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Ge-rge

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Hey guys,

My name is George and it is great to be on here. I have been using branded soap and shampoo's for many many years now and i am looking for a change, due to all the information online about the chemicals in the soap etc. I understand that natural soap is better for your skin but is the branded manufactured soap really that bad? I have seen Bargain natural soap everywhere that are a lot cheaper than shelf products, and the more expensive soaps also. What difference do you feel when using natural soap? does your skin feel smoother and fresher?? or does it feel the same as using branded soaps? What are the ranges of soap fragrances like?? I have stayed in a hostel before with a guy that used natural soap and it smelt terrible, stunk the whole dorm out. This to me is the most important part of the soap, the smell it leaves on your body after your wash. Maybe even a recipe that you would recommended for me to try out first to see if its for me??

Sorry about all the questions but i am really interested in the natural side of life. If there is anything else you would like to know like some fragrances i personally favor or allergies etc, just let me know

Looking forward to chatting to everyone on here! any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks guys
 
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Arimara

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Hey guys,

My name is George and it is great to be on here. I have been using branded soap and shampoo's for many many years now and i am looking for a change, due to all the information online about the chemicals in the soap etc. I understand that natural soap is better for your skin but is the branded manufactured soap really that bad? Some aren't bad at all but many are made to encourage drier skin aka they can be very cleansing,What difference do you feel when using natural soap? does your skin feel smoother and fresher?? or does it feel the same as using branded soaps? Personally, I like my soaps better than many of the commercial soaps only because they are better balanced for my skin. I don't make soaps with more than 20% tops of a cleansing oil and that helps me out. What are the ranges of soap fragrances like?? Dude, look through the FO forum here and that will answer your question. Soapy scents can be more extensive than you may realize right now. I have stayed in a hostel before with a guy that used natural soap and it smelt terrible, stunk the whole dorm out. This to me is the most important part of the soap, the smell it leaves on your body after your wash. Maybe even a recipe that you would recommended for me to try out first to see if its for me??
There are some soaps that will stink to high heaven irregardless of what FO you may use. Soaps made with neem, butter, and/or pine tar are notorious for offending the nose. You would have to be careful when using neem and/or pine tar. Butter is a lost cause at the moment; don't even dream about thinking about making this soap unless you really want to look like Michael Jackson.
Sorry about all the questions but i am really interested in the natural side of life. If there is anything else you would like to know like some fragrances i personally favor or allergies etc, just let me know

Looking forward to chatting to everyone on here! any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks guys
One last thing: EVERY SINGLE THING IN EXISTANCES IS MADE UP OF CHEMICALS AND DEPENDS ON THEM!!! You need chemicals to make soap (NaOH or Sodium Hydroxide for bar soaps and KOH or Potassium Hydroxide for liquid soaps). And when you dig deeper into the makeup of oils, the fatty acids in them are also chemicals by technical means. And if we look at ourselves, we have hydrochloric acid in our bellies to dissolve our foods and the lining of our stomachs produce bicarbonate to help buffer the the acid. our bodies also produce various enzymes to further breakown our food into vitamins and minerals, which in many respects, are still chemicals (well, minerals are elements but you should know what I meant)

My point is this- do some more research on those "bad chemicals" that you are getting wary of and do some research on the sites you're getting this info from. Propaganda is how a lot of these natural sites work and in many respects it's also a big marketing ploy, with larger companies still reaping the benefits of it.

As a side note, many of the commercial soaps are NOT detergents but are soap. As you learn the process of soapmaking, you will actually gain a greater insight as to why I said they were designed to be more cleansing. Good luck. :)
 

dibbles

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I assume that by natural you mean as natural as possible. The advantages of handmade soap over commercially produced is that you can control what goes into it, and design a soap that feels good to your skin. I don't have overly sensitive skin, but commercial soap will make my skin feel more dry.

Should you start? Sure, why not. Soap making is fun. There is an initial expense associated with a couple of necessary items. A good scale, goggles to protect your eyes, and some sort of gloves (disposable are nice) to protect your hands. A stick blender will make your life much easier. Read through a good bit of the Beginner's Forum and watch some videos on YouTube (Soaping 101 and Soap Queen are two that are often recommended for beginners).

