Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by Renraw9002, Sep 24, 2019.
For butters and soft oils other than what I can find at Costco or grocery store I use Amazon.
In Virginia, I can get Avocado oil for a reasonable price at Walmart. If you don’t shop at Walmart, some grocery stores have it, but it tends to be pricey. You can buy 100% Shea in some drugstores, but again, it will be expensive. If you shop Amazon, Essential Depot sells unrefined Shea and avocado oil, and other companies sell butters, but you may want to read the recent reviews to try to get a sense of the quality of the product. The ED unrefined Shea I bought makes soap that is distinctly unrefined Shea in terms of scent, which I like, but not with some Fragrance oils. I also have refined Shea that I ordered from Soapers Choice, which does not impart a distinct scent of it’s own. Soapers Choice sells in bulk. In my recipes, the unrefined Shea speeds up trace.
I don't use the numbers on soap calc for tweaking soap formula because I use high OO soaps and they just don't work for OO. DeeAnna has a better system for hardness etc of soap in her blog.
That recipe looks ok. I personally don't go over 10% for Coconut and don't go below 10% for any oil other than castor. Try it though and see what you think. Try a 1 lb loaf and test, test, test.
It is so annoying but honestly making the perfect soap is such a personal thing that you have to make it and try it. There really is not other alternative.
I live in Oz so can't help you with suppliers.
So I really shouldn't have to go to a specialty store for say shea butter or avocado oil? I've seen avocado, grapeseed and some other oils in the cooking aisles of my local grocery stores. If they simply say 100% avocado oil or similar than it's ok to use? I was just assuming stuff was added to cooking oils to make them cooking oils.
There is pharmaceutical grade, food grade, cosmetic grade (lips and skin safe) and non skin safe products which include artists clays.
Food grade is great, generally. There are some food additives that some people won’t eat or use in soap like BHT and there are some processes that some people won’t eat or use in soap like pomace. But it is a personal choice.
Great advice from everyone. Don't forget about this shampoo bar as a mild soap. I love it.
I liken soap to making whiskey. If all you want to do is get drunk, go for the moonshine; but if you want to warm the soul, let it sit in the barrels and age.
Don't toss those beginner soaps, but them in half, let them fully cure and then donate them to local homeless shelters. I buy the 36-packs of Mainstay Washcloths from WalMart, wash them in hot water because they bleed, and then put them in a store-brand ziplock bag with a half bar of nicely trimmed soap. I do this with soaps that I don't like for one reason or another (color, design, scent fail).
I just noticed the link I gave you cannot be found. Try this one:
Originally I bought everything except Distilled Water from Bramble Berry, but have since branched out:
Olive Oil, Coconut Oil - Costco
Palm Oil, Castor Oil, Sodium Lactate - Bramble Berry
Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Kaolin Clay - Rustic Escentuals
Sodium Hydroxide - Amazon (Essential Depot)
Distilled Water - Local Grocery Store
Because I have Prime with ‘free’ shipping, I will check out other Essential Depot ingredients.
Well I've learned a couple things so far.
1. Mixing lye is not nearly as scary as I expected. It's a lot like mixing salt except it gets hot.
2. Even with a stick blender you have to mix and stir a lot longer than I expected.
3. It's a lot easier than I expected.
And finally 4. Never zap test only 24 hours after pouring into the mold and don't stick your tongue directly onto the soap itself. It's gonna be like licking a 9v battery.
Depends on your ingredients, size of batch, room temp, temp of oils and lye, scents and colors.
I make one and two pound batches and that was my mistake in the beginning...too much stick blending and ending up with pudding all the time.
I just made a 1lb batch and the lye was still at least warm when I touched the bowl, same with the oil. I just did the zap test again today and there was no zap so I washed my hands with the soap to see if it would lather up and see how it felt on my skin. The lather was meh which is probably to be expected for such a young soap, but my skin feels weird. This is my first time using homemade soap and it almost feels like something is coating my hands.
That’s because you are used to washing with detergent...which is what commercial soaps are. Washing with a true soap is going to feel for awhile, but after awhile you won’t even notice. BUT you will notice how dry you hands are after washing with commercial soaps. I even have a bar of my soap in the ladies room at work.
This is a helpful link too:
Sorry, I thought I was on a different thread so I deleted my comment.
Yes, DeeAnn is wise/knowledgable and able to explain everything in an organized and easy to understand manner.
My wife already has essential oils for her diffuser. Is there a way to tell if they can be used in soap as well?
Check this thread out: https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/can-you-use-diffuser-oils-in-soap.77107/
You need to cure handmade soap for 6 - 12 weeks depending on the recipe before really working out if you like it or not.
Just in case anyone isn't are, food grade may be less pure but is safer than pharmaceutical grade. There are so many pharmaceutical grades, and they don't all mean you can consume it. For example my local pharma grade 75% ethanol is not for drinking and doesn't even burn with a clear blue flame.
I never wait that long with HP, but touching the soap with a wet finger then tasting the finger is a crucial first step.
Probably not bc most of those are therapeutic grade and not body safe
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