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Soapmaking Info, Questions, Problems, Etc.
December 12, 2012
8:18 pm
Amerayl
Stuttgart, AR
Mighty Chicken
Forum Posts: 123
Member Since:
February 15, 2011
Offline
541

Phenolphthalein

I hope that it wasn't dropped in the whole batch of soap. I have some from AAA chemicals. I hope that helps.

December 28, 2012
8:44 am
VAfarmer
Bristow, VA
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 28
Member Since:
December 30, 2010
Offline
542

Good Morning CITR Soapers!  I am interested in trying a 'shaving bar' as my next soap adventure.  I have made hp and cp, goats' milk, regular, and several varieties of 'scrubby' soaps, so I know the basics.  Just wondering if anyone has a good basic recipe for a decently hard, high-lather (with a lather that lasts) shaving soap.  I have read that you should add bentonite clay or similar to aid with 'slip' so the razor won't drag.  Anyone have any ideas?

Check out my new blog: 'Farmer Near the Big City' http://www.hocknewberryfarm.we...../apps/blog
December 30, 2012
10:00 am
tsmith
Arizona
Mighty Chicken
Forum Posts: 208
Member Since:
May 6, 2010
Offline
543

I have made a shaving soap with the bentonite clay and I love it!  

December 30, 2012
3:41 pm
lovemypets00
Banty
Forum Posts: 9
Member Since:
August 5, 2012
Offline
544

Hi, I just wanted to report my soap recipe worked!  I used the hot process method, added some Spiced Mahogany scent from Bramble Berry, and got a nice solid bar of soap with good lather and moisturizing too.  It fit in my handmade wooden soap mold perfectly.

January 4, 2013
3:33 pm
54R4H
Sand Mountain, AL
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 15
Member Since:
January 4, 2012
Offline
545

lovemypets00 said
 It fit in my handmade wooden soap mold perfectly.

What is your mold like/do you have plans or pics for it?  We need to get one (or build one) but aren't sure of the kind we want or shape.  My husband is worried that our soap will stick to the mold so the outside of the bar will be ugly.  (We sell our soap, so appearance matters).  We currently use washed out Silk soy milk containers and washed out Pringles cans… but we'd like to get (or build?) a proper mold.  Any ideas?

January 4, 2013
7:09 pm
lovemypets00
Banty
Forum Posts: 9
Member Since:
August 5, 2012
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546

My soap mold is built out of just scrap wood and the ends are held on with wing nuts.  The inside dimensions are 12 1/2" long, 4" wide, and 3 1/2" deep.  I cut a piece of styrofoam to fit inside, then I make a liner with freezer paper, like wrapping a present except just on the bottom and ends.  :)

My Dad made it for me, so I wrote his name, the date, and what it is on the bottom with "Thanks DAD!!" in big letters.

The tops of the bars are a bit bumpy looking on top, but I don't mind, and neither does my family/friends who use the soap.  They look a little like Suzanne's laundry bars.

I hope this helps!

January 10, 2013
4:40 pm
jamitysmom
Topsfield, MA
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 86
Member Since:
July 15, 2011
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547

Hi, just read the question about a soap mold.  I made mine using plans from here: http://www.chestnutfarms.com/Soap_and_supplies/info/mold_plan.html  It came out really well.  I love that it has sides that are hinged.  I use parchment paper to line it – the soap has never stuck to it and I get really smooth edges – except the top of course which I like rustic looking.  I made Suzanne's Chocolate Spa Soap for Christmas gifts.  Came out great!  I'll try to post a picture but I can never remember how to resize them! 

 

Jan

 

February 16, 2013
8:22 pm
moximom1964
Hatchling
Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
February 14, 2013
Offline
548

I just used your crockpot soap making OMG this is awesome..now i want to get everything back out and make another batch and may do so tomarrow ..i need more esential oils tho ..a friend told me the ones at the michaels in the craft section arnt as good for scent as buying at like a co-op or natural foods store what is your feelings on that.

