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Other than Brewing => All Things Food => Topic started by: euge on May 26, 2011, 06:05:56 AM

Title: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on May 26, 2011, 06:05:56 AM
Per Tom's request I'll start a soap thread.

First thing to know this isn't your dear old Grannie's harsh soap. It is so good I quit buying shampoo and just use the soap instead. Haven't bought soap in 5 years. It is nearly as gratifying as making beer! Almost...

I'll address cold-process soap first. The base recipe is similar to beer. One uses a base fat and can augment it with various other types of fat to comprise a recipe. I like to make Castille soap (100% vegetable based) out of 80% vegetable oil (soy) and the other 20% can be olive oil plus some coconut oil. Or you can add melted lard to the mix- this will result in harder bars- which somehow correlates to "clarity" in beers to me. Just for drawing comparisons. LOL

How it works:

My house soap usually is 1000 grams of vegetable oil (very neutral light oil); 250 grams of olive oil (makes the suds very silky); 300-400ml of h2o; and 161 grams of pure sodium hydroxide (lye) to comprise about 5% excess fat. I don't usually add scents, but have used anything from cinnamon to basil flowers. Tea tree oil is nice.

Dissolve the lye in the water until it is clear. Add to the fat and mix with a stick blender or in a regular blender. Be a grown-up and be careful. It is very caustic at this stage.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LBkAr-v0hoc/Td3g6HfFG3I/AAAAAAAAAq0/8mtTb1pT_xA/s640/2010-11-18%25252002.32.07.jpg)

Mix well until one begins to see signs of "trace". This is when the mixture comes together and emulsifies. Looks like custard and will leave a line when you sweep the blender through it. There is such a thing as a "false trace" so make sure you don't quit when it initially thickens. I like it super thick before it goes into the mould(s).

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-0VducVm0dl8/Td3nVSSzu0I/AAAAAAAAArQ/x5mzvPhHt9U/s640/2010-11-18%25252002.41.38.jpg)

It's still not soap yet. It has to saponify. That is to go through the exothermic saponification process which converts itself to soap. Sound familiar? The soap will harden quickly once in the mould. It will look like beautiful creamy soap. It isn't soap yet! In an hour or two it will start to saponify. The appearance will become gel-like and it will begin to put off a significant amount of heat. This is just the chemical reaction. We are not physically heating anything with this method. I like to insulate my moulds which makes for a better finished product.

After a couple days or longer I'll tighten the cap on my mould and use an air pump to push the soap out like a piston. It will look creamy again.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-r_jx6TvpgV0/Td06RWkQkyI/AAAAAAAAAqg/rJqPfu3idmE/s640/2010-11-27%25252015.31.01.jpg)
(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-acImxuQRgBE/Td06gYrz8XI/AAAAAAAAAqk/vtC0yqMVT7o/s640/2010-11-27%25252015.33.39.jpg)

I will then air-dry it in log form until it is firm and dry to the touch. Might be a few days but usually at least a couple weeks or more. Depends on water content. Similarly, like most beer the soap only gets better as it ages. I slice bars off as needed.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Eu5zb3s5cZE/Td3hjPnxf0I/AAAAAAAAAq4/Y3lG3egcbsU/s640/2010-11-27%25252015.36.03.jpg)

Here is a great calculator (http://www.thesage.com/calcs/lyecalc2.php) for making up soap recipes.



Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tschmidlin on May 26, 2011, 06:29:58 AM
With the stick blender, is it caustic enough that you need a dedicated stick blender or do you use the same one you use for food?  What do you blend it in?  Just bend it up and pour it into the mold?

What is a reasonable proportion of scent to add from tea tree oil for example?  I could see it varying from one oil to another, just looking for a starting point.

Was there two ends to that tube while it was saponifying?

Where do you buy an air valve?  What did you use to mount it like that?

What do you use to slice it, just a knife or something?

Where do you get lye?  I assume I don't want drain cleaner, but what type of store would carry it?  There's got to be some place around here.

Did you size your batch to fill the tube?  I assume different size batches work fine, just scale linearly?  Does the thickness of the tube affect the saponification time?

Sorry for all of the questions, but I'm going to need to try that soon.  :)
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on May 26, 2011, 07:06:43 AM
I use liposuction fat cells to make my soap.   ;)
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on May 26, 2011, 07:14:32 AM
With the stick blender, is it caustic enough that you need a dedicated stick blender or do you use the same one you use for food?  What do you blend it in?  Just bend it up and pour it into the mold?

I bought a $10 stick jobbie from WM, but also have used the bar-blender without it affecting my margaritas. Just run the parts through the dishwasher. What's on it is basically soap. A 2 gallon bucket, and yes- just blend it up and pour. Takes just a few minutes. Have a beer.

What is a reasonable proportion of scent to add from tea tree oil for example?  I could see it varying from one oil to another, just looking for a starting point.

An ounce or two for scents.

Was there two ends to that tube while it was saponifying?

Yes and I used the cheap cap/protector as a base/plug. I seal it with some cling wrap and tape otherwise it will leak. This is my method, but I'm sure there are better. I just peel the wrap/tape off and give it a few psi with the pump. Usually that's enough to piston the cap and soap out.


Where do you buy an air valve?  What did you use to mount it like that?

Autostore. And I drilled the cap out, but no sealant. 

What do you use to slice it, just a knife or something?

A sharp one. Think cheese.

Where do you get lye?  I assume I don't want drain cleaner, but what type of store would carry it?  There's got to be some place around here.

Locally a cleaning supply store in tubs as sodium hydroxide. Not Draino or Red Devil. I thin k it is available online. You want 100% sodium hydroxide.

Did you size your batch to fill the tube?  I assume different size batches work fine, just scale linearly?  Does the thickness of the tube affect the saponification time?

Yes, I calculated out the volume and sized the tubes accordingly to the standard size batch. I like to have a good sized mass so that the exothermic reaction heats it up real good. Chose 3" pvc for this since it's a decent sized round bar and there is a good solid column of solution to heat up. I don't think the walls' thickness matters- it just has to be strong. I used to make blocks of soap with those flimsy cardboard flats that soda six-packs come in. Line it with cling-wrap and dump it out when the soap is done. I've never done individual moulded bars, but suspect that they would saponify poorly.

Sorry for all of the questions, but I'm going to need to try that soon.  :)

My pleasure. I hope you do try it soon. :D

I use liposuction fat cells to make my soap.   ;)

Medical waste? Eeeeew. Too much lard for my tastes. :P I like my soap vegetarian.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on May 26, 2011, 08:10:44 AM

I use liposuction fat cells to make my soap.   ;)

Medical waste? Eeeeew. Too much lard for my tastes. :P I like my soap vegetarian.

(http://www.kizzx2.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/fp1773-fight-club-soap.jpg)
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tschmidlin on May 26, 2011, 08:11:58 AM
Good stuff euge, thanks.

Ok, existing stick blender, find some lye somewhere, build a tube.  3" seems like a nice diameter for the soap, so I'll probably do the same.  re: thickness, I meant the ID of the tube, not the wall thickness, I can see I worded it poorly.

Re: the cap, you just press fit it on and then wrap it in plastic wrap?  Or does the plastic go on the inside?

The air valve, no worries about leaking because that is the top?  And as long as it is seated ok, when you apply pressure it just hold it against the top anyway?

I use liposuction fat cells to make my soap.   ;)
Nice reference. :)
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on May 26, 2011, 08:41:16 AM
Plastic on the outside, then wrapped with tape.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: phillamb168 on May 26, 2011, 09:28:20 AM
Good stuff euge, thanks.

Ok, existing stick blender, find some lye somewhere, build a tube.  3" seems like a nice diameter for the soap, so I'll probably do the same.  re: thickness, I meant the ID of the tube, not the wall thickness, I can see I worded it poorly.

