soap, and if you're not willing to put in the time to do the research, then it probably isn't for you.
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,713
Reaction score
9,213
Location
Texas
I completely understand what y'all are saying. And I agree to some degree.

However, I have a couple of situations at work that beg a "soapmaking 101" type demonstration.

The first is several females who all have eczema. I told them how mine got "cured", and volunteered to make a batch so they could try handmade soap for themselves. I don't sell soap, and I don't want to get into the habit of providing them with free soap, so I told them they could have one bar and one group lesson at someone else's house. The bars need about another week to be good, so we will see how it goes. All of them got a supply and equipment list with where to buy them cheap, the information for this forum, and the info for "Soaping 101" YouTube channel. It is up to them to do the research.

The second is a guy who makes his own wine, cheese, pickles, kim chi, bread, etc. He does not have internet, so I printed off a tutorial, gave him a supply and equipment list with where to buy cheaply, and offered to give one lesson on a day my hubby is off. He has already checked a book out from the library. I then gave him a "better book" list, including ebooks he can check out from the library online, and read on his phone.

So, no-one is getting direct hand holding type lessons like I gave my son. My daughter is not interested. But they are going to have to act like they have at least read one thing I suggested before I will invest more time and effort into their education.
 

CritterPoor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
59
Reaction score
61
i have a co-worker that buys M&P bases from Michael's & Hobby Lobby, then criticizes me for making a "lye soap" in my kitchen. Anyway, earlier this week she goes, "Oh, next time you plan to make a batch, let me know and I"ll come over. I want to see how you do it." Oh honey, after that little fit you just had about how you can't believe I make it inside, let me tell you where to shove it.
 

snappyllama

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
3,910
Reaction score
3,040
Location
Near Charlotte NC
I have a family member infected with a get rich quick outlook on life. With all the money and energy he has spent on his schemes, he'd probably actually be rich if he directed it at "working" for a "company" in a real "job" by "waking up" and going to "work" and listening to a "boss". Those are all like foreign concepts to him. Sigh. At least I'm not married to him.

Most recently, I tried to explain to him that getting into soap making wasn't a fast and easy way to make a ton of money... I figure that I could net $1.50 a bar wholesale and his eyes lit up... then I told him about the research and development, the paying of myself, the insurance, costs of running and developing a business, the failures, and testing. His eyes lost that shine. It sounded like "work". Then he saw my cutter and molds. Now he thinks he's going to make a ton of money doing that. Maybe I'll actually score a mold out of it. I doubt it though... I'm sure his wife will love the spanking new woodworking tools that will sit collecting dust when he realizes that one year of shop class taken in junior high <> master builder knowledge. Maybe she'll talk him out of it...
 

gigisiguenza

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
1,391
Reaction score
916
Apologies in advance for my lengthy post - this hit a hot button for me because of a recent conversation.

My friends usually go glassy eyed if they ask me about soaping and I start discussing it LOL. Most are not at all interested in making it, they just want to know when the next testers are coming their way, and when I'm gonna feel confident enough to sell (they wanna buy).

But I did have one friend ask me to teach them how to make soap. And I got excited, because then I would have someone to soap with! So I gave them the list of places I learned from (blogs, this forum, YouTube channels, etc) and told them I would love to teach them what I know and help them learn, but they really need to learn some of it on their own. Their response to this was, a week later, to ask me to just teach them. When I asked if they went to any of the links I gave them, they said yes, but it was too much info, boring, and they just want to make soap, it looks like fun, and they really just want to make pretty soaps, not learn all that science.

My response was an involuntary chuckle (couldn't help it, I just escaped). When they asked me why I was laughing, I told them - if all they wanted was to make pretty soap, they should have said so, because they could be making soap tonight - they just needed to go to the craft store and get some melt n pour, some molds, and they could have some soaps in a few hours. Then I had to explain what MP was. When done, she said she wanted soap like mine, but didn't see why she needed to spend months learning.

