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Discussion Starter #1
I got a soap kit about a year ago, but never opened it. So now I'm looking at it, thinking about Christmas, and I want to try a batch before I count on making it for gifts. This is for milk-based soaps, using goat milk.

I will have to go out and buy a few ingredients this week, but hope to make my first batch this coming weekend. I'm going to do it outside, but is there any concern, while the soap is inside and curing, about "outgassing" of lye or other harmful vapours? I have birds and don't want to risk hurting them. They will be on the same floor, but not in the same room, as the area I intend to store the soap for curing purposes.
 

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I don't think so. I've never made soap, but my daughter used to always make it in the house. We never had problems with "outgassing". She cured her soap in our basement utility room, with no ventilation to speak of.

She's recently left home for university and left all her soap making supplies behind. I'm thinking I might get into it...

Jean
 

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It sounds like it might be simple enough, just a lot of steps to take. Okay, will go out and get the ingredients this week with plans to make soap on Saturday. I'll let you know how it goes! The kit I have came with a thermometer, a soap mold, coconut and palm oil and a mysterious brown bottle of "fragrance oil." It also came with a book of milk-based soap recipes, so if this batch works out, I may get a little crazy. :)

The book says that the cost of making a batch of soap is approximately $20, not counting the cost of the start up equipment (which I already have except perhaps for a new plastic bucket and a couple of plastic spoons/spatulas that I may dedicate to the soap project) and that you will get 32 standard size bars from a batch, which works out to about $.62 per bar in production cost. (It adds another .25 if you want to wrap your soap in fabric and tie it with a piece of ribbon.)
 

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Is it soap yet?

Okay, I stepped into the wild, wild world of soapmaking today! :D

It was easier than I thought, and the soap is currently in its mold, waiting for 24 hours for me to check it for "cuttability." If it is cuttable, then I will cut it tomorrow, after which I have to let the bars cure for 3-4 weeks.

I have placed pictures of the process in my album, under "self-sufficiency," if anyone wants to see soap being made. (About as exciting as watching paint dry, but we all have our weird quirks.)
 

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Hah! I love the wrapper and catch phrase!
 
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I can't get the wrapper pix up, I must be 'doing it wrong'.

But I'm excited for you about your first soap batch. I remember mine a few years ago. It was called Dream Castile from a Melinda Coss book.

You're making me excited to make another batch, when I get home. We are at the cabin still, and my supplies are at home in Ohio. I think we still have a lot left, but I can make some for Christmas gifts.
 

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Yes, that is why I made it, to see if I could make a "fancier" batch for Christmas. My sister goes on about how much she likes goat milk soap, so I thought it would be a nice treat. I haven't told her that I'm trying it. I want to make sure this batch turns out okay. (Although I am not sure how to determine if it is okay, other than using and hopefully not coming out of the shower with lye burns! :D) Mainly, if it lathers and doesn't dry out my skin, I'll call it a success.

I'll be trying it out the first week of October. If it works out, I'll be getting some more oils and fragrances to make a new batch. Found a great source that sells larger quantities of all the ingredients you need, as well as some molds.
 

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Oooh...I use goat soap all the time. I actually had about 20 bars shipped to me from PEI one year as a treat. But, alas, I'm running out! So time to crack out the soapmaking supplies and see what I can come up with!

The bars I have not only lather nicely, but do tend to dissolve rather quickly as well. They are wonderful on my skin though...don't dry it out like other bars of soap do.

Jean
 

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madhen--that Dream Castile calls for goats milk, and made otherwise with mainly olive oil. Not the cheapest to make, but nice. The good thing about using olive oil is that in this case, it doesn't have to be the ultra-fancy, extra virgin, expensive kind. It can just be regular cheap OO in the big plastic jugs. LOL! ;)
 
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