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bookreader451

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I have noticed I spend a lot of time prepping to make soap and half the prep time to actually make the soap. I have everything together and organized, a designated soaping area but by the time I wash everything, prep my colors, make the lye, melt the oils so much time has gone by I don’t have time to clean the bathroom, mop the kitchen floor or serve a meal not cooked in the instapot.

How much time do experienced soapers spend on making soap, including prep and clean up.
 

Obsidian

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Takes me maybe a hour start to finish for a batch and thats being generous with time.

I mix my lye first so it can cool down, measure my oils and set them aside while I prep colors and molds.
Colors and additives are mixed in disposable cups so no washing.

Once I start mixing my batter it only takes a few minutes before I get it in the mold. 10 at most and thats when I'm doing multiple colors.

After, dishes are wiped out and put in dishwasher or left till the next day when the batter remnants have saponified and is easy to wash.
 

Marilyn Norgart

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I get my oils melted, make my lye and while I am waiting for that and the oils to cool I mix my colors and get the mold and heating pad ready and do quick things like unload dishwasher clean the counters fold laundry or sometimes I just sit on my but on the computer and watch tv :) . but its just m so I can have a PB sandwich or eggs for supper
 

msunnerstood

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I put my oils in the crock pot to melt, mix my micas and additives, measure my lye and water and then go do chores while my oils heat, I do HP so I soap at fairly high temps which gives me a while.
 

jcandleattic

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I masterbatch my oils and my lye, so if you don't take that time into consideration (done well in advance and can take quite a while because I masterbatch 200 lbs of oils and 12lbs of lye solution at a time)
Not taking that into consideration, I can get a batch of soap done in about 10-20 minutes depending on what type of soap I'm making if it has intricate swirls or embeds in them. And then I leave my soaping dishes until either the next day, or next soaping session and that only takes about 5-10 minutes to do them up.
 

bookreader451

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I find I babysit everything and check things over and over. I guess as I get more confidence I won’t take as much time.
 

Tee

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I'm the same Kari! By the time I get done researching and get off the computer an hour or 2 has passed. Then another hour melting and waiting! Before I know it the day is over and I'm too pooped to cook or clean house! I did master batch for 3 or 4 recipes i was making that day but I found I lost ounces when I poured up for individual batches! I am not able to master batch yet as I haven't been able to test my soaps yet for the outcome. Hopefully with the time the process will become less tedious and time consuming!
 

amd

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I can get a soap made and cleaned up in around 20 minutes. I have masterbatched my oils for 4 years now, which saves a huge amount of time having that done for each batch - I use 6 oils in my recipe so weighing gets to be time consuming. I've found that masterbatching lye only saves me about 5 minutes per batch. I should mention that I don't worry about temps, so I don't wait to use fresh lye.

The last time I master batched oils, I did (4) 12lb buckets in an hour. I have it pretty streamlined by premeasuring my hard oils (cocoa butter, shea, tallow) when they come in from the supplier so all I have to do is dump the premeasured oils into the pot and get those starting to melt while I measure RBO, Castor and Coconut Oil. I do 12lb buckets because those fit nicely in my 2 gallon stock pot and the 2 gallon plastic buckets that I have. It's also the right amount for me to handle without making a mess of things. :D
 

Tee

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I can get a soap made and cleaned up in around 20 minutes. I have masterbatched my oils for 4 years now, which saves a huge amount of time having that done for each batch - I use 6 oils in my recipe so weighing gets to be time consuming. I've found that masterbatching lye only saves me about 5 minutes per batch. I should mention that I don't worry about temps, so I don't wait to use fresh lye.