I've only been making soap for about 4 months or so, I wouldn't dream of trying to teach someone how the science of soap, and it kinda aggravated me that she thought the "boring science part" was unnecessary, when the "boring science part" is precisely what making soap is! She could see I was aggravated and asked me why.

I told her that I started by spending a good 6 months reading everything I could find on soap and how it works, watching every video that I could find, then practicing running recipes through lye calculators to see what the numbers told me - all before I ever made my first batch of soap. She seemed surprised by this and commented that it seemed like a lot of prep to go through before even making soap, and said "isn't it just mixing fats with lye?" I didn't think she would fully appreciate how much more than just adding fats to lye it was if I just explained, so I handed her my stack of notebooks and said:

- the top one is info on oils n what they do, and additives n what they do
- the next one is info on natural colorants, how to use them, what to avoid, and how to make them
- the third one is info on process methods - CP, CPOP, HP, rebatching, etc
- the fourth is info on types of soaps, like castille, bastille, recipe creation, and soaping disasters like volcanoes, ricing, etc
- and the last one (my binder) is my batches to date, with recipe percentages, batch properties, pour notes, cure notes, usage testing, etc.
- Oh and the pretty notebook is just ideas for soaps, designs etc.

She opened the binder and looked at a few pages, then looked at me and asked "why on earth do you need these kinds of notes for a friggin bar of soap??"

My response?

Because a friggin bar of soap can be either a work of art or a nightmare. It can be the best dang thing you've ever used on your skin, or it can be the worst and possibly scar your skin. The research is what makes the difference. Without the research, you don't understand what you're creating, and while you might successfully make safe soap by using someone else's recipe, you won't have a clue why it's safe, so you won't understand how to make sure it's safe every time. So, as boring as the science part might be, it's a necessary part of learning how to make *good* soap.

If all you wanna do is make pretty soap, buy MP and you're good to go.
If you wanna make real soap, then learn.
There are no short cuts.

She hasn't asked me again. Now she just bugs me to hurry up and get good enough so she can buy mine LOL.
 

notapantsday

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2015
Messages
89
Reaction score
83
Location
Berlin, Germany
Some people just want to see if they like it without doing hours of research first and I think there's nothing wrong with that.

For years, I have always wondered what making soap would be like and kind of wanted to try it. I think if I had known someone who could show me how it's done, I would have been hooked much sooner. Of course, at that point I would have started reading up on everything but it's always good if you can try it out first, just like you go tandem skydiving with an instructor before you buy a parachute.

Personally, I'll gladly take time to teach anything to a friend. It's usually a lot more fun than doing it alone and if you manage to get your friend on board, you can exchange experiences and do it together more often.

Of course, some things just involve research and there's no point teaching someone who is completely unwilling to do it. But a lot of the time, once you've seen how something works and tried it out a bit, the research part gets much less intimidating because you can relate it to your experience.
 

gigisiguenza

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
1,391
Reaction score
916
Some people just want to see if they like it without doing hours of research first and I think there's nothing wrong with that.

For years, I have always wondered what making soap would be like and kind of wanted to try it. I think if I had known someone who could show me how it's done, I would have been hooked much sooner. Of course, at that point I would have started reading up on everything but it's always good if you can try it out first, just like you go tandem skydiving with an instructor before you buy a parachute.

Personally, I'll gladly take time to teach anything to a friend. It's usually a lot more fun than doing it alone and if you manage to get your friend on board, you can exchange experiences and do it together more often.

Of course, some things just involve research and there's no point teaching someone who is completely unwilling to do it. But a lot of the time, once you've seen how something works and tried it out a bit, the research part gets much less intimidating because you can relate it to your experience.
I agree, very much, and had she not sat with me a couple of times and watched me make soap, explaining what I was doing while I did it, I probably wouldn't have gotten aggravated by her comments. But she *is* the type who just wants to do the "fun" part and not ever do the learning part. Ergo my reaction of putting the reality of soap making in front of her, including showing her what can happen if you don't educate yourself on the dangers of lye heavy soap and lye accidents.
 

lenarenee

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
3,703
Reaction score
3,314
There are people who have to know all the info before they start something, and those who
learn along the way. Simply put, we have different methods of approaching learning new skill.

