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If it looks like soap,...

 
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judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 05 9:39 am    Post subject: If it looks like soap,...  Reply with quote    

I finally got round to making a dent in the lard mountain and making my first batch of soap last night. I managed to find a recipe for a tiny batch using just lard and milk. Didn't bother with any fragrance as I wanted to convince myself that it worked.

Well, it was a bit of a surprise to obtain something akin to butterscotch blancmange at trace, but it is whitening up nicely as it hardens. If the recipe does cure nicely, I will use this first batch as laundry soap, and make up some more with some smellies in.

The total cost has worked out at around 25p for 9 bars of soap. For once, going the Downsizer route really does seem to be cheaper than T***o!!!

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44229
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 05 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sounds good, excellent value too

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 05 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yeah, if you make the soap from waste fat then it costs practically nothing. Great, isn't it?

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 05 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Milk soaps often do that 'butterscotch' thing cos the lye sort of cooks the sugars in the milk, it can be used as a virtue if you know whats going to happen. However, I once made soap with a couple of pints of spare dounbe cream, and got soap that was shocking orange and smelt like stilton. So there is a point at which the milk element ceases to be attractive... Lard soap is a really nice laundry soap, very firm usually, so I'm sure yours will be great. Well done!

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 05 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

sally_in_wales wrote:
soap that was shocking orange and smelt like stilton.


There must be a market for that somewhere!

Quote:
Lard soap is a really nice laundry soap, very firm usually, so I'm sure yours will be great. Well done!


Thanks for the encouragement - I can see how this becomes addictive! How long would you leave the soap to cure before grating it?

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 05 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Grate it anytime in the next week or so, be aware that it will still be 'cooking' so you may wish to wear gloves if you have sensitive skin, but I usually don't bother and am fine. It will keep getting milder over the next 3 weeks or so, but it also gets harder, hence its easier to grate early on. Use a fine grater if possible, and spread the soap out on a tray to dry a bit more. Then just use about a tablespoon of soap per wash, plus a glug of vinegar as rinse aid. I sometimes add a sprinkle of washing soda, but its optional. I would say you could try using it in the washing machine anytime in teh next few days, its skin use that really really needs the full curing time.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 05 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sally, I've thought about using my own soap for laundry, but I've been put off because our water is pretty darned hard here. I've been thinking of going down the route of adding borax, or possibly even the tiniest bit of phosphate. Do you have any reccomendations?

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 05 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for that, Sally. I'll give it a go over the weekend.

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 05 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
Sally, I've thought about using my own soap for laundry, but I've been put off because our water is pretty darned hard here. I've been thinking of going down the route of adding borax, or possibly even the tiniest bit of phosphate. Do you have any reccomendations?


The washing soda should hep a huge amount, also the vinegar becomes a 'must have' rather than an optional. Only thing is to have a go and see, it is an easy experiment to run just one wash like that and see how you get on. Possibly even use your soap to 'cut' bought wshing powder, I have to admit my first few runs were done that way cos I wasn't feeling very brave about the soap only route, but I was very quickly converted. I have to say I love the way our washing now smells 'clean' and not of detergent

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14971
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 05 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I use a mixture of washing soda, borax and minced home-made soap that wasn't quite a good as I'd hoped - it works fine with hard water, and I never remember the vinegar. You might want to keep buying washing powder foor your gardening clothes (or anything else properly dirty) but for things worn to work, or just ordinaryly muddy, it'll work fine - I'll get the exact ratiois for you later on, if you like.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 05 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sally, Wellington, thanks!

The ratios, if you have them Wellington, might be handy.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14971
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 05 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I was a bit haphazard with it, but it was roughly 1 part soap (grated or minced) to 2 parts washing soda crystals and 2 parts borax. ish, anyway - I vaguely recall running ouut of borax, but it uses up experimental soap handily.

Stacey



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 8380
Location: Kernow
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 05 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Apparently if you freeze the milk first it won't go brown
I made some goats milk and oatmeal soap once and it was a lovely dark brown colour.

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 05 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

stacey_guthrie wrote:
Apparently if you freeze the milk first it won't go brown


That's interesting Stacey. The recipe did say to use frozen goat's milk, but I ignored the frozen bit as I thought it was because goat owners always have spare milk in their freezers

The finished soap is a just off-white colour - it got lighter as it cured.
That reminds me, I was going to make another batch with some perfume in it this time.

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