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Surviving the Planet X Tribulation

Author Topic: Solani's Topic: My visions, dreams and communications. Input much appreciated.  (Read 11432 times)

ilinda

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You can make all kinds of pretty things to top your soaps with as well as shapes and more inside of the soap that you can see when you cut the finished product/soap bars. I’d love it if Ilinda and others would like to contribute with what they make. It could give us all new and unthought of ideas to create all kinds of toiletries.

Maybe a budding cottage industry up there in BC?

Looks as if Barb has honed in on a couple of threads that she'd like to encourage you toward, so your home-made items topic has captured her interest too.  Looking forward to your future posts!  :)
Maybe I missed those threads...am certainly willing to contribute, as I have finally, after several years of research, arrived at at least one marketable product:  a skin elixir for women over 40.  And am working on several others, for other niche groups.  I won't be posting for marketing purposes, but to show people how easy it is to create one's own cosmetics and toiletries.

Just need to know where to post....

Solani

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You can make all kinds of pretty things to top your soaps with as well as shapes and more inside of the soap that you can see when you cut the finished product/soap bars. I’d love it if Ilinda and others would like to contribute with what they make. It could give us all new and unthought of ideas to create all kinds of toiletries.

Maybe a budding cottage industry up there in BC?

Looks as if Barb has honed in on a couple of threads that she'd like to encourage you toward, so your home-made items topic has captured her interest too.  Looking forward to your future posts!  :)
Maybe I missed those threads...am certainly willing to contribute, as I have finally, after several years of research, arrived at at least one marketable product:  a skin elixir for women over 40.  And am working on several others, for other niche groups.  I won't be posting for marketing purposes, but to show people how easy it is to create one's own cosmetics and toiletries.

Just need to know where to post....


YAAAY!!  :-* Ilinda, I would love it if you would also want to post what you make and how you do it. Like you, I'm not going to be posting what I create for any marketing reasons whatsoever. I also just want to show how easy it is to make various natural beauty/skincare products, which there will most likely be a demand/need for once SHTF. If for no other reason, it will make us, both men and women feel better and provide a small highly necessary sense of normalcy, when everything else has gone totally bonkers! Just a plain bar of soap will provide a feeling of comfort, knowing that one can keep their family clean and lessen the risk of infections. Learning how to do this now is something I feel is vital. But not only that, it will be very good bartering items as well.

I have written a PM to Barb that I was going to send but, saw that you had replied on this thread. So, I chose to reply to you first.

Off to send my PM to Barb now...  ;D

//Solani[/quote]
from Barb T.:
Solani, accidentlly hit the modify button instead of quote. Wasn't  trying to edit your post. See my reply farther below. :)
« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 08:39:16 PM by Yowbarb »
~In order to determine what is possible, one only needs to step out into what is considered impossible and look around...~
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~I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change... I am changing the things I cannot accept~
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ilinda

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YAAAY!!  :-* Ilinda, I would love it if you would also want to post what you make and how you do it. Like you, I'm not going to be posting what I create for any marketing reasons whatsoever. I also just want to show how easy it is to make various natural beauty/skincare products, which there will most likely be a demand/need for once SHTF. If for no other reason, it will make us, both men and women feel better and provide a small highly necessary sense of normalcy, when everything else has gone totally bonkers! Just a plain bar of soap will provide a feeling of comfort, knowing that one can keep their family clean and lessen the risk of infections. Learning how to do this now is something I feel is vital. But not only that, it will be very good bartering items as well.
//Solani
In January I have agreed to do a soapmaking presentation at a friend's farm, and there is already a bit of interest in it.  I plan to do two types:  goat milk soap, and plain vegan soap, and hopefully can make both batches simultaneously, if I can find another "stirrer". 

Soap is one of the most basic needs, besides food, water, clothing and shelter, so between several of us  here on the PXTH, we can show everyone how easy it is.  I find that the stirring part is calming and somehow makes a person feel in touch with Nature.  You have plenty of time to think or even, not think.

R.R. Book

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How exciting Ilinda, that you'll be leading a class.  Sounds like a nice way to pass a January day!

Solani

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In January I have agreed to do a soapmaking presentation at a friend's farm, and there is already a bit of interest in it.  I plan to do two types:  goat milk soap, and plain vegan soap, and hopefully can make both batches simultaneously, if I can find another "stirrer". 

Soap is one of the most basic needs, besides food, water, clothing and shelter, so between several of us  here on the PXTH, we can show everyone how easy it is.  I find that the stirring part is calming and somehow makes a person feel in touch with Nature.  You have plenty of time to think or even, not think.