All the research in the world did nothing to help me start making soap. Hearing, reading about how to do it were useless to me until I saw watched someone's process. Hazel, from SMF, shared a basic soap recipe with me, and I made my first batch. With that cured bar in my hand, the questions started popping into my head, "what if....?"

Then, I hit the research again. This time it was meaningful because I had a physical frame of reference to work from. When I wanted a fragranced soap - I studied fragrance, then practiced. When I wanted natural colors, I studied natural colors, then practiced. Then swirls, Etc.

It could be that withholding a demonstration showing a friend how to make soap isn't necessarily a helpful thing to do. The motivation to do the work of research may crop up at the same time is does for you.

That's not to say there aren't plenty of people who do just want the easy way out! The cure for that is simple - show them how to make soap, watch them run to the store with their paycheck to buy supplies, listen to them cuss and complain when their batch fails and they chuck it out the window. They'll either totally give up (and gift you the supplies), or they will get serious and start learning.
 

Arimara

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
3,434
Reaction score
2,543
I completely understand what y'all are saying. And I agree to some degree.

However, I have a couple of situations at work that beg a "soapmaking 101" type demonstration.

The first is several females who all have eczema. I told them how mine got "cured", and volunteered to make a batch so they could try handmade soap for themselves. I don't sell soap, and I don't want to get into the habit of providing them with free soap, so I told them they could have one bar and one group lesson at someone else's house. The bars need about another week to be good, so we will see how it goes. All of them got a supply and equipment list with where to buy them cheap, the information for this forum, and the info for "Soaping 101" YouTube channel. It is up to them to do the research.

The second is a guy who makes his own wine, cheese, pickles, kim chi, bread, etc. He does not have internet, so I printed off a tutorial, gave him a supply and equipment list with where to buy cheaply, and offered to give one lesson on a day my hubby is off. He has already checked a book out from the library. I then gave him a "better book" list, including ebooks he can check out from the library online, and read on his phone.

So, no-one is getting direct hand holding type lessons like I gave my son. My daughter is not interested. But they are going to have to act like they have at least read one thing I suggested before I will invest more time and effort into their education.
Kimch, huh? A small sample would be a nice price for a lesson... :thumbup: :twisted::D Bless your heart.


Aye - at its simplest it is mixing fats and lyes. But it is actually so much more than that. There are so many things about soaping that only experience can teach, or that you don't know that you need to know it until it's too late
I agree. See the last quote.

Apologies in advance for my lengthy post - this hit a hot button for me because of a recent conversation.

My friends usually go glassy eyed if they ask me about soaping and I start discussing it LOL. Most are not at all interested in making it, they just want to know when the next testers are coming their way, and when I'm gonna feel confident enough to sell (they wanna buy).

But I did have one friend ask me to teach them how to make soap. And I got excited, because then I would have someone to soap with! So I gave them the list of places I learned from (blogs, this forum, YouTube channels, etc) and told them I would love to teach them what I know and help them learn, but they really need to learn some of it on their own. Their response to this was, a week later, to ask me to just teach them. When I asked if they went to any of the links I gave them, they said yes, but it was too much info, boring, and they just want to make soap, it looks like fun, and they really just want to make pretty soaps, not learn all that science.

My response was an involuntary chuckle (couldn't help it, I just escaped). When they asked me why I was laughing, I told them - if all they wanted was to make pretty soap, they should have said so, because they could be making soap tonight - they just needed to go to the craft store and get some melt n pour, some molds, and they could have some soaps in a few hours. Then I had to explain what MP was. When done, she said she wanted soap like mine, but didn't see why she needed to spend months learning.

