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Discussion in 'Crafty Cabin' started by kelebek, Nov 11, 2008.
Where do you purchase your soap molds and scent oils??
I go to the local craft store.., They have lots of molds there to choose from...and Walmart has a decent selection of fragance oils...I've used them often and don't have an issue with soap not setting etc....I also have one of those plastic square trays that you would use to mold stepping stones...perfect depth for a nice sized bar of soap...and you can cut the width and length to whatever size you wish. Most soap scents that you can add to the "melt and pour" soaps at the craft store are usable with "homemade from scratch" soaps.
Michaels and Pat Cattans as well as JoAnn Fabrics are the main stores around here.
I get molds, scents, oils, and pretty much all I need for soaping except for the lye online from http://www.brambleberry.com
Silicone cupcake molds (like Wilton has) make great soap molds. I have bought several holiday shapes at WalMart. My basic soap recipe batch makes six bars in those easily if I fill the molds half-way.
I also use the quart waxed cardboard half-and-half containers from my husband's coffee habit. I pour the soap into the washed out container, staple the top shut, wrap in a towel and let sit to firm up for 24 hours. Then I just peel the cardboard away from the soap and cut it into six square bars. Works great and it's "free".
Right now I am using boxes lined with freezer paper. It works well but after awhile the box will start to bow.
My hubby will be making me some wood molds very soon. I get my supplies at either http://www.essentialwholesale.com/ (this one is about 20 miles from me so no shipping) or from here http://www.oregontrailsoaps.com/ (shipping there is cheaper/faster for me because I am in Oregon)
Great ideas!!! Thanks! What r ur favorite recipes that r good for a beginner? ( never made soap before). I was thinking about making some this weekend.
never thought about the silicone molds...
how do y'all cut your soap?
every time i try it crumbles :veryangry:
i went to the store and bought those little 18oz "to go" / lunch containers
like ziploc or glad or whatever
and pour soap into them about half full
This is the recipe I started with 2 years ago.....
Simple Goat Milk Soap Recipe
· 1 lb lard Just melted enough to become liquid
· 1 cup fresh goat's milk frozen
· 2 oz lye
· fragrance or essential oils (to taste 0.5oz)
First, I put the lard on the stovetop at my very lowest setting.
I recommend using rubber gloves, long sleeves and safety glasses for every step after this point.
Measure the lye and set it aside. Measure the milk into a glass pyrex measuring cup and slowly add the lye. You can just dump the lye into the milk and stir enough to get the lye dissolved if you aren't worried about the color of your soap. I've done it this way with no problems, but the more slowly you add your lye, the lighter the color of your soap. Also, if you allow the lye to heat your milk too quickly, you will get a sort of burnt/soured milk odor to your soaps.
I watch the lard melting while I stir the lye/milk mixture and quickly remove the melted lard from the burner as soon as there are no solid pieces left in the pot.
With such a small batch, I don't bother to check temperatures and such. When the lye mixture hits the oils, it will saponify. After the lye is completely dissolved into the milk, I pour the melted lard into a stainless steel mixing bowl and slowly pour the lye mixture into the oils, stirring with the plastic spoon. I use a hand blender (stick mixer) to bring the mixture to trace and then pour into molds. (if you want to add fragrance oils or soap dyes, you would add them at the trace and stir them to combine everything)
Let the soap set in the mold for 12-24 hrs, unmold and cut bars. This soap will be cured in about 3 wks.
By making a small batch like this, I can turn out 3-4 different fragrance/color combinations per day.
I use this lye calculator http://www.rainbowmeadow.com/infocenter ... apcalc.php when I want to change a batch around. You just type in the type of fat or oil and the amount and the calculator will tell you how much lye and liquid to use.
I think if you soap is crumbling then maybe you are waiting to long to cut it....it should still be kinda soft when cutting.
Like the texture of thick fudge
I use a pastry cutter to cut my soap.