WOW! Wish I lived closer, I’d definitely love to both watch and I could be your second ”stirrer” LOL Not sure I’d be able to hold a live presentation though. Well, I might if I knew everyone. Believe it or not, I have stage fright and hate talking in public. Give me a ghost or other entity any day of the week but a bunch of people? Ehhhh… nope… On the other hand to totally contradict myself, I’ve been thinking about filming how I make soap and other body products, as well as when I’ll be digging/building my underground root cellar etc. and considering that I REALLY dislike cameras and such and am so paranoid that I even have a thick band aid covering the webcam on my laptop, just in case it “somehow” would start “spying” on me… LOL Have the same on my iPads camera since it is connected to the Internet via our Internet router. Don’t have a good video camera though so, I’ll have to use my old iPhone 4 that came with me when I moved over here from Sweden. I guess we’ll have to see how that works out??? Or not…  :o

Do you hand stir your soaps, or do you use a stick blender? Hot process or cold? I have done a couple of soaps just using a regular hand whisk, both hot and cold process but, I feel that as long as we have electricity, I’ll use the stick blender, as the soap comes to trace much faster. I get impatient when I know I can do something quicker. As far as the “thinking” part, I wish I could shut my brain down at times. Doesn’t matter what I’m doing, or how many things I’m doing at the same time, my brain is still running around in multiple directions, as if it was on speed or something.

I’ve been working on learning how to make my own lye from the wood ashes we get in our heater. Problem with the homemade lye is that you really don’t know how strong/potent it is, depending on so many things. What type of wood you’ve burnt, where and in what conditions the trees have grown but, since it has only been the hot processed soaps I’ve tried the homemade lye in, it’s fairly easy to add more oils at the end of the process, if the lye hasn’t been neutralized and let it cook for awhile longer. I always add superfat to my hot processed soaps regardless, when they’ve finished cooking, so that I can decide which type of beneficial oil/fat I want the finished soap to have. (It’s only my laundry soap I have less fat in. 3%) It’s more difficult to add more lye if it’s not strong enough to be a good soap that both works as a soap should and be hard enough to form a bar that doesn’t get “mushy”. Plus, if you don’t have enough lye, the soap is way to oily. So, using the homemade lye, I’d rather put in a little too much to start with and then add more oils/butters/fats at the end and cook it a bit longer until it is totally neutralized/saponified. Homemade lye is also more of the “potash” style lye, which doesn’t really form hard bars regardless, but is great to make liquid soap with.

My laundry soap I make from my homemade soap bars, which are made from a blend of coconut oil and lard, combined with Washing soda, Borax and whatever essential oil I like. Works just as good if not better than the store-bought expensive stuff. Plus, I know what’s in it and it’s not loaded with a lot of chemicals. You can make it into both powder form as well as liquid. I prefer the liquid version since I mainly wash in cold water. I’ve been experimenting with using less water and whipping/beating the “soap batter” with my mixer until it has the consistency like stiff Cool Whip or Mayo and is more concentrated, which takes up less space in my laundry room. I’ve been using our neighbors as “Guinea pigs” for all my bath, body and laundry products. That is after I’ve tried them myself for a while, to make sure that they aren’t in anyway harmful. They keep asking for more, so I guess they are satisfied with how they work. :D 

A neighbor lady of ours asked me yesterday if she could buy some of my soaps since she drew her sisters name to be her secret Santa so… It makes me feel good that she feels that what I make is good enough to give away as presents. We have a bartering system with her. She has chickens so, I get eggs, and she gets all the soap and body products she needs/wants… Another neighbor has cows, so we buy milk at a discount, since I drink more milk than she uses soap LOL I’m totally happy with that, since I also get the cream which I make butter out of. Most of our neighbors are wonderful people, which are very prepper minded and a close-knit community.

Took about 2 years though before they really accepted me, (well, a few still haven’t but… I’ll survive…) as I am a tad different than they are but, moving into a small off-grid community is always difficult before people get the feel of you and know that even if you are tattooed, have piercings and just plain odd at times, you’re still someone that is not out to harm or cheat anyone. I think it also had a lot to do with that Dan is older than I am, and they were worried that I was out to scam him somehow… I’m OK with that, it just proves to me that they are good people that actually look after and care about each other.

And yes, I agree with you, soap is a very important product both for health reasons as well as providing a sense of normalcy. Similar with the other bath and body products. It can provide a feeling of luxury, being able to pamper yourself and help keep your spirits up. But not only that, just being able to make things yourself like a healing/soothing salve that is all natural which you can use on everything from diaper rash, lip balm, to irritated and blistered cow/goat teats and is so simple to make, since regardless of where you live, you can grow everything you need that goes into it. 

Anywho, we’ll see how Barb would like the whole setup to be and take it from there.

//Solani







~In order to determine what is possible, one only needs to step out into what is considered impossible and look around...~
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~I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change... I am changing the things I cannot accept~
*******************************

ilinda

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I'll wait till Barb finds the right spot for this discussion to continue, before adding more, although there's plenty more to say!  I might look around here on the TH and see if there's a thread relevant to all of this....

