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soapmaking without lye?

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questingmuse

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Substitutes??

I know I am very concerned about the lye. I have no pets or small children, but I'm worried about having it in the house.

Is there any recipe for soapmaking without the use of lye?

~Questing Muse
 

Tabitha

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The definition of soap is lye+oil so if there is no lye *technically* there is no soap per the definition. With that being said you do have a couple of options.

You can make M&P (melt & pour) soap which is considered by the masses to be soap as well even though it does not meet the true definition. The FDA viwe M&P as a cosmetic. Some melt & pour soap is all natural while most is synthetic & contains detergent.

Another option would be to rebatch. You can purchase cold processed soap, shred it up & add to it to make it your own. There is more info about both on this forum if either interests you.
 

WhiteLyeSoapCo

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Melt & Pour would be it or as Tabitha said rebatching. Good luck. I have 3 little ones and I just make sure it is secure and clean up is superb!
 

questingmuse

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Thanks ladies.

I have been doing M&P for a couple of years, but as has been said it's not really making the soap from start to finish which is what I wanted to try.

It seems to be cheaper in my calculations to M&P....but I'm not sure the costs or availability of lye

Any suggestions on locations, I tried my grocery stores and at Meijer's locally, with no luck.

~Questing Muse
 
G

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For lye try Lowe's hardware stores, Roebic's lye costs about $7 for two pounds, enough for several batches of soap.
 

Lane

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questingmuse said:
It seems to be cheaper in my calculations to M&P...
MIGHT be cheaper... I dumped alot of money into testing oils, lost batches...gel issues... and you have more waste with CP. Not to discourage at all! I started out with MP and moved to CP, but I always go back to MP when I want a nice relaxing, soaping session. I HATE the clean up after CP...and the mold lining *groan* But it IS very gratifying using a bar of soap you made 100% from scratch!!

About lye- I use Certified Lye. GREAT product, cheap/ fast shipping and wonderful customer service. It is food grade lye so you don't have "sludge" issues...
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
To me, having lye in the house is no more dangerous than having bleach, or Draino, or a can of Raid in the house. Seriously, as long as you follow the recommended precautions, and handle it and store it with the same care and respect as you would any potentially dangerous chemical, you'll be good to go.

I know that lye can sound so scary and troublesome to use, but it's not as ominous as it sounds once you actually get into the swing of soaping with it. As long as you remember to always protect your surface, wear gloves, eye protection, and something to hold over your nose and mouth when mixing it into your water so that you don't breathe in any fumes, you should be fine.

Once upon a time I used to be terrified of lye, but I quickly got over my fear after my second batch. Then I got bitten by the soaping bug and I wondered why on earth I had held myself back for so long from the many joys that soapmaking from scratch can give.

After soaping for a bit, I got a little frustrated (like Lane in the above post) with always having to cut freezer paper out to line my molds with, but then, I got a TOG mold for Christmas from my sis, who bought it from our own Paul, the 'SoapmakerMan'. It's a wooden, collapsable mold that comes with fitted, reusable foam liners, eliminating my need to cut new liners out every time I soap, and it makes unmolding a piece of cake because it's designed to be taken apart for easy removal of one's soap. I don't mean to sound like an advertisement, but Pauls TOG molds (I have 2 now) have made soaping even that much easier and pleasurable for me, and I simply love them.

As for lye, besides the Roebic's from Lowes, you can also find lye at Ace Hardware (Rooto brand). I've used both with excellent results. I buy mine online in bulk now from AAA Chemicals, but I just found out that our Paul, the 'SoapakerMan' has just started selling it on his Etsy site for a really good price.


IrishLass
 

Lane

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Also, I've had a pretty serious lye burn before and I lived through it... You have to wear gloves!! I buy the one use disposable ones, they are like 2.50 for a box of 50 at walmart... in the first aid section...
 
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Not to mention that mose lye also comes in child proof containers (and sometimes even me proof!). I keep mine in the bottom of a china cabinet, well away from toys and fun stuff.
 

garland68

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Lane said:
Also, I've had a pretty serious lye burn before and I lived through it... You have to wear gloves!! I buy the one use disposable ones, they are like 2.50 for a box of 50 at walmart... in the first aid section...
When I first started soaping I did not use any gloves. I have careful but then as I was washing up I burned my hands. Nothing major they were just sore for a couple of days. So now I ALWAYS wear gloves. I just use the dish gloves and I reuse them. I also messed up my shirt! I also must buy an apron, yes a guy in an apron making soap in the kitchen. Hmmm. quite the picture huh:) At least it makes y partner laugh....:)
 

questingmuse

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Thanks everyone for your feedback.

