Smaller goggles, apron fabric, etc

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cassia

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I'm anticipating having to find smaller goggles than standard size.
Do you own more than one pair of goggles? Where do you buy yours from?
Do you get most of your soap making supplies from Amazon, soap supply companies, anywhere you can?
Maybe you have found a trusted supplier and go with that most of the time?
What kind of fabric do you use for the apron?
About me:
The colored swirly look soaps don't appeal to me.
I want to learn how to make soaps that are white and not large, as well as soaps that look rustic or more natural, with no dyes or coloring added.
Crabtree & Evelyn seashell soap was my favorite EVER and I have been trying to find out what the scent of that was. The prices of those soaps on ebay is ridiculous.
Also interested in learning how to make milk soaps.
A friend had a large bar of soap from France (it was a gift) and the scent of that was so wonderful, the appearance was "natural" -- grayish with flecks of stuff in it.
One of my kids (adult) has sensitive skin and most soaps irritate him.

(Hi! I signed on here years ago and have drifted in and out. I have bought a few supplies and books but would still like to observe someone in person making soap).
 

MellonFriend

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Do you get most of your soap making supplies from Amazon, soap supply companies, anywhere you can?
As a very new soap maker, I found that the best place to get most of my oils, lye and additives was amazon. I have found nothing wrong with the quality of the products I have gotten from amazon, but I am just making soap for home use. Etsy is also a great place to check for certain oils and additives.

If you haven't gotten any of your supplies yet, a really inexpensive way to get measuring cups, bowls, spatulas and things is the dollar stores and goodwill/thrift stores.

For fragrances I've used them from Whole Sale Supply Plus and Bramble Berry because I didn't feel like it would be a good idea to trust anyone selling on amazon.

I use goats milk in all my soaps and I absolutely love it, although I am biased as it comes from my own goats and I've never made soap without it! 😅
 

cassia

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Thank you, @MellonFriend !! Any suggestions to make it cheaper and easier, I sure appreciate any instruction, comments, etc you'd be willing to toss my way even when I don't ask.
:rolleyes:
;)
 

Babyshoes

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I'm not sure about smaller goggles, but I think I've seen teen and child sized PPE, so I'm sure you'll find something suitable.

I don't personally use an apron, but if I did I'd go for thick cotton or something with a plastic back.

I get supplies from all over, including the local hardware store for lye & plastic jugs and supermarket for many of my oils. My Shea butter was from Amazon.
It's worth getting fragrance or essential oils from a reputable supplier (see if they have reviews about how each behaves in soap.)
 

earlene

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I'm anticipating having to find smaller goggles than standard size.
Do you own more than one pair of goggles? Where do you buy yours from?
Do you get most of your soap making supplies from Amazon, soap supply companies, anywhere you can?
Maybe you have found a trusted supplier and go with that most of the time?
What kind of fabric do you use for the apron?
About me:
The colored swirly look soaps don't appeal to me.
I want to learn how to make soaps that are white and not large, as well as soaps that look rustic or more natural, with no dyes or coloring added.
Crabtree & Evelyn seashell soap was my favorite EVER and I have been trying to find out what the scent of that was. The prices of those soaps on ebay is ridiculous.
Also interested in learning how to make milk soaps.
A friend had a large bar of soap from France (it was a gift) and the scent of that was so wonderful, the appearance was "natural" -- grayish with flecks of stuff in it.
One of my kids (adult) has sensitive skin and most soaps irritate him.

(Hi! I signed on here years ago and have drifted in and out. I have bought a few supplies and books but would still like to observe someone in person making soap).
The safety glasses/googles SoapQueen wears in her videos look small to me, but I cannot be sure if they would fit your needs. (Link to the googles SoapQueen wears.) I found that finding safety goggles or safety glasses that fit well is hard if ordering online. I ended up buying prescription ones from my eye doctor in order to get a good fit and to be able to read my formula book while making soap. Not the most ideal - oh for 20/20 vision for everything!

I don't know Crabtree & Evelyn soap, so cannot help you there at all.

Making soap the size you want is easy when you make your own, so that goal is simple enough. And making uncolored soap will certainly keep costs down. To save money on materials, Goodwill shopping (or other second hand stores) is a great way to find the utensils & vessels you may need, even molds for the soap.

Grocery stores tend to carry most of the oils you may need. If you are fine with animal fats, lard is usually available in most grocery stores around the country. (Not in my local small town grocery, but it seems to be an anomaly, that store. - I travel the country & see it in most places.) Tallow is harder to find in grocers, but when I have seen it in jars, it seems rather expensive to me, but you can render your own. But animal fats are not essential in soap, so if you don't like them, no worries. Some grocery stores have a variety of soft oils (liquid), while others seem to carry only Olive Oil (don't ask me why, but that's just what I have observed in my travels). As you read here, you can look for what people say about which oils they like in soap, and then check your local stores to see what's available and if the costs seem reasonable to you. Coconut oil is used in many soaping recipes, as is Castor Oil (at about 5% of the oils, so not much, really.) Castor Oil is usually found in the pharmaceutical area of most stores that carry it, even in grocery stores (but not all grocers stock Castor Oil). Coconut Oil can be expensive, but is often on sale in many stores, so look for the bargains. That should help you keep costs down.

