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Nutty

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Hi everyone! My name is Jonathan. I am a college student living at home. My sister and I have been really curious and excited to start begin creating soaps from scratch. I have watched numerous Youtube videos, and know the bare bone basics. (Trace, Saponification, etc.).

So I trashed my home finding PVC pipe, lavender oils, olive oil, and a mail weight. The only thing I need left is a gallon of distilled water and Lye. (I found THIS at my Lowes store. Would this work?)

The only thing I am confused about is....how does one measure the proper fat/lye/water/oil combination? I want to make sure to do this right and not have myself explode...
 

snappyllama

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Howdy and welcome to the addiction.

Basic soaping procedure (this is just what I do):

Wear gloves and googles. Put up pets, kids, and any people that are not wearing googles.
Get everything out and ready to go before you start doing anything else.

1. Weigh water into a container: stainless steel or plastic (#2 or #5 at the bottom).
2. Weigh lye in a separate container.
3. Add lye to water container. Stir using a stainless steel or silicon spoon. I normally do this until I can no longer see lye crystals. This is making a lye solution.
4. Weigh all hard oils (solid at room temperature).
5. Melt hard oils.
6. Weigh liquid oils. Add to melted solid oils. Use a container big enough to hold the entire batch.
7. Check temperatures of lye solution and oils. When they get under 110ish, continue.
8. Weigh fragrance into a glass container. Do not use a plastic container to hold the fragrance (you'll be tempted to use a dixie cup - resist the urge unless you want a nicely scented mess on your counter top).
9. Combine fragrance into oil container. Stickblend to incorporate. Burp stickblender to release any air trapped under the bell.
10. Pour lye solution into oil container.
11. Using short bursts and stirring with the stickblender turned off, blend batter until it is a homogeneous batter (no oil floating on top).
12. Put into mold. If you need to line a mold - line it first. :)
13. Cover and wait to unmold. If using full water amounts - this might be several days.
14. Unmold, cut into bars, zap test, and allow to cure for at least one month.
15. Enjoy the soap you just made.

All of that is assuming you have a recipe. If you don't, this is one lots of folks like here...

Lard 55%
Coconut Oil: 20%
Castor Oil: 5% (get this in the pharmacy section of your local store)
Olive Oil: 20%

Take that to a lye calculator (I like SoapCalc) and input to get the proper amounts for the size container you want to use, along with water and lye amounts. I highly recommend switching SoapCalc's defaulted water setting to Lye Concentration 30%.

Oh, and a safety first message: if you spill lye on yourself, DO NOT USE VINEGAR. Use running water, just lots of running water.

ETA: that lye looks fine.
 

sudsly

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I justmade my first cold press and I used lye that I bought at Lowe's. As long as it's 100% lye it will work.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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As all of the above.

Some do suggest making a Castile (100% olive oil) soap first, but they need a long (a year) cure, which makes that "I want to use my first batch" excitement really painful.

Also, start off small. Your first soaps aren't likely to be your best, so if you make larger batches you are then sat on a load of soap to use up that you don't really want to. 500g or 1lb batches are good
 

Susie

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^ All of the above. Plus...

1. 100% Olive oil soap takes at least 6-12 months to cure. Bad idea for a newbie to make something they can't even try for that long. Use the recipe snappyllama provided. Lard, coconut oil, and castor oil are cheap and readily available most places in the US.

2. Be sure that the "lavender oil" is 100% essential oil. If you bought it from Hobby Lobby or GNC, and it is labelled essential oil, it will be safe to use.
 

Nutty

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Thank you everyone!!!
I had put the suggested recipe into soap calc below. If this is correct to make a small batch I should be ready to go. My last question however is how does one cleanup? I will have bowls/mixers/containers JUST for soaping, and will most likely be doing this outside in my back yard. I have seen and read that some people let the soap harden for a day to scrape it off. Others I have read just wipe it all with a paper towel? To be honest I am really scared of Lye as I have never used it before and hear horror stories....

But thank you again everyone! :)

 

shunt2011

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Thank you everyone!!!
I had put the suggested recipe into soap calc below. If this is correct to make a small batch I should be ready to go. My last question however is how does one cleanup? I will have bowls/mixers/containers JUST for soaping, and will most likely be doing this outside in my back yard. I have seen and read that some people let the soap harden for a day to scrape it off. Others I have read just wipe it all with a paper towel? To be honest I am really scared of Lye as I have never used it before and hear horror stories....

But thank you again everyone! :)

Many will just wipe their buckets ect with papertowel and discard then leave them for a day or two to saponify then wash them with hot soapy water.

I just wipe everything down with papertowel and then wash in the sink.

Lye is nothing to be afraid of. Just treat it with respect. Wear gloves, eye protection etc and make sure you pour the lye into the water not the other way around.

You will be fine!
 

sudsly

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Just wear gloves and eye protection you will be fine. i can tell you i was cleaning up and one granule of lye flipped up into the corner of my eye when i was not wearing safety glasses, and it burns and is super irritating so dont let that happen. if you have ever used paint stripper that is what it feels like when it gets on your skin but it washes off. so long story short that wont happen again. safety glasses from before starting to finish.
 