Re: the cap, you just press fit it on and then wrap it in plastic wrap?  Or does the plastic go on the inside?

The air valve, no worries about leaking because that is the top?  And as long as it is seated ok, when you apply pressure it just hold it against the top anyway?

I use liposuction fat cells to make my soap.   ;)
Nice reference. :)

http://secure.sciencecompany.com/Sodium-Hydroxide-500g-P15962C670.aspx
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: phillamb168 on May 26, 2011, 09:30:16 AM
Euge you're like the crazy uncle I never had, teaching me all this cool stuff. Peppers, soap - it never ends! Fantastic thread. Thanks for all the how-to info.

I think I'll try spent-grain soap, but food processor'ed for a bit first to make it less 'sharp.' If I add some hop pellets, in theory they'll keep the grain from molding, no?

Mmm... tea tree oil, that's a good idea too. Tea tree oil and simcoe pellets.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tomsawyer on May 26, 2011, 01:29:20 PM
Nice mold idea Euge.  I just made some small rectangular wooden trays for mine, I hold them together with clamps.  Gives me the rectangular bars this way.

One thing I would caution people about, is that the exothermic reaction during the saponification in the mold really generates a LOT of heat.  Just be aware and put your mold somewhere that it won't melt something or ruin a wood finish.  Also, you can't just substitute one oil for another in the recipe.  Different oils have different fatty acid compositions and as such you'll need a little more or less lye to do the job.  There are tables online that give you the amount of oil and lye for a given type.

As for 5% excess oils, this is a safe place to go but I find it to be a little much.  I will usually formulate a recipe using 3% excess.  That is enough to ensure no lye is left and makes the soap less oily feeling.  as it is the stuff is nice and slippery because you still have the glycerine in the soap, unlike commercial stuff where it is removed and sold as a separate commodity.

A tip on olive oil, it is expensive and canola is much cheaper and contains nearly the same fatty acid composition, namely mostly mono-unsaturated fats.  Makes a nice bar although as Euge says its softer than a recipe with something with a lot of saturated fat like lard.  When I was doing this a lot I used palm and coconut oils in some of my soap, as well as cocoa and shea butters.  Nice fancy stuff if you really want something for face washing, not needed for washing those crevies on the rest of the body.

There aree of course soapmaking forums you can learn a lot freom, just like brewing forums only not as interesting.

Euge, tell us about your experience with honey, sugar and milk.  I've made soap with milk and honey and it turned out nice.  I think the sugar/honey causes things to heat up even more right?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: bluesman on May 26, 2011, 01:38:38 PM
Euge...you have a very creative spirit. I learn something every day. Thanks for posting.  :)
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tschmidlin on May 26, 2011, 04:28:47 PM
http://secure.sciencecompany.com/Sodium-Hydroxide-500g-P15962C670.aspx
Thanks Phil, a good backup if I can't find it locally.  Or maybe a good primary if I can't find a decent price. :)
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: brewmichigan on May 26, 2011, 04:44:38 PM
Awesome. I have been looking to make my own soap for awhile now and this seems to be the kick that I needed.

Tschmidlin, we have a shop within 20 miles of my house that sells soap making supplies. They carry lye. Look for something like that. Probably right next to homebrew shops in the yellow pages  ;D
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on May 26, 2011, 05:39:06 PM
Euge, tell us about your experience with honey, sugar and milk.  I've made soap with milk and honey and it turned out nice.  I think the sugar/honey causes things to heat up even more right?
It certainly does something. I'd like to know how you did it.

I've tried milk in place of water and IIRC it turned brick red when I added the lye. This translated to the soap ending up turning orange. I added honey in another and got the same results. Same goes for sugar. I'm thinking of adding milk and/or honey after trace and blending it in real good to see how that works. It definitely acted really weird and the honey soap log sweated... something. However, I let it dry for a couple months and it turned out to be my Grand Cru batch. I loved that orange honey soap...

Phil, if you put spent grain in your soap make sure it is dry first then pulse it up in the food processor to a nice grind. You'll only need about 1/3 cup at most, which you should mix in right before the mixture goes into the moulds. The same applies to oatmeal which is a popular request that I get.

Yes, this stuff is so good people actually commission me to make them soap. I'll make a year's supply for them in exchange for $20.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: brewmichigan on May 26, 2011, 06:42:43 PM
I just noticed your recipe says 300-400ml of water. Why such a large variance? I went to the calculator website and they tell me 312-469 ml of water. That's a huge difference I would think.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on May 26, 2011, 07:02:01 PM
I just noticed your recipe says 300-400ml of water. Why such a large variance? I went to the calculator website and they tell me 312-469 ml of water. That's a huge difference I would think.

It appears as a big variance but once you start making soap the amount of water will seem negligible.

Less water= a harder bar sooner, but I shoot for somewhere in the middle and let my soap cure and finish saponifying. My observation is that the more water one uses a better reaction one gets and while less water allows for a firmer bar sooner, the soap is more harsh initially. Still needs to cure for a few more weeks.



Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on May 26, 2011, 07:19:39 PM
http://secure.sciencecompany.com/Sodium-Hydroxide-500g-P15962C670.aspx
Thanks Phil, a good backup if I can't find it locally.  Or maybe a good primary if I can't find a decent price. :)

NaOH ships as a hazmat so expect to pay substantially more for shipping.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tschmidlin on May 26, 2011, 07:36:40 PM
http://secure.sciencecompany.com/Sodium-Hydroxide-500g-P15962C670.aspx
Thanks Phil, a good backup if I can't find it locally.  Or maybe a good primary if I can't find a decent price. :)

NaOH ships as a hazmat so expect to pay substantially more for shipping.
They quote $11 for shipping ground, which is about what I would expect.  No air shipping allowed.  I'm working on the UDS project though, the soap project can wait :)
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: The Professor on May 27, 2011, 01:32:16 AM
Fantastic thread.
Just too cool for words.

I remember my Grandma making soap in the backyard.  (And my Grandfather made beer and wine).
I may just have to try this out!
Thanks for the great info.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: phillamb168 on May 27, 2011, 08:40:44 AM
http://secure.sciencecompany.com/Sodium-Hydroxide-500g-P15962C670.aspx
Thanks Phil, a good backup if I can't find it locally.  Or maybe a good primary if I can't find a decent price. :)

NaOH ships as a hazmat so expect to pay substantially more for shipping.

For whatever reason, shipping ain't expensive. 7 euros shipping for about 5 pounds of the stuff (http://www.conrad.fr/hydroxyde_de_sodium_p_48674_59664_647399_1010026_FAS). Doesn't have to travel as far, though. NaOH right? The guide (in german) says "Ätznatron zum Entwickeln von belichteten Platinen" which basically means you use it for stripping paint, I think.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on May 27, 2011, 08:50:40 AM
Ätznatron zum Entwickeln von belichteten Platinen

Caustic soda for developing exposed circuit boards
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: phillamb168 on May 27, 2011, 10:18:32 AM
Ätznatron zum Entwickeln von belichteten Platinen

Caustic soda for developing exposed circuit boards

This is why I dropped my German language class ;-) So, it sounds like this is what I need, though, right?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: thirsty on May 27, 2011, 03:47:07 PM
Fantastic thread.
Just too cool for words.

I remember my Grandma making soap in the backyard.  (And my Grandfather made beer and wine).
I may just have to try this out!
Thanks for the great info.