Yowbarb

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I'll wait till Barb finds the right spot for this discussion to continue, before adding more, although there's plenty more to say!  I might look around here on the TH and see if there's a thread relevant to all of this....
:)
Hi ilinda, it's fine just continue the discussion.
Computer problem for a few days but back on it... Just invited Solani to be a Global Mod and join the sisterhood. :)
We will work out details and we will work together name a New Board area for her.
Actually this is called a "Category" with the Mod's name and title of the category above and
- Barb T.

Yowbarb

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To Solani:
Computer problem for a few days but back on it... Solani I am inviting you to a Global Mod and join the sisterhood. :)
We will work out details and we will work together name a New Board area for you.
Actually this is called a "Category" with the Mod's name and title of the category above.
I sent some other ideas for you to think about two other Boards you could take over... whatever works for you; will explain everything. :) Sent U my email addy also.
You are much appreciated!
Barb t.

R.R. Book

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You are much appreciated!

Agreed!  :)

ilinda

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In January I have agreed to do a soapmaking presentation at a friend's farm, and there is already a bit of interest in it.  I plan to do two types:  goat milk soap, and plain vegan soap, and hopefully can make both batches simultaneously, if I can find another "stirrer". 

Soap is one of the most basic needs, besides food, water, clothing and shelter, so between several of us  here on the PXTH, we can show everyone how easy it is.  I find that the stirring part is calming and somehow makes a person feel in touch with Nature.  You have plenty of time to think or even, not think.

WOW! Wish I lived closer, I’d definitely love to both watch and I could be your second ”stirrer” LOL Not sure I’d be able to hold a live presentation though. Well, I might if I knew everyone. Believe it or not, I have stage fright and hate talking in public. Give me a ghost or other entity any day of the week but a bunch of people? Ehhhh… nope… On the other hand to totally contradict myself, I’ve been thinking about filming how I make soap and other body products, as well as when I’ll be digging/building my underground root cellar etc. and considering that I REALLY dislike cameras and such and am so paranoid that I even have a thick band aid covering the webcam on my laptop, just in case it “somehow” would start “spying” on me… LOL Have the same on my iPads camera since it is connected to the Internet via our Internet router. Don’t have a good video camera though so, I’ll have to use my old iPhone 4 that came with me when I moved over here from Sweden. I guess we’ll have to see how that works out??? Or not…  :o

Do you hand stir your soaps, or do you use a stick blender? Hot process or cold? I have done a couple of soaps just using a regular hand whisk, both hot and cold process but, I feel that as long as we have electricity, I’ll use the stick blender, as the soap comes to trace much faster. I get impatient when I know I can do something quicker. As far as the “thinking” part, I wish I could shut my brain down at times. Doesn’t matter what I’m doing, or how many things I’m doing at the same time, my brain is still running around in multiple directions, as if it was on speed or something.

I’ve been working on learning how to make my own lye from the wood ashes we get in our heater. Problem with the homemade lye is that you really don’t know how strong/potent it is, depending on so many things. What type of wood you’ve burnt, where and in what conditions the trees have grown but, since it has only been the hot processed soaps I’ve tried the homemade lye in, it’s fairly easy to add more oils at the end of the process, if the lye hasn’t been neutralized and let it cook for awhile longer. I always add superfat to my hot processed soaps regardless, when they’ve finished cooking, so that I can decide which type of beneficial oil/fat I want the finished soap to have. (It’s only my laundry soap I have less fat in. 3%) It’s more difficult to add more lye if it’s not strong enough to be a good soap that both works as a soap should and be hard enough to form a bar that doesn’t get “mushy”. Plus, if you don’t have enough lye, the soap is way to oily. So, using the homemade lye, I’d rather put in a little too much to start with and then add more oils/butters/fats at the end and cook it a bit longer until it is totally neutralized/saponified. Homemade lye is also more of the “potash” style lye, which doesn’t really form hard bars regardless, but is great to make liquid soap with.

My laundry soap I make from my homemade soap bars, which are made from a blend of coconut oil and lard, combined with Washing soda, Borax and whatever essential oil I like. Works just as good if not better than the store-bought expensive stuff. Plus, I know what’s in it and it’s not loaded with a lot of chemicals. You can make it into both powder form as well as liquid. I prefer the liquid version since I mainly wash in cold water. I’ve been experimenting with using less water and whipping/beating the “soap batter” with my mixer until it has the consistency like stiff Cool Whip or Mayo and is more concentrated, which takes up less space in my laundry room. I’ve been using our neighbors as “Guinea pigs” for all my bath, body and laundry products. That is after I’ve tried them myself for a while, to make sure that they aren’t in anyway harmful. They keep asking for more, so I guess they are satisfied with how they work. :D 

A neighbor lady of ours asked me yesterday if she could buy some of my soaps since she drew her sisters name to be her secret Santa so… It makes me feel good that she feels that what I make is good enough to give away as presents. We have a bartering system with her. She has chickens so, I get eggs, and she gets all the soap and body products she needs/wants… Another neighbor has cows, so we buy milk at a discount, since I drink more milk than she uses soap LOL I’m totally happy with that, since I also get the cream which I make butter out of. Most of our neighbors are wonderful people, which are very prepper minded and a close-knit community.

