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Old 08-28-2012, 12:13 AM   #21
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I love this thread!

Totally into the idea of making soap now. Chemical reactions using basic ingredients, resulting in a highly customizable artisanal version of an everyday product -- sounds a lot like home brewing.

What's your opinion on "crock pot" soapmaking, such as described in this here link?

I'm asking mainly out of idle curiosity, as someone who has never made soap and doesn't have an opinion one way or another.

Also, do you recommend any particular forums? Is there an alternate universe of HomeSoapTalk.com somewhere? (motto: RDWTABWHS*)


* Relax, don't worry, take a bath with homemade soap

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Old 08-28-2012, 12:37 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Ha! The tallow, yes. Those deer have lots of nice chunks of fat to use.

But wood ash? Nope not me. I should do it sometime for fun, just to do it. We sure have a lot of hard wood ash in the fall from the fireplace, so I could give it a try sometime.

My friend told me she used her old brewpot (turkey fryer) for rendering the beef tallow she gave me. I think I may do the same but I can use my turkey fryer pot ontop of my gas range indoors.
If you try it, please document it and post up. I don't know what's going to happen when the mayan calendar runs out, but I'm pretty sure being able to make soap from ashes and fat will come in handy. If you teach us how, at least those of us who survive will be well stocked with alcohol and smell nice.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:01 AM   #23
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ok one question, what are the essential oils? as they seemed to be added near the end.
Essential oils distilled pure oils from plants. I use some of them for fragrance in soaps and lotions and bath salts, but they are most common for aromatherapy applications.

You don't want to use food coloring or flavoring for soaps, say, like vanilla extract. It will cause the soap to seize up and ruin it. You can't use any flavor extracts with alcohol, either, due to seizing and burning.

As far as the crockpot method, I think it would be great but I've never tried it. I don't have an appropriate crockpot with a removable liner so clean up would be bad for me.

I've been on the soapmaking.com forum, but it's not a very busy forum. I got most of my first recipes and tips from Kathy Miller's soap pages, called millersoap.com. There are some pretty good resources out there that give indepth pointers and help. There are many youtube videos, too, so you can "see" the process.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:17 AM   #24
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Just so I understand, no actual heating is required unless you need to melt additives? Lye added to cold water just creates heat chemically, correct?
Yes, that is correct. This particular technique is "cold process" soapmaking. The heat generated is strictly chemical in nature. First, the lye and water mixture will get HOT (like boiling hot), and even volcano on you and should be in a very tall pitcher. Then, it will cool. If you mix your oils and lye solution at 110 degrees (recommended until you're proficient and then you can experiment with colder or warmer temps depending on ingredients), it will heat up as it saponifies. It will reach a gel stage in the mold, and then cool off. You don't have to gel the soap, but it cures faster if you allow this process to happen.

There are other soapmaking techniques, like hot process, that uses gentle heat to make the soap using things like crockpots or even the oven but I haven't done that so I can't speak from experience with those techniques.
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:15 AM   #25
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had a friend make me sum patchouli soap and love it!! yeah, i know, dirty hippie smell but i love it.. i keep a bar in my undies drawer and makes everything smell great.. homemade bars of soap works perfect as a drawer fragrance

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Old 08-30-2012, 01:44 AM   #26
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FYI, I was having a hard time finding NaOH at local retailers. You remember those drain-cleaning lye crystals they used to sell? Yeah, they stopped doing that. Meth: ruiner of everything.

But online retailers of soapmaking supplies seem to abound. I haven't ordered from any of these, so links are purely for research/informational purposes: Sweet Cakes - Texas Natural Supply - Biodiesel Barn (ha ha, biodiesel AND soap making supplies!) - other various sources listed at About.com: Where to buy lye - and of course, Essential Depot (cleverly deduced from the label in Yooper's pics)

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Old 08-30-2012, 01:14 PM   #27
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If it is hard to cut like cheese, try using a cheese wire. I use an old piece of fishing wire for my cheese cutter that works great.

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Old 08-30-2012, 08:50 PM   #28
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FYI, I was having a hard time finding NaOH at local retailers. You remember those drain-cleaning lye crystals they used to sell?
I found some 100% lye drain cleaner at Ace hardware. They didn't have it in stock, but they were happy to order some for me. Also found it at Wilco for about $5.
http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...ductId=2845800

My hard to find item is palm oil. Went to every nonstandard grocery store in town this week and couldn't locate any. I ended up ordering some online, and I'm impatiently waiting for it to show up on my doorstep. This weekend, I may try out some castille soap, which (as I recall) is just olive oil, lye, water, coloring, and a scent.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:15 PM   #29
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Great thread Yooper !
It would be nice to have an actual forum on HBC for soapmaking.

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Old 08-30-2012, 09:22 PM   #30
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I found some 100% lye drain cleaner at Ace hardware. They didn't have it in stock, but they were happy to order some for me. Also found it at Wilco for about $5.
http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...ductId=2845800

My hard to find item is palm oil. Went to every nonstandard grocery store in town this week and couldn't locate any. I ended up ordering some online, and I'm impatiently waiting for it to show up on my doorstep. This weekend, I may try out some castille soap, which (as I recall) is just olive oil, lye, water, coloring, and a scent.
Castille is great- but it can get "slimy" in the shower (I've heard it described as "snot-like" for what it's worth!). But if you use, say 80% olive oil and 20% coconut oil, you could get a very nice bar with grocery store ingredients.
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