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Zany_in_CO

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I am going to have to respectfully disagree on using books to learn soapmaking. Many libraries' soapmaking book list is both extremely small and extremely old. We've learned so much more now than is reflected in some of those books.
Duly noted and you make a good case. I agree in part... there are problems with some of the recipes and old school techniques. However, much of the content is still valuable today and worth the price if you can find them.
Here are my recommendations for good reads that are on my reference shelf:

Best Books & Reference Materials for CP Soap

Susan Miller Cavitch's recipes have 10% SF and GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract) for its antioxidant benefit. Both of those are no longer recommended. GSE is not only hard to find but expensive as well and has been proven to be ineffective for preventing rancidity. However, the bulk of the content is solid and well worth adding to a soaper's reference library.

Soap Naturally by Patricia Garzena and Marina Tadiello is the best all around reference for soap making to date and covers other bath & body products as well.

Making Soap and Scents by Catherine Bardey was the first book I bought when I found it in the bargain bin at Barnes & Noble. It's a small book. Has few soap recipes, but the rest of the info is well organized and relevant today. I used her recipe and technique to successfully make transparent soap -- one of the first soaps I ever made. Luv it!

Making Liquid Soaps by Catherine Failor has a wealth of science-based information on the subject although her technique is passé and the content is confusing and poorly organized. I still refer to it for troubleshooting batches that have gone awry.

Handcrafted Soap by Delores Boone - Although the recipes are wonky due to proof reading errors, the beautiful pictures are outstanding for displaying the equipment we use, how to use it and lovely soaps to inspire you. The charts and glossary are a quick and easy reference to calculating lye & water by hand; the properties of various oils, fats & butters; and an extensive list of essential oils -- featuring "Characteristics", "Perfume Notes" and "Blends Well With".

The best thing about books is, to my mind at least, if you're off-grid or do not have access to the internet for any reason, you can still learn to make soap -- all by yourself -- and enjoy it the fruits of your labors.
:nodding:
 

Professor Bernardo

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But either way, reading through any of them will give you a better idea then watching some schmucky 'soapmaker' on YT that doesn't know what she's doing.

btw..... soap is a wash off product......it's not there to moisturize. If you can't understand that statement then you have a lot more studying to do
@Lin19687 I couldn't have said it better. IF this beginner who started this thread watches anyone on YT at all, it should be Uncle John; he's pragmatic, down to earth, tongue in cheek. I truly know what you mean by the "schmucky 'soapmaker'" though.

Your comment about soap's function is spot on! KUDOS to you! Reminds me of people who put activated charcoal in soap expecting it to detoxify the skin but since the contact is so short it just marketing hype on the makers part and gullibility on the end user's part.

My rule in making soap is the classic acronym (since this forum LOVES to use acronyms) K.I.S.S. = Keeping It Simply Soap
No frou frou, no imitation cupcake soap, no imitation meat loaf soap, no soap with sparkles, etc., and so on, so forth.

Simple ingredients skillfully blended, simple fragrances, simple kaolin clay, simple titanium dioxide. Simply aged and then SIMPLY SOLD! Whoop! :thumbup:
 
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Jennfromoz

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I really appreciate the great advice I'm getting. Thanks everyone.
I've come to the conclusion that my soap seized because 1. The lye and/or oils were too hot when I mixed them together and 2. I used the stick blender too much.
I'm sure it's not the fragrance or colours because it seized before I added them.
I've been advised to start making soap without colour or fragrance, but, ummmm, I don't think I'm capable of that. I LOVE pretty colours and beautiful smells, and I'm busting to be creative. I want to add art to my science straight away. If you knew me you would understand lolol.
Thanks again everyone. I have started another thread with the results, and they're not too bad.
 

lenarenee

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yeah, I call BS on that.
a quick Google of news stories where multiple persons licking a young soap required medical attention was never found.

you would have to put raw lye on your tongue and leave it there for a while... Fight Club style... for "medical attention" to be needed. 😂🤣

Sounds like a gross exaggeration to me...
That's hardly something that's newsworthy enough to warrant state or local new coverage....something that would show up on Google search. The 2 alarm fire that broke out last month 1/4 mile from my house doesn't show up on Google either, despite the exploding alcohol bottles.