Took about 2 years though before they really accepted me, (well, a few still haven’t but… I’ll survive…) as I am a tad different than they are but, moving into a small off-grid community is always difficult before people get the feel of you and know that even if you are tattooed, have piercings and just plain odd at times, you’re still someone that is not out to harm or cheat anyone. I think it also had a lot to do with that Dan is older than I am, and they were worried that I was out to scam him somehow… I’m OK with that, it just proves to me that they are good people that actually look after and care about each other.

And yes, I agree with you, soap is a very important product both for health reasons as well as providing a sense of normalcy. Similar with the other bath and body products. It can provide a feeling of luxury, being able to pamper yourself and help keep your spirits up. But not only that, just being able to make things yourself like a healing/soothing salve that is all natural which you can use on everything from diaper rash, lip balm, to irritated and blistered cow/goat teats and is so simple to make, since regardless of where you live, you can grow everything you need that goes into it. 

Anywho, we’ll see how Barb would like the whole setup to be and take it from there.

//Solani
Since Barb says it's OK to go ahead and continue here...here goes....

You mentioned stage fright and indicating not liking public speaking, so if you ever want to hear how I conquered it, just yell.  I was like you, totally scared to death to even say "hi" to a crowd of people.  It was awful.  That's history now.  LOL

Soapmaking--hot or cold process?  I must be doing it in such a primitive way that I don't even know what you're talking about.  About 25 years ago I asked a friend (I had wanted to learn this for decades) how her mother made soap, so she gave me her recipe on a "recipe card" just like they use for food.  I still have that card, although I've tweaked the recipe to death and it no longer bears any resemblance whatsoever to her mom's.

To make soap, I gather the basics:  fat or oil, usually 100% organic coconut oil; lye crystals, usually Roebic brand; and either water or milk, depending on whether I'm making goat milk soap or soap for vegans.  After I have the oil near, or at, the correct temperature, I put the lye crystals in the container of water or milk, and begin stirring to dissolve the lye.  This solution is "exothermic" meaning it rises in temperature from room temp. quickly to something too hot to touch. 

After the lye solution cools to the proper temperature, I then add the lye solution to the fat/oil at its correct temperature, then I begin to stir constantly.  I will stir up to three hours, but sometimes only a hour, but most often 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  You'll know when it's ready because the stirring rod can be used to write letters on the surface of the congealing soap solution, at which time I pour it into the moulds which were placed ahead of time.  (For a stirring rod, I use an old stick without bark until one day it has disintegrated due to lye, then I get another)

Is that a hot process?  I didn't cook anything, but only heated the fat to around 120-130, and the lye solution achieved its own heat of its own accord, and I allow it to cool to around 100 or so before pouring the lye into the fat.  I must really be out of the loop as I've never heard of making homemade soap by any other method except sitting there and stirring by hand, which I actually enjoy.  LOL

I have made lye from our clean wood ash from wood stove, but the biggest problem was always trying to rig up the perfect barrel with the perfect bottom board/plywood, whatever, with the perfect hole for the lye solution to drip through.  Mine always seemed to seep/leak through various tiny cracks that didn't make their presence known.  I stuff the bottom of the barrel, or hollow log, with thick hay or straw, then add the ashes, and then pour in the water over the ashes.  I did make soap that way and it was primitive but did work.  It was gritty and more like the old Lava soap they sold when I was a kid, and not sure if it is still on the market.

Your laundry soap sounds just like mine:  grated bar soap, borax and washing soda.  Mix well and there's your detergent.

And BTW, congratulations on becoming a Global Moderator! 

R.R. Book

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congratulations on becoming a Global Moderator!

Seconded!

Question:

Do you all grease the soap molds first? I've only ever done the pan bars.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 05:31:46 AM by R.R. Book »

Solani

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Since Barb says it's OK to go ahead and continue here...here goes....

