Author Topic: Homemade Soap!  (Read 25782 times)

Offline brewmichigan

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Re: Homemade Soap!
« Reply #45 on: June 03, 2011, 07:49:47 AM »
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!
Mike --- Flint, Michigan

Offline punatic

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Re: Homemade Soap!
« Reply #46 on: June 03, 2011, 11:48:31 AM »

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.
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Offline punatic

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Re: Homemade Soap!
« Reply #47 on: June 03, 2011, 09:54:25 PM »
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!
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Offline euge

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Re: Homemade Soap!
« Reply #48 on: June 04, 2011, 04:14:47 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!
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Offline punatic

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Re: Homemade Soap!
« Reply #49 on: June 05, 2011, 08:51:55 PM »

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.
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Offline punatic

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Re: Homemade Soap!
« Reply #50 on: June 06, 2011, 10:23:31 PM »
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

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Offline euge

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Re: Homemade Soap!
« Reply #51 on: June 06, 2011, 11:23:57 PM »
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!
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

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Offline euge

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Re: Homemade Soap!
« Reply #52 on: June 13, 2011, 09:51:41 AM »
So punatic.

How did the first batch turn out? Out of the mold and drying?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

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Offline punatic

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Re: Homemade Soap!
« Reply #53 on: June 13, 2011, 05:53:46 PM »
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!
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


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Offline euge

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Re: Homemade Soap!
« Reply #54 on: June 13, 2011, 06:03:15 PM »
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.


The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

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Offline EHall

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Re: Homemade Soap!
« Reply #55 on: June 16, 2011, 05:50:14 PM »
Phoenix, AZ

Offline punatic

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Re: Homemade Soap!
« Reply #56 on: June 16, 2011, 07:33:28 PM »
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).

There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


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Offline euge

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Re: Homemade Soap!
« Reply #57 on: June 17, 2011, 11:34:24 AM »
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.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

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Offline brewmichigan

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Re: Homemade Soap!
« Reply #58 on: June 17, 2011, 12:25:51 PM »
Mike --- Flint, Michigan

Offline boulderbrewer

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Re: Homemade Soap!
« Reply #59 on: June 17, 2011, 07:33:54 PM »
Got the lye,plenty of milk so here's hoping it is good
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