Yeah, very cool thread. I have a book about old fashioned crafts that includes soap making, but also how to make your own lye from wood fire ashes.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tomsawyer on May 27, 2011, 04:01:05 PM
The honey does cause things to heat up more and my oatmeal/milk/honey soap was a nice warm orange color.  I think a key is to not add a whole lot to the blend, after all you really aren't looking to slather yourself with honey.  I'm not entirely sure what the honey is supposed to do, but it sounds nice.  Here's a little blurb on using honey in soap.

http://candleandsoap.about.com/od/tipstricks/a/honeyinfo.htm

Coloring soap is an interesting proposition.  You can use some food colorings but they do wierd stuff when in the presence of strong base.  I never managed to make a blue soap, blue would turn purple as I recall.  I think green and pink were possible.  I never used official soap colorings.  Pure olive oil Castille soap would come out very light beige, lard-based soap was a little more yellow.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: EHall on May 27, 2011, 04:16:52 PM

Less water= a harder bar sooner, but I shoot for somewhere in the middle and let my soap cure and finish saponifying. My observation is that the more water one uses a better reaction one gets and while less water allows for a firmer bar sooner, the soap is more harsh initially. Still needs to cure for a few more weeks.


what do you mean 'more harsh initially'? scent wise, harder on the skin or something else?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: EHall on May 27, 2011, 04:19:37 PM
I use liposuction fat cells to make my soap.   ;)

It puts the lotion in the basket or it gets the hose!
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tomsawyer on May 27, 2011, 05:24:36 PM
[what do you mean 'more harsh initially'? scent wise, harder on the skin or something else?

Some of the lye has the possibility of remaining unreacted, and this is harsh on the skin.  Its why "Grandma's lye soap" had a reputation for taking off both dirt and skin.  Of course Grandma made lye from wood ashes so she wasn't quite as able to tell just how much of each component to use.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: EHall on May 27, 2011, 06:57:56 PM
tell me that if someone making soap had it come out to 'harsh', they throw it away?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on May 27, 2011, 07:01:14 PM
tell me that if someone making soap had it come out to 'harsh', they throw it away?

There's a taste test. Just lick the soap and if it tingles like a battery it isn't ready yet. ;)
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on May 27, 2011, 07:23:11 PM
tell me that if someone making soap had it come out to 'harsh', they throw it away?

There's a taste test. Just lick the soap and if it tingles like a battery it isn't ready yet. ;)

Like when you put your tongue on a new 9-volt?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tomsawyer on May 27, 2011, 07:51:55 PM
Now I think I understand why you all are the way you are.  One too many lick tests.

Over a month's time the reaction will go to completion as long as there is an excess of oil, and you've mixed things up adequately so there are no pockets of lye.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: EHall on May 27, 2011, 08:43:23 PM
so either after licking it or going thru a bad wash with it, you just let it age? and even thats not a guarantee?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on May 27, 2011, 10:57:56 PM
so either after licking it or going thru a bad wash with it, you just let it age? and even thats not a guarantee?
Curing the soap is just like beer. Have patience and it will be better after a couple of weeks.

Follow the your recipe exactly- especially in regards to the lye. My experiences with my own cold-process soap is that any "harshness" isn't as bad as a commercial soap. Though if one uses it right away before giving it a chance to cure then there might be a bit of tingling with sensitive skin. For me it's my scalp. The soap will seem slicker too when you try to rinse it away.

My experiences with hot-process soap is that one can use it immediately. But the soap isn't as attractive IMO.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on May 28, 2011, 05:25:51 AM
Have you tried using beeswax?
Have you tried KOH instead of NaOH?

Now you've got me thinking about soapmaking, again.  Like I need another thing...   :D

I just can't resist making things at home (he says as he sips a homemade martini).
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on May 28, 2011, 05:28:47 AM
Have you tried using beeswax?
Have you tried KOH instead of NaOH?

Now you've got me thinking about soapmaking, again.  Like I need another thing...   :D

Potassium hydroxide makes liquid soap AFAIK. But, I've never used it.

Beeswax is interesting. I think there's some recipes for it.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on May 28, 2011, 05:39:05 AM
I have a lot of beeswax.  Candles are pretty neat but it seems like such a waste to just burn up what my girls (my bees) have worked so hard to make (1lb beeswax = 8 lbs of honey).  I think they would be happy with me if I smelled of beeswax soap when I work in their hives.   ;D
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on May 28, 2011, 05:43:06 AM
If the beeswax is clean I can see it commanding a high price. If you can't find a use for it why not sell the wax?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on May 28, 2011, 05:55:51 AM
If the beeswax is clean I can see it commanding a high price. If you can't find a use for it why not sell the wax?

It is very clean.  I can get $25/lb for it.  I trade instead - currently fresh eggs, Hawaiian sea salt, cane juice, and lychee.  I like to keep it close to home though.  Beeswax soap has got me thinking...

I also harvest bee pollen and propolis.  I use the pollen as yeast nutient in my meads, and I make propolis tinctures.

Have you ever had a propolis martini?  Awesome!
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on May 28, 2011, 06:44:44 AM
I'm surprised you haven't made soap already. Or have you? I think a propolis resin soap would be interesting. Sounds beneficial.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: Steve on May 29, 2011, 12:41:27 PM
Fantastic thread.
Just too cool for words.

I remember my Grandma making soap in the backyard.  (And my Grandfather made beer and wine).
I may just have to try this out!
Thanks for the great info.

They should've gotten their gigs together.  I made a beer soap with Oktoberfest instead of water, added spent grains dried in the oven and crushed further as an exfoliant and a few drops of Bergamont oil for scent.  Next time I may use a "Hopshot" for some hop scent.

You have to let the beer completely go flat before adding the lye or the carbonation with the reaction will give you a huge stinky foam bomb.  I added the grain at the end of the lye/fat mix when it was thickening up before molding.  I use a rectangular silicone mold so the soap pops out easily.  it very rewarding to use personally and when it's received as a gift.  Just like making beer and wine.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: 1vertical on June 01, 2011, 05:23:10 AM
Nowadays, lye is commonly used in the home production of Biodiesel....
It is available and ships as ORM-D.
Kewl thread Euge thanks...
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on June 01, 2011, 08:23:02 AM
Both UPS Ground and FedEx Ground do not require a hazardous shipping contract to ship ORM-D packages except to Alaska and Hawaii.

Lucky me...
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: morticaixavier on June 02, 2011, 10:59:32 PM
So there was brief mention above of liquid soap and I am curious about that. I don't like to use bar soap, just a personal distaste as I can't help but think about all the other people (in the abstract anyway) who have used that bar. Does anyone know if the only difference is the potassium hydroxide instead of lye? I rarely use anything other than Dr Bronners. and would love to make my own.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tschmidlin on June 03, 2011, 07:56:41 AM
I don't know how liquid soap is made, but you can make your own from bar soap.  Grate it with a cheese grater, soak it in some hot water, and it will dissolve.  Add as much water as you need for it to work in one of those pump soap dispensers, and Bob's your uncle.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: bluesman on June 03, 2011, 12:24:50 PM
...and just when they thought we were all obsessed about our malt liquor. ;D

Then there was this...

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/forum/
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: brewmichigan on June 03, 2011, 02:49:47 PM
tell me that if someone making soap had it come out to 'harsh', they throw it away?

There's a taste test. Just lick the soap and if it tingles like a battery it isn't ready yet. ;)

So that's how this thread made it on the "all things food" forum  ;D

It's edible!
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on June 03, 2011, 06:48:31 PM

So that's how this thread made it on the "all things food" forum  ;D

It's edible!

In that case I would recommend that you not stray too far from the WC.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on June 04, 2011, 04:54:25 AM
So euge, you've got me going on the homemade soap thing.  I found 1lb jars of 100% lye at Ace Hardware today.  I didn't want to use my reagent grade from the lab if possible.  $4.39/lb for the Ace NaOH.

I'm not seeing it; how do you close up the ends of your 3" PVC mold while the soapification process happens?  From your pictures it looks like you've glued a cleanout to one end of the mold and the other end is open. You mentioned closing the ends of the mold with plastic wrap and tape.  It doesn't get too hot for those?

