"newbie" trying to figure out recipes

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Nite Hawk

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concerning covering soap after it goes into the mold.. I have heard all sorts of things, some don't cover ,some do. Some heap towels over the soap and some just put a light layer over top. Others say leave it on for a long time, some take the blankets off after a couple of days. Some put it in styrofoam coolers , others don't-- what does everyone out " in soap land" do ??--thanks--
 

Kay

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Styrofoam coolers? Really? I haven't heard that one. I think (but I've been known to be wrong occasionally) most people who wrap them in towels are those who CP. I'm a HP person myself. As soon as it's hard enough, I cut it and let it air out for a few days. Then I start using it.
 

pamielynn

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If you want your cp to gel, you need to keep it warm, BUT you also have to take into account the ambient temperatures. In the summer I use less blankets than in the winter. If you're HPing, you don't need to cover as it's already gone through gel.
 

chicklet

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I CP but I don't gel most of my soaps. I put them in the freezer then the fridge for a couple of days if they have milk or beer in them, at least a day if they don't. Gelling or not is a personal preference.

I've used both the 90something and the 70something alcohol. Can't tell any difference. Most of the time I forget to spritz and just embrace the ash. If its too bad I rinse it off. Or steam it.

The lard should be fine if it was fresh when it went into the freezer. I use lots of lard and tallow. I would also ditch the beeswax and neem until you get more practice. I sort of understand you wanting a nice round number like 100 oz but that's a honkin big batch of soap. Do you know what you're using for molds? Have you figured out how many ounces of soap batter it (or they) hold? Theres a formula here somewhere - I think it's a sticky on the CP board.

Milk soap can be a little tricky but it's what I made my first few times. You can either freeze the milk and add the lye to it slowly or you can use half the liquid called for as water, mix your lye with that, then add the other half of the liquid (milk) at trace. I use raw cows milk to make yogurt for my honey yogurt soap (tried to add beeswax once, hated it) and I make buttermilk for several of my soaps. I never figure the extra fat, I just use it for all of part of the liquid, depending on my mood. I don't pasteurize it first. I try to convince myself that all that raw milk goodness survives the lye monster. :)

You seem to have read a lot, which is good, so I don't want to insult you by asking this, but do you have a decent scale? I weigh most everything - oils, lye, water, milk, yogurt, essential oil, etc. The only things I don't weigh are additives like a little salt (makes it unmold and cut easier), a little sugar (confectioners, makes bubbles), and colorants.

You're in the right place to learn a lot - it's a very helpful forum with lots of soapers willing to share. Welcome to the forum and good luck with your soap making. :)
 

Nite Hawk

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I tried to post earlier, but seems it crashed somewhere in cyberspace...
anyway, I did have a go at making soap today, I cut the recipe in half and ended up with 19 bars.
I did make a few mistakes, but I guess it depends on how bad they were on how things turn out.
I made the first part with no color or scent, after I poured that into the mold I mixed the color and EO into about a tablespoon of olive oil and mixed it into the second half of the batch. I did realize that I should have used a very small amount of the soap itself for the color base and then put it into the second half of the batch...
I swirled it fairly finely so hopefully there won't be a separation of the oil and the lye and it will mix properly. I also noticed that maybe I oiled the mold too much ,as there was a bit of oil in the corner, and I figure it was too early on for a separation of the oil and lye, and the "batter" was quite thick, so I tried to drain off a tiny bit of the excess out of the corner of the mold.
I also noticed that after I spritzed it with alcohol it looked like tiny craters in the surface, so not sure if everything will turn out okay or not.
I covered it with wax paper and a light towel and put it in a stryofoam cooler and closed the lid. so now we wait!.....
thanks for all the tips!:smile:
 

judymoody

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Congratulations on your batch! I hope it works out for you.

Depending on the trace at which you poured, the alcohol spray can form little pockmarks on the surface of your soap. It's not a problem.

You can premix colors with oil - assuming they are oil-soluble and that's also perfectly fine. I keep my basic colors premixed in a little OO or castor to minimize clumping.

It is OK to peek to see if your soap is gelling and to make sure it's not overheating.

