Anyone have a quick/easy soap recipe?? Inexpensive would be nice, too!

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by cjeanean, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    I would like to try my hand at making soap for christmas presents, but have no clue where/how to start. Can anyone give me a recipe and instructions??? Thanks!!!
  2. Acre of Blessings

    Acre of Blessings Canning/Sewing Addict

    Apr 3, 2008
    Axton, VA
    Don't have a recipe or instructions but I can tell you to look in the thrift stores or Freecycle because I found this for $1.00 today. I was so excited to find because this morning I was looking online to purchase a kit.



    You can't see the price but it was $1.00 for the kit


    Hope you can find one as I did. I am going to try and get the girls interested in the soap making for Christmas gifts.
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    There are several sites online where you can order bulk melt and pour soaps that are extremely easy to make. They usually have soap molds on the same site, with a wide range of designs. If that is more than you wanted to invest, you can find the soap making kits like the one in the above post at Craft 2000 or Michaels. The bulk is cheaper if you want to continue to make soap as gifts or will be making a large quantity. I think after you have made some you will probably want to make more! [​IMG]
  4. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    I was hoping to steer clear of 'mix-n-pour' type kits and make something from scratch LOL. I don't know if I'm trying to bite off more than I can chew, but it's something I'd really like to learn, along with making real animal tallow candles. The question is, where do I start? I know there are a lot of soap makers on here, and rather than keep doing the random internet searches I'd like some info from someone who has experience, so I figured I'd bother everyone here! Thanks!!!
  5. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    There are several boards like this one dedicated to soaping, and TONS of good people on them. This is a good one: I like soapmaking groups and forums, because people are nice and helpful, despite the fact that they may be in competition for customers. They get together and have swaps, and you can learn to improve your creations by comparing them to what other people are making. There is truly room for everyone.

    If you're going to be making from-scratch cold process soaps in time to be able to give some for Christmas gifts, you probably need to get crackin'! [​IMG] You're gonna want to practice on a few batches before you give any away, obviously, and then the ones that are intended as gifts, you're going to want to cure for several weeks before they're ready to you'll need time to gather supplies.

    I absolutely love Susan Miller-Cavitch's books, with one caveat--she advocates mixing your soap in a blender, which I think is insane. :eek: Best way in the world to do your blending is in a plastic pitcher or pail (depending on the size of the batch), with an inexpensive (I think mine was $9) hand-held stick blender.

    Basically, what you need are sodium hydroxide (lye), distilled water (or goat's milk or other liquid, but I'd DEFINITELY start out with water), and fat/oil. What kind of fat or oil just depends on personal taste, and what kind of end-product you want to wind up with. Miller-Cavitch's original book has a lot of info about the properties of the various oils. You can also use animal fat or tallow. Probably the most failsafe soap (slow-tracing, doesn't overheat, is nearly pure white so takes additives and colorants well) is a Castile, made from all or mostly olive oil. You have to take a little extra care to be sure it heats up to gel phase, and it takes longer to cure, but once it does, it's a beautiful, creamy, low-lathering, hard bar. I love the stuff. Most of my recipes use at least coconut, palm, and olive oils, and shea and cocoa butters, and most use many more in addition. I like playing around with "luxury" oils like avocado, sweet almond, evening primrose, etc. Jojoba is a neat additive,'s sold like an oil, but it's actually more of a wax, I think.

    Some additives cause a chemical reaction that "superheats" the soap, so you have to take care to know what those are and adjust your process accordingly. Floral fragrance oils REALLY speed up trace, and can cause an entire batch to "seize," making it impossible to work with. You have to be ready to move fast. The more solid oils you use, the hotter your soap will get, so take that into account when wrapping the molds or using other heating additives like milk, honey, etc.

    Anyway, I could talk about this all day, but your best bet is to jump into one of the soaping boards, lurk for a couple days, then start asking questions! Good luck. Soaping is fun.

    I will say, if you're going to involve children, take EVERY precaution. As in, gloves, full-cover smocks, and GOGGLES. I would exclude the kids from the first two stages of the process, involving straight lye and lye/water solution, and use EXTREME care with the raw soap getting into the mold. All it takes is one spill or splatter, and you've got a bad injury.


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