You mentioned stage fright and indicating not liking public speaking, so if you ever want to hear how I conquered it, just yell.  I was like you, totally scared to death to even say "hi" to a crowd of people.  It was awful.  That's history now.  LOL

Yes, I would love to hear how you got rid of your stage fright, as I really, really, REALLY HATE standing in front of a crowd, with everyone’s attention focused on me. Been that way as long as I can remember. I remember being in school and having to stand in front of my classmates and give some sort of presentation or, whatever the teachers had have us study that we were supposed to stand there in front of everyone and talk about. Lost count how many times I got sent to the principal’s office, when I’d refuse to do it. I’d start out by politely saying no, I don’t want to and depending on the teacher… if they didn’t accept that polite no, it would get quite “heated” with the full vocabulary of a rabid swampbred wildcat… H*LL NO!! (and ehh… more…  >:( ) Those teacher’s that refused to accept that there was no way they were going to get me up front to recite whatever, finally learned that I didn’t care that I would get sent to the principal’s office as when I got older, if they didn’t accept my initial first no, I’d just stand up, quietly gather up my books and tell them that, I’m going to the principal’s office, as that is where you are going to send me anyhow if we keep arguing about this… And off I’d go… That way, I’d at least not get punished for “mouthing off”.  :-X

I was the kid you’d always find sitting at the back (last row) of the classroom, so that I wouldn’t have anyone behind me. If I wasn’t allowed to sit in the back, I wouldn’t show up to class at all… Still to this day, when in a crowd or some social gathering, you’ll find me on the outer edges of all the people present, quietly watching. In a restaurant, I’ll be close to the door, with my back against a wall. That’s just how I am and what makes me feel comfortable/safe and I have no interest in changing it. I like being able to be on the “outside” keeping an eye on what’s going on or, what possibly could go totally sideways…

On the other hand, put me in a room/house/situation where I’m working with a paranormal team or psychic as a protector/guardian/”exorcist”/whatever, and things take a turn to a not so good/pleasant situation, I’ll be right there smack in the middle of everything/everyone raising holy h*ll…  :o I know that makes absolutely no sense but, that’s just me… LOL

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Soapmaking--hot or cold process?  I must be doing it in such a primitive way that I don't even know what you're talking about.  About 25 years ago I asked a friend (I had wanted to learn this for decades) how her mother made soap, so she gave me her recipe on a "recipe card" just like they use for food.  I still have that card, although I've tweaked the recipe to death and it no longer bears any resemblance whatsoever to her mom's.

Yes, soap-making has changed quite a bit and become more technical, utilizing all the “modern/electrical” equipment out there. I’ve made soap using the same, or similar technique you use but, I don’t have the patience to stir by hand for that long. Plus due to my back being the way it is, it is a pain, literally, for me to do it that way. I know I will have to someday but until then, I use my strictly soap dedicated electric stick-blender/immersion-blender. Much faster! I admire you for having the patience to stir by hand and can fully appreciate that it makes you feel more in-tune with nature and also has a calming effect. I also believe that it comes down to how you were taught or learned, which technique you are most comfortable with. I learned by watching oodles of YouTube soaping videos and the first ones I watched, used the stick/immersion-blender.

You are soaping using the cold process method. I do that one too but having watched all the fancy soap making videos on YouTube, Try as I have… I have never been able to make all these fancy “foo foo” cold process soaps with a wide range of colors, swirls and patterns. Some of them you see are so beautiful, I’d feel bad using them and feel I’d rather put them on display. For some reason, I just can’t seem to reach that level of beauty with my soaps so, I go for quality and making soaps that have specific ingredients that benefit various skin types or skin problems.

I mostly make my soaps using the hot process method. Our elders would cook their soap batter in a pot over an open fire or on the woodstove, constantly stirring by hand. Now, it’s mainly a slow-cooker/crockpot you use. There are several reasons why I prefer the cooked soap process over the cold process, the main one being that once it is finished cooking, the lye is totally neutralized/saponified and you can basically use it straight out of the pot and it won’t give you lye burns. Well, it will burn you since it’s hot but, the lye is no longer present in the soap, as it most of the time is in the cold process, where you need to let the soap cure for at least 3 – 4 weeks. I still let my finished cooked soap bars rest/cure too, but only because I want the excess water in them to evaporate so they become harder bars, which last longer.

There are also a few different techniques of making hot process soap. Seems like every year or so, someone comes up with some sort of new technique which usually makes the whole process faster and faster to complete. Yet another reason I prefer the hot process method is that when it is finished, and all the lye is gone from the soap batter, I can add my additional special fats, oils, butters, vitamin/plant oils etc. and I know that the lye isn’t going to ruin or alter any of those additional ingredients To figure out how much lye I need, depending on what type/combination of oil/fats/butters I’m using in my soap, I use a wonderful program called soap calc where you can just click the type of fats/oils you want to include in your soap, the weight or % of the specific fats/oils/etc. and when you’ve added all of the different types of oils you click on the button to calculate and presto, it tells you exactly how much water/lye ratio you need to use, depending on what level of fat% you’ve put in that you want your finished soap to have. I usually put in that I want my finished soap to have a 3% fat content, so that when it’s cooked, I can add another 10% fats/oils/butters and/or my own homemade plant oils/extracts which I’ve made by letting whatever plant material sit in most often virgin olive oil for a few weeks to draw out the beneficial properties of the plant into the oil, which are good for various skin conditions. If you want to check the soap calculation program I use, you can find it here: http://soapcalc.net/calc/SoapCalcWP.asp I’ve printed out lots of soap recipes using that calculator, containing various different types of oils and such, just so that I have the ratios if and when I can’t access the program. I know there is a way to calculate the lye/water/oil ratio without that program and have printed that formula out as well but… I’m lazy… LOL  ;D