You drilled the lid of the cleanout and installed a schrader valve to apply air pressure to extrude the soap, yah? 

Have you tried cutting bars using wire?

I have rainwater for my household water.  It is very soft.  It takes like 8 days to rinse Dial soap off.  Is there a way to make soap that doesn't take so long to rinse off?  Maybe increase the % of excess fat?

I have coconut, olive and soy/vegetable oils.  Can you make a WAG at what might be a good amount of beeswax to add?  What will the beeswax do?

(yes I know it's called saponification)

Mucho mahalos tomo!
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on June 04, 2011, 11:14:47 AM


You got it right about the threaded "cleanout" plug with the valve. I piston out a solid log of soap. Only takes enough psi to get it started. Once that happens it'll just slowly pop out. I give it a pump or two to keep things moving along. You want to be gentle at this stage since the soap can be rather soft and plastic.

The threaded plug needs to be tight enough to keep pressure. Hence the pipe wrench. Note however, for obvious reasons I do not recommend tightening this before the soap has cooled. Leave it loose.

The "open end" I plug with a cheap "end protector". If you look closely at the pics of the soap you can see it. This leaks soap so I cover with wrap and then tape that tight. This is just enough to keep it from leaking before it sets up. It won't support the weight of the liquid if you pick it up without placing your hand under it. Found that out the hard way. :-[

Cutting bars is better achieved with a very sharp thin knife. You want cleave the soap not force it with a wire. I've tried both and a knife results in an easier and cleaner cut.

I have a whole house softener. The soap rinses very well. YMMV ;D

No idea about the beeswax. Maybe makes it harder? I think the solution would have to be hot enough to incorporate the wax into the emulsion. Not hot enough to cook it mind you. The term "cold process" is kinda misleading. I used to pop the soap & mould in the oven to speed things up. ;)

You'll just have to play with it. I aim for the safest least amount of fat (5%) and it's plenty moisturizing. Everyone raves about my soap. I make hundreds of bars and give it out at Christmas. Easy to do with the three moulds I made!
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on June 06, 2011, 03:51:55 AM

You got it right about the threaded "cleanout" plug with the valve. I piston out a solid log of soap. Only takes enough psi to get it started. Once that happens it'll just slowly pop out. I give it a pump or two to keep things moving along. You want to be gentle at this stage since the soap can be rather soft and plastic.

The threaded plug needs to be tight enough to keep pressure. Hence the pipe wrench. Note however, for obvious reasons I do not recommend tightening this before the soap has cooled. Leave it loose.

The "open end" I plug with a cheap "end protector".

I found everything I need to fabricate a 3" round soap mold in the shed.  Do you recall what size hole you drilled for the schrader valve?

I couldn't figure out what you meant by an "end protector."  Then, as I was sitting at my desk this morning, my eyes fell upon on a mailing tube that I had recently received a poster in.  The light went on...  I pulled the plastic end cap out of the mailing tube and inserted it into my piece of 3" DWV PVC soap mold and Voila!  Too cool for school!

I was going to use a PVC end cap to closeup the exit end of my mold, but the end cap is a really tight fit and might not come off.  I was thinking about sanding that end of the PVC pipe and/or spraying it with silicone.  DWV PVC end caps are flat, not rounded like sch40 and sch80 end caps are.

I think if you put a few turns of teflon tape on the threads of your screw-on cap it will seal better and be much easier to unscrew.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on June 07, 2011, 05:23:31 AM
The schrader valve hole is 29/64" (0.453").

Making my first run of soap tonight.  Going to use:

750g soybean (vegetable) oil
250g olive oil
250g coconut oil
172g NaOH
400mL of water

Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on June 07, 2011, 06:23:57 AM
The schrader valve hole is 29/64" (0.453").

Making my first run of soap tonight.  Going to use:

750g soybean (vegetable) oil
250g olive oil
250g coconut oil
172g NaOH
400mL of water



Looks good!
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on June 13, 2011, 04:51:41 PM
So punatic.

How did the first batch turn out? Out of the mold and drying?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on June 14, 2011, 12:53:46 AM
So punatic.

How did the first batch turn out? Out of the mold and drying?

Yep!  Got really busy with work so I am slow in reporting back.

The ingredients and mixing were easy.  If you understand stoichiometry and lab benchwork it's no big ting; a bit disappointing, actually.  The measuring, heating, mixing and molding took about 30 minutes.  Nothing like a batch of all-grain beer.  Making the mold took twice as long.

I can see the finer points of soapmaking come in the techniques and ingredients used to achieve desired, colors, textures and aromas.

The soap smells a lot like saddle soap, which I now realize smells a lot like vegetable oil.

I think I might have un-molded it too soon.   I un-molded it after about 40 hours in the mold.  When I extruded the soap from the mold, the shearing forces caused the sides of the soap to be rough and clumpy.  There is a thin layer of soap still stuck on the inside walls of the mold.  It doesn't have a nice a smooth finish like yours does in the photos above.  Was this because it was the first time the mold was used?  Does the soap create a passivation layer on the PVC on the inside of the mold when it's been used a few times?  Do you coat the inside of the mold with a releasing agent?

Pretty cool how how the air pressure pushed it right out though!  Was that your idea?

The soap makes a really nice silky - creamy lather.  However, it is still pretty green.  I see what you mean about getting a skin tingle from immature soap.  I had to wash my hands with a fresh lime to calm the tingle down.  I washed with it when I extruded it from the mold.

Is it better to age the soap in a log, or should I cut it into bars? 
I can age the soap in my fermentorium (68⁰F - 50% humidity) or out in ambient air (68⁰F - 80⁰F and 70% - 80% humidity).  Which do you think would age better?

All in all... very cool!  I'm hooked!
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on June 14, 2011, 01:03:15 AM
Muahahaha!

It is possible you used a bit too much water. My preference is to dry it as a log, but drying the cut bars will speed up things a bit.  Try leaving it on the mould with the lid off for a week or so longer.


Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: EHall on June 17, 2011, 12:50:14 AM
http://www.youtube.com/hopsdirect#p/u/0/U-AjrUpVC24

hop soap...
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on June 17, 2011, 02:33:28 AM
http://www.youtube.com/hopsdirect#p/u/0/U-AjrUpVC24

hop soap...

She needs to invest in a boat-motor for mixing... or is that melt & pour kine soap?

I got a boat-motor at a garage sale for $1 a few years ago.  It's been relegated to soapmaking now.

Single-slot plastic kitchen drawer organizers make good small batch molds.   (working on batch 4).

Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on June 17, 2011, 06:34:24 PM
I watched that. Looks like the melt-n-pour stuff. It's already saponified.

Good use of the hops tho- will have to try that for an antiseptic soap.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: brewmichigan on June 17, 2011, 07:25:51 PM
Hop Soap!!

http://www.hopsdirect.com/media/hops-tv.html
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: boulderbrewer on June 18, 2011, 02:33:54 AM
Got the lye,plenty of milk so here's hoping it is good
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on June 18, 2011, 02:36:56 AM
Go for it!
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on June 26, 2011, 09:25:07 PM
750g soybean (vegetable) oil
250g olive oil
250g coconut oil
172g NaOH
400mL of water

This makes an excellent shaving soap!   It facilitates a very close shave with no razor burn.  Residual oils act as a moisturizer.