Practice making simple soap with only 3 or 4 oils in the formula and no added colors. In fact, I would suggest making your first batch (if you haven't yet) fragrance free, just to get the hang of it.

You mentioned wanting to watch someone make soap in person, but did not mention where you live. Have you watched many youtube soapmaking videos? Does that meed your needs? Or would you prefer to have an interactive soapmaking session with a live soapmaker? If so, then that's probably going to impact your finances. You will have to travel to where-ever or take a class from a soapmaker who charges a fee, or find a soapmaking friend somewhere. After I'd been making soap for about 6 months, I took a class & loved it. I made a friend for life in that class, and really had a lot of fun, so I always encourage anyone who wants to take a class to just do it. But there is usually a fee & travel involved. The HSCG lists soapmaking classes and certified instructors if that interests you (click on the preceding purple links).

My apron, is just any apron I have on hand. I have several aprons because I just have always worn an apron when I cook, when I clean and when I paint, even when I garden, or any other activity that I want to protect my clothes from stains or spills or grime or whatever. The fabric of my aprons is either cotton or a mix of whatever washable fabric they make aprons from these days. I do not use a plastic apron, although I did consider it at one point. But plastic aprons are very hot; I had to wear them sometimes as a nurse and also when washing dishes in the restaurant. Too hot for hours of soapmaking, IMO. So I just wear regular fabric aprons. I have maybe 4 different ones I wear when making soap, depending on which one is clean & which one I grab at the time.

My favorite supplier of soaping oils is Soapers Choice (aka Columbus Foods): Home | Soaper's Choice
Although I do use several others on occasion. For me the decision of where I order is based on getting the best bottom-line price (shipping costs included in my bottom-line) for what I want to purchase. Sometimes that is driving to a store 30 miles away and sometimes that is ordering online and having it shipped. Sometimes there is not local store that carries what I want, so I have to order online.

Amazon is good for ordering some things, and shipping is reliable, but costs are not always the best, though sometimes they are; it varies. Some things I buy from Amazon as a cheaper source (so far): Soy Wax GW415 (for making soap as an animal oil replacement); in the past I have purchased lye from an Amazon vendor, but that source dried up, so I have not purchased lye via Amazon in quite a long time. I have ordered some things from Etsy, but not on a regular basis.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Welcome.gif

I want to learn how to make soaps that are white and not large, as well as soaps that look rustic or more natural, with no dyes or coloring added.
Dollar Store Soap & Supplies
BASIC TRINITY OF OILS STARTER FORMULA
Make several small 16 oz batches to start.

Crabtree & Evelyn seashell soap
If you research the ingredients you can post them in the Recipe Feedback Forum for help in formulating a recipe. ;)
Also interested in learning how to make milk soaps.
LOVIN' SOAP BEGINNERS GUIDE

One of my kids (adult) has sensitive skin and most soaps irritate him.
I am an adult with sensitive skin -- like many other members on SMF -- it's the reason I started making soap! That, plus soap making reduces STRESS, keeps me sane, and is cheaper than therapy. 😁
After you get the hang of it, you may want to try making ZNSC. I do the 85% olive oil, 10% coconut oil and 5% castor oil variation. I use it to wash my face AM and PM. although it works well as an all-around bar soap with good lather-- especially if you use a bath pouf. :thumbs:

Zany's No Slime Castile
ZNSC YouTube Video
 

Zing

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Welcome back. Ditto to above and just a couple more things. My caution with Amazon is that scents and colorants have to be safe and appropriate for soap-making -- I use Bramble Berry and a few other soap vendors for scents and colorants.

When I began, I found Soaping 101 on YouTube helpful plus I love the narrator's voice, and also Soap Queen's beginner series.

And using paprika, turmeric, rosehips, and cocoa powder make for simple, natural, rustic soaps.

Keep us posted!!
 

cassia

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Thank you, everyone! @Zing I did watch a tutorial video from the Brambleberry lady. She sure made it look easy. I agree about being wary with Amazon EO and scents and colorants.
Thank you for the links to everything. You guys are excited to pull another rookie into the fold! haha
@Zany_in_CO honestly, I took a photo of my foot with smiley and frowny faces on the toes after I stubbed them one too many times. Cracks me up.
@earlene thank you for suggestions/links to soap classes possibly near me.
Remember, back in the old days somebody taught somebody who taught somebody else who ....
I bought a couple of forms to pour into, and two books last year, but so far nothing else. It is still a little too hot to be outside making soap in Texas (for me anyway). Hoping it will cool down by the end of the month.
@Babyshoes thank you for your suggestions on goggles and aprons.
Some of us I'm sure get overprepared.
Tell me something like this: Unless you're overly clumsy, spills and splashes will likely not happen with the lye solution, but we still prepare as if it could happen.
 