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To make soap, I gather the basics:  fat or oil, usually 100% organic coconut oil; lye crystals, usually Roebic brand; and either water or milk, depending on whether I'm making goat milk soap or soap for vegans.  After I have the oil near, or at, the correct temperature, I put the lye crystals in the container of water or milk, and begin stirring to dissolve the lye.  This solution is "exothermic" meaning it rises in temperature from room temp. quickly to something too hot to touch. 

When you use milk instead of water, do you use milk at room temperature or do you freeze the milk in an ice cube tray first, then put the frozen cubes in your water/milk/lye container and pour the lye crystals over the ice cubes? I’ve never tried using milk/lye but been told that lye can burn the milk and to avoid that, one can freeze the milk and the lye will melt the milk cubes when it starts heating up the liquid without risking it burning the milk. I’ve done that with Aloe Vera juice (frozen cubes) so that it wouldn’t burn the Aloe, also makes the lye solution cool down much faster. Yes, I did say I’m lazy and impatient… ;)

In hot process, I’ll subtract the amount of milk/coconut milk/yogurt etc. from the initial liquid/lye solution and add it at the end of the process when the soap is fully cooked, and the soap batter has cooled down to about 140 - 150 F. I’ll warm the milk etc. so that it has the same temperature as the (140 - 150F) soap batter. When I add my essential oils, I will add them to whatever warm milk, melted extra oils/butters/etc. before adding them to my fully cooked soap batter, so that the heat doesn’t destroy any beneficial properties of the milks extra butters/oils and essential oils but, adding a cold liquid/oil will harden the soap batter and make it impossible to get it all mixed in throughout the soap, When adding your additional liquids/oils at the same non harming temperature that your cooked batter has, you avoid ending up with what is occasionally called “soap on a stick” LOL.

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After the lye solution cools to the proper temperature, I then add the lye solution to the fat/oil at its correct temperature, then I begin to stir constantly.  I will stir up to three hours, but sometimes only a hour, but most often 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  You'll know when it's ready because the stirring rod can be used to write letters on the surface of the congealing soap solution, at which time I pour it into the moulds which were placed ahead of time.  (For a stirring rod, I use an old stick without bark until one day it has disintegrated due to lye, then I get another)

Is that a hot process?  I didn't cook anything, but only heated the fat to around 120-130, and the lye solution achieved its own heat of its own accord, and I allow it to cool to around 100 or so before pouring the lye into the fat.  I must really be out of the loop as I've never heard of making homemade soap by any other method except sitting there and stirring by hand, which I actually enjoy.  LOL

You are making cold processed soap. However, this is pretty much the same way I start out regardless of if it’s cold or hot process. I’ll melt my oils/butters/etc. I use a Canadian brand of lye called “Home lye crystals” which I buy in 6.5 lbs. containers (cheaper than buying small containers) at the hardware store. It’s what most people use to clean out their clogged drains etc. But, as long as it says on the package that it is 100% lye and has no additives, it’s just plain lye. You can buy it from various online soaping vendors too but, it’s more expensive, especially when you add on the shipping cost. Shipping to Canada is OUTRAGIOUS!!! :o Same as shipping cost from Canada. I don’t know why it’s so expensive to ship things to Canada or why shipping costs from Canada is so expensive, compared to anywhere else in the world! Sending my kids their Christmas and Birthday presents often cost more in shipping that what’s inside the package!! *grrrrr*  >:(

