I follow the circuit for craft shows just to get my fix of 'homemade soaps' only to find ot she is a friend of my DIL! She has over 30 scents, omg they are to die for...
This week she confirmed that March 10th she will come and teach..no more than 8 participants..each of us gt to mahe a laf, they will then be cut and those of us who want to trade for variety of scents can..should be a lot of fun!
So, how did it go?? still making soap? This is a dated thread but i'm curious.
I am going to make my first try at soap next week. I am on a tight budget so getting a lot of essential oils is not possible. A soap swap might be fun and a good way to learn new things. Whenever the subject of homemade soap comes up in conversations, so many say " I want to try that" so maybe a group session would give them the opportunity to try without the commitment of several pounds of soap and all the materials you have to buy to make it.
Yay! thanks for checking in. I am planning to try lavender and rosemary mint. I grow all three in my garden and will add some little herb bits into the soap as well as the scented oils. I am not sure if I will color the bars, since they are just for me and friends. I volunteer for a spay/neuter organization and am hoping to make some small bars for giveaways at our information tables during events. Any hints for a first timer?
My advice for a first timer is to use a simple proven recipe. There are lots of recipes on the net but the amounts of lye vary greatly. Remember that the soaps are not ready to use for several weeks, they need to cure to complete the chemical process that breaks down the lye and the fats into safe compounds. The first recipe I tried used a stand mixer to get the soap to trace. I now use a stick blender to get to trace. I like that much better.
I am not an expert by any means, I make goat milk soap and normally just make it nonscented and no additives for those who like a neutral soap. I didn't get to take a class so I dove in with just a recipe and it turned out well first time. You will enjoy the soap, and the experience of making it.
Thanks. I have a book (The Complete Soapmaker by Norma Coney) that is very thorough and have read many recipes and techniques on lots of sites but I am gonna stick with the book. It seems practical and not fussy. This week I am getting all my materials (mostly from the second hand store, so not expensive) and ordering the scents. I cant decide if I should get a Beginners kit from an online company, or if I should just get grocerystore lard and olive oil as well as Lye from Lowes ( the ONLY place that I can buy off the shelf. Due to misuse concerns, lye has become very hard to buy as I am sure you know.). Anyhoo, I guess I am going to take a dive into it.
I get my lard and oils from the store. Lard is an excellent fat for soap, inexpensive, no smell, and helps make a good bar of soap. Go with a cheaper olive oil, you don't need extra virgin. Another fat I like is coconut oil. You can substitute it for some of the other oil. It makes my bars creamier. Remember that any fat can be used or substituted as long as the weights are the same. We have a local grocery store that still has lye and I now have several bottles stockpiled.
Anything can be used for a mold, I like silicon because I can peel it away. I used my old Pyrex containers before, a loaf pan, you name it. I line those pans to make getting them out easier.
Thanks RouxCrew. I have a question, can I change a recipe that calls for shortening, olive and cocoanut oils by using lard, olive and cocoanut? also, have you experimented with cheaper oils like corn or soy?
I am a big cheapskate :- ), so I will be using some plastic containers and maybe little glass bowls for molds. Maybe later I will get a couple of fancy molds. I am lucky because my husband does carpentry/painting etc. and I can get him to make me some nice little boxes out of scrap to mold and cut bars.
Scarletbean, any fats can be used. I personally haven't used shortening, I use lard. It is inexpensive and IMO more natural than the hydrogenated oils that make up shortening. That being said, from what I have read, those who use it like the soap. I have also heard that without some essential oils it will smell like pie crust, lol.
Coconut, olive, Shea, etc. all help make a more moisturizing bar.
Here is the website for a lye calculator based on fats. In the left corner is a link for beginners. As I understand it, if you change an oil or fat, you might have to increase or decrease the lye. A generic olive oil isn't that expensive. You don't need virgin or extra virgin.
Wow! Please, teach me how to make soap. I love to make soap of my own. I like to make lavender scented-soap and other herbs soap. Give me the list of ingredients so I can buy and prepare for our soap making day. Thanks!
Cherry, I justgot the majority of my ingredients. Still need a couple things. I have never done this before, so I am coming to this with no experience of cold process soapmaking.
How do you make your lavender soap? I have some lavender from my garden and would love to scent my soap but have heard it gets destroyed in the heat from the lye. Very few essential or fragrance oils have a true lavender scent.