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Seawolfe

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The recipe looks great. Just plan ahead what you will do step by step, and have all your oils and fragrance set up in such a way that you cant leave anything out. Do a dry run if it will make you feel better about the sequence. Check things off as you go and make good notes (I scribble them on my soap calc printout, and go add the notes back to the page on my computer after the soaping session, but others use a binder).

I immediately put my container that dissolved the lye, and the cup I weighed the lye in under a trickle of water in the sink to rinse it well. After soaping (and getting as much soap batter out of the soap bucket as I can), I wipe what I can off and put all the bowls and spoons and blender in a trash bag to sit for a day or two. By then its soap and I dump it all in the sink and soak/scrub the soap off.
 

Nutty

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Thank you all very much! Lots of good information. I actually have a question about the recipe...

1) Can I substitute coconut oil for almond oil? Or something else as my mother is sensitive.
2) The bottle of lavender oil fragrance I have is 1/2 oz. The recipe says to use .5 oz....so do I just dump the whole bottle in? Haha.
 

lenarenee

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Hi Jonathan,

Let me make sure got this straight; it's the coconut oil you want to replace due to your mom's sensitivity?

Yes, you can use almond oil. It won't make the big happy bubbles that coconut will. However, palm kernel oil will (not plain palm). So will tallow, but to a much smaller degree.

Lard makes a lot of creamy lather (many people prefer that), and you can just replace the coconut with that. Or split it half and half with almond. (Personally I like about 10 - 15% almond in my soap)

Either way, it will be a good bar of soap.
 

likeablelady

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Thank you everyone!!!
I had put the suggested recipe into soap calc below. If this is correct to make a small batch I should be ready to go. My last question however is how does one cleanup? I will have bowls/mixers/containers JUST for soaping, and will most likely be doing this outside in my back yard. I have seen and read that some people let the soap harden for a day to scrape it off. Others I have read just wipe it all with a paper towel? To be honest I am really scared of Lye as I have never used it before and hear horror stories....

But thank you again everyone! :)

You had a question about cleaning. I have a 5 gallon bucket and a few smaller ones that I fill with water and a little Dawn. Then all my soaping dishes, spoons, etc...go in there to soak. I let it sit for a few days to make sure the lye is no longer active. Then just normal washing from there. ( I realize this method is not always an option due to space and other factors)
 

Nutty

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I may cut the coconut oil out and replace with almond oil. Maybe use Almond oil at a smaller percentage and just increase the lard? Not alot but just a little bit. I know almond soaps leave you squeaky with not much lather.

Kittensmom I already feel addicted and haven't even started yet! My family looks at me like I'm crazy!....maybe I am a but nutty. :twisted:
 

Susie

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Just wear gloves and eye protection you will be fine. i can tell you i was cleaning up and one granule of lye flipped up into the corner of my eye when i was not wearing safety glasses, and it burns and is super irritating so dont let that happen. if you have ever used paint stripper that is what it feels like when it gets on your skin but it washes off and neutralizes with vinegar. so long story short that wont happen again. safety glasses from before starting to finish.
Please do NOT use vinegar on your skin to remove lye. It will cause an exothermic reaction that will give you "heat" burns as well as "lye" burns. Instead, rinse with lots of cold water from the faucet at the sink.
 

Steve85569

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IF you decide to replace the coconut oil make sure you run the new blend through soapcalc. The SAP values may change the amount of lye and you can get a look at the change in properties the batch will tend to have.

+1 to what Susie said about the vinegar. I only use it AFTER everything has been washed just to make sure I have stuff neutral.
 

penelopejane

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I wipe bowls etc out with paper towel and wash in the sink. I put some stuff through the dishwasher.

I haven't heard almond oil makes you squeaky clean. I've been using it lately as a substitute for avocado oil and ur is very very nice.
 

Nutty

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IF you decide to replace the coconut oil make sure you run the new blend through soapcalc. The SAP values may change the amount of lye and you can get a look at the change in properties the batch will tend to have.
I tried: 60% Lard, 20% Olive Oil, 15% Almond Oil, 5% Castor Oil.

It seems to be OK, but for cleansing it says 1 (range of 12-22), and Bubbly is at 5 (range of 14-46).

Also how does one determine the amount of Lye Concentration % to use? Is it always 30?
 

Dahila

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My second soap was exact recipe, and I loved it. I use paper towels to wipe everything and wash in the sink immediately. I would not like waiting to next day;) Do not forget to have long sleeves :)
 

Nutty

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Okay this is weird and confusing....I bought this bottle of Lavender essential oil from a craft store. The brand is "soap expressions". It is recommended to use .5oz per pound of soap. Which is what I am making. However....this whole entire bottle gets poured in? On the company website it said it could be used for up to 10lbs of soap. Pictures in the attachments. I need help. Haha

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