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Soap Making Getting Started




Get started with Basic Soap Making This discussion presents a good starting point to begin your soap making hobby

What are the basic 3 oils for soap making?

This is the classic formula mix for making handcrafted soap:

Olive oil, Coconut oil, Palm oil

Why these three oils?

Olive oil makes a gentle soap that's kind to the skin. Coconut oil makes a soap that lathers and cleans like no other. Palm oil makes a soap that is harder, yet cleans well and feels like you want soap to feel as you use it.
A balanced formula of all three together makes the best use of each.

Why not just use one oil?

Olive oil soap, while kind to the skin, does not suds well and may feel too "oily" all by itself.
Coconut oil soap lathers and cleans great, but may be too harsh all by itself.
Palm oil soap cleans well and lathers fairly well, but is definitely improved by adding the other two.

OK, so these 3 oils are the Basic oils... So how do I know
what a "balanced" formula is?

Luckily, a whole lot of other soap makers have faced this same question and we can benefit from their experience.

What is a good, average soap formula?

Here's the result:

45% Olive Oil
25% Coconut Oil
30% Palm Oil

All right, How do I use this information?

The percentages above are percents of the total weight of oils used to make a batch of soap.
This means that for 100 ounces by weight of total oils used, 45 ounces will be olive oil,
25 ounces will be coconut oil, and 30 ounces will be palm oil.

How do I make a smaller batch?
How do I know what size batch I need?

These are very good questions.

Start with the container you're going to make soap in. A rectangular, box-shaped mold is ideal.
Whatever you use, you'll need to line it to keep your new soap from sticking to its sides.
You can clear plastic, but we suggest you use Reynolds brand freezer paper, folded to fit into your mold.
Fill your container with something that you can clean out easily ( a few ideas might be sugar, salt, or water) and weigh the amount used. This is the sum weight of oils plus lye needed for your mold.

I've mastered basic soap making.
Where do I go from here?

You can add scents - either essential oils or cosmetic grade fragrances. (Be sure that the scents you use are recommended for use in soap making) You can add different oils or butters or alter the proportions of the oils you use to emphasize the different soap making properties of different oils and butters. You can use other people's recipe formulas by entering the oils and scents from these formulas into a saponification table, then resize to fit your mold.

How do I decide what other ingredients I might want to use?

That's what makes soap making and the internet such a great combination! Do some research online.
Take note what oils will make soaps that have the characteristics you want; what types of scents you'll prefer and how to use them.

Use your imagination!

Look for ideas on how to present and package your new soaps. Share your printed recipes. Give a gift of soap. Share your new hobby with others!

Have fun! Spread the word!

Soap making is a fun, fascinating and even addicting hobby! Tell your friends about it and share the fun!

A safety note... Read this!

Lye dissolving in water releases considerable heat - Almost enough to bring room temperature water to a boil. Therefore, be sure to mix your lye with cold water only and be sure to carefully pour your lye into your water, not the other way around. Always wear proper eye protection, wear protective gloves and work near a source of running water for rinsing when creating, pouring or handling a lye solution.

Always remember...

Proper procedures and safety measures are a must
whenever making handcrafted soap.
Learn how before you start!

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