'Old Reliable' or 'Core' Cold Process Recipes

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
:thumbs:NICE!

You KNOW this! 😅 When making a recipe for the first time it's best to make small 500 gram batches -

I do try to take your advice, I swear.

I did two other batches on July 4, both exactly 500 grams of oil. Here are the results. The 72% is the dark bar (I assume red, but I'm badly colorblind and it looks dark brown to me... it has madder root in it), and the Zany's No-Slime Castile is the cream bar. I somehow squashed the silicone mold during setup (perhaps a cat slept on top of the insulating towel). The sugar skulls are my tester bars. My testers have told me they like smaller bars so they can give feedback faster. I was really impressed that CP soap left such sharp impressions from an intricate mold like that. Very pleased with that, and the color looks like something I worked hard for, but it's just the EVOO.
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20230709_161350663.jpg
    PXL_20230709_161350663.jpg
    184.2 KB · Views: 0
  • PXL_20230709_161738368.jpg
    PXL_20230709_161738368.jpg
    125.7 KB · Views: 0
I love your soap you've been sharing too, Jorah.
I think I too have the hardest time doing small batches 😆
I did 1 lb, 3 lb, 4 lb, and quickly moved on to 10 lbs

After I had to throw away 10 lbs of soap (I had switched to trying out putting lye water on hard oils to melt... But as I learned later - my lye water was not fully dissolved and clear.)
After making atleast 100+ lbs of soap I missed that crucial step somehow 😏
I realized the big batches were not as fun as the smaller batches. Little more stressful with coloring and fragrance and all that.

Anyways, I switched to 3 lbs being my sweet spot. With my lye water system I've got going now, it's super simple and there hasn't been any waste.

But I too, love big batches and cannot lye 😆
 
The difference would be in how much one gets from relying on others' recipes vs learning through experience. Watching cooking shows isn't sufficient to make one a good cook.

Riigghhtt....so the reason for not being willing to share is for the requester's own good, because the person not willing to share truly cares about what's best for that person, and that they learn to be a good soaper..... o_O o_O 😂

It's a very good beginning on knowing WHERE to start, and there's a difference between 'relying on others' & making an open request for assistance, suggestions, and sure, recipes which people love. That's kinda what forums are for, and what life is for. Watch a cooking show, write down the recipe, go shopping for the ingredients, then start experimenting with what you also have in the house, make your mistakes. Likewise with soaping or anything else.

Every single one of us has started at zero & have had people help us in one manner or another along the way. Imagine YouTube without free videos generously made by soapers, and formulators, and so many other people willing to share their recipes, their experience & experiments. Imagine the internet without all of the soapers' websites, where soapers share information, formulations etc. How about recipe websites? Nope....nobody learns anything which might make them better at what they are trying to achieve from any of the above.....people who share make the collective experience of life better for everyone.

I can also say that people who have been willing to share things with me, and things I have been willing to share with others, are some of the best learning tools, especially if we explain WHY we love something, which can help any of us to feel motivated to go forward & experiment to make a formulation our own. Sadly, I find too many people who clutch at their petticoats like their virginity is at stake when someone asks a question or for advice on formulations. I recently met another natural skin care formulator at an outdoor market who, when I mentioned to her that I do something similar, clammed right up, wouldn't speak any further & began putting her products in boxes so I couldn't read the ingredients 😂 Firstly, I actually wanted to buy something from her, but she would have none of that 🤣 We also both could have learned something from each other, and had a nice conversation, had she not behaved like that :rolleyes: Personally, I am tired of this crap attitude.

Being miserly with anything begets more of the same. Being generous & open, whether with information or whatever a person is capable of sharing, also begets more of the same.

Nobody gets through life, or soaping, or anything else for that matter, alone.

EDITED TO CLARIFY
 
Last edited:
@Obsidian This is the result of my July 4 batch inspired by your '50% lard, 20% coconut, 25% safflower, 5% castor' recipe. I had no safflower, but did have some sunflower which looks to have similar qualities on SoapCalc. The making went very smoothly. I got 18 chunky bars out 2,324 grams of oil. I added activated charcoal and pumice to make a scrubby bar. I also used Zany's 'faux sea water' mix for the water portion. It unmolded nicely at 24 hours and was hard to the touch at 48 hours. I'm very pleased with it! This isn't a deep black because I was trying to keep the charcoal to a level where the suds shouldn't be too gray. I used a blog post by the 'Nerdy Farmwife' as my resource there. thenerdyfarmwife.com/charcoal-in-soap/ .

