Looking for newbie recipes (with specifics)

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by Rebel Swan, Nov 3, 2018.

Help Support Soapmaking Forum by donating:

  1. Nov 3, 2018 #1

    Rebel Swan

    Rebel Swan

    Rebel Swan

    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    New York
    I am very interested in making my own soap, both for my own personal use as well as for gifting. I've been very happy with purchased (supposedly) homemade goat's milk soap. I'm not particular as for ingredients; I don't have any concerns or restrictions regarding homeopathic, vegan, etc., ingredients.

    I haven't purchased any supplies yet, because I don't have any experienced input as to what I need and I'm not nearly educated enough regarding the soap making process. I am trying to learn, I want to learn before I attempt.

    I would appreciate any educated information/links for legitimate information/tutorials. I never know what to trust via youtube or google searches. I am hoping for solid advice from people with experience. To be honest, I'm hoping to avoid spending money unnecessarily, as well as false starts and failed attempts. Maybe it's vanity, but I hope to not have any disasters starting out so I don't lose my desire to create my own.
     
    SaltedFig likes this.
  2. Nov 3, 2018 #2

    shunt2011

    shunt2011

    shunt2011

    Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    12,748
    Likes Received:
    7,182
    Location:
    Michigan
    Check out Soaping101. Read the last 10 pages of this and the lye soap forum. There are recipes that have been shared and a multitude of tips. Learn how to use a soap calculator. Ask questions if in doubt.

    Your going to have to learn by doing. There will be failures but they can generally be saved.
     
  3. Nov 3, 2018 #3

    Relle

    Relle

    Relle

    Administrator & Bunny Fanatic Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    9,954
    Likes Received:
    2,831
    False starts and failed attempts are how you learn, I guarantee you, most people here have had failures and you will too. Read anything you can get your hands on in the beginners forum and take notes, lot's and lot's of notes. Research is the key, I researched for 6 months before I even made soap.

    I'm not sure what homeopathy has to do with soap ?

    All the information you need is here on smf, you need to search the forum, I presume that's why you are here. Look in the recipe feedback section, pick a recipe and try it out, that's the only way you will learn how to make soap.

    I agree with shunt, you only learn by doing. Pick what type of soap you want to make - CP, HP, M&P, if you don't know what they are, look on smf, read up on the soapmaking process, find a recipe on smf and get supplies either online or the local supermarket.

    Do what you say, learn first, forget gifting, that comes down the track, don't put the cart before the horse.
    Read this and try - https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/very-new-soap-maker-wannabee.17377/#post-161787
    I found this by doing a forum search, I didn't know that was here because it was before my time, it's just research, you have to spend your OWN time to do this, just like I did.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  4. Nov 3, 2018 #4

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Messages:
    9,498
    Likes Received:
    7,786
    Location:
    Southern California
    I have been soaping for 8+ years and had to total failures in the last couple weeks. It happens to all of us, even when we make hundreds of batches a year. Having failure should not be discouraging if it is maybe you need a different hobby. I made the ugliest soap on earth as far as coloring for probably a year when I first started. I was not a member of any forum at that time so it was all up to me. I did finally sort it out and started having coloring success.

    I also agree with Shunt, you learn by doing
     
    Nnenna, shunt2011 and Relle like this.
  5. Nov 3, 2018 #5

    Relle

    Relle

    Relle

    Administrator & Bunny Fanatic Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    9,954
    Likes Received:
    2,831
    Carolyn, they were no forums, when I tried to make soap in the dinosaur era :p. I had to research in the library, going through old magazines and books trying to work out the properties of the oils, then trying to work out the lye :eek:, then sat hand stirring for 2 1/2 hrs waiting for the soap to trace.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  6. Nov 3, 2018 #6

    Orchidgirl

    Orchidgirl

    Orchidgirl

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    The marshes of Maryland's Eastern Shore
    I understand your trepidation. But you have to be willing to experiment in this hobby, and the best way to do that is to jump in. Forget gifting for a while. You need to give yourself time to experiment and "play," and that means managing your expectations and not aiming right off the bat for the "perfect recipe," "best technique," etc.-- or you will quickly become burned out.