I've only been making soap for about 4 months or so, I wouldn't dream of trying to teach someone how the science of soap, and it kinda aggravated me that she thought the "boring science part" was unnecessary, when the "boring science part" is precisely what making soap is! She could see I was aggravated and asked me why.

I told her that I started by spending a good 6 months reading everything I could find on soap and how it works, watching every video that I could find, then practicing running recipes through lye calculators to see what the numbers told me - all before I ever made my first batch of soap. She seemed surprised by this and commented that it seemed like a lot of prep to go through before even making soap, and said "isn't it just mixing fats with lye?" I didn't think she would fully appreciate how much more than just adding fats to lye it was if I just explained, so I handed her my stack of notebooks and said:

- the top one is info on oils n what they do, and additives n what they do
- the next one is info on natural colorants, how to use them, what to avoid, and how to make them
- the third one is info on process methods - CP, CPOP, HP, rebatching, etc
- the fourth is info on types of soaps, like castille, bastille, recipe creation, and soaping disasters like volcanoes, ricing, etc
- and the last one (my binder) is my batches to date, with recipe percentages, batch properties, pour notes, cure notes, usage testing, etc.
- Oh and the pretty notebook is just ideas for soaps, designs etc.

She opened the binder and looked at a few pages, then looked at me and asked "why on earth do you need these kinds of notes for a friggin bar of soap??"

My response?

Because a friggin bar of soap can be either a work of art or a nightmare. It can be the best dang thing you've ever used on your skin, or it can be the worst and possibly scar your skin. The research is what makes the difference. Without the research, you don't understand what you're creating, and while you might successfully make safe soap by using someone else's recipe, you won't have a clue why it's safe, so you won't understand how to make sure it's safe every time. So, as boring as the science part might be, it's a necessary part of learning how to make *good* soap.

If all you wanna do is make pretty soap, buy MP and you're good to go.
If you wanna make real soap, then learn.
There are no short cuts.

She hasn't asked me again. Now she just bugs me to hurry up and get good enough so she can buy mine LOL.
I agree, very much, and had she not sat with me a couple of times and watched me make soap, explaining what I was doing while I did it, I probably wouldn't have gotten aggravated by her comments. But she *is* the type who just wants to do the "fun" part and not ever do the learning part. Ergo my reaction of putting the reality of soap making in front of her, including showing her what can happen if you don't educate yourself on the dangers of lye heavy soap and lye accidents.
Um, that was your very first lesson and well taught. It's one thing to be knucklehead like me and put in minimal research, enough to prevent most of the dangers and some preventable problems when soaping. But it's another thing to just jump head long into it without ANY kind of knowledge about the science behind it. M&P would have been the better way to go for her and while they may not have been quite like your soap, your friend would be making soap to suit her whims and the fun could have taken off from there. I'd love to do a MP soap one day because my child would love it and I don't want her around lye solution until I can trust her to cut a carrot with one of my knives (that's not related to soaping, I know but the general theme is "can I trust you to know and understand the dangers of things and not to play around with them")
 

Arimara

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
3,434
Reaction score
2,543
There are people who have to know all the info before they start something, and those who
learn along the way. Simply put, we have different methods of approaching learning new skill.

All the research in the world did nothing to help me start making soap. Hearing, reading about how to do it were useless to me until I saw watched someone's process. Hazel, from SMF, shared a basic soap recipe with me, and I made my first batch. With that cured bar in my hand, the questions started popping into my head, "what if....?"

Then, I hit the research again. This time it was meaningful because I had a physical frame of reference to work from. When I wanted a fragranced soap - I studied fragrance, then practiced. When I wanted natural colors, I studied natural colors, then practiced. Then swirls, Etc.

It could be that withholding a demonstration showing a friend how to make soap isn't necessarily a helpful thing to do. The motivation to do the work of research may crop up at the same time is does for you.

