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opalgirl

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Hi,
I'm doing a craft show in October (I'm a stained glass artist) I would like to put some soap in my booth. How far in advance can you make soap and it still be good for selling?

Thanks,
Opalgirl

BTW - Opalgirl is the sheppard mix in the picture. Rudy is her buddy. Love em both!
 

gallerygirl

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I am pretty new to making soap myself, but wanted to say hey! I have never done traditional stainglass before, but hope someday to. I have done the cheating stainglass - use glass glue to adhere stainglass pieces on windows and then grout them in. Looks pretty cool, but would like to try the real deal! k
 

opalgirl

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Sorry.....CP. Maybe some fun M&P for the kiddies (I wrap MP in saran)
I want to make 15 - 20 scents and 3 specialty bars.
Thanks,
Opalgirl
 

Tabitha

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I have more exp w/ M&p than I do CP. Fragrances can fade & so can colors w/ M&P. I don't think I would make them more than a month ahead of time.

With that being said. I have soaps that I have made over a year ago look & smell freshly made.

It's all hit or miss. The longer you have been soaping the mora familiar you will become w/ your brands of colors & scents, etc. & know which last longer & look beter over time.
 

mandolyn

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Have you done CP before?

You'll have to learn how to make basic CP, the properties & SAP values of oils, properties of EO's, FO's, etc. You'll need to learn how additives like scents & colors behave in CP. You'll need to learn what pigments & colors you can use & not use in CP. Some EO's & FO's can change the color & accelerate trace time, etc. Some lose their scent right away, some over a matter of months. You could end up selling soaps with no scent that smelt heavanly when you cut them. You need to learn which scents stay, which anchor, etc. You'll need to learn about DOS & the shelf-life of oils & how to use Lye Calculators.

Most importantly. Do you know how to use Lye safely? It's highly caustic!!!!

My best advice is to do TONS of research on CP before you attempt it. Use a recipe from a book or from a seasoned soapmaker, then make lots of batches & test as they cure. Run EVERY recipe, no matter where it comes from, through a lye calculator.

To answer your question: It takes a minimum of 4 weeks & generally 6 weeks for CP soap to cure. You can know right away if it's lye heavy, but that's something you want to avoid AT ALL COSTS.

Many people will tell you to don't plan on making CP now for sale in Oct if you've never made CP before.

I'm not saying not to, but I'm not saying go for it either. That's your call, but you have a LOT of accelerated learning ahead of you if you decide to do this. I just touched the surface of what you need to know about CP soaping. Some things can only be learned by experience. Some things can only be learned over a period of time.

My best advice is, be EXTREMELY careful!!!! Proceed with a GREAT DEAL of caution. Do your homework before you attempt your first batch, 'cause I don't want to hear you've been burned with lye, or you dropped some on a child who ran through the room or something.

I did TONS of research, & I must have a Soaping Guardian Angel, because I haven't had a failed batch yet. I've been soaping for 1 month & have done 15 batches. I'm using my first batches, & they are good, mild soaps.
However, I have no idea what those batches will be like 6 months from now. I think they'll be ok, but I won't know for sure. Only time will tell.

My luck will run out eventually. Every soaper makes a bad batch. It's recognising that it's bad when it's not glaringly obvious. Sometimes a loaf of soap looks great, it even looks great as your cutting the bars, then somewhere in the middle, a cut reveals a lye pocket. It happens to even seasoned soapers. Would you use the bars that look good?

I guess I'm not trying to scare you, but there are plenty of horror stories to do that. I just want you to be aware, because soapers have made me aware.

There are questions to ask yourself. Can you run the risk of a lawsuit if someone gets hurt by your soap, or even has an allergic reaction to an EO or FO in your soap & they decide to take you to the cleaners? Can you afford insurance?

Have you sold at a craft fair before? You'll need to know the business end of things, like collecting sale tax, etc.

I'm not trying to be condescending, nor am I trying to discourage you. Like I said, I just want you to see some of what's ahead.

This is a wonderful forum, with lots of helpful, knowlegeable & experienced soapers who will help you in any way.

Glad you're with us!
:D
 

mandolyn

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Ok, now that I've lectured, let me give you some resources. :wink: I have the book A Soapmakers Companion. Wonderful book. There are others, but I just really love this one.

Here's a good lye caculator. If you read the helpful documents & play with plugging in numbers, you'll get good at using & understanding the values:
soapcalc.om

There are others, but I like it the best.

For suppliers of oils, lye, etc, just do a search on soapmaking supplies. Here are a few of my favorites:
wholesalesuppliesplus.com
brambleberry.com
aaa-chemical.com

There are many, many more suppliers that give excellent service. I've used more than those 3, & I haven't had a bad shopping experience from any of them. Those are the 3 I use the most.

http://www.millersoap.com/ is a great site for learning about cp soapmaking.

http://fromnaturewithlove.com/resources/default.asp has a lot of good info on oils & EO's/FO's, etc.

http://waltonfeed.com/old/soaphome.html is another good resource for learning about making cp soap.

Well, that'll get you started anyway.

Best of Luck to Ya!
 

opalgirl

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I do make CP soap, I've just never sold any in a show. I also do craft and art shows with my stained glass. I just thought the soap would be a great add-on item. I have 2 small kids so my soaping time is limited and I wanted to make sure I was prepared well in advance without sacrificing the soap. Thanks for the input.
Opalgirl
 

cdwinsby

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Hi Opalgirl, I would recommend making the CP soap about 3 months before the show. This gives you your cure and time to wrap and finish. Be sure to keep the curing and finished soaps in a cool, dark and DRY place. Moisture will shorten the life of your soap. Ok to get them wet when you use them but not before. As Mandolyn said, you will need plenty of research and practice. Make very small batches for now to practice. Try this link for the basic step-by-step process.

http://www.soap-making-essentials.com/h ... -soap.html

The Soapmakers Companion is a great book by Susan Miller Cavich. It's what I used to get started.

Good luck and have fun!
 

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