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Soapmaking Info, Questions, Problems, Etc.
December 14, 2009
10:23 pm
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Heidi533
Hersey, Michigan
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Marionette,

Would you care to share any basic recipes you like to use for your soaps?  What combinations of oils do you like best?

I've recently clarified some bacon grease to use in soap making (actually found directions on the internet for this one), but I thinkI want to add another oil in to help with lather.  Any suggestions?

Heidi-
http://henhousediaries.blogspot.com

December 15, 2009
7:25 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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Heidi, a good oil to use for lather is coconut, but you don't want to use alot of it — only around 20% of your total oils, or it goes in reverse and dries your skin out.  It boosts the cleaning affect of the soap, too!  I found it at walmart in the oil section.  It comes in 1# container (it's solid – 76 degree melting point) for $5.  Depending on how much soap you're making that will make at least a couple batches (it makes 2 of my 4# recipes that I use). I wonder if the clarified bacon grease would still be considered lard????

I kept all the fat from the deer to render down to use for soaping.  And we're picking our pig up from processor today, so I have LOTS of pork fat for rendering into lard (for cooking and soaping!). 

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

December 17, 2009
8:08 am
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Heidi533
Hersey, Michigan
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Cindy said: “I wonder if the clarified bacon grease would still be considered lard????”

Yes, it's still considered lard.  I was hoping to get to making this soap before Christmas, but I think I'm going to be lucky to find time before Valentine's day the way things are going around here.  LOL

Heidi-
http://henhousediaries.blogspot.com

December 20, 2009
6:33 am
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Runningtrails - Sheryl
Barrie, Ontario
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Those crock pot candles are a fabulous idea! I have to try that now, but not until the new year. Maybe in scents to match the soap for a real bath experience. I am going to look for another crock pot at garage sales this year for soap and candles. I could melt wax in a bowl in the crock pot and dip things in it for fire starters…

Great way to use old little pieces of candles. Could you also melt all the ends of soap in the crock pot in a small container? If you have a small heat proof mold that fits inside a large crock pot, you could even make one or two small bars out of little leftover pieces and melt them in the mold, in the crock pot. If its not flexible plastic, you would have to line with with waxed paper to get the soap out, but I do that anyway. How easy is that!

You could remelt an entire batch of soap, grated with a tiny bit of water added, in the crock pot.

I have to get another crock pot for crafts!

Sheryl - sherylgallant.blogspot.com - providence-acres.blogspot.com

"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."  - 1 Thes. 4:11

December 20, 2009
6:51 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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I alot of time find the crocks themselves without the electric part.  That could be a way to have a different crock for each craft.  And those usually sell for like a quarter!  I'll be looking for more, but just wait, they won't be around next year!!! Laugh

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

February 2, 2010
7:40 pm
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thistlewoodmanor
Geneva, IA
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January 23, 2010
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I have a question about fats for making soap.  I work in a school kitchen and after I brown up 100 lbs of ground beef, I pour off the fat into cans and put them in the freezer, then throw them in the dumpster after they solidify.  Could I use this hamburger fat for making soap?  How would I render it?  It is mostly solids free since it's strained as I pour it into the cans.  Would it make good soap or would it smell like hamburger?

February 2, 2010
8:44 pm
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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You would need to render it down, that would leave a beef tallow.  I found this site that explains it beautifully

http://grandpappy.info/wclarify.htm

Then use a soap calculator — I use Soap Calc http://www.soapcalc.net/calc/S……  you would use Tallow Beef in the oils section.

Beef tallow makes a quite hard bar of soap, has cleaning qualities, conditioning and creamy.

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

February 2, 2010
9:08 pm
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Pete
WV
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Take this with a grain of salt since I have never made any soap.  That said, a friend some years ago got into soap making in a big way and began by collecting cooking fats of all sorts from their own kitchen, mostly beef fat.  The resulting soap was excellent.  No idea how they made it, but it was indeed a very stiff soap.

Having that fat which would otherwise be refuse is like having a gold mine!  Wow!!   