    I played with the online lye calculators endlessly when I first started. I exhaustively researched ingredients and techniques, on here and on the interwebs. (Still do). I had some unearned successes (beginner's luck!) as well as more than a few batches that went south on me for a whole variety of reasons. I have enjoyed the entire learning process. If you just take a leap and get started, and give yourself an opportunity to learn at your own pace, you will, too! Even now, five years in, with dozens of successful batches of soap under my belt, I still consider myself, at best, an intermediate-level soapmaker. But I'm darn proud of the progress I've made, and I'm so very thankful to all of those on this forum who've helped me along the way.

    Don't be afraid of failure. For me, no "failure" has ever been a 100% loss of time and effort; my overall fascination with the alchemy of soapmaking gives me a good perspective on such "failures," because honestly I find it quite entertaining when my soap does something unexpected on me. And of course, it's an absolute joy when things come together and I, for example, cut my loaf of soap to find an awesome swirl, or perhaps discover a serendipitous combination of fragrance oils that I love.

    Anyway, just to wrap this up and to piggyback off of the excellent advice you've been given in the responses above, I'd like to add that one of the most important soapmaking tools you can purchase is a notebook/binder for writing down your recipes and notes of what did or did not work. It will be worth its weight in gold to you if you take good notes. Of course, the forum here is the best resource of all (I just like having a personal cheatsheet of sorts in hard copy form that I can turn to when an idea strikes for a new recipe or technique). Good luck to you! :)
     
  7. Nov 3, 2018 #7

    penelopejane

    penelopejane

    penelopejane

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2015
    Messages:
    4,720
    Likes Received:
    3,329
    Location:
    Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
    The most annoying thing about soap is that my absolutely fabulous soap might be blah for your skin or you may not like the feel of it. So you really do have to try a few recipes to see what works for your climate, your skin and for you.
     
  8. Nov 3, 2018 #8

    SaltedFig

    SaltedFig

    SaltedFig

    Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Messages:
    2,226
    Likes Received:
    2,128
    Location:
    Australia
    I was going to suggest making a soap from cold-pressed olive oil, as this soap is extremely forgiving and the soap batter texture is easy to practice with and learn how to see emulsion and trace - it's a great learning soap.

    1 pound (or 500 grams) of cold-pressed olive oil
    3%SF
    33% lye concentration (or 2:1 water:hydroxide ratio)

    If you make this recipe twice (once with olive and once with coconut), you will gain invaluable experience in these two diverse, but common, soapmaking oils.

    Whether you try this, or wait until you have read a lot more, recipes ... wherever you get them from, a recipe must always be put through a soap calculator to check the amount of hydroxide and water you need to make your lye solution, so this thread will be useful to you:
    How to use a soap calculator: https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/how-to-use-soap-calc-tutorial.49627/

    As Shunt2011 has said above, the beginners forum has a lot of great threads to read. Some key ones to look at:

    The acronym and abbreviation thread (so useful when you are first starting!): https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/the-acronym-and-abbreviation-definition-thread.51841/

    This thread is a little long, but is jam packed with information: https://www.soapmakingforum.com/thr...ou-give-to-your-beginning-soaping-self.62916/

    But the first step is learning how to make soap, and you'll have the best chance of success if you understand what the soap should look like at each stage. Emulsion is the first point where the soap is stable enough to continue saponifying if it were poured into a mold, and it is at this point you can divide the batter to add other ingredients (which is useful to know for detailed designs later on).

    Over in the lye-based soap forum is Newbie's excellent youtube demonstration on how to stick-blend to emulsion:

    Good luck (and I hope you give the olive oil soap a try ... before anyone gives you a 2 or 3 oils recipe ;))
     
  9. Nov 3, 2018 #9

    lsg

    lsg

    lsg

    Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    12,145
    Likes Received:
    4,351
    SoapQueen TV has some good tutorials. Start with the four beginning videos on making cold process soap.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
    iammsq and SaltedFig like this.
  10. Nov 3, 2018 #10

    Obsidian

    Obsidian

    Obsidian

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Messages:
    8,758
    Likes Received:
    5,960
    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    I agree that experimenting trying different recipes is a good idea but I also know how frustrating it is to be told to learn how to make a recipe on your own when you have no idea where to start. My basic soap recipe has ingredients you can find at a grocery store and its always behaved well for me.