Have you seen a lye heavy soap? They can have pockets of completely unsaponified lye, even lye crystals. The skin on a tongue is very delicate and lye rips right through it. FB is full of people who tell others to do the zap test by touching tongue to the bar, or even to lick the soap and newbies fall for it and report back on their ER trips and wonder what the heck happened.

Then there's the tales from my professional soap making friends who have brick and mortar stores and give soap making lessons on a regular basis. Yes, people really do stick their tongue on a bar of soap with lye pockets. Funny thing is - they put gloves on first.
 

Rsapienza

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Youtube promotes the highest viewing most successful videos first so if you are viewing the dregs of soapmakers I don't know what to tell you. I watch Youtube soapers every single day and admire them so much and aspire to be like them. Yes there are bad soapers on Youtube I'm not denying that but I don't agree with you that they make up a majority of the videos.

List of soapmakers on Youtube I personally subscribe too:

A Misty Dimness Soap
Cathy Sagun D'Clumsy Soaper
Dean Wilson
EdensSecret1
Royalty Soaps
Ellen Ruth Soap
Elly's Everyday Soap Making
Etsuko Watanabe
EvesGardenSoaps
From Grace to you
Handmade in Florida
Heart's Content Farmhouse
Holly's Soapmaking Kapia Mera
I Dream in Soap
Ladybug Lane Soaps
Luna Fae Creations
Missouri River Soap
Moonlit Soapworks
Offender Soap
Oh My Cattle Soap Yvonne
Ophelia's Soapery
Royal Apple Berry
Soaping 101
Sunshine Soap and Candle Company
Tellervo
Tiggy Makes Soap
Tree Marie Soapworks
Vibrant Soap
Yellow Cottage Soapery

Now these channels are for businesses mainly so it isn't their job to educate you on every aspect of soaping, that's up to you to educate yourself.

I take issue with implying the majority of Youtube Soap makers are not helpful or educational enough or bad.

That simple isn't true in my experience.

@Zany_in_CO I appreciate the clarity. It may not be how you meant it to come across it was how I perceived it.
Without calling out a specific soaper, there are a few on your list that I have seen give out bad information. Some are wonderful, but I have to say I agree with Zany that for every good one, there are 3 bad. Some of these soapers even offer e-books and such providing false info. Most of the soapers on your list give more advice on technique, IMO….and that’s great. They are skilled in their craft.

As far as it not being their job to educate….technically, you are correct; however many viewers look up these types of videos to be instructed and think if these people are making videos and are “YouTube famous”, they must know what they’re talking about and be professionals. Sort of like famous young people being looked at as role models to our youth, even though they do not want to be anyone’s role model, they are still seen that way.

Ok, so I made my first batch.
It seems to be a constant with me making soap, it's always thick and slodgy and never ever pours.
This is a little confusing to me. You say you made your first batch, but then state that this behavior is a constant with you. Is this your first soap or no?
 

Tara_H

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This is a little confusing to me. You say you made your first batch, but then state that this behavior is a constant with you. Is this your first soap or no?
I believe the previous 'soapmaking' was grating up hotel soap bars and adding water.
 

Lin19687

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I've been advised to start making soap without colour or fragrance, but, ummmm, I don't think I'm capable of that. I LOVE pretty colours and beautiful smells, and I'm busting to be creative. I want to add art to my science straight away. If you knew me you would understand lolol.
If this is your mind set then you are not going to make 'good soap' which should be your Main Goal. You are cutting corners and we have seen many come/go that do this. Just like the ones that have made soap for 3 months and then want to sell it :rolleyes:. It makes us all look bad because they sell crappy soap so people never want to buy any soap.

Again, get a simple recipe, perfect your making and then go from there. Or just stick to Melt/Pour, then you can add your FO/color all you want............ but again you need to know how much and use the correct fo/color......... Again, this goes back to LEARNING.
K I'm done, I'll go back to not coming into the beginners forum because I can't stand it when people TALK but don't want to HEAR
 

Zany_in_CO

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Just like the ones that have made soap for 3 months and then want to sell it :rolleyes:.
I agree but have to mention an exception. I know one SMF member who was a total newbie when she joined SMF in 2018. She made 60 batches in 4 months, learning and tweaking along the way. At the end of the 4 months she was more than ready to sell.

Over the years, I've seen very few soapers dedicate themselves in that manner but when they do, they are indeed ready to sell at that 4 month mark.

