Soapmaker's advice needed

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by savingdogs, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    So I want to attempt cold process soap making this weekend.

    I am working on an extreme budget so I was improvising with molds and I'm using an idea I found to use Pringle's cans as a mold and will cut them into rounds.

    I have a recipe with inexpensive ingredients with Crisco being the basic oil. You guys have probably all seen the recipe as it is all over the internet, I keep finding the same one for Crisco.

    I was going to shop the Goodwill for a few of the kitchen items that I do not have such as a big pot I can dedicate to soapmaking.

    I plan on using my big open woodshed as my workspace and set up a sawhorse table.

    Any thoughts about using this as a first project using those molds? Other ideas for easy and cheap first time soap making recipes or molds?

    I've also read to use an improvised wood mold with trash bag liners?

    Any good ideas would be useful.....I have read quite a bit regarding the safety issues. What kind of safety gear you have that works best would be helpful to know before I go "shop" for this stuff at the used stores, too.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Morgaine

    Morgaine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2008
    Texas
    I have not used Pringle can before so I can't comment on those. But you can use anything. If you have a drawer organizer or a sturdy cardboard box, those make good slab molds. I have used both parchment paper and wall mart shopping bags. The paper give a smoother texture I think, but is harder to line with. You can also use half and half containers and such.

    I would look for an enamal stock pot that has no chips in it if you plan to get it used. The reason is if you get a metal one you can't be sure that it is stainles steel. You don't have to have stick blender, but it really helps. You can get away with not using a thermometer, I don't anymore. You should get a cheap plastic pitcher to mix your lye and make sure to mark it so that you so you don't use it later for drinks. Use Red electrical to mark all your soap making stuff. You don't want to use glass because there is a chance that the sudden heat generated by the lye will cause it bust. You also need gloves and stafty goggles. You can get those cheap at walmar.

    I do all my soap making in my kitchen. You don't have to do it outside. Just hold your breath while you mix for 30 seconds.

    You should ALWAYS run any new recipes through a lye calculator. I like to use www.soapcalc.com

    If you have anymore questions feel free to ask. There are lot of us on the soapmakers thread.

    Look at teachsoap.com or millersoap.com for recipe ideas.
     
  3. ametauss

    ametauss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 20, 2008
    Shepherdsville, KY
    Ditto what Morgaine said....

    I use half and half containers....

    I've even used old plastic jello molds, ice cube trays... If you don't want to line these type of things a heavy coating of Vasiline works well.

    Have on hand a roll of paper towels (I still can't pour w/o dripping some) and white vinegar in case you get lye on you.....

    I have a Florida room that doesn't have AC/Heat and I just open the door. A Scale is a must...

    I have an old Weight Watchers one and it does grams and oz.... and you can reset to zero after you put your container on it which makes it nice for getting the right weights....

    My only other suggestion is to start with small batches.... I didn't and had 5 pounds of the worst smelling soap and I was sooo discouraged... but thanks to the other soaper's I've stuck to it and love making soaps, lotions and I think they've inspired me to try body sprays.....
     
  4. alabama49

    alabama49 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2008
    east central Alabama
    I also want to try my hand at soaping and am wondering what is the smallest batch of soap one can make? I would like to start out with a very small amount---2-3 pounds would be good and then work up. Is it difficult to make small batches? and is there a receipe for a small batch someone could share?
     
  5. aussieheelr

    aussieheelr Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've made several 1 lb batches and it's worked well! I use the pringle cans and they make cute little round soaps. I use floss to cut it and it make a cute swirl in the soaps.
    My camera isn't the best but heres an idea...

    [​IMG]
     
  6. alabama49

    alabama49 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2008
    east central Alabama
    Thanks aussie-what receipe did you use if you don't mind sharing? I have some oils that I have had for quite some time, avacoda, seseme, & almond. I have kept them in the frig. Could I still use them?
     
  7. kassy68

    kassy68 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2009
    Vassar , Michigan
    My Coop
    Ok.. well you can buy olive oil , coconut oil and you have crisco.. that would make a pretty decent bar for ya.. I have used downspouts, pvc tubes (new idea is to make a freezer paper tube and like the pvc with it for easier removal. I have used cake pans and anything else.. HOWEVER.. cheap and easy and permanant soap mold.. I had the hubby (which you could do) build me wooden soap molds outta 1x4.. about 30" long or so.. I make 5 lbs batches when I make soap. But you would lay the botton on the table and screw or nail the 1x4 sides on, cut ends to fit outside and screw on.. and then I use a scrap piece of 1x4 to adjust the size of batch.. I have tried several things and still use garbage bags or freezer paper for the liner in these.. If you are only making a small batch though.. you'll want to set in on a towel thats folded in quarters and then cover with a couple towels.. I cover my big batches with a towel .. it helps the process and burns the lye out of the soap..

    Have fun and watch out.. its soooooooooooooooooo addicting.. made my first batch probably 12 yrs ago.. spent sooooooo much money on oils, fo's and eo's and molds.. and finally realized I don't like marketing it.. LOL so now every year I make what we need.. lol..

    [​IMG] Heres my spring soap.. Lilac , Patchouli mix and a mens Drakkar scent.. I love swirling , easy to tell what scent it is at a glance.. These bars arent pretty, they were made for our use.. not resale.. LOL
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
  8. alabama49

    alabama49 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Verry pretty Cassie68-even for home use!!! I want to try a 1 lb batch so where do I find the amount of ingredients to use for 1 lb? I think I have all the oils I need except for scents & the coconut oil & of course the lye. I'm getting kinda excited here!!!! I had the impression one couldn't make very small batches.
     
  9. ametauss

    ametauss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 20, 2008
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    www.soapcalc.com


    Use soap calc it can adjust for any size.... I love this calculator... I can take my 5 lb to a 10 lb in one okay maybe two clicks.... and it will show you the makeup of your bar for hardness, lather, etc based upon the oils that you use....

    Have Fun!!
     
  10. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    I use 13 x 9 inch cake pans as molds.
     

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