March 2, 2013
6:18 pm
laurie hamar
Banty
Forum Posts: 9
Member Since:
May 15, 2011
Offline
549

Hi Ladies, I need help please.  Just made a batch of hot process soap using milk instead of water.  I've made this soap before and never had a problem (checked the soap calc and am using regular oils, nothing fancy).  I froze my milk until slushy before combining with the lye and as far as I know did everything right, however; after cooking in the crock for about 45 mins I notice that the oils separate.  I had the same thing happen last week.  I cooled it some and then re-blended with the stick blender.  After a few minutes everything seemed to combine and get that glossy color.  So, I tested it and it was done without having to cook any more.  Last week I thought maybe I didn't bring it to a strong enough trace so this time I made sure I had a good trace.  Any ideas what may be going on?  It is an old crockpot so maybe it's cooking too hot all of a sudden (I've been making soap for a couple of years and never had a problem with it before).  Help, please!

April 9, 2013
1:20 pm
54R4H
Sand Mountain, AL
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 15
Member Since:
January 4, 2012
Offline
550

moximom1964 said
i need more esential oils tho ..a friend told me the ones at the michaels in the craft section arnt as good for scent as buying at like a co-op or natural foods store what is your feelings on that.

I would have to say that I agree.  Make sure they are 100% pure essential oil.

laurie hamar said
Any ideas what may be going on?  It is an old crockpot so maybe it's cooking too hot all of a sudden (I've been making soap for a couple of years and never had a problem with it before).  Help, please!

I have never make soap using milk, so I don't know for sure, but I have been reading a lot about it and watching youtube videos because I would like to do this some day.  I would say perhaps your crockpot is cooking too hot and even if your milk is slushy when you add the lye, to keep the mixture cooled you could always mix it in a container that is sitting in an ice water bath.  Hope this helps!

 

I have some questions of my own, too.  I had been doing hot process exclusively (and got an AWESOME recipe suggestion from Nana Sandi!), but I am wanting to try cold process because you can get a little more decorative with it.  Does anyone use any cool ways to decorate their soap (HP or CP?), I'd prefer not to use any dyes.  Most recently I made a Cinnamon Oatmeal bar (CP) and pressed oatmeal in it and it has a cinnamon swirl.  I am just so addicted to soaping, I want to hear anyone's suggestions or things they like that work for them!

 

April 9, 2013
4:52 pm
Amerayl
Stuttgart, AR
Mighty Chicken
Forum Posts: 123
Member Since:
February 15, 2011
Offline
551

54R4H said 
 

I have some questions of my own, too.  I had been doing hot process exclusively (and got an AWESOME recipe suggestion from Nana Sandi!), but I am wanting to try cold process because you can get a little more decorative with it.  Does anyone use any cool ways to decorate their soap (HP or CP?), I'd prefer not to use any dyes.  Most recently I made a Cinnamon Oatmeal bar (CP) and pressed oatmeal in it and it has a cinnamon swirl.  I am just so addicted to soaping, I want to hear anyone's suggestions or things they like that work for them!

 

I love both Hot Process and Cold Process. If you don't want to use dyes, oxides or micas there is still a good range of colorants you can use. I like to use clays myself. I love the soft green of the French Green Clay and pink of Rose Kaolin Clay. Browns have a good range using Cocoa Powder and Rhassoul Clay. Red from using Madder root or Moroccan Red clay. Orange from Paprika and turmeric.  Yellows from annatto seed and calendula. Purple can be had by using Alkanet root although watching some videos on YouTube, it seems it turns blue in hot process. I plan to experiment. There is probably a lot more out there, so you need to do research. The best part is just experimenting to see what floats your boat. happy-flower

April 9, 2013
4:55 pm
Amerayl
Stuttgart, AR
Mighty Chicken
Forum Posts: 123
Member Since:
February 15, 2011
Offline
552

moximom1964 said
I just used your crockpot soap making OMG this is awesome..now i want to get everything back out and make another batch and may do so tomarrow ..i need more esential oils tho ..a friend told me the ones at the michaels in the craft section arnt as good for scent as buying at like a co-op or natural foods store what is your feelings on that.

I know you posted this a while ago, but I thought I would let you know some places that I go to for my essential oils and some that I had heard good things about. I usually get mine from Brambleberry.com, Camdengrey.com and thesage.com. All have been good quality. I have heard a good deal about Essential Depot and Texas Natural Supply for essential oils as well. I find that buying online I can get a larger quantity for the price.