Next batch I'm pouring the liquid stage soap into coffee mugs and letting it stay in there when done.  Add a shaving soap brush and it's good to go!
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on June 26, 2011, 09:37:57 PM
Yup. I shave with mine too. It's done wonders for my face. Have you tried the soap in place of shampoo yet? ;)

If you want to firm the soap up a bit you could add about 100g lard to the recipe.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tubercle on June 26, 2011, 09:42:46 PM
I can't find any pure sodium hydroxide around here.ARRGGGG!!! >:( >:( >:( >:(

I wan't to make me some soap!!
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on June 26, 2011, 09:48:27 PM
I was thinking of trying to make soap from the ash out of my BGE. Make a solution and strain off the particulate. Absolutely no idea of how much ash to use.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on June 26, 2011, 10:05:00 PM
I can't find any pure sodium hydroxide around here.ARRGGGG!!! >:( >:( >:( >:(

I wan't to make me some soap!!

Check at Ace Hardware.  I get 1lb jars of 100% NaOH there for $4.59.

The store locator on the ACE website shows stores in S.C.

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2845800&kw=lye&origkw=lye&searchId=52108361304

The customer ratings show most of the people use this 100% lye for soap making.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on June 26, 2011, 10:30:40 PM
I was thinking of trying to make soap from the ash out of my BGE. Make a solution and strain off the particulate. Absolutely no idea of how much ash to use.

You need to be sure to use hardwood ash.  Also, much of what you make with the ash method is KOH, so your soap will be softer.

I haven't tried using my soap for shampoo yet.  Truth be told, the skin tingling I got from using the soap too young kind of spooked me a bit.  Think I'll let that first batch age a while longer before trying it on my hair. 

I used to work with thousands of gallons of NaOH at a time at the power plant (ion exchange resin regenerant).  I got burned a couple of times in 15 years.  I'm a bit shy around caustic now.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tubercle on June 26, 2011, 10:32:28 PM
I can't find any pure sodium hydroxide around here.ARRGGGG!!! >:( >:( >:( >:(

I wan't to make me some soap!!

Check at Ace Hardware.  I get 1lb jars of 100% NaOH there for $4.59.

The store locator on the ACE website shows stores in S.C.

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2845800&kw=lye&origkw=lye&searchId=52108361304

The customer ratings show most of the people use this 100% lye for soap making.

 There is one about 20 minutes away.

Thanks ;D ;D
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: brewmichigan on June 27, 2011, 02:07:20 PM
I can't find any pure sodium hydroxide around here.ARRGGGG!!! >:( >:( >:( >:(

I wan't to make me some soap!!

Check at Ace Hardware.  I get 1lb jars of 100% NaOH there for $4.59.

The store locator on the ACE website shows stores in S.C.

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2845800&kw=lye&origkw=lye&searchId=52108361304

The customer ratings show most of the people use this 100% lye for soap making.


I bought some of this stuff from Mendards in my town. Seems like the only place that carries it now. Haven't checked ACE or the other hardware store though.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tubercle on July 04, 2011, 05:38:25 PM
Tubercle made soap 8)

 Found 100% NaOH at lowes. Roebic brand in the plumbing section.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on July 04, 2011, 05:43:44 PM
Tubercle made soap 8)

 Found 100% NaOH at lowes. Roebic brand in the plumbing section.

Roebic is what I started with. Makes excellent soap. Lowes in my area doesn't carry it anymore. :-\

Easy wasn't it tubercle?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tubercle on July 04, 2011, 05:52:23 PM
Tubercle made soap 8)

 Found 100% NaOH at lowes. Roebic brand in the plumbing section.

Roebic is what I started with. Makes excellent soap. Lowes in my area doesn't carry it anymore. :-\

Easy wasn't it tubercle?

 Much, much easier than I would have ever thought. :D

 Started basic just to see what would happen. 3 lbs crisco shortening, distilled water & lye. I used online calculators to get the water & lye weights using 50/50 soybean/cotton seed oil for the crisco (just guessing here).

Tried wisking by hand but after 15 minutes gave up and grabbed the electric stirring stick. Poured into those tupperware food saver bowls as moulds.
 Now the waiting begins....
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on July 04, 2011, 07:20:40 PM
I made two batches yesterday while running some Very Old Dark Kilauea Ale.  One batch was made with Kona coffee to the receipe found on the MMS website  (http://www.thesage.com/recipes/recipes.php?.State=Display&id=94) (half size batch).  I made a second batch with coconut fragrance oil:

200 g Crisco
150 g coconut oil
150 g olive oil
71 g NaOH
140 mL water
8 mL coconut fragrance oil - added and mixed in at trace

Molded in a 9" x 3" x 2" Rubbermade drawer organizer tray lined with Reynolds freezer paper.  I molded the coffee soap the same way.  The 9" x 3" x 2" trays are the perfect size for 500 g experimental batches.

Decided to try Crisco instead of liquid soybean oil.  Crisco is hydrogenated, which I have read will make a harder bar.  My soaps made with liquid soybean oil (Kirkland brand) are not as hard as I would like.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: EHall on July 08, 2011, 05:29:51 PM
Found this today:

http://stonecompanystore.com/store/product/3220/ABA-Soap/

Coconut oil
Rice bran oil
Arrogant bastard beer
Sunflower oil
Castor oil
Fragrance
Mica
Cocoa powder


So is this Mica the same as the mineral/rock? Or something different?
And it looks like the beer replaces the water...
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: morticaixavier on July 08, 2011, 10:11:59 PM
Found this today:

http://stonecompanystore.com/store/product/3220/ABA-Soap/

Coconut oil
Rice bran oil
Arrogant bastard beer
Sunflower oil
Castor oil
Fragrance
Mica
Cocoa powder


So is this Mica the same as the mineral/rock? Or something different?
And it looks like the beer replaces the water...


Don't know but I would guess it is indeed the sparkly mineral, It would provide some gentle exfoliation and probably some nice sparkle
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: barliman on July 22, 2011, 03:19:03 AM
Okay, you guys have talked me into it.  I'm going to give this soap thing a go.  I'll likely use a very simple recipe, or use Euge's recipe on the first page.  Since it's tough not to tinker with recipes, maybe an ounce or two of scent.  Won't have time until next week sometime though ::).

J
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on July 22, 2011, 05:35:36 AM
Muahahah!

Another swayed over... Enjoy!
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on July 24, 2011, 09:19:29 PM
In doing some research on potassium carbonate for mead pH control I came across this nugget of information which applies to using wood ash for making soap too.

The table listing potash content of various plants is very informative.

Potassium carbonate (http://www.fryingcolors.com/k2co3.html)
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: theoman on August 07, 2011, 03:34:07 PM
Alright, I just finished mixing up my first batch of soap. Canola, olive and hemp oils, 50/50 water and soymilk and a few drops of bergamot essential oil. I think it went ok. It seemed to take forever to thicken, but maybe I overdid it. For one thing, it looks like I fried my mixer. We'll see what happens. I hope it works out and I'll want to try again. I have 4 freakin' kilos of lye.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on August 07, 2011, 04:27:02 PM
Sounds interestng.  Where did the recipe come from?

Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on August 07, 2011, 04:46:45 PM
Bergamot oil. I likes it in my tea- why not my soap? That's a decent-looking recipe. Let us know how the canola works out. Only 4 kilos of lye? That ought to last a good while. ;)

What do you mean by "overdid" the mixing?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: theoman on August 07, 2011, 04:52:41 PM
Sounds interestng.  Where did the recipe come from?


I came up with the recipe similar to how I come up with beer recipes. It's based partially on what sounds good to me and what ingredients I have on hand.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: theoman on August 07, 2011, 04:56:24 PM
What do you mean by "overdid" the mixing?

I think I was expecting it to get thicker than it did. In the end it got pretty thick, but my mixer was fried by then. I won't be saving money if I go through a mixer every batch. ;-)

Do you do anything special to clean up after a batch?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: theoman on August 07, 2011, 07:24:44 PM
Been doing a bit more reading - it seems the canola oil is the reason it took so long to trace. It also sounds like it's not going to be very good soap. Probably too soft.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on August 07, 2011, 11:42:03 PM
Been doing a bit more reading - it seems the canola oil is the reason it took so long to trace. It also sounds like it's not going to be very good soap. Probably too soft.