I haven't tried the soap yet, but it looks great so far.

That looks like a very nice soap! I love charcoal soaps for the face :)
 
I love your soap you've been sharing too, Jorah.
I think I too have the hardest time doing small batches 😆
I did 1 lb, 3 lb, 4 lb, and quickly moved on to 10 lbs

After I had to throw away 10 lbs of soap (I had switched to trying out putting lye water on hard oils to melt... But as I learned later - my lye water was not fully dissolved and clear.)
After making atleast 100+ lbs of soap I missed that crucial step somehow 😏
I realized the big batches were not as fun as the smaller batches. Little more stressful with coloring and fragrance and all that.

Anyways, I switched to 3 lbs being my sweet spot. With my lye water system I've got going now, it's super simple and there hasn't been any waste.

But I too, love big batches and cannot lye 😆

I today began 'masterbatching' my oils & butters in an attempt to more efficiently keep up with customer demand. I have also started masterbatching my essential oils & fixatives for the most common sizes of batches I make, storing them in sealed glass jars with my clays AND the addition of castor oil as @Zany_in_CO had suggested, which has led to my soap scents lasting for a very long time. The longer they sit & marinate like this, the better. They also develop a lot of depth which I don't find in many scented soaps, if at all.

After spending all day doing this & actually enjoying it 😁 (it wasn't planned LOL) I suddenly realized, all I will have to do for a while now is simply measure out my lye & water, mix & dissolve, then put my lye container in a cool water bath (also speeds things up significantly) as well as get my natural colorants out. Since I have happily been doing everything at room temperature (now my oils are pre-heated to around 180º to avoid stearic spots before cooling them & bucketing them in weighed batches), this makes my life a whole lot easier. I'll be able to cut & rack 100 pounds of soap much more quickly & efficiently, and with a far shorter turnaround time.

@Jorah I highly recommend having several buckets of oils / butters weighed out & ready to go, along with whatever else you can pre-measure / pre-weigh as you scale up. Re-use old honey buckets or whatever food-grade type buckets you have on hand which have lids. Because I spent some time doing this today, my next several batches of soap - both large & smaller batches - are going to get pumped out at record speed (for me anyways) as I can do more than one batch a day without dreading it, which is such a relief.

I'm not yet comfortable with masterbatching my lye solution, but that may come down the road.

Keep pumping out the soap 😁 :thumbs:
 
@Obsidian This is the result of my July 4 batch inspired by your '50% lard, 20% coconut, 25% safflower, 5% castor' recipe. I had no safflower, but did have some sunflower which looks to have similar qualities on SoapCalc. The making went very smoothly. I got 18 chunky bars out 2,324 grams of oil. I added activated charcoal and pumice to make a scrubby bar. I also used Zany's 'faux sea water' mix for the water portion. It unmolded nicely at 24 hours and was hard to the touch at 48 hours. I'm very pleased with it! This isn't a deep black because I was trying to keep the charcoal to a level where the suds shouldn't be too gray. I used a blog post by the 'Nerdy Farmwife' as my resource there. thenerdyfarmwife.com/charcoal-in-soap/ .

I haven't tried the soap yet, but it looks great so far.
These look great! What do you do with all of your soap? I soap often, but with much smaller batches, and am having to be creative as to how to give it all away :) (My friends can only use so much, I need a bigger friend group 😊
 
I like big batches and I cannot lye.