    Lard 8 oz
    olive oil 4 oz
    coconut oil 3.20 oz
    castor .80 oz
    H2O 4.55 oz
    Lye 2.25 oz
    Fragrance .50 oz

    equipment needed
    Stick blender, I like this one https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007V8PYFU/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
    Digital kitchen scale, soap ingredients must be weighed. I use this https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-Glass-Digital-Kitchen-Scale/49883592
    Bowl, a 2 quart is good to start. I get mine from the dollar store, the ones with a handle.
    Lye mixing container, 4 cup plastic measuring cup from dollar store. Make sure it has a #5 recycle code on the bottom. Get extras for mixing different colors in.
    2-3 silicone spatulas
    a mold of some kind
    rubber gloves and eye protection
    glass shot glass for measuring fragrances in
     
    Arthur Dent likes this.
  11. Nov 3, 2018 #11

    Zing

    Zing

    Zing

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2018
    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    500
    Rebel Swan, good luck to you and have a great time! Ditto to a lot of the above. You are way ahead of me as a beginner because I didn't discover this forum until recently. My first cold process recipes were from www.thesprucecrafts.com and I bought all ingredients at grocery stores and I appreciated the step by step detailed instructions. With olive oil, get plain olive oil, not virgin or extra virgin. I used olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, palm oil, all reasonably priced. I purchased the store brand essential oils from Whole Foods which is fine for beginning but there are much better prices online when you start to make more and more. And some of my first batches were perfect for gifts and the receivers loved it. And the Soap Queen youtubes are high quality and trustworthy. Please let us know how your first batch went!
     
  12. Nov 3, 2018 #12

    shunt2011

    shunt2011

    shunt2011

    Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    12,748
    Likes Received:
    7,182
    Location:
    Michigan
    I would not recommend that sites recipes. There are much better places to find recipes. Follow reputable sources. They have info not true such as saying HP is done as soon as it’s cooked and cooled. Not true. Still needs cure just like CP.
     
  13. Nov 3, 2018 #13

    Rebel Swan

    Rebel Swan

    Rebel Swan

    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    New York
    I am SO thankful for the input! This forum is fantastic, but as an ironic downside it has SO much information I find myself almost overwhelmed and not sure where to look next.

    I am working hard to educate myself on the science behind soap making, the difference among various ingredients, techniques, and much more.
     
  14. Nov 3, 2018 #14

    dibbles

    dibbles

    dibbles

    Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    Messages:
    5,034
    Likes Received:
    4,492
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Just start small. Get familiar with lye safety and watch the YouTube videos others have suggested. That will give you a visual of the process, which I always find helpful. Choose a simple recipe and make a batch.

    When I was first starting to learn, when something unexpected happened/went wrong, I looked for information relating to the specific problem. That helped keep all the information from becoming too overwhelming. When you decide you want to try an additive like honey or oatmeal (or any of the multitude of things people want to try), or want to try replacing part of your water with milk, coffee, beer or purees, then search for information on how to do that specifically, search the forum, post a recipe for advice, or ask questions about the process. Same for adding color, fragrance, and techniques. Three and a half years in, and I'm still learning.

    This is a good resource put together by DeeAnna, a well respected member here. https://classicbells.com/soap/soapyStuff.html If you haven't run across any of her posts yet, you will soon enough. She has so much knowledge, but can break the science of soap making down so it is understandable.

    Good luck, have fun and post pictures - we love pictures!
     
    NsMar42111 and Ryan like this.
  15. Nov 4, 2018 #15

    Ryan

    Ryan

    Ryan

    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2018
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Houston
    I have lots of links I can share with varying info.
    I am a beginner and I would suggest soaking up all the info from this forum as you can. There are lots of incredibly knowledgeable people here and they don't mind sharing much of their info. I have found that many soap makers aren't as sharing as the people on this site.