I'm cautiously excited to try it.

I read that when mixing with the water, it can get up to 270 degrees. Is that correct? Also, what tools does everyone use? I saw a tutorial on Youtube, but she had a ton of fancy pieces of equipment...like a hand held stalk mixer.

Can I use something else without ruining it or the soap, like a wisk?

~QM
 

cdwinsby

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questingmuse said:
Thanks everyone for your feedback.

I'm cautiously excited to try it.

I read that when mixing with the water, it can get up to 270 degrees. Is that correct? Also, what tools does everyone use? I saw a tutorial on Youtube, but she had a ton of fancy pieces of equipment...like a hand held stalk mixer.

Can I use something else without ruining it or the soap, like a wisk?

~QM
Yes a stainless steel whisk will work great. It's the only mixing tool I use. Many like the stick blender which is somewhere around $15 I think. The whisk is about $5.

Don't be afraid to use lye....just give it the respect it deserves. :D
 

questingmuse

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Hey Kathy, thanks!

What do you recommend to use as a mold for the first timers?

I have a bunch of M&P molds. Will any of those work anymore?

~Traci
 

cdwinsby

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As far as I know they will. I just use a plain wooden box I made. Lots of things will work as a mold to start. Old milk cartons, lined cake pans, lined card board boxes, platic food savers, etc.

What ever you use, just make sure the soap doesn't cool down too quickly. If it cools too fast, it could turn to chaulky soap. Cover it with towels or a blanket and check on it a couple of times.
 

NEASoapWorks

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Children

Sorry, my original post was for moms with kids. What everyone else said: Respect lye. Don't soap sleepy, angry, distracted or drunk. You'll be fine.
 
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IrishLass said:
After soaping for a bit, I got a little frustrated (like Lane in the above post) with always having to cut freezer paper out to line my molds with, but then, I got a TOG mold ...
Lining the mold was always the most bothersome part for me, even worse than cleaning up after soaping. I've been experimenting with reusable liner methods the last few weeks and have dispensed with freezer paper entirely. I'm using a variety of methods but mainly the GE silicone kitchen & bath sealer, along with some reusable plastic liner sheets mainly for the mold bottom (to guarantee release). Like Paul's molds my molds also disassemble for unmolding and cleaning, which BTW is simple to clean with warm water and a sponge. I dab on mineral oil and I'm good to go for another batch!

As far as lye, it's far from the most dangerous chemicals many of us keep and use routinely and never give it any thought. Did you know that if you mix bleach and ammonia that it releases a poison gas? By the time I add in other hobbies like rocketry and making printed circuit boards I have all kinds of toxic, explosive or flammable substances lying around, to say nothing of the gallons of flammable oils and fats used to make soap. Thank God I'm not into candle making!!! ;)
 

reallyrita

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Soap making without lye

First of all, please do not be afraid of using lye. Just remember to add it to the water and not the other way around...turn your head or cover your nose and mouth while stirring it to dissolve. The fumes that rise up only last a couple of minutes. An open window nearby is good. If you can, mix and use your lye right in a sink...carrying it around could cause a spill!! I was so afraid of using this stuff that I put off making my first batch for 4 months!!
What a silly girl I was. I must have used bleach dozens of times in those 4 months and bleach is a very toxic chemical!!

For molds...to get you started....you can use those paper milk or cream cartons. I just cut the top of so I don't have to fiddle with the small opening. I wash out good, pour, stand upright in a pot or bowl in a nest of small towels, cover with a towel and 24 hours later, I have soap. If the soap feels pretty firm, I just pull the milk carton away...of course , you sacrifice the carton...but you do not have lining or cleaning up a mold to do and it is recycling!! The bottom of my soap has the imprint of the bottom of the carton on it...but I just cut that bit off and use it at my kitchen sink (after the cure, of course). If the soap bug bites, then you can go get yourself some nice wooden or silicone molds. I have some but I also use the milk cartons too. A quart carton holds easily one lb of soap mixture. So, go get started....and don't let lye scare you at all!!
 

cdwinsby

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You have to let both the lye solution and the oil mixture cool to approx. the same temperature.

You'll need to do some research on this since there are many pros and cons to the various temperatures used.

My temps are around 90 - 95 degrees F. while others may mix as hot as 130 or as low as room temperature.
 

Godiva

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That struck me as funny NEA - true but funny.

We could make it into an acronym - Don't Soap S.A.D.D.

:wink:
 

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