It looks like you put a lot of work into this and I applaud your effort. There are a few things I disagree about but the only thing I'm going to mention is in your list of basic recipes it looks like you are suggesting that palm kernel oil can be used as a substitute for either lard or palm oil. Palm kernel oil will work as a substitution for coconut oil but it is not the same as palm oil. Using 20% coconut oil and then 30% palm kernel oil is going to give you a very high lauric acid value and a lot of people may find this soap way to stripping. I'm trying not to be to picky but new soapers may make their first batch from these directions without further study and not enjoy their first batch as they should.
I agree with sistrum that you’ve put a lot of effort into this tutorial. Very comprehensive. Please don’t be offended but I also have some concerns about content. A few I noticed with just a quick read-through:
Wooden spoons will deteriorate over time from exposure to lye and can splinter.
Glitter from Claire’s accessories – is this cosmetic grade glitter? JMO but I think it should be mentioned that glitter must be skin safe.
Pyrex jug to mix your lye solution – lye will cause etching and the Pyrex can shatter. I’d recommend stainless steel or polypropylene (PP#5) for mixing lye.
45 g FO in the HP batch - I don’t think it’s a good idea to suggest using an arbitrary amount of FO. FOs can vary in recommended maximum usage. I’ve seen from 3% up to 6% and it is possible 45 g of a certain FO could be too much and cause skin irritation. I’d also suggest you mention that all FOs must be formulated to be skin safe (cosmetic grade).
My main concern is if any of the links you’ve posted in your tutorial are affiliate links. If so, you must state this in your post. Please see rules #16 and #17 in the Message Board Rules
BTW, I also moved your tutorial to the correct section.
Sistrum and Hazel - thank you both for your comments.
I would like my tutorial to be both accurate and comprehensive so it's great to have feedback.
Sistrum - With regard to Palm Kernel Oil - I found this helpful (as well as other websites) in considering how single oils perform - http://www.zensoaps.com/singleoil.htm - nevertheless I have deleted reference to palm kernel oil in my suggested recipes.
Hazel - re the wooden spoons, glitter and pyrex - thanks for pointing this out -amendments made.
With regard to the fragrance amount, 45g per 1000g (4.5%) - I have amended the tutorial to suggest that they insert 30g (3%) into soapcalc (which is the lowest % you suggested) and they should alter that % based on the recommended usage and also state that the FOs should be cosmetic grade skin safe.
Thanks for pointing out rules 16 and 17 in the message board rules that any links/references association/affiliation must be stated. I am only affiliated with the two links at the very bottom of the tutorial where I had stated "do join our facebook group" and "for our soap course...". Because I had used the word "our" that should be sufficient for the reader to be aware that the forum and course is run by me but if you would like me to make this clearer, I'm happy to do so.
All the other links/references (of which, yes there do seem to be quite a few), I can confirm that I have absolutely no interest in or affiliation with.
Thanks again for your comments - it's great to have feedback, share experiences and opinions.
Thanks for explaining about the links. It's highly doubtful the FTC would even notice one post among many but it's better to be overly cautious than risk being shut down. I wouldn't know what to do with my evenings.
About the fragrance, could you tell people how to calculate grams to use for each percentage? I don't want people to use too little fragrance and be disappointed if it's faint or fades. I'd suggest mentioning that people should always check recommended maximum usage for FOs.
I don't mean to come across as pushy and suggesting more work for you but have you considered writing an article about fragrance oils? How to choose a good quality oil, types of scents (floral, woodsy, Oriental*), some FOs can cause discoloration, expand more on using florals/spicy (can be used but trickier because of acceleration), how to calculate recommended percentage for batch size, importance of weighing FOs, etc. I know you've already put a lot of time into the CP/HP tutorial which is a huge topic. BTW, you did a good job of condensing it. But there is a lot of trial and error with using FOs and your readers might find a separate article helpful.
I'm really sorry if I come across as being super critical because I don't want to offend you. I personally find writing extremely difficult and I'm impressed with people who can do it. I'm just suggesting a fragrance article and not saying you should do it. I know it would be a lot more work to research and write it.
Hazel - I completely understand about the links - didn't realise about the FTC.
It's great to have feedback and suggestions (I'm not offended at all).
Thanks for suggesting inserting how to calculate grams - I have amended the tutorial regarding the FOs and under the soapcalc part inserted how to calculate % in grams. Also reiterated checking recommended max usage.
I've been more than a bit behind writing articles for my blog. I've been meaning to write posts on
- preservatives (although I bang on about the need for this in my lotion tutorial, I really need to write a separate post - so many people think vit e is a preservative or that lotion does not need a preservative which really, really concerns me)
- actives - retinol, vit C etc
- other topics like why do we have to heat and hold for 20 mins
- expand on the HLB article and emulsifiers inc Ecocert ones
Thanks for the suggestion about writing an article on FOs and for the links. Yes I think it would be useful to have an article on that subject so will add that to my list.
Thanks again and any other suggestions do send my way.
I wouldn't expect you to know about FTC because I think they just monitor American sites. I also wouldn't expect them to stumble across this forum but it's better to be cautious. I know I worry too much about stuff like this when there is a miniscule chance of incurring their displeasure. I remember years ago the FTC slamming one of my favorite radio programs. To be fair, I'd often wondered how the DJs got away with some of the things they said on air. Then suddenly, they didn't get away with it. They didn't get shut down but they did have to pay a hefty fine. So, I try to watch for possible issues but then again; I've always been a little paranoid about Big Brother.
That's a lot of work to write all those articles. I felt tired just reading your list.