    For plastics, choose polypropylene (PP or a 5 in the triangle) or HDPE. These will last the longest.

    I dove in head first with buying oils and supplies, I'm only lacking a good cutter.

    I suggest trying a soap without color or fragrance oils / essential oils.

    I am light years from the knowledge as most on here but I think really appreciate the sharing community and want to help wherever I can.

    Let me know if you want the links I have lots of bookmarks :)
     
  16. Nov 4, 2018 #16

    Alfa_Lazcares

    Alfa_Lazcares

    Alfa_Lazcares

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    Messages:
    398
    Likes Received:
    449
    Location:
    México
    My advice is just to read first a ton. What about? Well, what interests you? When i started researching i dove head first in to recipes but now looking back i would start somewhere else. For example, i looked at the oils that i had on hand and the ones i could easily obtain and then i checked what people did with them. Then i dove in to the water and lye ratios that is a math class but not as hard or daunting. Then i stumbled upon this place and just started reading threads. Doesnt really matter what about, because people here jump with a ton of info. For example: coconut mil soaps and a bunch of thereads come up about rations and what kind people like. Or soaps for hair, that is a lenthy thread and even though i would not use one you learn a ton from that thread. Or salt soaps or soaps for pets. I read all of those because of the info and well, the debates. And dont rush it. Just read as if you were reading a book. Just open this site and start reading whatever topic carches your interest.

    I must say i havent had a failed batch as of yet. So you wont necessarily fail. I had an issue lately bit the soaps ended up usable anyway so not money wasted or anything.

    Do not jump ahead of yourself. There is a reason why soapers recomend not rushing and trying simple recipes with no colors nor fragrance to begin with. Yeah, they wont be the most pretty soaps and they wont smell amazing, but there is a lot of people that try to do everything on their first batch and then end up here because it didnt work or somethig went wrong.

    While you read and watch videos (and whatch whatever youtube sends to you) you will end up finding out what people do and and dont do. Some daredevils make some questionable choices and some act like lye will kill you if you look at it the wrong way, but hey, you are just gathering info and if you have questions you can come back and ask here.

    Here there are also a ton of recipes. I was one of those who didnt know where to begin making a recipe and then you come up with the whole “is rude to ask for a recipe!”, but luckily a ton of kind folks here have shared their tried and true recipes, without an issue.

    And once you have done all that, you can gather your ingredients and make your first batch. As i said, it probably wont be super pretty and sparckly, but it will be yours and you’ll be hooked.
     
    Ryan likes this.
  17. Nov 4, 2018 #17

    penelopejane

    penelopejane

    penelopejane

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2015
    Messages:
    4,720
    Likes Received:
    3,329
    Location:
    Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
    The first recipe I made was 30% palm, 30% coconut oil, 30% OO and 10% castor. I have friends who still think this is the best recipe for a hard, long lasting bar.
     
    NsMar42111, Relle and Ryan like this.
  18. Nov 4, 2018 #18

    Zing

    Zing

    Zing

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2018
    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    500
    You know, I was just trying to be helpful. I have repeatedly used these beginner cold process soap recipes and have double-checked with a lye calculator.
     
    NsMar42111 likes this.
  19. Nov 4, 2018 #19

    ibct1969

    ibct1969

    ibct1969

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    355
    I'm a couple of years into it myself and enjoy it as a hobby. I totally hear you about getting overwhelmed. I was too. I got so excited I bought all kinds of crazy butters, fragrances and colors, as well as equipment. I have found that the simpler batches using simple ingredients have ended up being some of my favorite soaps. Do your own thing, but just be sure to record all your recipes, the additives (if you use any), temps etc somewhere that works for you so you. I can't tell you how many times I have pulled out a bar that's a year or so old, that I LOVED but didn't record how I made it and therefore couldn't replicate it :mad: Whatever you make will be beautiful because you did it! :)
     
  20. Nov 6, 2018 #20

    Nnenna

    Nnenna

    Nnenna

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Abuja Nigeria
    You can check out soap queen or soaping 101 they make very good tutorial videos. I learnt a lot from them.
     

Share This Page