The last time I master batched oils, I did (4) 12lb buckets in an hour. I have it pretty streamlined by premeasuring my hard oils (cocoa butter, shea, tallow) when they come in from the supplier so all I have to do is dump the premeasured oils into the pot and get those starting to melt while I measure RBO, Castor and Coconut Oil. I do 12lb buckets because those fit nicely in my 2 gallon stock pot and the 2 gallon plastic buckets that I have. It's also the right amount for me to handle without making a mess of things. :D
IMPRESSIVE! GOALS!
 

shunt2011

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I do pretty much the same as amd when making soap. I masterbatch 2-3 / 5 gallon buckets at a time. I also master batch my lye/water 50/50 so I'm ready to go when I want to make soap. I too use 2 gallon buckets when making my soap.
 

JoeyJ

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I should mention that I don't worry about temps, so I don't wait to use fresh lye.
So when your lye solution goes in its super hot? and your oils are warmish? Just curious to know if it works because the liquid oils take up some of the heat? I find waiting for the oil and lye to get to within 10C of each other drags on and I lose patience, on the flipside, I don't want to risk Stick blended Hot Process soap if I'm looking forward to an intricate swirl.
 

amd

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So when your lye solution goes in its super hot? and your oils are warmish? Just curious to know if it works because the liquid oils take up some of the heat?
When I use the lye, it has only been allowed to sit long enough to become clear again - so maybe 3 - 5 minutes. Usually I just stir until I can feel all the lye is dissolved, set it aside and take care of my oils bucket (measure MB oil, milk if using, FO), by then the lye solution is clear again and I add it to my oils.

My oils are typically room temp - in my case that could be anywhere from 65° to 95°F depending on the time of year. Usually if my soap dungeon is on the cooler side I will microwave my oils for a minute to loosen things up, but I don't microwave to reach a temperature.

My experience will likely be different than yours due to my recipe, lye concentration, etc. So the only way to know is to try it. It's unlikely you would have something resembling hot process soap unless you use a troublesome FO.
 

bookreader451

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I have made a couple of lye batches ahead but I have been warming it up in hot water, and melting my oils over hot water so they are about the same temp. I tried soaping at room temp (75 or so) with BB gentle quick mix and it was a disaster. I threw it out. That was my third batch of CP. Now I try to hit between 90-100 for both lye and oils (my recipe not BB) That has been working for me
 

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I use room temp lye and just warm my oils so they are almost clear.
 

DeeAnna

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I have made a couple of lye batches ahead but I have been warming it up in hot water, and melting my oils over hot water so they are about the same temp....
It's not necessary to get your lye solution and fat temperatures close together. I've never figured out how it contributed anything useful except maybe-possibly I could see it being used as a teaching tool for a person's first batch. Otherwise, not. That said, if having the ingredient temps be close together makes you more comfortable, there's nothing wrong with the idea, but it's not something I think is a requirement.

I also never heat my lye solution. IMO, the less fiddling with the lye solution, the better for safety's sake. If it's at room temp, it stays at room temp. I will always heat the fats instead if I think extra warmth is needed.

What I prefer to control is the temp of the soap batter shortly after the fats, lye solution, etc. have all been combined. My preference is for my soap batter to be around 100F / 38C, give or take 5 degrees F / 2 degrees C. Most of my recipes have a lot of lard in them, so this temp ensures the lard stays fully melted. But I don't want the batter to be any hotter than that, because higher temps tend to reduce the working time. I've decided 110F / 43C is too hot for my usual style of soaping.

Based on experience, I know a 100F temp feels pleasantly warm when I put the palm of my hand on my soap pot. A 110F temp is borderline uncomfortable. Now that I can use my "calibrated hand" I don't actually need to measure the temp. I often do check the actual temp, because I'm an engineering geek and geeks need to play with their gadgets, but I do this only to confirm what my palm has already told me.
 

Kathymzr

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My lye solution goes into a smallish pan. I keep a shallow tupperware type container of water frozen. After putting lye in water I set my pan on the ice container and it cools in a couple of minutes. Works great!
 

bookreader451

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I decided to be efficient tonight, told hubby to get his own dinner and measured all my oils in to the crock to melt. Started doing the other after work, leaving for a long weekend stuff I had to do, and then went to checked on my oils............I forgot to turn the crockpot on. See why it takes me so much time...
 
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