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Soapy Weekend
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cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 04 11:23 am    Post subject: Soapy Weekend  Reply with quote    

Made soap for Christmas presents yesterday. Ought to just about be ready for then.

Three batches, all from the same base soap (which was 400g sunflower oil, 400g coconut oil, 200g olive oil and a carefully calculated qualtity of sodium hydroxide, dissolved in water). Warmed to a 60C ish, mixed carefully, and stirred intermettently till it looked like it might be tracing, at which point I added 2 teaspoons of vitamin e oil.

Split it into three lots, two small ones (one of which I scented with spearmint oil, the other with a mix of lilly of the valley, violet, lavender and fresia), and one large one (scented with lots of cracked allspice - that batch was half of the soap, and will give me 10 bars of really nice soap for Christmas presents).

Soap making is a really, really easy craft. As long as you're not put off by the nasty ingredients, it's such a simple activity.

sean
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41939
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 04 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Where do you get sodium hydroxide?
Cheers, Sean

jema
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26626
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 04 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I used to get this type of thing from pharmascists a long time ago, lately I get the impression they have got a lot tighter.

jema

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 04 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

sean wrote:
Where do you get sodium hydroxide?
Cheers, Sean


Home Base. Or any other home type shop. People buy it for cleaning drains, and the purity is usually really high these days.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 04 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

jema wrote:
I used to get this type of thing from pharmascists a long time ago, lately I get the impression they have got a lot tighter.

jema


Pharmacists have become right sticks in the mud lately. Not their fault, of course. Most of them cen't even get saltpetre any more.

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 04 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

How did you shape it?[/code]

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 04 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jonnyboy wrote:
How did you shape it?[/code]


After it's reaches soft trace, I pour it into moulds. You can use all manner of moulds, but I'm of the opinion that moulds should be cheap and easily obtainable so I use old Chinese take away plastic dishes and any other waste plasticware I can lay my hads on. Then when it's getting hard enough to hold a cut, I turn it out, slice it into bar sized bits, and wrap it in a towel. Then it needs to sit somewhere where it won't get too hot or two cold (back of the airing cupboard will do) till its fully cured (old soap makers trick is to touch it with the tip of your tongue; if it no longer tingles, it's done!).

I'll ask a friend of mine who's done WAY more soapmaking than I have to do us an introduction to soap making article.

sean
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41939
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 04 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yes please.

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 04 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The sodium wossname sounds quite intimidating but then, if I spend too much time looking at the ingredients list on most toiletries I'd probably never wash

Unfortunately I have a slight soap phobia (I hate the way it goes gungey when it's been used). Is it possible to turn the finished soap in to liquid soap (I'm sure I've seen a method for this somewhere) or can the soap be finished to a liquid rather than a solid?

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 04 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bugs, I don't know. I'll mull it over and have a look at my soap books.

The sodium hydroxide is genuinely nasty stuff. You should be afraid of it, I know I am. But handled carefully, and used accurately, it's completely neutralised in by the fat (which is a weak acid) in the soap.

jema
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26626
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 04 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cab wrote:
Bugs, I don't know. I'll mull it over and have a look at my soap books.

The sodium hydroxide is genuinely nasty stuff. You should be afraid of it, I know I am. But handled carefully, and used accurately, it's completely neutralised in by the fat (which is a weak acid) in the soap.



lol, and handle otherwise and you have flesh eating soap

jema

Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 04 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

How much of it did you use - you just said a carefully measured quantity, but gave amounts for the other ingredients.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 04 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

jema wrote:

lol, and handle otherwise and you have flesh eating soap

jema


Indeed

But the trickis to measure carefully, then aim to just superfat your soap a little (i.e. add a wee bit more fat than you really need, just a couple of percent more). That way you're doing really well to make a caustic soap!

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 04 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Lowlander wrote:
How much of it did you use - you just said a carefully measured quantity, but gave amounts for the other ingredients.


I did indeed.

You need to know the saponification values for the fats you're using, and you multiply the weight of each fat by its own saponification value to give you the quantity of lye (sodium hydroxide) you need.

I haven't got my charty handy, it's in a book at home. I'll post the sums later.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 04 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Good news! My soap guru has promised us a little article on the subject

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