 

April 9, 2013
5:03 pm
Amerayl
Stuttgart, AR
Mighty Chicken
Forum Posts: 123
Member Since:
February 15, 2011
Offline
553

laurie hamar said
Hi Ladies, I need help please.  Just made a batch of hot process soap using milk instead of water.  I've made this soap before and never had a problem (checked the soap calc and am using regular oils, nothing fancy).  I froze my milk until slushy before combining with the lye and as far as I know did everything right, however; after cooking in the crock for about 45 mins I notice that the oils separate.  I had the same thing happen last week.  I cooled it some and then re-blended with the stick blender.  After a few minutes everything seemed to combine and get that glossy color.  So, I tested it and it was done without having to cook any more.  Last week I thought maybe I didn't bring it to a strong enough trace so this time I made sure I had a good trace.  Any ideas what may be going on?  It is an old crockpot so maybe it's cooking too hot all of a sudden (I've been making soap for a couple of years and never had a problem with it before).  Help, please!

Hi Laurie,

It is most likely you are soaping too hot. I find that mostly my crockpot is too hot, so I end up soaping at warm or low occasionally. I have some hot spots in my crock and sometimes I get separation if I forget to turn down the pot after melting my oils. The good thing is that you can usually just stir everything back together. Also remember that adding things like milk will cause your soap to get hotter than usually due to the sugar content so you should soap even cooler than you usually do. You might need as long a cook as well. It helps making milk soaps in the crock to melt all your oils together and just let it cool down to room temperature and then to add your lye/milk (that is also cool/cold) mix to trace and then turn on the crock to low/warm. I hope that helps a little.

 

Carol

 

April 9, 2013
10:15 pm
laurie hamar
Banty
Forum Posts: 9
Member Since:
May 15, 2011
Offline
554

Thank you Carol, I used a different crock pot this weekend and it went much better.  I guess my old pot is just a little too hot for the milk.  Thanks again for your help.

August 4, 2013
10:36 pm
Luv2Quilt
Banty
Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
January 29, 2013
Offline
555

I love Suzanne's Hot Process soap recipes. I am having a problem with it though and was hoping for some suggestions. When I make the soap it turns out great but mine have larger white areas throughout the bars. I think its hardened soap from the sides of the crock pot but would like some input from someone else. There is no zap and they are usable. (I've used the ones from the first batch with no problems.)

Any thoughts??

Rhonda

 

 

 

August 5, 2013
11:59 am
Amerayl
Stuttgart, AR
Mighty Chicken
Forum Posts: 123
Member Since:
February 15, 2011
Offline
556

Those are just the bits of soap that cooked faster than the rest. They are still usable. Of course with Hot Process there will always be some that cook faster and won't incorporate into the rest of the colored portion. On YouTube, Kim from Essential Soap uses a large flat cake spatula to scrape down her sides of the crockpot. You might want to try that during the cook.

I have yet to get one myself but I will someday. I don't normally like to mess around with the soap too much as it is cooking, but I admit, I'd like to not have such large chunks of uncolored soap. So I will try to stir a little more and try to scrape down the side a bit better.

Sometimes, I just stop the cook shortly after the applesauce stage so I get a better molding. Just turn off the crock at that stage and let the remaining heat cook the soap some more, then before it is too cold, add all my additives and mold.

August 5, 2013
5:20 pm
Luv2Quilt
Banty
Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
January 29, 2013
Offline
557

Thanks. I guess my OCD kicked in and I wanted it perfect. I want to use some for a bridal shower favor. I'll try the spatula next time. I'll let you know how that goes.

 

Rhondahappy-flower 

August 19, 2013
5:06 pm
CindyP
Hart, MI
Admin
Forum Posts: 7942
Member Since:
October 17, 2008
Offline
558

What temp is your soap cooking at?  When I cook with the crock pot on high (or even medium in some crock pots), then scrape down when I'm done, those pieces are throughout.  When the soap swells up, then lowers as it is getting done, if the crock pot is too hot, the area where the soap was up on the sides cook hot.  

Or like Amerayl said, just scrape down.  I do this after it deflates on it's own….any rubber spatula will work and it's ok to use it in the kitchen afterwards.  I keep one for soap-making because the fragrance and essential oils stay in the plastic (I use it all the way through till the end of scraping the soap into the mold) and tends to give frosting a different taste laugh

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