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TJ said:
If I bought 1lb of oil from store: A at $25 but had to pay $11 shipping, it would makes sense to buy the oil from WSP if the same oil costs $30 but you get the "free" shipping. I have found this to help save me money on several items I needed.
Just have to do some browsing around and comparing.

Good point! I'm glad you mentioned it. :D

I've done that with WSP to make it to the $30 minimum. It does work out a little less because I'm not paying for the shipping from another supplier. It's too bad most of their prices are so unreasonably high. I would buy more from them if they hadn't jacked up the prices so much to cover shipping.
 

youreapima2

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I buy most of my "hard to find" oils, like palm, hemp, on soapers choice website. Other oils coconut, OO I buy at walmart and/or sams club. You don't need to use extra virgin OO, I have found a nice 100% OO at sams club that is faintly yellow in color, which works better than the EVOO.
My colors I buy from TBK trading. The "NEON" colors work wonderfully in CP. There aren't a lot of reviews on there other than using for makeup, I have tried to put something on the colors I personally used for future reference.

I use a Candy Thermometer that actually belonged to my Grandma, she made a lot of jelly and candy. It works great even after 40 years :)

I purchased these silicone molds
http://bebecollection.com/lf01-loaf-mold
Unlike a regular loaf mold you buy at Target, these have extra support on the sides and won't expand. I am very happy with them. But if you prefer a wood mold you can make one yourself or buy one online. I made my own, but did not treat them and they warped. You could also find "milky way" molds online, or smaller silicone molds for Christmas and stuff at Michaels, or Hobby Lobby. If you go at the right time of yr, a lot of them are on clearance too! Ya Gotta love the clearance isle for soap making.

My first batch of soap I made in PVC pipe that my hubby had gotten along with caps for both ends. NOTE was not easy to remove soap from them, so I stopped using.
My first batch was a "Castile Soap" from Millers soap page. Someone else referred to it here. http://www.millersoap.com/castile.html
I did not add any fragrance or color, and I hated the smell of it myself at first. It took a time to cure 4-6 weeks. That was in the Spring of 2011, Now I LOVE that soap esp for shaving :) It's very bubbly.

My 2nd batch was a goats milk soap, and I used cocoa powder to mask the browning from the milk. Needless to say I did not write everything I added into that soap, and now I kick myself in the a$$ for not doing that, cuz I have no clue what I did, and I LOVE that soap

KEEP A DIARY!!!! This is a good piece of advice. Esp at the beginning, you will find all kinds of recipes to "try" and a couple that you yourself truly like/love. If you write down everything you put into your soap in the diary, you won't kick yourself later when you forget! LOL :oops:

As far as the "soapcalc.com" it was not easy for me either at first, but now I like it, and have found it to be a good thing to have.

Most importantly (at least I have learned) don't get discouraged if your batch doesn't turn out the way you like them too. This is a learning process, and everyone makes mistakes. Just know that you can come on here for support. The people on these forums are great, and helpful, and knowledgeable.

I also read somewhere...."you know you truly enjoy soap making, when you find yourself in any store going "that would make a great mold!"..." GOOD LUCK! Post pictures when you get a chance....(another thing I have yet to figure out how to do here).
 

debbism

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judymoody

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Love your enthusiasm and willingness to learn. Most of what you asked has been covered so I'll just add the following (my apologies if it sounds like I'm stating the obvious):

Safety first - good protective eye goggles, gloves, and keep exposed skin to a minimum. Wear closed-toe shoes.

NEVER mix aluminum vessels or implements with lye or raw soap. It can cause a dangerous explosive chemical reaction.

NEVER mix your lye in a glass container (not even Pyrex) - it can shatter. Use a HDPE plastic pitcher.

My standard sized batch is 800 grams of oils which fits into an 8 inch long silicone loaf pan like the one mentioned above carried by Bebe Collections. I measure my recipes in grams for greater accuracy.

For your first batch, keep it simple with respect to colorants, swirls, etc.

I third or fourth millersoap.com and Aiicia Grosso's The Everything Soap book. That plus this forum and you're good to go.

Enjoy!
 

keslafire

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am reading

am a newbie havnt made my 1st batch yet am still learning and wow this is a lot of info, i think when next am reading i ll just get a book n a biro, thanks everyone for the info ur all the best.
 

Kansas Farm Girl

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Whole Foods has Organic Vegetable Shortening that is 100% Palm Oil. Otherwise I have trouble finding it without ordering and paying shipping. I try to use the oils I can get locally, I like keeping my spend local as much as possible. I know many people don't like using animal fats, but beef tallow makes wonderful soap. DH, who was very skeptical about my soap now asks for tallow soap, if you can get that and don't have issues with using animal fat, give it a try. Make sure you run your formula through a lye calculator. I use SoapCalc and a spreadsheet I got off of Kathy Miller's site. I like the info SoapCalc gives and the simplicity of the spreadsheet. I have sued the spreadsheet so long that it's the one I feel very comfortable with.

If you think you ruin a batch, DO NOT toss it, come back and ask for advice. Most often you can rescue a batch, it may not end up exactly as you wanted it, but it's better than tossing money in the trash and unless you tell someone it's a mistake, no one else will know.

Hope this helps and remember to have fun making your soap.
 

brandnew

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total newb lots of questions

kansas farm girl, read your response and am wondering is the lard or tallow is drying to the skin? I've done three batches and I really like the hardness of lard (easy to find in France) will try tallow also. OO is easy to find as sunflower and canola but coconut, castor seem to be almost exotic here!!!Well, at least in the boonies.
 

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