cassia

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@earlene I didn't answer all of your questions! I'm such a hands-on person, but might do okay reading and watching tutorials enough times. I will check the links you included. There is a soapmaker I met where I work a couple of years ago, she lives within 20 miles or so of me and said she would be happy to help me learn how to make soap! I found her website, complete with yt videos of soap making. Then you know, the dreaded virus happened.
I think making sure I have my list of steps would help allay my soap-making anxiety somewhat.
Sticking to basics for now so not planning to make my own tallow at this point. I remember reading about it.
In the Brambleberry video I watched, it looked like she was using a METAL spoon to stir the solution. I thought it was supposed to be made of something else. ?No?
 

dibbles

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Welcome cassia! Soap making is so much fun and I'm sure you will love it.
Some of us I'm sure get overprepared.
Tell me something like this: Unless you're overly clumsy, spills and splashes will likely not happen with the lye solution, but we still prepare as if it could happen.
This. I've been making soap for 6 years and I can't remember ever spilling or splashing any lye. Until today. It was probably only about a teaspoon, and landed on a towel - but it can happen. I always wear gloves and goggles at the very least. I think your above quote is wise advice.
There is a soapmaker I met where I work a couple of years ago, she lives within 20 miles or so of me and said she would be happy to help me learn how to make soap! I found her website, complete with yt videos of soap making.
If you can find someone to make soap with the first time, that is great. But if not - YouTube is a very good source. Katie of Royalty Soaps has put together a series of six videos for complete beginners if you want another source besides the ones mentioned above. She calls them the Royal Creative Academy if you need to search YT for them - here is a link to the first one.

Good luck with your first batch.
 

earlene

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@earlene I didn't answer all of your questions! I'm such a hands-on person, but might do okay reading and watching tutorials enough times. I will check the links you included. There is a soapmaker I met where I work a couple of years ago, she lives within 20 miles or so of me and said she would be happy to help me learn how to make soap! I found her website, complete with yt videos of soap making. Then you know, the dreaded virus happened.
I think making sure I have my list of steps would help allay my soap-making anxiety somewhat.
Sticking to basics for now so not planning to make my own tallow at this point. I remember reading about it.
In the Brambleberry video I watched, it looked like she was using a METAL spoon to stir the solution. I thought it was supposed to be made of something else. ?No?
Cool. Yes, it's probably still too hot in many parts of TX to be soaping outdoors. I never make soap outdoors, though. I prefer the comfort of my Air Conditioned home in the warmer months & the central heat in the cooler months.

I travel to Texas frequently to visit my son, DIL & granddaughter. Spent almost a year there before & during the pandemic in fact. My granddaughter & I participated in the Lonestar Soapmakers Workshop (in Georgetown) back in the summer of 2019.

In the Brambleberry video I watched, it looked like she was using a METAL spoon to stir the solution. I thought it was supposed to be made of something else. ?No?
If the metal spoon was stainless steel, that's fine. Otherwise, silicone or plastic utensils work fine as well. Wood will deteriorate quickly, so don't use a wooden spoon. The one thing I caution against that Anne-Marie (the BB soap lady) does that is unsafe is to use a glass measuring cup to mix her soap batter. Too many soapmakers have had those spontaneously break during a soapmaking session. Lye is still active in soap batter, and lye etches glass, which over time becomes visually damaged. But the worst part is the possibility of breaking and getting lye soap all over the place when that happens, not to mention the broken glass everywhere.

It's bad enough having to pick up clean broken glass from my kitchen floor! The idea of picking up broken glass covered in raw soap batter is about the worst thing I can think of having to clean up, and I've had to clean up some pretty bad messes in the past.
 

MellonFriend

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Katie of Royalty Soaps has put together a series of six videos for complete beginners if you want another source besides the ones mentioned above. She calls them the Royal Creative Academy if you need to search YT for them - here is a link to the first one.
I love the Royalty soap YouTube channel, I would highly recommend her course as well.
 

cassia

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New Soap Friends: THANK YOU. This is great how supportive you are to one another (and me)!
@earlene clear this up for me: I thought mixing soap solution was supposed to be done,,,,wait...ok. not outside, but well-ventilated. Like many of you, I have a dog and a cat and they are always in my business or wanting to be near me. Will have to think about location some more.
A good friend once told me that the one kind of EO was not so pure, it was "now" brand. Anyone have any experience with it in soap making?
And what about newness of EO? I have EO's that I've had for a couple few years. Is it important for them to be fairly new, or is it okay to use older EO? No, they don't smell rancid or anything. Or maybe there are certain ones that can go kinda bad...?
Silicone or plastic for spoons...check.
Glass mixing containers...no.
Yall are hyping me up. 🥳⚡
 

earlene

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@earlene clear this up for me: I thought mixing soap solution was supposed to be done,,,,wait...ok. not outside, but well-ventilated. Like many of you, I have a dog and a cat and they are always in my business or wanting to be near me. Will have to think about location some more.
Yes, well ventilated and don't breath the fumes. Perhaps wear a mask the first few times until you learn what you are dealing with. Keep the pets out of the area while soaping. I wait for Kitty Baby to be either taking a nap or put her on the Catio with the door closed, or when she is outdoors.
 

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