Ok, so I know that I can get the Lye at the Home Depot, but what about Lard? Where would I get that?
What does it mean to "bring to trace"? Do you have to have stainless steele or can you use pyrex?
I know so many questions - but I don't want to screw up.
Now I have "heard" that you have to wait 5 weeks for the lye to not burn - your recipe says 3 weeks - is that correct? I just don't want to give someone soap that will hurt them
Lard can be bought at most any grocery store....in mine it is sold by the oils.
trace is when the mix starts to thicken up..you know you have a trace when
you can drizzle some on top and have it leave faint trails.
This is a really good website for learning, I still refer to it after 2 years
Just make sure what you get is 100% lye, and not some kind of drain opener that has other chemicals in it.
Crumbly soap has too much lye in it. Try using just a half teaspoon less and see if it doesn't turn out better. Just a little teeny, tiny bit of lye difference can make a big change in your soap. I found out, too, that measuring cups are not all the same size. I had been using my Tupperware measuring cups to measure my lye, but wanted a cup that I could dedicate to soapmaking. So I bought a set of plastic measuring cups at WalMart. The next batch of soap I made turned out crumbly. And the next batch after that! Kuiltin' Kelly, (who is my soap-making guru. She traveled all the way from Wisconsin to Michigan just to teach me how to make soap so I wasn't alone the first time.) told me about the measuring cup situation she had and so I compared the amount that each one held by putting water in one and then pouring it into the equal cup from the other set and found out they differed by quite a bit.
I use a large, long, stainless steel butcher knife to cut my soap.
I agree that just being a tiny bit off on your weight of lye can totally change a recipe.
I have ALWAYS used a scale to weight mine as every website I read about soapmaking said I should.
Plus how else do you know how to add 2.76 OZ of lye.
Here is another lye calculator, you put in the amounts of oils you want to use and it will give you the amount of lye you should use.
It also gives instructions on making soap. http://www.thesage.com/calcs/lyecalc2.php
I really recommend using a lye calculator and a scale :wink:
i've used 3 or 4 diff recipes playing around and learning
they all crumble when i cut them
according to all recipes i've tried
you make your soap and mold it
leave it set for 24 hours
unmold and cut
so that is when i am cutting
ok - the first time was totally my fault
i cut it on a regular plate
they're concave - lol - and i wasn't thinking
the other 2 that i have cut i cut with extrememly sharp knives on a flat cutting board
i tried a serrated knife and sawed very slowly
i tried a regular knife and sorta did the teeter toter thing and it still crumbled
those 15 bars look like garbage and i'll just use them at home or grate them for laundry soap
the last recipe i used says 2T of lye so no scale needed and i poured that into individual molds (only made 2 bars which is great for making tons of diff scents as i plan on using these for Christmas pressies for co-workers (wrap soap in wax paper - wrap that in a wash cloth and tie with a ribbon - viola! - instant pressie))
Type you recipe into the lye calculator and see how much lye it tells you to use.
As Pam said before, different measuring cups and spoons can actually measure out different amounts.
Plus did the person who created the recipe actually use 2 level TBSP or 2 heaping ones.
Soap making really is science with chemical reactions going on....there are many variables.
You can grate your crumbly soap and then put a half cup into a bag made from tulle. Tie it up with a ribbon and voila, you've got a fancy scrubby soap bag. You can sell those as a specialty item or give them as gifts and no one will ever know that it was a "mistake".
Oh you all just have wonderful ideas!! I am going to have so much fun!!!
My soap "shavings" from trimming hand cut bars as well as the crumbs go into a large bowl after it's "cured"...I add boiling water , enough to melt it and I have a liquid soap for laundry or even in an old shampoo bottle for a body wash...to be used with a bath pouf....works great! I use a large non serated chef's knife to cut my bars....first few times I made soap it crumbled also...tried different recipes til I used the one posted in the Dairy Diaries by K-Ro...this soap is soooo easy and super awesome!