Win a copy of 5 Acres & a Dream this week in the Homestead forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Mike Haasl
  • James Freyr
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Kate Downham
  • Jay Angler
  • thomas rubino

Making shampoo bars

 
gardener
Posts: 949
280
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've begun my forays into soap making, recently, and my first ever batch was with fresh goats milk, from a friend, and tallow that I rendered, myself. I kept it unscented, because my skin is horribly sensitive - and, it turned out great! It's doing what I want it to, for both my face, and general bathing. I couldn't be happier, with a first foray into much of anything. Now, I'm working on making shampoo bars. We travel some, and even just for a night or two, taking liquid stuff is a pain, so I've been buying my shampoo bars, but they're expensive, especially when adding in the shipping.

The ph needed for shampoo and that needed for soap are not the same, because our skin is alive, and our hair is dead. So, I'm trying to find ways to balance the ph of my soap bars, to be better, for shampoo. Does anyone have any recipes for a lower ph shampoo bar?
 
Posts: 229
Location: North Coast Dominican Republic
17
forest garden trees tiny house
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well, I just Googled "pH in soap making," and among the items that came up was this lengthy discussion on a forum called Chemists Corner:

How Can I Lower the pH in Cold Processed Soap

It doesn't look too optimistic, I'm afraid. The consensus is that it can't be done, at least not without using synthetics. It is also (sadly) causing me to rethink my decision to use Dr. Bronner's on my hair as well as my body. On the other hand, I do see several shampoo-related posts here on Permies:

Shampoo-related Permies Discussions
 
master steward
Posts: 3382
Location: West Tennessee
1170
cat purity trees books chicken food preservation cooking building homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I gotta ask, are two different things really needed for washing up? I quit using shampoo a few years ago after reading some forums here on Permies, and I was asking myself, why is shampoo necessary and had I just been persuaded or even convinced or dare I say brainwashed by marketing that it is necessary, so I stopped using it. Instead, I just wash my hair with the bar soap I was using, which I can't recall the name of but it's green, has scratchy bits in it and it has the words vetiver and hemp on the box it comes in. It seems to work just as well as any shampoo I've ever used and I can't tell any difference. My wife quit using liquid shampoos, but uses a shampoo bar. It looks like a bar of soap to me. I'm very much a pretty simple guy, and don't care about fragrances and products, I just don't want to be gross after a day of working outdoors, so I shower everyday. I do want to make soap, one day, but I just haven't gotten there yet in my steps towards a more ecological lifestyle and adopting better ways.
 
gardener & author
Posts: 1029
Location: Tasmania
505
homeschooling goat forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation pig wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd love to see your tallow soap recipe.

I'm interested in soapmaking but I'm a bit scared of having lye/dangerous stuff in the house with children around, and every time I look into it I get confused because the recipes are calling for lots of ingredients when I'd prefer to just use the simplest possible mixture of local fats.

I used to use shampoo bars, but switched to using the normal natural soap we get in bulk and it seems to be behaving the same way.
 
Carla Burke
gardener
Posts: 949
280
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

James Freyr wrote:I gotta ask, are two different things really needed for washing up? I quit using shampoo a few years ago after reading some forums here on Permies, and I was asking myself, why is shampoo necessary and had I just been persuaded or even convinced or dare I say brainwashed by marketing that it is necessary, so I stopped using it. Instead, I just wash my hair with the bar soap I was using, which I can't recall the name of but it's green, has scratchy bits in it and it has the words vetiver and hemp on the box it comes in. It seems to work just as well as any shampoo I've ever used and I can't tell any difference. My wife quit using liquid shampoos, but uses a shampoo bar. It looks like a bar of soap to me. I'm very much a pretty simple guy, and don't care about fragrances and products, I just don't want to be gross after a day of working outdoors, so I shower everyday. I do want to make soap, one day, but I just haven't gotten there yet in my steps towards a more ecological lifestyle and adopting better ways.



Much depends on your hair and skin types. I can't use the same - so far - because what nourishes my skin causes my hair to be weighed - down, stiff, and stringy. What works (the way I like it) on my hair leaves my skin raw and broken out. Simply adjusting it all with vinegar leaves hubs (vinegar smells, are really not even remotely romantic to me, either) and me both repulsed, or baking soda dries me out, completely. There really is a balancing act I'm striving to master.
 
Carla Burke
gardener
Posts: 949
280
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jason Hernandez wrote:Well, I just Googled "pH in soap making," and among the items that came up was this lengthy discussion on a forum called Chemists Corner:

How Can I Lower the pH in Cold Processed Soap

It doesn't look too optimistic, I'm afraid. The consensus is that it can't be done, at least not without using synthetics. It is also (sadly) causing me to rethink my decision to use Dr. Bronner's on my hair as well as my body. On the other hand, I do see several shampoo-related posts here on Permies:

Shampoo-related Permies Discussions



Since I don't limit myself to cold processing, and refuse to use synthetics of any kind, in my soap, my boundaries are slightly more open, than the op, in that thread. If I really can't find a way to lower the ph in my shampoo bars, then I'll adjust by adapting my conditioner bars. But, I won't give up before I've exhausted every possible option - which is why I brought my question here, to permies.
 
Carla Burke
gardener
Posts: 949
280
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kate Downham wrote:I'd love to see your tallow soap recipe.