That's not to say there aren't plenty of people who do just want the easy way out! The cure for that is simple - show them how to make soap, watch them run to the store with their paycheck to buy supplies, listen to them cuss and complain when their batch fails and they chuck it out the window. They'll either totally give up (and gift you the supplies), or they will get serious and start learning.
I agree 100%. I am learning and have learned soaping by just jumping into it. It's not enough for me to do months of research on something that has life-applicable skills; I have to learn as I'm going along. My brine bar fiasco is proof of that. I kept one batch but the other was a soft goopy, zap-happy mess and for reasons of space and time, I could not babysit it either.

I guess where I'm getting at is there are some people who do learn best as they see the process. Maybe it's better to show anyone who seems interested what is done, answer any questions they may have to the best of your ability and then add that further research is needed if you cannot answer their questions yet. We are already more knowledgeable about making soap than a non-soaper is because most of us here have made at least one batch of soap. I already made 8 batches and I started in September. I plan to make more, branch off in to MP, make a liquid soap, and make a lotion, though not necessarily in that order. I think it might be worth showing someone the ropes and explaining why they need to do the leg work for themselves. Gigi's friend probably would have been worse off if Gigi herself had not explained things and answered her questions.

I hope I made sense. :)
 

Seawolfe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
2,998
Location
So Cal
There are lots of things that are simple in concept, yet require research and practice to do well: golf, beer and wine brewing, chess, making pie crusts, knitting, surfing, cheese making, canning... I'm kind of surprised people think that soap making should be easy.

I had a friend who just needed to use up a lot of lard, and I turned him on to making soap. He's a bit of a homesteader and only makes soap for his family a couple of times a year. I gave him the basics, and the safety lecture and a recipe and he is good to go. BUT he does have a chemistry background, and is a researcher by nature, so he never made any assumptions about soap - except for the surprise about how much essential oil is needed for a batch of CP soap :)
 
Last edited:

The Efficacious Gentleman

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
8,993
Reaction score
9,095
Location
Austria
I think the differences in experiences have one thing in common - there is a big element of self-learning. Be it theory first and then practice, or the other way around.

What it isn't is just "show me all you know so I will know what you know and can do what you do" and each method certainly entails some form of theory learning and development which seems to be the thing that the friends in these examples don't want to do.

I don't think that you can actually teach someone how to soap - you can help them to learn to soap, which might sound like a small difference but is actually huge.
 

gigisiguenza

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
1,391
Reaction score
916
Kimch, huh? A small sample would be a nice price for a lesson... :thumbup: :twisted::D Bless your heart.




I agree. See the last quote.





Um, that was your very first lesson and well taught. It's one thing to be knucklehead like me and put in minimal research, enough to prevent most of the dangers and some preventable problems when soaping. But it's another thing to just jump head long into it without ANY kind of knowledge about the science behind it. M&P would have been the better way to go for her and while they may not have been quite like your soap, your friend would be making soap to suit her whims and the fun could have taken off from there. I'd love to do a MP soap one day because my child would love it and I don't want her around lye solution until I can trust her to cut a carrot with one of my knives (that's not related to soaping, I know but the general theme is "can I trust you to know and understand the dangers of things and not to play around with them")
I suggested MP, it was my first thought, because it is easier and she would get the instant gratification she wanted. She rejected it, because it wasn't the kind of soap I make. She has zero interest in learning anything.

I think the differences in experiences have one thing in common - there is a big element of self-learning. Be it theory first and then practice, or the other way around.

What it isn't is just "show me all you know so I will know what you know and can do what you do" and each method certainly entails some form of theory learning and development which seems to be the thing that the friends in these examples don't want to do.

