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soap making  RSS feed

 
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I have been making my own bar soap recently. I feel so much better about using it than soap from the store with all the mystery ingredients especially the liquid soaps. apparently that stuff seeps into our bodies and can wreck all kinds of havoc. Its really fascinating to see fats turn into soap too!
http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/mar2001/2001-03-22-06.asp ;
 
Posts: 66
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
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Interesting indeed, when ever I conjure up visions of soap making I see granny from the Beverly hillbillies down by the cement pond standing over a huge cast iron pot stirring with a big stick.

Would you care to share your recipe, pictures?
 
Leah Sattler
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I am still in the experimental faze as far as my favorite recipe. I have made about 15 different ones these are two of my favorite.

5% castor oil
30% cocunut oil
65% olive oil
6.08 oz milk
2.27 oz lye

This is at 5% superfat which is often considered the minimum for a soap to be used on the skin (not laundry soap) it bubbles good. It costs me 2.95 per 1lb (of oil)batch and that gets me about .59 per bar.  I have been buying my oil at the grocery store though not in bulk at this point.

my other favorite

5 % castor oil
30% coconut oil
15% corn oil
50 % vegetable shortening
6.08 oz milk
2.27 oz lye

This one I developed to have slightly more creamy lather as well as be more economical. It is also at 5% super fat.  It is less conditioning and more cleansing. I also added 1 tsp tee tree oil at trace, it could use a bit more imo but its smells nice and refreshing as is. It costs me 1.65 per batch and .33 per bar. 

you can develop you own recipe here....
http://www.soapcalc.com/calc/soapcalc18.asp

I took this pic while experimenting with packaging with idea of potentially selling some. Haven't got that far yet though.


 
Charley Hoke
Posts: 66
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
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Those look good Leah, looks simple too. What is the actual process involved in making this soap.
 
Leah Sattler
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the actual process is really simple. I use goats milk so my rendition of the process includes that. wear gloves and glasses to protect yourself when working with the lye, lye mix and raw soap.

Melt your oils till just fluid in a stainless steel bowl and set aside. don't get it hot. 110F is plenty hot.

Take your goats milk that has been previously pasteurized and frozen (I freeze it in 7 oz baggies or in ice cube trays) break it up a bit and place in a stainless steel or plastic bowl and adjust weight. Sprinkle your carefully measured lye crystals over the milk stirring constantly. The lye will melt the milk. Do this outside or in a well ventilated area. Avoid breathing the fumes. (if you want to use water you can, it doesn't need to be frozen just cool)

slowly pour your lye/milk mixture into your oils and stir with a stick blender. continue mixing with a stick blender until it "traces". (don't let your blender overheat, you may have to give it a rest occasionally) a "trace" is when the mixture leaves a visible trace on the surface when dribbled.  add any fragrance you wish at this point. My first attempt I figured i would do it the old fashioned way and stir by hand. after 45 minutes it still hadn't traced. I purchased a stick blender and all have traced within 15 minutes. There are some things that modern tools are worth...to me at least.

pour into a mold. I made a wooden mold that is 1" thick and approx. 10.5"x 7" ID. this accomodates a 1lb batch of soap (referring to the oils)

Allow to set up for about 24 hours, until it is solid enough to cut into bars and turn out of the mold. let cure for about 4 weeks (or more)

you've got soap! always run your recipe through a lye calculator to make sure that everything is in the correct proportion to each other or it can be a reall mess.

 
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