Soapmaking

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10 years 4 months ago #477862 by shad297
Replied by shad297 on topic Soapmaking
Thanks zellkanzx - will have a go.
Yes I second eelcat's suggestion, GoNative (where I got my sodium hydroxide and a few other raw materials) sell cold process starter kits. It's honestly not hard, you just need caution with the lye and it is very satisfying. I'm loving using my 'dusky rose' second attempt at hot process soap in the shower, so far so good. I'm still doing lots of reading online and reading other people's attempts and recipes. Not sure about using palm oil though which seems to be very popular in USA, would prefer something else even though I know it is supposed to be sustainably farmed.

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10 years 4 months ago #478105 by shad297
Replied by shad297 on topic Soapmaking
I've now made another soap (am I a bit obsessed?) using mostly tallow or 'beef dripping' as it's called in the shops, a little bit of coconut oil and a small amount of castor oil. It took much longer to come to trace than the non animal fat oils but turned out really well. It is a very pure white soap and I scented it with lavender essential oil in case it smelled 'beefy', which probably wouldn't be very nice but I suspect after curing it wouldn't smell of much at all.
Unfortunately I followed zellakanzx's instructions and for some reason when I clicked on my photos from computer it failed to load them which is a bit of a bummer.
Tallow is also very cost effective and many soapmakers render their own for soapmaking (pig fat also). Lard and tallow make very mild, moisturising soaps that harden and therefore make the soap last longer.

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10 years 4 months ago #478143 by Geba
Replied by Geba on topic Soapmaking
I've always wanted to try soapmaking too...I have a stash of nice rendered fat from the last 'batch' of homekill waiting in the fridge, and I've been stashing recipes for a while, but haven't had a 'go' yet. I was going to use either lavender or rosemary oil as a scent/flavouring; anybody here tried making soap from lamb fat and natural oils....???

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10 years 4 months ago #478145 by shad297
Replied by shad297 on topic Soapmaking
Geba if you make soap using lamb fat do check out this lye calculator and go down to Tallow (sheep)
www.brambleberry.com/pages/Lye-Calculator.aspx
Of course you can use lamb fat and natural oils. I can give you the recipe I did with beef fat and you just run it through the calculator to get the correct water and lye solution. It really is very easy. Lots of people stock sodium hydroxide - just don't get it from Mitre 10 as their's is not pure and it won't work.

Husband, two teenagers, Stanley & Jed the greyhounds, one quail (Hawkefrost), one budgie (Chaos) small productive surburban section.

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10 years 4 months ago #478222 by Geba
Replied by Geba on topic Soapmaking
Thank you so much, that's a really useful site!

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10 years 4 months ago #478228 by shad297
Replied by shad297 on topic Soapmaking
This site has some really good prices for raw ingredients like Lye (sodium hydroxide) and coconut oil.
zendesigns.co.nz/
She's only been running the business for a few months and is based in Tauranga.
Also Go Native in Auckland have a good selection of products. I use pomace olive oil as it is the cheapest olive oil and and is really good for soapmaking, I also use bulk rice bran.
The one I made today was Olive oil, coconut oil (which has been refined and deodorised, I keep the good stuff for cooking) and rice bran oil, coloured half the batch with pink clay and then scented the other half with rose fragrance oil. Will unmould and cut tomorrow morning. Then will go onto to my next batch. So far my tallow soap is hardening up really nicely and smells divine.
I also want to make a bar soap for washing dogs and a rich face soap that doesn't make the skin feel dry. My friends are my guinea pigs at the moment and if I get any good at it I might consider selling it.

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10 years 4 months ago #478295 by thevarneys
Replied by thevarneys on topic Soapmaking
I too am a 'soapie' when I have the time and ingredients. I get the lye from bunnings 2kg for about $18. I have experimented with some variations, but all using the same basic castile recipe, although sunflower oil instead of olive oil. I also now add some grated beeswax to the soap, gives it a lovely gentle scent and makes skin soft.

I would love to make lye like my great grandmother used to, with ash. But my nana said that the soap was glumpy and not hard, and was put in a big pot for the men to scoop some out with their fingers. I wonder if the pH was 9, like most soap, or if it was higher.

I have learnt that if you put in flower petals or pot pourri, it goes all black on you in the shower, doesn't look pleasant[:I].

Has anyone found a supplier of Palm oil in NZ?

Some people are so poor, all they have is money.

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10 years 4 months ago #478296 by thevarneys
Replied by thevarneys on topic Soapmaking
Shadz97 - was your stuff from Mitre 10 in a blue container like a dishwashing powder? I bought that from Mitre 10, and now it is Bunnings, and have found that to be fine.

Some people are so poor, all they have is money.

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10 years 4 months ago #478297 by thevarneys
Replied by thevarneys on topic Soapmaking
Haha, just found Palm oil on the Zen website - thanks :D

Some people are so poor, all they have is money.

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10 years 4 months ago #478298 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Soapmaking
Your all so inspiring!

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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10 years 4 months ago #478359 by shad297
Replied by shad297 on topic Soapmaking
I am not sure about using Palm Oil due to the ecological reasons so have chosen not to use until such time I am convinced otherwise although I am sure people are now planting it for just soap/skincare companies around the world.
I see you have found a supply, easy to get from Go Native and others around the country.
I couldn't find any pure lye from hardware store it has to be either 99 or 100% pure, the stuff in Mitre 10 was only 60% and wasn't sure whether that would be suitable or not.

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10 years 4 months ago #478407 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Soapmaking
I have not made soap, but my butcher saves the white fat of sheep and beef, especially the kidney fat, for use by soapmakers.

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10 years 4 months ago #478419 by shad297
Replied by shad297 on topic Soapmaking

LongRidge;481830 wrote: I have not made soap, but my butcher saves the white fat of sheep and beef, especially the kidney fat, for use by soapmakers.

Serious soapmakers that have their own animals or have access to the fat render their own. I might try it one day but as I am only making small batches paying $2.90 for 450g refined beef fat suits me at the moment! I am sure the family would object to the smell as it is bad enough when I have kimchi (fermented veges) with a lid in the fridge - they complain about the pong! personally I can't smell it at all so it doesn't bother me but daughter obviously has much more sensitive olfactory system than her old mother.

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10 years 4 months ago #478423 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Soapmaking
Go on shad, cook it up on a gas stove in the garage with the doors open so everyone can share the good smells.

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