Oiling the mold is generally not necessary - depends on what the mold is made of. What did you use? If you use some sort of vegetable-based oil, it will saponify. Mineral oil won't, however. Best to line your mold with freezer paper (if wood, cardboard or plastic). Silicone doesn't require lining. If you use a milk carton or pringles can, you can peel it off the finished soap. Avoid metal - especially aluminum which does not play nicely with lye and can produce an explosive chemical reaction.

Please share pictures! Congrats again.
 

Nite Hawk

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Well I took a look at the soap this morning, and it didn't turn out too badly. There were some very very small oil streaks in a couple of places, more with the one where I used the extra oil to mix the dye and EO in. I am thinking that the extra oil in the dye / scent mix had a very very tiny separation from the main soap. The other thing is that I oiled the molds with olive oil and maybe that is what caused the very small amount of streaking. The top of the soap is a bit bumpy. I didn't really get it smooth when I put it in the mold, am thinking the trace may have been too thick to sooth it properly.
I am wondering if the bar may be on the too hard side, but not sure about that. I took a crumble off of the mold and washed my hands with it. A tiny crumble felt very slippery sort of like some of the commercial soaps you find in pubic places, but unlike the commercial stuff it washes off very well.
( I absolutely HATE that commercial soap that is so very slimy and you CAN"T wash the stuff off you have to wipe your hands on a paper towel and then try to wash it off again)
This lathered well and washed off okay and left your hands feeling silky.
I realize the bar will harden as it cures, so have to wait and see if it gets too hard.
Do I really need to oil the plastic molds??Will the soap stick if I don't?
Any thoughts out there to improve the soap will be welcome..
Thanks
 

Nite Hawk

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Question for all you folks out in soapland. Do you "zap" test your soap right after it is out of the mold, or do you wait awhile? I am thinking that possibly my soap might be a bit lye heavy because it is tending towards the brittle side of things..
With that said it has a very few- very small oil spots /streaks in it, and if it were lye heavy why would there be the odd oil spot??
I reduced and changed the recipe a bit before I actually did it. I did run it through several lye calculators before I jumped it and did it..
it was as follows;
Olive oil--23 oz
lard--5.5
coconut oil 6
palm kernel-10.5
caster--5
lye- -7..03
water 19 0z
Everything was weighed carefully, and I had someone looking over my shoulder so we didn't miss weigh
Do you think this is too much lye or does the soap have to cure a bit?
Thanks folk for the help..
 

Nite Hawk

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A closer look at the soap, it seemed to be "lye heavy" brittle etc. I wasn't too happy with some of it, so I tried to re-batch it. It didn't work very well, but we'll see what happens in a couple of day. Can always use it in a pump bottle if needed..
So will try again!
 
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A closer look at the soap, it seemed to be "lye heavy" brittle etc. I wasn't too happy with some of it, so I tried to re-batch it. It didn't work very well, but we'll see what happens in a couple of day. Can always use it in a pump bottle if needed..
So will try again!


I am not sure what soap calc you are using but by my calc it is lye heavy. Try using soap calc if not figuring your lye manually. You should have been around 6 oz lye. Your soap was very high cleansing and a hard bar of soap. So with the combination of high lye plus hard oils you would certainly end up with a brittle bar. You can rebatch again, add in an additional 4.4 oz of melted lard (which will result in a 5% superfat or add in an addtional 4.5 olive oil to bring up the superfat to 5%. This will also bring down the cleansing and make a much nicer bar of soap. If you use yours as liquid it will still be harsh. Palm Kernel and Coconut are very similiar oils when making soap. Both are cleansing oils so they need to be balanced out when soaping with both PKO and CO. Palm Oil makes a hard bar of soap with much less cleansing values. Both oils are high in Lauric and Mystric acid which add in the cleansing value.
It can be fixed so you do not have to throw it away. You can also add in some sugar water when rebatching to help make your re-batch more pourable. My experience with re-batch is it takes longer to dry out. I usually let my hp or re-batch cure for 3 months. (but not necessary)
Try using this soap calculator soapcalc.net HTH :grin:
 