I'm interested in soapmaking but I'm a bit scared of having lye/dangerous stuff in the house with children around, and every time I look into it I get confused because the recipes are calling for lots of ingredients when I'd prefer to just use the simplest possible mixture of local fats.

I used to use shampoo bars, but switched to using the normal natural soap we get in bulk and it seems to be behaving the same way.



My recipe isn't pure tallow - but it is mostly. And, I went to look for it, and came very close to getting sick - I can't find that slip of paper, anywhere! I'm not sure I've ever been so happy to have saved my notes to my tablet, as I am, at this moment! I did do this batch as a cold process, so it's a little easier, but it had to cure for at least 4weeks, before using it. I created the recipe, based on the properties I was looking for, for my facial soap, then ran the recipe through Brambleberry's lye calculator, to find the amount of lye I'd need to saponify my fats. I'm using a purchased organic lye, right now, and eventually (read that:'when I get more comfortable with it, and run out of this stuff'), I plan to start making my own lye, from the hardwood ash we burn, to heat the house. Jftr, most people aren't quite nuts enough to create their own soap recipe from scratch, for their very first batch, and it was nerve wracking. I'd highly recommend not trying to recreate the wheel - but, it did work, for me. This time, lol. This is just the recipe, not the process, because I didn't write any of that down.

Safety tips: Every site & book I've read had said to wear safety glasses, rubber gloves, an apron, etc... I didn't. I forgot. If you splash the lye, it's hot, and it will burn, and if it stays on your skin, un-neutralized, you'll possibly/probably get chemical burns. Not protecting myself was careless, but, spilling would have been unpleasant, and burns hurt - but, it wasn't going to kill me, and I wasn't worried. But, I also don't currently have little people or critters underfoot. If I did, I would wait until I could get them out of the house, so they and I would be safe from collisions and distractions. YMMV.

1 - Always carefully (so as not to splash, at all) pour the lye into the water, not the water into the lye. (I also held my breath, to make sure not to accidentally inhale any, lol) 2 - Ensure the lye and fats are close in temperature, before combining them. 3 - Always carefully  (so as not to splash, at all) pour the lye-water into the fats, not the fats into the oil, and stir, stir, stir.  4- Clean-up should start with vinegar, to neutralize any stray lye-water drops. I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff, so make sure to review the steps, in a more detailed how-to.

Carla's Goatmilk & Honey CP soap bars:
The Bramble Berry Lye Calculator assumes a 97% purity for Sodium Hydroxide (solid bar soapmaking). These are purity levels commonly available for sale to consumers.

7% Superfatting Level

LYE & LIQUID
Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)101.49 g
liquid (50g water & 176.95g frozen goat milk, for a liquid total of 226.95 g)
Total - 328.44 g

OIL & FATSAMOUNT:
Beef Tallow198.00 g (24.06%)
Olive Oil - Pure - 398.00 g (48.36%)
Shea Butter - 57.00 g (6.93%)
Sweet Almond Oil - 113.00 g (13.73%)
Jojoba Oil 57.00 g (6.93%)
Total - 823.00 g (100.00 %)

TOTALS AMOUNT Lye & Liquid 328.44 g; Oils & Fats 823.00 g; TOTAL BATCH YIELD 1151.44 g

Add ins: 1T honey
 
master steward
Posts: 2795
Location: USDA Zone 8a
755
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't have goats though I live where there are lots of them being raised.  I have started making my own soap and shampoo using this recipe because it is easy and I found a local organic goat milk soap base:


   1 pound goat milk soap base or 1 pound soap base + 1 tablespoon powdered goat milk
   1 teaspoon organic unrefined coconut oil
   1/2 teaspoon olive oil
   1/4 teaspoon almond oil
   1/4 teaspoon avocado oil
   25 drops frankincense essential oil
   25 drops lavender essential oil
   soap mold

Directions:

   Cut soap base into 1-inch chunks using a clean, sharp knife and a clean cutting board.
   Using a double-boiler, slowly melt the pieces of soap base. Meanwhile, lightly grease soap mold with coconut oil.
   Once the soap base is fully melted, add the coconut, olive, almond and avocado oils and stir well.
   Remove from heat and add the essential oils. Also, add goat milk powder at this point if not using goat milk soap base.
   Pour into soap mold.
   Allow it to cool and set for 24 hours.
   Take soaps out of the mold and cut into smaller pieces if desired.


https://draxe.com/beauty/goat-milk-soap/

 
pollinator
Posts: 157
25
dog trees books bee medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been making soap and shampoo bars (among many other natural skin care items) to sell for about 4 years now, and have done a lot of research regarding shampoo bars and trying to lower the pH. It really isn't possible. High pH is one of the things that make a lye-based soap or shampoo bar what it is. Many people use a vinegar rinse to offset the high alkalinity of the shampoo bar. It may be a good idea;  people are finding that they are losing a lot of hair after a few months of using a lye-based shampoo bar. I am one of them and now only use a lye based shampoo bar about 1X/month just to keep my hair wavy and fuller which the syndet (synthetic detergent) shampoo bars take away after a while. It's a bit of a balancing act for me and my hair type.
 
Whatever. Here's a tiny ad:
Permaculture Technology Jamboree: June 29th-July 10th, 2020, Wheaton Labs
https://permies.com/wiki/permaculture-tech-2020
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!