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

February 2, 2010
9:41 pm
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wvhomecanner
North Central WV
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Go for it! Here's another link  – with photos too. I know that when I rendered chicken fat for schmaltz, I was amazed at how pure and clean the fat is.

http://candleandsoap.about.com…..tallow.htm

dede

If common sense were truly common, wouldn't there be more evidence of it?

February 2, 2010
9:50 pm
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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And I forgot to add…….none of the soap I've made smells like any of the oils that have been used, and lard (pig fat) is close to 1/2 of the soap.  So I'm pretty sure it won't smell like hamburger, especially after the rendering.  You indeed have a gold mine of oil there to be used for soap!!!

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

February 22, 2010
10:57 am
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Sherri
Oklahoma
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February 17, 2010
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What does everyone do with their soap remnants?  I haven't tried making soap yet, but I've been collecting the little end pieces for awhile and am wondering if I couldn't melt them down and make a bar out of them?  Of course, I have several different brands of soap, so I'm not sure how that would turn out.

February 22, 2010
11:54 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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Of course you can melt them all down and put into one bar!!!  You can either grate them up and add to a little bit of water.  I use bars of soap, grate them, add to alot of hot water to make liquid soap for the shower and at the sinks.  I have to play with it every time……….add more water after it hardens back up, so don't be afraid of adding too much water.

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

February 22, 2010
12:48 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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Yep, I save back a large screw lid type moisture cream tub and make mine into a sort of sludge. ( Gosh that sounds terrible! Laugh )  If I had kids around I think it could be quite messy, but it works well for me and I just dip a finger in to get soap to wash hands. 

Another thing you can do is bundle them up into a wrapping of tulle and hang it by the stationary tub or wherever you tend to scrub up after dirty work.  That way the netting helps with the scrubby parts!

Located in N.E. Ohio

February 22, 2010
1:15 pm
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Pete
WV
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Slivers of soap make great markers for quilting lines and other sewing projects on cotton and other washable fabrics.  Works better on other-than-white fabrics, of course

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

February 22, 2010
6:35 pm
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mommafox
S.W.Iowa
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 TIPNUT web site has a lot of recipes for making liquid hand, dish, and bath soaps. Some have honey and glycerin added to shaved bar soap that is melted with hot/boiling distilled water and then whipped in a blender or with a hand mixer. They suggest putting this into a recycled pump soap bottle.

Mod edit: That would be tipnut.com

They do indeed have many recipes for homemade soaps and assorted cleaners.

"Age is of no importance, unless you are a cheese!"

February 22, 2010
8:17 pm
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mommafox
S.W.Iowa
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I make a bar soap from grated, melted soap slivers and add dried, used coffee grounds while it is still liquid. This can be poured into a loaf pan and cut into bars after it sets up or into individual small molds. This makes a great bar for removing onion or fish odors in the kitchen or placed in the toe of a pantyhose and hung outside beside a water source for washing your hands after playing in the veggie or flower garden.(or playing with the animals .) I've given several to friends and family and they all love them. Great in a gift basket too.

"Age is of no importance, unless you are a cheese!"

February 23, 2010
5:37 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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That's a great idea, mommafox!  Is it the coffee grounds that take out the onion or fish odors?  I really like the idea of a gardening soap outside!

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

February 23, 2010
4:36 pm
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Lisa b
lexington ky
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I save small pieces and use 2 ways.. one is i keep them in a coffee mug and use this as a shaving cup .. then othersd i save up and sew inside a small piece of fleece and use this as a washrag in the shower or i use a rough piece of fabric like burlap and use as a pot scrubber .I prefer unscented soaps for the potscrubbers

February 23, 2010
6:50 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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You can also add cornmeal to provide a little 'scrub'.  I saw a recipe for some so called “Farmer's Soap” that calls for cornmeal in it for a gentle grit for scrubbing, though I like the coffee grounds idea too… I guess it depends on where you are going to use it at for 'looks'.  

Located in N.E. Ohio

February 24, 2010
8:23 am
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jane
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I collect my used bars and put them in nylon bags and put them inmy drawers -makes my clothes smell good. 

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