I don't think that you can actually teach someone how to soap - you can help them to learn to soap, which might sound like a small difference but is actually huge.
I agree :)

Yanno, I so was excited about having a soaping buddy, and was eager to share what I'd learned. And I would have happily walked her through it and shared my supplies so she could enjoy this art as much as I do. But when I realized she wasn't interested in learning about making soap, she just wanted instant gratification, I was very disappointed in my friend. Because there are things you need to learn and understand, even if all you want to do is make soap for your family a couple times a year. And if you're not even interested in learning the very basics, like lye safety (when I mentioned PPE she rolled her eyes), then I'm not feeling inclined to teach you.
 

mandy318

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
126
Reaction score
126
I think the differences in experiences have one thing in common - there is a big element of self-learning. Be it theory first and then practice, or the other way around.

What it isn't is just "show me all you know so I will know what you know and can do what you do" and each method certainly entails some form of theory learning and development which seems to be the thing that the friends in these examples don't want to do.

I don't think that you can actually teach someone how to soap - you can help them to learn to soap, which might sound like a small difference but is actually huge.
This is what I was trying to say in the OP, but much more succinctly expressed. :clap:
 

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
11,913
Reaction score
11,490
Location
Southern California
There are people who have to know all the info before they start something, and those who
learn along the way. Simply put, we have different methods of approaching learning new skill.

All the research in the world did nothing to help me start making soap. Hearing, reading about how to do it were useless to me until I saw watched someone's process. Hazel, from SMF, shared a basic soap recipe with me, and I made my first batch. With that cured bar in my hand, the questions started popping into my head, "what if....?"

Then, I hit the research again. This time it was meaningful because I had a physical frame of reference to work from. When I wanted a fragranced soap - I studied fragrance, then practiced. When I wanted natural colors, I studied natural colors, then practiced. Then swirls, Etc.

It could be that withholding a demonstration showing a friend how to make soap isn't necessarily a helpful thing to do. The motivation to do the work of research may crop up at the same time is does for you.

That's not to say there aren't plenty of people who do just want the easy way out! The cure for that is simple - show them how to make soap, watch them run to the store with their paycheck to buy supplies, listen to them cuss and complain when their batch fails and they chuck it out the window. They'll either totally give up (and gift you the supplies), or they will get serious and start learning.
I am one that has to learn myself. I had one little book and started out with a lard soap. It probably took me much longer to master colors, I was not a member of any forums at the time, but I did finally master colors after a lot of ugly batches. As you say we all learn differently. Off topic but it is also the way I learned to build computers. My very first computer I had the case opened in 2 weeks to see what was inside, that was all it took for building computers to become a hobby.
 

penelopejane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
5,460
Reaction score
4,250
Location
Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
This is from the point of view of the "sponging friend".

When I realised I really liked home made soap I asked my friend who makes it to give me a lesson. I would never have actually bought the equipment without knowing whether I could actually do it or not.
She happily gave me a lesson. She didn't just show me, I made my own batch with her. She enjoys having someone to discuss the process with I guess. I didn't know it was so easy to make basic soap.

My research methods are very like Gigi's. I have a folder with tons of info.
Unfortunately, I am a bit of a perfectionist and I find it difficult to just go with the flow and make a recipe and see if it is any good. I don't like the waste, I am not sure enough in my distillation of the research I have done and I guess I don't like the unknown result. I don't have much confidence in being able to work out if something is "conditioning" or "lathery". But I have now decided that all I have to work out is which bar I prefer over the other.

I can make Castile soap. No creativity, safe and sure recipe. Great end product if you wait long enough.

Other soap requires creativity, constant questioning of my choices of ingredients and then the worry that I will muck up the process. Rather than drive my friend mad, I drive you all mad! :)
Having had you all help me towards a fairly acceptable recipe I am getting to the stage of being more confident of just giving it a go and then concentrating on the qualities I want in a finished bar and tweaking the recipe.

So I am one of those people that needs a bit of help getting there. I don't mean to come across as "stealing" your research but it gives me confidence to get started. So thank you all.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top