Honestly, I often do the same thing 😂 My 'small' batches are often 2kg 😁 but I already do have my recipe down as I love it, and as other people love it, so that extra soap makes for great testers & neighbourly gifts, and some are even sold as 'limited editions' :) My experiments now are mainly with natural colorants & essential oil blends, although I did add some salt to my lye water today for a large batch rather than sodium lactate, and I did reduce my water amount as I'm now using extra virgin olive oil rather than pomace. Filled one of my 16 pound molds perfectly 😁
 
These look great! What do you do with all of your soap? I soap often, but with much smaller batches, and am having to be creative as to how to give it all away :) (My friends can only use so much, I need a bigger friend group 😊
Most of what I've made in the first three months will go to testers or casual gifts. Soon, though, I anticipate putting future batches on my (yet to be built) site, just in case all the people I know claiming to want to buy some soap actually do want to buy it. I already had one coworker track down the site and told me she was disappointed to find it empty! I'm also hoping to do at least a handful of farmers markets this fall. Selling will be my biggest point needing improvement, with marketing coming second.
 
I have also started masterbatching my essential oils & fixatives for the most common sizes of batches I make, storing them in sealed glass jars with my clays AND the addition of castor oil as @Zany_in_CO had suggested, which has led to my soap scents lasting for a very long time. The longer they sit & marinate like this, the better. They also develop a lot of depth which I don't find in many scented soaps, if at all.
Good to know! Thanks for the feedback! :nodding:
I'm also hoping to do at least a handful of farmers markets this fall. Selling will be my biggest point needing improvement,
Farmers Markets are wonderful for talking soap and getting feedback. One thing I learned about "selling" is that, if you are knowledgeable, enthusiastic and conversant about your product, it truly sells itself. NOTE: If a potential customer's eyes glaze over (you know THAT look) it's best to cut the yada yada short. 😅
 
What do you do with all of your soap? I soap often, but with much smaller batches, and am having to be creative as to how to give it all away :) (My friends can only use so much, I need a bigger friend group 😊
Over the last few years, I’ve managed to find a few ways to move the soap along, which is great because I am not formally selling at this point. Supplying a local food pantry is a way to pass along odds and ends and confetti-type soap. They love it and are happy to take as much as I will give them. I’ve also made soap specifically to raise funds for a local women‘s shelter. In the semi-rural area where I live, soap is also great for bartering for vegetables and eggs.
 
Have you tried the Aroy-D brand? Nothing but coconut and water - no gums, which are super hard on my digestive system. For those who don't have access to fresh coconut (or reasonably-priced fresh coconut), it's fantastic.

I purchase it on Amazon, but it is also available at some of my local Asian and Indian grocery marts. The cream works out better price-wise than the milk, at least for me.

Because there are no gums, the carton contents do have to be homogenized when opened; my tool of choice is my stickblender, which fits right into the carton. After blending, it's poured into ice cube trays for portioning. The frozen cubes are stored in a bag in the freezer. Two of them go into my morning coffee as my non-dairy creamer. I typically get 21 days out of each carton that way. :) Of course, some is also used for making curries, soups, smoothies, etc.

Very occasionally, a carton will have too much coconut oil. When that happens, it never will homogenize well. Best guess is that they had an off day in the production facility? Whatever the reason, it's still usable, but not as desirable for curry-making. That's only happened 5-6x since I started buying this brand about 10 years ago. But it's something to be aware of in case you are down to your last carton and planning to make a nice curry for guests. Yeah, that happened once, so I had to run to Whole Foods to get their gum-free Native Forest brand. It's not bad, but I can always taste the tin can. Blech.

Yes, to what AliOop says above about Aroy-D coconut milk, it works great (for soap and cooking!). It may be my imagination, but I think it tastes better from a carton than a can. However, most often lately I've been using the Native Forest brand "Unsweetened Organic Coconut Milk – Simple – No Guar" (canned), which is sold at a small grocery local to me, as well as at Whole Foods and places like that. And this past week my son showed me that Trader Joe's sells an unadulterated coconut milk (canned), which I look forward to trying.
 
Over the last few years, I’ve managed to find a few ways to move the soap along, which is great because I am not formally selling at this point. Supplying a local food pantry is a way to pass along odds and ends and confetti-type soap. They love it and are happy to take as much as I will give them. I’ve also made soap specifically to raise funds for a local women‘s shelter. In the semi-rural area where I live, soap is also great for bartering for vegetables and eggs.
Yes, yes & yes :)

I was also recently asked if I would be willing to donate to an auction and / or raffle which was being held for the purpose of raising funds for a community organization. I absolutely intend on doing this as soon as I am able to. Women's shelters are also a great place to donate soap, as well as homeless shelters in general.