I made a batch with Canola oil using this recipe (scaled down to 500 total grams of fat):

Coffee Soap (http://www.thesage.com/recipes/recipes.php?.State=Display&id=94)

It turned out great, hardened up fine.  It doesn't smell much like coffee anymore, but it really works well for de-stinking stinky hands (gasoline, fish, garlic, onions)

That website has an abundance of good information and products.  I use their lye calculator for every batch.  I've ordered scents from them too.  Excellent prices on very good oils.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: theoman on August 08, 2011, 10:45:08 AM
Cool, I'm gonna have to try the coffee soap recipe.

Did you still use the soy oil like in the recipe? I think my problem is that I used only unsaturated fats. It seems to be hardening up alright, but it might not last long.

When I was finished, to balance the minor disappointment, I cracked into my latest homebrew, which was a huge success.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on August 08, 2011, 05:28:07 PM
You could mix a little pumice sand into the coffee soap and then you've made your own version of "Lava". ;)
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on August 09, 2011, 12:36:14 AM
You could mix a little pumice sand into the coffee soap and then you've made your own version of "Lava". ;)

The coffee grounds provide nice abrasion. 

I used this recipe:
125 g canola oil
125 g coconut oil
125 g Crisco oil
125 g olive oil
90 g NaOH
190 mL triple strength coffee
1 tbs fresh coffee grounds
Note: let the coffee cool before adding the NaOH.  If you do not, the heat generated by adding the NaOH will cause the coffee to boil violently and spatter.   ::)

Crisco has hydrogenated soybean oil in it.  By bubbling hydrogen through the liquid soy oil, it becomes solid.  That helps make the soap more solid.

500 gram batches like this one fit nicely in a mold made of a  9" x 3" x 2" Rubbermaid drawer organizer plastic tray, lined with Reynolds freezer paper.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on August 15, 2011, 03:22:27 AM
Another excellent soap making website:
Soap Making Essentials (http://www.soap-making-essentials.com/index.html)
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: EHall on August 15, 2011, 03:11:37 PM
'By bubbling hydrogen through the liquid soy oil, it becomes solid.'

ok, how did you do that? You got a hydrogen tank?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on August 15, 2011, 03:36:05 PM
I have a proton accelerator that I use (protons are hydrogen ions with a 1+ charge).   ;)

Just kidding.  Crisco is hydrogenated soy oil.  Saturated fats are not bad for you if you don't eat them.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: barliman on August 19, 2011, 11:00:08 PM
Finally got around to making soap.  My wife and I made a batch today and split it into two parts with two different scents.  I had a heck of a time finding 100% Lye, but finally found the Rooto brand at Menards. 

1000g Olive Oil
500g Coconut Oil
200g Castor Oil
200g Shea Butter
100g Cocoa Butter

900g Water
290g Lye

Half of the batch got one ounce of "Tropical Vacation" scented oil, and the other half was an ounce of Sea Moss scented oil.

I think I'm going to like this hobby.  Thanks Euge.

J
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on August 20, 2011, 12:05:27 AM
Seven pounds of soap!  How did you mold it?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: barliman on August 20, 2011, 02:58:31 AM
Turns out my mother in law knows someone that makes soap.  So she let me use a couple of her molds and cutter.

J
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: EHall on December 17, 2011, 03:08:06 AM
so for you guys who make soap... has anyone made their own shampoo? I made some tonight for my daughter whos been having some 'itching' issue lately. We went thru 4 shampoos, 2 are nutragena, which she's used with success in the past and the other 1 was what shes been using for over a year... her problem didn't go away changing shampoo and cutting out the conditioner, so what I made was:
1/4cup liquid castile soap
1/4cup water
1/2t olive oil
Shake it up and use it.

My question is, is there any way to thicken it up? make is closer to the thickness/texture of what you can buy...
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on December 17, 2011, 05:06:08 AM
You need to use potassium hydroxide in place of sodium hydroxide to make liquid soap.

To thicken up your mix try adding lecithin and use a blender to emulsify your mix. That's a long shot though. You're better off making it from scratch.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tschmidlin on December 17, 2011, 06:23:13 AM
so for you guys who make soap... has anyone made their own shampoo? I made some tonight for my daughter whos been having some 'itching' issue lately. We went thru 4 shampoos, 2 are nutragena, which she's used with success in the past and the other 1 was what shes been using for over a year... her problem didn't go away changing shampoo and cutting out the conditioner
I have no idea, but my kids have had good luck with the "burts bees for kids" products.  The other thing was to rinse their hair for them, I don't know how old she is but my kids get itchy if I let them do it themselves in the shower.  I suspect they don't do a good enough job rinsing it out, and that gets itchy.  Same problem on their hands if they don't rinse the soap off well, it gets red and itchy.

You've probably tried it, I'm just hoping for an easy fix.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on December 17, 2011, 07:31:27 AM
I lived on a sailboat for a while.  The itchy scalp thing was a recurring nuisance.  A couple of shampoos with Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap was the cure.  It is a liquid castille soap that is available at just about every healthfood store I've ever been in.

You might give that a try.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: EHall on December 17, 2011, 04:37:46 PM
So if I need to use KOH, that means I have to go with a 'hot' method right? Does using lecithin mean a hot method too? and I'm not sure what you mean by 'make your own'

Shes 9, and I know my wife has gotten on her in the past about rinsing well, I'll make sure shes doing that... I forgot all about that part! I forgot to mention the castile soap I bought has the peppermint oil in it... she was telling me last night that it tingled and felt good... but still still iched after her shower and this morning.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on December 17, 2011, 06:15:05 PM
All methods I describe will usually be the cold process. But the shampoo from scratch is a warm process http://www.thesage.com/recipes/recipes.php?.State=Display&id=114 (http://www.thesage.com/recipes/recipes.php?.State=Display&id=114)

Since you added oil if you try lecithin I would do it at room temp in a blender to emulsify all the ingredients.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: EHall on December 17, 2011, 07:06:47 PM
euge, sorry for being dense or ignorant, but your comment about using lethicin... you saying add that to the recipe I posted and use the blender? Thanks for the link, I'll try that one too.

btw- My wife tried the one I made last night... absolutely hated it! Her hair lost all its softness, pretty much the best way to descibe it is, it got seriously squeaky clean. I figured it washed all the buildup out of it.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: MrNate on December 20, 2011, 02:10:35 PM
Huh, here I thought I was the only one. I made a 7lb batch a year ago. I'm on the last bar now.

Don't remember the recipe offhand, but it was lye from Ace hardware and 7lbs of beef kidney fat rendered down. I poured it in a rectangular pyrex baking dish and cut it into bars with a chef's knife. Not pretty, but simple.

Also, I'm told that drip lye makes a soft soap - as in liquid - unless you add table salt. But I don't know anything about that from personal experience.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: morticaixavier on December 20, 2011, 04:27:57 PM
euge, sorry for being dense or ignorant, but your comment about using lethicin... you saying add that to the recipe I posted and use the blender? Thanks for the link, I'll try that one too.

btw- My wife tried the one I made last night... absolutely hated it! Her hair lost all its softness, pretty much the best way to descibe it is, it got seriously squeaky clean. I figured it washed all the buildup out of it.

yeah castille soap will strip the hair down alot. When I use dr. bronners on my hair I follow with coconut oil. Raw if I want a little coconut aroma, refined if I don't.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: 1vertical on December 21, 2011, 06:39:43 AM
I lived on a sailboat for a while.  The itchy scalp thing was a recurring nuisance.  A couple of shampoos with Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap was the cure.  It is a liquid castille soap that is available at just about every healthfood store I've ever been in.