If you aren't sure, and have never used a bar of handmade soap, maybe purchase one locally, from one of the members of this forum, or an etsy seller to see if it is something you like. If you want to forge ahead and would like recommendations for a starting point with a recipe, it would be a good idea to let everyone know if you are opposed to animal fats (lots of lard/tallow lovers here), or if you would prefer to not use palm oil, etc. You can make a good soap with oils found at your local grocery store.

Fragrance is a pretty personal preference, so a little direction as to what you like, or don't like would be helpful. Do you want to use only essential oils, or are synthetic fragrance oils okay? I don't know what the guy you mentioned was using, but I have never had a soap that smelled bad (although as Arimara said neem and pine tar do have an odor many people don't like - I've never used either). If any scent remains on the skin after a shower, it is light.
 

lenarenee

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Hi George,

If you want to make soap/shampoo/etc just to jump onto the "natural" bandwagon, and suffer from the illusion that "natural" is always better, than you're in for a surprise. One example: cold process soap is a product with a naturally high pH - and some people's simply can't use it so they do well with store bought syndet bars. I can't use most store bought soaps/syndet bars without suffering from itchy and dry skin....

If you have a skin issue that makes you wonder if handmade soap would be better - then try making your own, or purchasing from a reputable soap maker. (There are people who start selling their first batches - before they know what they're doing)

If you enjoying baking/cooking or creating things and are curious about soap making, are willing to research, practice and spend money- give it a try.

Here's a decent introductory video: [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcCOruzFTgQ[/ame]

We really can't answer the question of whether or not you should try it - and you can't either - until you experience the process.

This forum is however, a great resource for beginners who are willing to learn!
 

fuzz-juzz

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Start small and then when you get to have a feel about it, you'll know. We are all different, with different skin and needs, it is hard to describe what one's skin says about the handmade soap.

Some soap from the shop may be "bad" for me, but will do nothing to somebody else's skin. And I don't think they are "bad" in general, many people are using them without issues. Some of those soaps, shower gels etc just aren't made the right way to deserve "soap" label. They are not going to burn your skin off, cause cancer, etc, they are what they are, low quality soaps and detergents.

Handmade soaps aren't medicine and won't cure a symptom or a sickness of some sort, as some sellers might claim. They will help out with balancing the skin dryness, possibly reducing eczema and allergy flare ups by not exposing skin to the detergents etc but that's about it. I got into the soapmaking because of my sensitive skin. My soap won't take it away, but it helps managing it. My skin cracks and bleeds from commercial detergent based soaps and it's not because shop bought soap is "bad" it's because my skin is bad. I had every allergy, hives and rash known and I still have no answer. I'm hopefully getting closer and it will probably end up being some sort of autoimmune disorder (I already have an idea).

Fragrance and essential oils preference come to the personal taste and customers (if soapmaker is selling). There's lots to choose from, beware of descriptions and reviews, some are deceiving. :) Always buy small, as in sample sizes etc, that's why if you don't end up liking a fragrance it's not big of a waste.

Prepare to get overwhelmed haha, there's a whole lot of knowledge and info to get through. And welcome to the SMF :)
 

Ge-rge

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Wow loads of information guys just what i was looking for! Reading this has gotten me excited becuase it is a little project for me to start. And the fact that so much goes into making soaps that i was unclear of (chemicals, oils etc.). Fortunately i am not sick or have and skin problems it's just as you get a little older you start thinking a little different. I am going to have to go out check out some stores in person, check out some essential oils etc and get back to you all. and thanks for the YouTube video!!

Thanks for the reply's guys
 

Susie

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Skip studying the essential oils for now. You need to learn the process and such first. Then you need to figure out a recipe, then you need to make the first soap. Then you need to learn what went wrong...

The essential oils come later. And you need to start with ones that do not misbehave in CP soapmaking before worrying about "health properties" that may not even survive the lye.
 

dixiedragon

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Welcome!

Range of fragrances - I'd say virtually limitless. Up to and including gasoline and dirt. In case you start feeling adventurous!

I highly recommend a kit from Brambleberry. The natural soap beginner's kit includes everything you need except a stick blender, a spoon, water and a mixing bowl. It's a good kit b/c it comes with a good scale and a good mold.
 