Like you, once I’ve added my lye solution, I’ll stir, or in my case use my stick-blender making sure the head of the blender is well below the level of oils/lye, so it doesn’t splatter everywhere and blend for a few seconds, stir with the blender for a few seconds and blend again. I’ll keep repeating this until I get trace, (Leave the stick-blender on continuously for to long, you'll burn it out. I'm on my 4th....  :D ) or what you call being able to write faint letters in the congealing soap batter. Once I’ve reached trace, (takes about 10 minutes unless it’s a pure olive oil soap, that will take perhaps 15 minutes longer to reach trace) I’ll turn the crockpot down to low, put the lid on and just let it do it’s thing. I’ll check on it regularly and not leave the room/kitchen where I’ve got the crockpot as it has happened that the soap batter has “volcanoed”, bubbled up and out of the crockpot… :o Not fun, messy, hot and corrosive so, you do need to keep an eye on it and be ready to whip or beat it down with a whisk, if it starts to “grow” out of the pot, but after about 1,5 hours, the soap is fully cooked and the lye is no longer present in the soap and I can turn the crockpot off and let it cool down enough, so I can add whatever else I want in the soap before I pour or spoon the then thick batter into whatever forms I have prepared. I’ll let the finished soap sit in their molds with a towel covering them for about 24 hours and then unmold the soap and cut into whatever shapes or bars I want them to be. Place them on my curing rack and leave them be for at least a week, which is hard since I want to try them out as soon as possible. I do however use the scrapings from the crockpot and make whatever scrapings leftovers into what I call “soap rocks”, which I have next to the kitchen and bathroom sinks and use when I wash my hands and check that they have the consistency/properties that I had intended the finished soap to have. Last soap I made was shaving soap bars, as Dan has a few friends that use razors. Both the old straight razor as well as plain various Bic type plastic razors, so, they are now my Guinea pigs testing the shaving soap and from what I’ve heard, they’re very happy with how the soap performs while shaving and how their skin feels afterwards. :D 

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I have made lye from our clean wood ash from wood stove, but the biggest problem was always trying to rig up the perfect barrel with the perfect bottom board/plywood, whatever, with the perfect hole for the lye solution to drip through.  Mine always seemed to seep/leak through various tiny cracks that didn't make their presence known.  I stuff the bottom of the barrel, or hollow log, with thick hay or straw, then add the ashes, and then pour in the water over the ashes.  I did make soap that way and it was primitive but did work.  It was gritty and more like the old Lava soap they sold when I was a kid, and not sure if it is still on the market.

Yeah, I have the same problem when making my own lye from the ashes in our wood stove. I get leaks everywhere so, I just put a BIG pan/stainless steel canning pot under the whole darn contraption and it can drip wherever it wants! I’ve also been trying to let the lye water dry when it’s finished draining, to see if I can make lye crystals out of the dried residue and yes, that works and also makes the lye crystals/residue storable for longer periods of time. I have yet to be able to make a white bar of soap as they are discolored from the ashes. Oh well, it’s soap and they work, which in the end, is all that really counts! But until I have to, I’ll continue making soap the way I do with store-bought lye.

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Your laundry soap sounds just like mine:  grated bar soap, borax and washing soda.  Mix well and there's your detergent.

Yep, works just as good as store-bought laundry soap, minus all the chemicals and costs much less. I know of those that buy these scent booster crystals/thingies from the laundry section of the store and add those to their homemade laundry soap but, I’d rather my laundry soap be as natural and chemical free as possible and just use essential oils if I want my laundry to smell good. Plus, during the summer months, I add citronella and lemon grass essential oil to my laundry soap, which does seem to make the mosquitoes not quite as interested in making a meal out of us. I also make a lotion/salve which contains citronella, that works great when out and about during the summer months since we have HOARDS of both mosquitoes as well as “no-see-um’s” up/out here. I also add the citronella oil to some of my homemade votive candles, both due to that I like the smell but also that it works pretty well on at least keeping the hungry blood-sucking critters at a minimum…

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And BTW, congratulations on becoming a Global Moderator!

Thank you :)

//Solani
~In order to determine what is possible, one only needs to step out into what is considered impossible and look around...~
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~I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change... I am changing the things I cannot accept~
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ilinda

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congratulations on becoming a Global Moderator!

Seconded!

Question:

Do you all grease the soap molds first? I've only ever done the pan bars.
When I used a large flat cake pan for a mould, I would line it with plastic, slightly thicker than Saran Wrap.  Now I use small food storage containers which are perfect size for one bar each, and I do not line them or grease them, but use them as is.  They are still rather new and work fine, but I wonder if as they age, they might "change".  Time will tell.

ilinda

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Yes, I would love to hear how you got rid of your stage fright, as I really, really, REALLY HATE standing in front of a crowd, with everyone’s attention focused on me. Been that way as long as I can remember.

OK, I was just like you from about age 5, all through grade school, junior high, high school and college, and later, but I was taking some later courses where I had to do presentations to the entire class, for example "seminar". 

I actually thought maybe I'll be the first student who actually dies right there in front of the entire class, and OMG they will have to call and ambulance, and won't be able to resuscitate me, etc., and headline will say, "Rural Woman Student Dies of Fright in Classroom".

So I wrote out what I wanted to say, carefully organizing it as if I were writing an important research paper.  Then I looked at the paragraphs and picked out a keyword or key phrase that would encompass the theme of that paragraph or several paragraphs. 