Lucidcat2

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According to MMS, that amount of lye should give you a 5% SF. I usually use MMS & have not had any problems with it.
Also, I have used raw milk in CP soap (once) before, & it was a bit fatty on the surface immediately after it set. It's been curing for just over a month now and is a bit on the soft side. I'm not sure how much of that can be attributed to the raw cow's milk. But, it leaves your skin feeling super soft. I've not tried buttermilk. I've been soaping for only about 1 year, so, I don't have a ton of
experience.
When I first started last year, I bought a pre-measured CP soap kit. It made 3 different kinds of soap, I think they were about 2lb each & I had no problems with them. I figured if I tried the kit & screwed it up, it would be me in the process of the actual making & not the measuring, it cut down on the margin of error you know? They turned out very well, so I decided to make my own from scratch. I kind of followed the protocol I was taught when experimenting with new herbs; use them singularly & learn everything you can about 1 at a time. So, I made a soap completely out of tallow and one out of olive oil. I totally loved the tallow bar, it was fabulous. I did not have the patience to let the olive oil bar cure for the many months it needs, it was alright, but too soft of course. But, since alot of oils don't make a great bar on their own, I cut my experimenting with single fat/oil bars at that point. I generally follow recipes off the internet, but, I do always run them thru the lye calc to double-check. Any good site will tell you to run even their recipes thru a lye calc before you get started.
I wish you luck Nite Hawk! Soap-making has been a load of fun for me & you can't beat the quality of the soap over commercial!
 
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oops, sorry I redid the calcs by hand this morning and Lucidcat 2 is correct and I was wrong yesterday. Your batch would have had a superfat of 5% which is more than acceptable. This is why I usually figure out manually and not by soap calcs. That takes the brittle problem back to all the pko and co which are both very hard cleansing oils. I would still rebatch and add in a little addtional oil to bring up superfat to 7%. Would not go much higher superfat with the amount of olive oil.
Carolyn Z
 
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Lucidcat2

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oops, sorry I redid the calcs by hand this morning and Lucidcat 2 is correct and I was wrong yesterday. Your batch would have had a superfat of 5% which is more than acceptable. This is why I usually figure out manually and not by soap calcs. That takes the brittle problem back to all the pko and co which are both very hard cleansing oils. I would still rebatch and add in a little addtional oil to bring up superfat to 7%. Would not go much higher superfat with the amount of olive oil.
Carolyn Z
Wow Carolyn, that's impressive! (And thanks!)
 

Nite Hawk

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Is there any other oils you can recommend for good soap making besides Olive-coco-pko combination?
I am thinking canola, sunflower etc, or would these oils in combination with the olive-coco and pko do okay? Seems that lard makes a really hard-possibly brittle- bar too, if i am correct.
I heard somewhere that sunflower went rancid fast, is that just gossip?
Does the milk in soap cause a harder bar too?
I guess it is simply getting the right combination of oils to make the "perfect" bar...
thanks for the input..
 

robtr31

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i use

40% OO
30% PM
20% CO
10% Castor oil

and have had good bars i have added some lard

30% lard
22% CO
25% PM
18% OO
5% castor oil
makes a nice hard bar i gell mine in oven ready to un mold 12-15 hours

i have the wood molds that come apart all use to line them is plastic wrapp quick and easy leave some lines but it's hand crafted soap looks rustic.
 

dagmar88

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I heard somewhere that sunflower went rancid fast, is that just gossip?
Does the milk in soap cause a harder bar too?
I guess it is simply getting the right combination of oils to make the "perfect" bar...
thanks for the input..


:lol: sounds simple enough huh.
I have never noticed any difference in harness with my milk soaps.
If you want to learn more about how certain oils behave in soap:

http://www.zensoaps.com/singleoil.htm
 

Nite Hawk

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cmzaha
You mentioned using sugar to re-batch your soap. I tried a bit of a "google" search, and didn't find anything about using sugar to re-batch.
Earlier I tried to rebatch part of the soap and basically couldn't get it to melt hardly at all. I did add more OO and have let it set for several weeks now, and it is still lye "hot".
Not sure it it is a total failure or if it can be salvaged at all.
What proceedure do you use to "sugar rebatch" --thanks
 
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