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Discussion Starter #1
I've been making our soap for the past year using a simple receipe. Going to try hot process in the crock pot next week.

Would appreciate any advice. I plan to make a 100% olive oil soap and lavender essential oil.

thanks
 

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make sure you like the true smell of lavender. a lot of people say it smells like cat pee.

i clean my house with lavender essential oil in mop water, sprayer, mister. very lavender-y in here.

sometimes i use patchouli in the mister.

i do cold process. Have fun!
 
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Discussion Starter #3
well, now, since I don't have a cat, certainly don't want the smell of cat pee. It is an essential oil.....so I'll do a stiff test to be sure. I love the smell of lavendar.
thanka
 

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I've never tried to do it in the crockpot. I do a cold process method, too. I love, love, love making soap. I have a show coming up in July, so I need to get a bunch of batches made over the next week to have them cured and ready for my show!

Have fun with it. Just do a test batch with the lavender and make sure you like it. I do all natural soaps, so I don't use synthetic scents, only natural smells. I've never had a problem with lavender essential oil or using real dried lavender. It always gives off a pleasant scent. Just stay away from the synthetic, store bought scents, becuase those can smell funky!
 

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I've never had a problem with lavender essential oil or using real dried lavender. It always gives off a pleasant scent. Just stay away from the synthetic, store bought scents, becuase those can smell funky![/QUOTE

And it can do some strange things to your soaps. I'm able to purchase essential oils at a beauty supply store (Ulta). Costs more, but I like the convenience. From reading I think the hot process will work faster for the castile soap. Will let you know. For sure I'm no longer using lard in soap, makes a great bar of soap, but I keep thinking I smell the lard. No one else does, but I don't want to take the risk.
 

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I've never had a problem with lavender essential oil or using real dried lavender. It always gives off a pleasant scent. Just stay away from the synthetic, store bought scents, becuase those can smell funky![/QUOTE

And it can do some strange things to your soaps. I'm able to purchase essential oils at a beauty supply store (Ulta). Costs more, but I like the convenience. From reading I think the hot process will work faster for the castile soap. Will let you know. For sure I'm no longer using lard in soap, makes a great bar of soap, but I keep thinking I smell the lard. No one else does, but I don't want to take the risk.

I've not had a problem with essential oils or fragrances made especially for soapmaking. I, too, can smell the lard. I especially have a problem with the smell during my 'time of the month'. The next batch I do will be all vegetable oils-olive and coconut being the main oils. I only do the crock pot method, since I am impatient to use the stuff. I've had problems with using colorings, though. I went cheap and used crayons. Some have good luck with them...I didn't. I got DOS after a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've not had a problem with essential oils or fragrances made especially for soapmaking. I, too, can smell the lard. I especially have a problem with the smell during my 'time of the month'. The next batch I do will be all vegetable oils-olive and coconut being the main oils. I only do the crock pot method, since I am impatient to use the stuff. I've had problems with using colorings, though. I went cheap and used crayons. Some have good luck with them...I didn't. I got DOS after a while.
I'm glad to know you could smell the lard, I'm not going crazy!
My cold process soap is sometimes called grocery store soap, you can buy all the ingredients at the store!
 

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I've never been able to smell the lard in mine, that is too funny! But lard has such a distinct smell, so I believe that if you have a really sensitive nose, I'm sure you can smell it.

You can also get essential oils at health food stores like GNC, it isn't too pricey there!

I have had luck with natural coloring. Beets, carrots, coffee, etc. It does a nice job...but I like "natural" colors and not super bold colors!

If you want bold colors, you can try kool-aid packets (the kind without the sugar), a friend of mine used cherry kool aid and ended up with some crazy bright red soap! It was pretty cool!
 
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I'm glad to know you could smell the lard, I'm not going crazy!
My cold process soap is sometimes called grocery store soap, you can buy all the ingredients at the store!
You may laugh at this. I use anything that is grease. I even have ham fat in the fridge from a couple of hams. I salvaged the fat and cleaned it to try it for scrubbing soap. It's on my list of oils that can be used and I have a (I forget what kind you call it) number for it because I go by weight not liquid measures. I can substitute and recalculate when needed.

I used chocolate fragrance with baking cocoa. OH YUM! It was like getting a bath in a bubbly ice cream sundae! You gotta try the cocoa even without the soap fragrance.
 

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I want to start making our soaps - is it cost effective? Can anyone post a link to a tried-and-true "recipe"? I LOVE this forum... LOL I think I have 3 or 4 new hobbies ever since I joined!
 

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I've made goats' milk soap in the past, and it turned out great. I gave most of it away as Christmas presents. It was basically milk, lye, palm oil, coconut oil, and some fragrance.
 

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I made soap for years, and it is really fun. Had to give it up when I had reconstructive elbow surgery (lots of stirring don't you know!)
I made cornmeal soap (great for scrubbing garden ground in dirt), cinnamon (great for getting smells off your hands), and a really good one with baby rice cereal flakes in it which was great for oily skin - removes the oil but doesn't dry it out.
I also made a plain lye soap which I sold @ $1 per tiny bar at a living history museum near us on school field trip days. Plain lye soap is a wonderful poison ivy cure, by the way.
 

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I like to buy homemade soaps at the farmers market, but I notice lately that many of the soaps are very soft and dissolve easily - making a real mess in my bath tub and leaving an oily residue.

I'm looking for a hard soap that doesn't give a ton of lather or fall apart too easily. Any recommendations for what I should be looking for in a handmade soap?

I'd like to try making some sometime. How did you get started?
 

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I like to buy homemade soaps at the farmers market, but I notice lately that many of the soaps are very soft and dissolve easily - making a real mess in my bath tub and leaving an oily residue.

I'm looking for a hard soap that doesn't give a ton of lather or fall apart too easily. Any recommendations for what I should be looking for in a handmade soap?

I'd like to try making some sometime. How did you get started?
Lehman Hardware in Kidron Ohio (I'm sure they have a website) used to sell a book and ingredients. The one I had that had the most useful recipes was by Merilyn Mohr and might have been titled The Art of Soapmaking. I always tried to include some coconut oil in my soap to give it good lathering properties. Used to be really hard to find and expensive, now most SuperWalMarts sell it!!!

The mushy soap you're buying now is most likely 'milled' soap, in other words, the 'crafter' bought soap, ground it down, added some ingredients and let it harden again. Obviously, when you do this, water gets into the bar much more quickly, and it does just what you're describing.

BTW, don't be afraid of the term 'lye soap'. ALL soap is made with lye, the chemical reaction of lye and fat produces soap - there is no lye left when the reaction is completed. ZEST brand,is not actually soap, it is a solid detergent bar, made from petroleum.
 

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Oh I'd love a recipe too, have been eyeing these at craft shows and KNOW I can make them myself :)

Might have to do some research but dang, I have so many crochet projects already started....
 

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hmmm, this might not be for me. Working with lye sounds scary!
 

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The only other way to "make" soap is by re-milling - taking soap already made (usually a glycerin soap kit, soap beads, etc) and melting it down to add your own extras. Lye is a key component of soap. I have been scared to try it, too - but I recently read a great tutorial that makes it seem not too bad. I will have to go get it and post.
 
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