Not to be mean, but just make an observation, I agree -- @Jennfromoz is not likely to be one of those people. But then, ya nevah know. Time will tell. :)
 

Lin19687

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I agree but have to mention an exception. I know one SMF member who was a total newbie when she joined SMF in 2018. She made 60 batches in 4 months, learning and tweaking along the way. At the end of the 4 months she was more than ready to sell.
I disagree.... they have no idea how their soap will act after that 4 months... actually if they tweaked it from being new then I would have to speculate that their final soap recipe would only be 1 month old at that 4 month mark. So that would be 3 months learning, still good START but.. How could they possibly know how it would be in 4m, 6, 1 yr from it being made ? So to 'Learn in 4 months' yes, to SELL in 4 months Absolutely not !
So while I applaud that persons dedication to learning, there is still a year in wait to see how that 'final' recipe will work... not to mention the FO/color they use and how it will hold up. Making soap for personal use fine. But if you are going to sell it you darn well better know how that Scent will last, color morph, DOS, skin testing..... I don't need to go on with that. Even now I test EVERY BATCH with the end cuts before it is sold. WHY ?? Because I'm responsible, professional, honest and the last thing I ever want to do is have someone have an issue from a FO, colorant etc.
Have I ever sold a soap that I thought would be ok for most but not for someone with sensitve skin like mine...... Nope and I have a 2'x2'x2'tall box of full batches and end cuts to prove it.
 

Zany_in_CO

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So to 'Learn in 4 months' yes, to SELL in 4 months Absolutely not !
Did I mention they had excellent teachers/mentors? Makes all the difference in the world. :thumbs: Of course, I wasn't talking about every Newbie that comes down the pike. Very few "get it" from the get go. But those that do, they are up and running at that 4th month mark.

Case in point -- me. 😁 Every year, for the first 4 years of making soap, I sold my surplus soaps at my annual garage sale. Since I used the soaps I made on myself, my family, my fellow Colorado soapers, & friends, etc., I had no qualms about whether they would be good for others. I made enough money ($350 - $500) to pay for supplies for the next year. I'm not bragging; I'm just saying, it's possible. And thus began the vicious cycle. LOL But that's just me. Not everyone can be that fortunate.
 

Arimara

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I really appreciate the great advice I'm getting. Thanks everyone.
I've come to the conclusion that my soap seized because 1. The lye and/or oils were too hot when I mixed them together and 2. I used the stick blender too much.
I'm sure it's not the fragrance or colours because it seized before I added them.
I've been advised to start making soap without colour or fragrance, but, ummmm, I don't think I'm capable of that. I LOVE pretty colours and beautiful smells, and I'm busting to be creative. I want to add art to my science straight away. If you knew me you would understand lolol.
Thanks again everyone. I have started another thread with the results, and they're not too bad.
Where did you get your colors and fragrances? was it an online supplier or a craft store/amazon?
 

Jennfromoz

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Ok, I get it. I know I have alot to learn and don't intend to start selling for at least 6 months to a year. In the meantime I'll be testing the soap myself and giving it away as gifts. I am about to make a small batch with the same recipe I used with no fragrance or colours, and use it as facial soap. Apparently soap made with Lard is very good for the skin. I'll also correct my previous errors and wait for the lye to cool down more and not pulse as much.
I will continue to ask questions here. I have gotten alot of valuable advice.
Time will only tell if I end up making excellent soap or not. No one knows the future, but I know if I am determined to do something well and stick to it, I am likely to achieve my goals.
 

MrsZ

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No one knows the future, but I know if I am determined to do something well and stick to it, I am likely to achieve my goals.
This is so true. You've already put your mind to it, and are willing to ask questions and learn. Keep learning and trying, (and fight the desire to try too much at once, we've all been there) and I bet your next soap will be great. 👍
 

Professor Bernardo

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"I'll also correct my previous errors and wait for the lye to cool down more and not pulse as much."

Once your oils are melted, let them cool to about 110° F and the same for your lye solution. Slowly pour the lye solution into the oils and stir with a whisk or French whip. THEN move on to using the stick blender. Blend for 20 seconds or so, then stir with the blender, blend again and so on.
Once the mixture reaches the consistency of a medium thick gravy or so, then pour into the mold. Set aside, cover in towels or old blanket to insulate. Check it in an hour or so, watch it, the mixture will be quite warm or even hot! Next day... soap! Cut and let air dry / cure for a minimum of 4 weeks.
 

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