Arimara

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Skip studying the essential oils for now. You need to learn the process and such first. Then you need to figure out a recipe, then you need to make the first soap. Then you need to learn what went wrong...

The essential oils come later. And you need to start with ones that do not misbehave in CP soapmaking before worrying about "health properties" that may not even survive the lye.
I'm going to agree here. Essential oils are extremely potent if you have good quality ones. Some can actually do your skin far more damage than an FO (fragrance oil) can and they can exceed toxicity levels as well. You're always going to want to use EOs at safe levels to avoid skin issues at the least. Many times, the safe levels for EOs is about half (give or take) that of many FOs.

Going back to the basics, you will want to learn the process first. You will also want to price around for supplies and invest in type 2, 5, or some type 7 plastic containers (pyrex is a huge no-no and safety issue) if you don't want any stainless steel containers (in cold process and hot process soap making, you do NOT want any other type of metal container as NaOH and KOH will have a very strong reactionof the splattery kind).

Take all the time you need to prepare. :)
 

Steve85569

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I saw it on the internet so it has to be true.
It sounds like you really do want to get started.
****Warning****
Hand crafting soap may be addicting.

That said, I found some 4 cup measuring cups at Walmart that are the right kind of plastic for soap and lye. Ace hardware has a drain cleaner that is 100% lye - it's the 2 pound and you will need to read the label.
Wear protective gear. Always, every time. NO exceptions. Lye does not care what it tries to turn in to soap and it eats organic material for breakfast.

I found a set of scales on eBay for under $30 that weigh to a tenth of a gram. If you hunt you can too.
Soapcalc is a good lye calculator. There is a discussion and link for it in the beginners section.
I like my cleansing value fairly low so my skin isn't dried out by the soap. It's one of the properties soapcalc lists.
Start small and simple. 20 to 32 ounce batches.
Cure all soap a minimum of 30 days. I don't care what you find on the 'net soap and wine need to cure.

Welcome to the forum!
 

Scooter

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Welcome! I am one of those people who do this for the process more than the product. Creating useful things can be quite therapeutic. Have fun.

Scooter
 

Ge-rge

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You guy are awesome you have all been a massive help. I will stay away from the essential oils for now and concentrate on making the soap first. Thanks for the Brambleberry tip i will give that a google in a minute to see what they have to offer, and as of wooden spoons and mixers i have that all sorted. lye sounds like some dangerous stuff! + the curing tip is a bonus. I have literally got Word up on my computer noting everything down!!

Thanks guys
 

BattleGnome

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Don't use wood! The lye will eat away at it and you could end up with splinters in your soap. Silicon spatulas are the way to go, super inexpensive at places like Walmart with no unexpected slivers where you don't want a surprise
 

Ge-rge

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Don't use wood! The lye will eat away at it and you could end up with splinters in your soap. Silicon spatulas are the way to go, super inexpensive at places like Walmart with no unexpected slivers where you don't want a surprise
This is a very good tip!!! never even thought of the possible outcome... Thanks !!
 

Susie

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Even better, go to the Dollar Tree and get the pack of white plastic spoons ($1) and the silicone spatulas ($1). I bought mine when I first started making soap, and they are still in great shape.
 

Arimara

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You guy are awesome you have all been a massive help. I will stay away from the essential oils for now and concentrate on making the soap first. Thanks for the Brambleberry tip i will give that a google in a minute to see what they have to offer, and as of wooden spoons and mixers i have that all sorted. lye sounds like some dangerous stuff! + the curing tip is a bonus. I have literally got Word up on my computer noting everything down!!

Thanks guys
It is dangerous stuff. You don't want that on your skin. But that's why it's important to respect it for what it is and take the steps necessary to greatly minimize the risk of injury and/or damage. I haven't seen it mentioned so I will suggest splatter-proof goggles for your eyes if you aren't going to use a face guard. It will greatly reduce the chances of lye getting into your eyes. Also, it's suggested that you also use neoprene gloves and that you wear old clothing that will cover skin as well.I personally feel short sleeves are a better way to go as it is less fabric to risk coming into contact with the lye. That means less of a chance for prolonged exposure if some fresh soap batter got on your arms.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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If you can make a cup of tea and give a bathroom a good clean, you already deal with products which need to be handled like lye - don't get it on you and clean it up with care.
 

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