Love the bartering idea as where I live, many people are very much open to this ❤️
 
Yes, to what AliOop says above about Aroy-D coconut milk, it works great (for soap and cooking!). It may be my imagination, but I think it tastes better from a carton than a can. However, most often lately I've been using the Native Forest brand "Unsweetened Organic Coconut Milk – Simple – No Guar" (canned), which is sold at a small grocery local to me, as well as at Whole Foods and places like that. And this past week my son showed me that Trader Joe's sells an unadulterated coconut milk (canned), which I look forward to trying.

Yes, that is an Indonesian company, or at least it used to be, but where I live, the only type of their coconut milk which I can find has at least polysorbate 80 in it, so I won't buy it anymore.

Wish we had a Trader Joe's, although maybe I should bite my tongue as I have seen what decades of Walmart, and now Whole Foods, has led to here :nonono: I shop at neither, preferring to support local independent retailers as much as humanly possible.

Thanks very much to both of you for your suggestions. I will try to find those brands locally, and if not, somewhere online :) In the meantime, nothing beats freshly made coconut milk for cooking! 😋 Making it & storing it in 1 cup portions for future use works for me 😁
 
Have you tried the Aroy-D brand? Nothing but coconut and water - no gums, which are super hard on my digestive system. For those who don't have access to fresh coconut (or reasonably-priced fresh coconut), it's fantastic.

I purchase it on Amazon, but it is also available at some of my local Asian and Indian grocery marts. The cream works out better price-wise than the milk, at least for me.

Because there are no gums, the carton contents do have to be homogenized when opened; my tool of choice is my stickblender, which fits right into the carton. After blending, it's poured into ice cube trays for portioning. The frozen cubes are stored in a bag in the freezer. Two of them go into my morning coffee as my non-dairy creamer. I typically get 21 days out of each carton that way. :) Of course, some is also used for making curries, soups, smoothies, etc.

Very occasionally, a carton will have too much coconut oil. When that happens, it never will homogenize well. Best guess is that they had an off day in the production facility? Whatever the reason, it's still usable, but not as desirable for curry-making. That's only happened 5-6x since I started buying this brand about 10 years ago. But it's something to be aware of in case you are down to your last carton and planning to make a nice curry for guests. Yeah, that happened once, so I had to run to Whole Foods to get their gum-free Native Forest brand. It's not bad, but I can always taste the tin can. Blech

LOVE coconut milk in place of cow's milk in coffee, chai, all sorts of stuff. It's even awesome smashed into cold drinks, whizzed in the blender, or frozen & then smashed with fresh fruit & honey - so SOOOO good as a healthy ice cream or 'desert' ❤️

Yes, I used to use that brand until they began adding polysorbate 80 to it, as well as reducing the amount of coconut in it vs water. That's all I have seen here for the past several years. I look for brands which have the highest amount of fats in them possible, without thickeners, stabilizers, preservatives & emulsifiers. Honestly, making it is not difficult, especially when I can find pre-shredded coconut in various types of Asian grocery stores which isn't loaded with sulfites. It really sucks that so much of our food supply is so heavily adulterated with chemicals & other unnecessary crap....yet people can't seem to figure out why so many of us are sick, disabled, depressed, experiencing a 💩 quality of life in general. Our health goes hand in hand with the health of our planet & the well-being of our many brothers & sisters of different species. Until we accept this, stop hiding our heads in the sand & begin demanding quality food production from big-ag & change how we live, disease rates will continue to be what they are, if not continue to increase exponentially.

Thank you for your suggestions! :)
 
Assuming there are coconuts nearby. ;) The only coconuts available to me are $10/lb at the local grocery store. o_O

Yes, or the sulfite-free shredded & frozen type I mentioned, which can sometimes be a challenge to find.

When I find good coconut milk and / or coconut, I tend to stock up because I know it may be a while before a find the good stuff again :)
 

Latest posts

Back
Top