You might give that a try.
Duly noted and tried this am...had that tingly nice sensation for half the day and
went until bedtime before any itchiness returned.  I'll give it another go or 2 and
hopefully itchy scalp will be gone. Thanks for this Carl...I was not sure what to do
next as I have been plagued by this malady...timing of the post uncanny.... :P
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: barliman on February 29, 2012, 05:55:59 PM
My wife and I made our second ever batch of soap today (first time without guidance).  Everything went pretty smoothly, just a couple of drops splashed out of the bowl when I was blending.  The wife is in love with Coconut Lime Verbena soap from Bath and Body Works, so that's what I was aiming for.  Anyway, this is the recipe:

450g Lard
400g Coconut oil
250g Hazelnut oil
.45 oz Lime Fragrance oil
164g NaOH

I like the Coconut Lime just fine, but next time I'm going to make something a little less girly.

J
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on February 29, 2012, 07:15:29 PM
Looks good...

Be careful with the coconut oil since it can be irritating to the skin. Think I keep it around 5-10% of the total recipe. Makes beautiful suds.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tschmidlin on February 29, 2012, 07:19:31 PM
I picked up some lye and I'm ready to try soap making.  Any recommendations for a first batch?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on February 29, 2012, 09:01:17 PM
I picked up some lye and I'm ready to try soap making.  Any recommendations for a first batch?

I would go with a "Castille"-type soap. A good place to start is 90% vegetable oil and 10% olive oil. Plug that into the MMS calculator and see how much lye and water you'll need. Thinking that 3% fat is not a bad number to aim for.

Initially, I used the cardboard flats that soda cans come in to produce a block of soap. This mould is lined with cling-wrap or parchment paper then the mixture poured in and allowed to saponify. You can place all of this into a warm oven if you like to help things along, though it might produce some tiny bubbles that are barely noticeable in the finished product.

Then once saponified and rested you can slice the block of soap up into bars and dry on a rack for a week or so.

Once you become more aquainted with this you can vary it up and add scents and other ingredients. Lard in particular- 10% or so will certainly create a harder bar. I use the "manteca" lard from the supermarket and the bars come out very white.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: micsager on February 29, 2012, 09:30:04 PM
I picked up some lye and I'm ready to try soap making.  Any recommendations for a first batch?

We've been making soap for a wile.  I also dry some spent grain, throw that in the food processor to pulverize real good, and add that.  It's a bit gimmicky, but we have fun with it. 
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tschmidlin on February 29, 2012, 10:11:41 PM
I picked up some lye and I'm ready to try soap making.  Any recommendations for a first batch?

I would go with a "Castille"-type soap. A good place to start is 90% vegetable oil and 10% olive oil. Plug that into the MMS calculator and see how much lye and water you'll need. Thinking that 3% fat is not a bad number to aim for.

Initially, I used the cardboard flats that soda cans come in to produce a block of soap. This mould is lined with cling-wrap or parchment paper then the mixture poured in and allowed to saponify. You can place all of this into a warm oven if you like to help things along, though it might produce some tiny bubbles that are barely noticeable in the finished product.

Then once saponified and rested you can slice the block of soap up into bars and dry on a rack for a week or so.

Once you become more aquainted with this you can vary it up and add scents and other ingredients. Lard in particular- 10% or so will certainly create a harder bar. I use the "manteca" lard from the supermarket and the bars come out very white.
Sounds good, thanks euge.

i have an old desk organizer I was going to use, it's plastic but I assume it will be fine.

I like the idea of grains mic, I want to start with something simple though just to have a baseline.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: BrewArk on February 29, 2012, 10:29:42 PM
Would bacon fat make a good soap?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tubercle on February 29, 2012, 11:16:39 PM
Would bacon fat make a good soap?

AKA: lard.

 Yes
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on February 29, 2012, 11:30:04 PM
Would bacon fat make a good soap?

AKA: lard.

 Yes

Do you really want dogs and cats and strange people following you around after taking a shower? ;D

Actually, I have thought about using bacon fat. I think the saponification process might drive off a lot of the "bacon" aromatics.  Might be worth a try to see how it turns out.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tubercle on March 01, 2012, 12:34:54 AM
Would bacon fat make a good soap?

AKA: lard.

 Yes

Do you really want dogs and cats and strange people following you around after taking a shower? ;D

Actually, I have thought about using bacon fat. I think the saponification process might drive off a lot of the "bacon" aromatics.  Might be worth a try to see how it turns out.

 From what I gather about this art, animal fat, particuarlly hog fat, was the main soap ingreident for many, many years.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on March 01, 2012, 01:23:01 AM
I think the Manteca that I get is primarily pork fat. Wanted all-beef so I could cook fries with it but that's what is available. Has a green and white pound box or by two gallon bucket. Anyway beef tallow is supposed to be the best for soap AFAIK.

What people do with the gallon bucket just plain scares the hell out of me. :o
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: theoman on March 01, 2012, 07:40:40 AM
Back on page 6 I mentioned my first batch made with canola and olive oil. It seemed to take forever to trace, I fried my mixer, etc. Well, I still have a few bars of that soap and I love it! We just switched bars to some fancy fair trade stuff from Sweden and it's not nearly as nice as my homemade soap. It is a bit soft and oily (slimy, one could say, when it gets wet), but it lathers up nice and quick if you rub it in a loofah and feels great on the skin.

The second batch I did was much smaller and traced quickly. I think I did 100% olive oil and I added oats and honey. That one is sooo nice, but I wish I would've ground up the oats a bit finer.

I plan to do another batch this weekend. I'm thinking simple oils and ground hops pellets.

About oils - I stick to vegetable oils, since I don't eat meat and all. The problem is, it's hard to find hydrogenated vegetable oil in these parts that doesn't have anti-foaming agents. So, my soap is a little soft. Oh well. 
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on March 01, 2012, 12:12:12 PM
About oils - I stick to vegetable oils, since I don't eat meat and all. The problem is, it's hard to find hydrogenated vegetable oil in these parts that doesn't have anti-foaming agents. So, my soap is a little soft. Oh well.

Crisco doesn"t have anti-foaming agents in it.

Crisco all vegetable oil shortening ingredients:
SOYBEAN OIL, FULLY HYDROGENATED PALM OIL, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED PALM AND SOYBEAN OILS, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, TBHQ AND CITRIC ACID (ANTIOXIDANTS).

Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on March 01, 2012, 12:58:10 PM
Be careful with the coconut oil since it can be irritating to the skin. Think I keep it around 5-10% of the total recipe. Makes beautiful suds.

I make a salt water soap that is 80% coconut oil, 10% olive oil and 10% Crisco.  It lathers in ocean water.  I have not had any skin irritation.  This is the first I've heard of that.

Next time I use it I'll probably break out in hives...   ;D
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on March 01, 2012, 02:16:33 PM
Salt water soap? That is awesome.

If the coconut oil doesn't bother you don't eschew using it!
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on March 01, 2012, 03:19:36 PM
Cashews don't bother my skin either, but I like macadamias better.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: theoman on March 01, 2012, 03:24:43 PM
About oils - I stick to vegetable oils, since I don't eat meat and all. The problem is, it's hard to find hydrogenated vegetable oil in these parts that doesn't have anti-foaming agents. So, my soap is a little soft. Oh well.

Crisco doesn"t have anti-foaming agents in it.

Crisco all vegetable oil shortening ingredients:
SOYBEAN OIL, FULLY HYDROGENATED PALM OIL, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED PALM AND SOYBEAN OILS, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, TBHQ AND CITRIC ACID (ANTIOXIDANTS).

Cool. Wanna send me a tub of Crisco?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on March 01, 2012, 04:00:04 PM
Right. They don't have crisco in Belgium...