Next I listed the keywords or key phrases in the exact order they come in the article/paper.  I them memorized the keywords/phrases in their correct order.  (And I know my subject so well that just the mere mention of a given keyword will immediately launch my mind into all sorts of information that needs to be said about that keyword/phrase.)

Next, now that I have memorized the keyword list, I'm ready to present it in a talk, taking one keyword/phrase at a time.  When you are alone, you can now begin to practice.  You can even look in the mirror if you like.  Or you can stand in a room and look to the opposite wall while delivering your "speech". You practice on your very first paragraph using your memorized keyword as clue #1.  You keep practicing that one until you get it right.  Eventually you will almost have memorized the entire paragraph or several paragraphs.  Believe me, this is how it works.  You practice that introductory one first.  when it's perfect, then go to keyword #2, and do the same process. 

Once you have perfected #2, now practice from start, doing #1 and #2 in succession, as if you are actually beginning your "speech".  You can then perfect that as you repeat it over and over until it's really good.  You continue to go through this process until at some point you know your subject so well, and you can often anticipate questions that may arise from the audience--because you've talked about this so much!

Well, I did this and by the time I had nearly memorized my entire "speech", I did really feel a bit more confident, and didn't actually think I would die of fright.  I was actually feeling like, "I really know something that I can impart to the other students and teachers watching".  When the appointed day came for my first presentation, I only felt internal jitters slightly, but my self-confidence was huge, so I got up there and did my presentation and lived to tell it.  And dig this:  the professor said, "you were polished!", and one of my fellow students, who also had to do a presentation on a different date, asked, "are you a teacher?".  Those two comments convinced me that this practice ahead of time WORKS.

And regarding the soapmaking, it is obvious there must be hundreds of variations in ways to make soap!  Thanks for the soapmaking tutorial in bringing me up to speed.  This old chick will continue to plod along just like our ancestors did but at least I'll know others are being very creative.

Solani

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congratulations on becoming a Global Moderator!

Seconded!

Thank you! :) I hope I won't freak/scare to many members/readers out/off...  :o


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Question:

Do you all grease the soap molds first? I've only ever done the pan bars.

I can only answer to how I prepare my molds. I have a couple of wooden molds/loaf pans that Dan made for me after my specifications. I line those with thick parchment/butcher paper and then pour or spoon the soap batter into them, be it cold process or hot, bang them down on the counter or floor a couple of times, to try to get all the air bubbles up and out of the soap batter, wrap the molds in a thick bath towel to keep them warm while they are solidifying and place them on top of my big indoor freezer in the laundry room. When the soap has solidified I grab the edges of the excess parchment paper that has been folded down outside of the molds and lift the soap out of the wooden molds, peel the parchment paper off and then cut the loaf into whatever size bars i want.

I also use a few silicon molds (same as you can buy and use for baking muffins etc) and those I don't do anything with. Just pour or spoon the soap batter into them, let them sit until solid and peel the molds off the soap, or turn them upside down and pop the soap out. I wash the silicone molds in warm soapy water and they're ready to go again. But, I never use any of the molds or other items I use when soaping for anything other than soaping. I wouldn't want to accidentally get lye residue into anything we would be eating so, I have my dedicated crock-pots, whisks, spoons, spatulas, containers etc. apart from where I keep my utensils that I use for cooking.

To answer one of your previous posts about a potential budding home business... ;) I've thought about it but not sure how to go about doing it. I have checked our towns Farmers Market out and it's quite small but active and didn't give me that much of the creepy crawlies due to people. So, I'd probably start out getting a booth there and see where that would lead. I did talk to 2 other soapers that sell their soaps there, introduced myself as a fellow soaper and asked them what types of bath and body products they sold, so that I wouldn't compete with them, if I were to get a booth. There are so many other types of soap and body products I can make, that wouldn't take business away from them. Plus I have the jewelry I make and my leather-works. I'd rather have my own specialized niche. There is also a small community run store in town where those of us that live here can sell our items and also work a couple of hours a week to keep commissions down to a minimum. I've talked to them too and they've said that they'd love it if I were to join them, since they don't have the soap/body and leather-work items in the store previously. We'll see what happens come spring. :) First I have to learn about all the rules and regulations that comes with making and selling your body products. From what I've heard, there's a lot of rules as well as what needs to be written on labels that need to be put on the products, listing EVERYTHING that is in the finished product. Geeez, :o over half the soaps I have here at home, I don't remember exactly what is in them... LOL So, those are strictly for home use, or for those of the neighbors that are already using them. like them and it hasn't pealed their skin off... LOL  ;)

//Solani
~In order to determine what is possible, one only needs to step out into what is considered impossible and look around...~
*******************************
~I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change... I am changing the things I cannot accept~
*******************************

 

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