Not sure why you'd want hydrogenated fat for soap. People use it but seems like an expensive alternative to vegetable oil. Is there a specific reason to use hydrogenated oil like crisco?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: phillamb168 on March 01, 2012, 04:45:34 PM
Right. They don't have crisco in Belgium...

Not sure why you'd want hydrogenated fat for soap. People use it but seems like an expensive alternative to vegetable oil. Is there a specific reason to use hydrogenated oil like crisco?

@theoman yes they DO have crisco (or at least vegetable shortening) in Belgium. It's usually called 'graisse vegetal frites' or something like that. In my local grocery it's sold next to the cheese.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: theoman on March 01, 2012, 05:41:55 PM
Right. They don't have crisco in Belgium...

Not sure why you'd want hydrogenated fat for soap. People use it but seems like an expensive alternative to vegetable oil. Is there a specific reason to use hydrogenated oil like crisco?

Actually, I HAVE seen it, I just don't remember where and it was freakin' expensive. As for why, according to various comments, it seems to make a firmer bar. All I know is it makes a damn good pie crust.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: theoman on March 01, 2012, 05:44:34 PM
@theoman yes they DO have crisco (or at least vegetable shortening) in Belgium. It's usually called 'graisse vegetal frites' or something like that. In my local grocery it's sold next to the cheese.
Next to the cheese? Interesting. It's not the stuff for deep fryers, is it? That has anti-foaming agents. I'll have a look...
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on March 01, 2012, 06:51:49 PM
Right. They don't have crisco in Belgium...

Not sure why you'd want hydrogenated fat for soap. People use it but seems like an expensive alternative to vegetable oil. Is there a specific reason to use hydrogenated oil like crisco?

Crisco all vegetable oil shortening ingredients:
SOYBEAN OIL, FULLY HYDROGENATED PALM OIL, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED PALM AND SOYBEAN OILS, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, TBHQ AND CITRIC ACID (ANTIOXIDANTS).

What theoman says - it makes a harder bar.

Costco sells a Kirkland equivalent shortening in 50# boxes.  Doughnut Frying Shortening (without antifoam).  Yes, I know that doesn't help you guys on the other side of the Big Pond.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: phillamb168 on March 02, 2012, 10:26:29 AM
I have a block in the fridge, I can check when I get home what it's got in it. I use it to make biscuits and pie crusts. Mine comes from Leader Price, which is the suburban equivalent of FranPrix, not sure if you have either of those. Carrefour will probably carry it, refrigerated next to the margarine I think.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: bo on March 02, 2012, 01:07:39 PM
I like Irish Spring. It's very manly.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tschmidlin on March 02, 2012, 11:29:18 PM
Costco sells a Kirkland equivalent shortening in 50# boxes.  Doughnut Frying Shortening (without antifoam).  Yes, I know that doesn't help you guys on the other side of the Big Pond.
The Costco in Hawaii might, but the Costco in Kirkland doesn't.  I looked today, the closest thing they had was liquid vegetable shortening.  Perhaps doughnut frying is less popular here :)
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on March 03, 2012, 05:38:01 AM
Funny ting dat.
Malasadas are da kine here, not doughnuts. 

However, locals are going NUTS over Krispy Kreme.  They setup roadside stands and charge $20/dozen for regular kine Krispy Kreme.  Some kind of fundraiser program for schools and such.

Yes, the Kona Costco sells 50# boxes of Kirkland brand equivalent Crisco all vegetable shortening (solid white stuff).  It makes great soap.  The ingredients list is the same as shown for Crisco in my previous post.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: theoman on March 03, 2012, 08:26:29 PM
So I go out looking for some generic vegetable shortening and I find Crisco (5 euros for a pound - pretty steep). Go figure. Anyway, any suggestions on how I should calculate the lye? Do I just say it's soybean oil in the calculator?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on March 03, 2012, 08:58:29 PM
If you are using this:
MMS Lye Calculator (http://www.thesage.com/calcs/lyecalc2.php)
then yes, enter the shortening as soybean oil.  That's what I do and it works fine.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: theoman on March 11, 2012, 04:28:18 PM
I just did this:
220g Canola (colza, actually, but it's close)
80g Olive oil
150g crisco
140 ml water
58g NaOH
22g ground Cascade pellets

Smells fantastic so far!
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on March 11, 2012, 04:45:10 PM
At first I thought you meant those solid Cascade bars of dishwasher soap, and thought WTF?!   ::)

Cool idea!  I'm going to make a batch hops soap today.  I've got some Hallertauer pellets that ought to be just right.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: theoman on March 16, 2012, 07:30:51 AM
This is interesting…

I just pulled the soap (see above - basic recipe with cascade hops (not dishwasher detergent)) and the instant it hits the air, it starts turning brown. I mean, you can watch the color change. I did some google work and it seems to be a known issue with soap with vanilla added. The only thing I can imagine is that whatever is in vanilla that causes the browning is also in hops. Fascinating.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: euge on March 16, 2012, 05:37:40 PM
This is interesting…

I just pulled the soap (see above - basic recipe with cascade hops (not dishwasher detergent)) and the instant it hits the air, it starts turning brown. I mean, you can watch the color change. I did some google work and it seems to be a known issue with soap with vanilla added. The only thing I can imagine is that whatever is in vanilla that causes the browning is also in hops. Fascinating.

I wonder if it is the alcohol?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: morticaixavier on March 16, 2012, 06:06:36 PM
This is interesting…

I just pulled the soap (see above - basic recipe with cascade hops (not dishwasher detergent)) and the instant it hits the air, it starts turning brown. I mean, you can watch the color change. I did some google work and it seems to be a known issue with soap with vanilla added. The only thing I can imagine is that whatever is in vanilla that causes the browning is also in hops. Fascinating.

I wonder if it is the alcohol?

no alcohol in the above recipe. that's a curios thing. Says oxidation to me so somethings o2 loving in both vanilla and hops. doesn't have to be the same something.though.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: theoman on April 27, 2012, 06:52:43 AM
Just thought I'd send an update. Yeah, the hops soap turned brown, but it eventually turned a nice and even rich brown. Not bad. It's really nice soap, but it's pretty much a waste of hops. The bits exfoliate nicely and help build a great lather, but there's no typical hops characteristics whatsoever. I wouldn't recommend it other than for the gimmick factor, or if you have some ancient hops. It's better than throwing them away.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: passlaku on May 02, 2012, 04:00:05 AM
I wonder if you could use hopshot instead?
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: Hokerer on May 02, 2012, 04:09:32 PM
I wonder if you could use hopshot instead?

Yeah, and then see if it's possible to exceed 100 IBU's in your soap :)
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: punatic on December 17, 2012, 02:42:48 AM
Well, I've made 72# of soap for Christmas presents this year.
15 - 4.8# batches
180 - 6oz bars.

12 batches were comissioned by friends to give as presents. 
Three were my own to give as presents.

I think I've got it figured out.  My soap is very popular.  In the 18 months since I started making soap I've made a little over 200#.  It sells quite well.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: tcanova on November 20, 2014, 06:31:50 PM
Ha!  I just did a google search for soap making using spent grains and this comes up.  I should have know to check here first!  Great thread, thanks for all the info.  My wife wants to make soap to give away for Christmas, so I guess I better get to it!
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: Jimmy K on November 20, 2014, 08:47:47 PM
I think I've got it figured out.  My soap is very popular.  In the 18 months since I started making soap I've made a little over 200#.  It sells quite well.
Gotta love a hobby that doesn't require extensive licensing to sell.
Title: Re: Homemade Soap!
Post by: 69franx on November 20, 2014, 11:57:36 PM

I use liposuction fat cells to make my soap.   ;)
Don't forget rule number 1!


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