Any soapers out there?

sewcrazynurse(MI zone 5)January 7, 2005

I seem to remember someone mentioning that they made soaps. I am looking for more ideas and recipes and web sites actually anything that could be helpful.

The last time I was in the soaping forum it was dead.



Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I haven't made soap in years but came across a helpful website the other day.

I just googled in "making soap" and several interesting sites came up.

Mom's old recipe was as follows:

1 can lye
1 qt water
2-1/2 qts. (6 lbs) grease, clarified
1/2 cup amonia
4 tbls. Borax
1 tsp lysol (opt)

Dissolve lye in water. Stir carefully to dissolve. Let set until lukewarm. Have 2-1/2 qts (6lbs) grease melted. Add to lye mixture, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 cup amonia and Borax. Stir until thick. Pour into mold lined with damp cloth.

cut after cooled, 3-4 days. (Note: Use only glass, plastic or granite pans or bowls, never aluminum.

Good luck. Sounds like fun.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soap Making

    Bookmark   January 8, 2005 at 8:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I make soap, the only bar soap that we will use, I also supply my brother because he raves about it. I make a tallow soap that also inlcudes coconut oil and either canola or olive oil. I also colour and add scent with essential oils or fragrance oils. In my opinion, the best site on the Web is Kathy Miller's page, endless recipes, hints and information.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kathy Miller's Homemade Soap

    Bookmark   January 8, 2005 at 10:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pistil(z6 USA)

Check out - a wealth of information. It's where I learned how to make soap, B&B, you name it.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2005 at 5:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
basilmom(z5 IN)

I am a soaper - almost full time these days.

The Soap Dish Forum is an excellent site, but stay out of the OFF Topic areas or you'll get sucked into political battles and religious fights. They're a rambunxious group there (I'm tracerace on that forum BTW).

With all due respect, gld1...that recipe is the "good o soap" but it isn't safe to make soap like that these days. With use of a good calculator (at Majestic Mountain Sage), a digital scale and some cosmetic grade oils, you'll have a quality bar that won't burn you hide off. Soap making today is light years away from what our grandmothers made.

If you'd like any more help or inspiration, I'd be glad to throw out some ideas (not trade secrets though ...;)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2005 at 12:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Basilmom, I realize it isn't a cosmetic soap. But it can't be beat for some uses. We used it to remove "farm" stains, also a paste of it will dry of poison ivy nicely. Of course, my skin is like shoe leather.....nothing bothers it. I am going to check out some of the websites for fun.

The oldtimers, of course, used what they had. The name of the game was don't spend cash money (which most didn't have) on anything.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 6:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pistil(z6 USA)

Hi Basilmom! I recognize you - I'm njfilly over at the Dish. Good to see ya!! Don't you visit the rose forum too? Or am I losing it...which certainly is possible.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 9:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
basilmom(z5 IN)

Hi njfilly! I know you! I haven't been on the Dish in ages...I checked in after the tsunami to see that bandi was okay, but that was it (I remembered she vacations there all of the time).

No, I don't know a dang thing about roses...except how to kill them! LOL Lately all I do is this forum because it's just about all I have time for.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 10:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cowsandchickens(z6N WV)

I have been toying with the idea of soap making and I have been looking up different recipes. Where do you get your ingredients? I can have access to tallow but I can't remember seeing the different oils such as coconut. Any information would be appreciated. Kelli

    Bookmark   January 14, 2005 at 2:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sewcrazynurse(MI zone 5)

My first soaps the oils came from the local grocery store then I pried the credit card away from my husband and ordered the some shea butter and cocoa butter and coconut oil on line. Another great place is the local health food store. I have a great deal going with a local guy that has the health food store. I get a deal on all my essential oils because I sell him all my eggs from my chickens. Also he tries my products for me and gives me a man's opinion.

There are some forums that are great help. Run a search for soap making forums. I belong to one called the WHISK. It's great! And it's free.

Good luck! Feel free to email me! Stay away from honey it sets up your soap like pumpkin puree in seconds and if you use milk measure it out by wieght and then freeze it to keep the temp down other wise the Lye will cause it to scorch and smell funny. Trust me these mistakes contributed to my Butt ugly soap! Also cut your recipes down so you only make one or two pounds of soap at a time.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2005 at 12:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
basilmom(z5 IN)

You can use honey...just gotta know how to do it. Same with milk.

I noticed that coconut is being sold at walmart now.

Here are some excellent sources for soap making supplies:

sewncrazy, I made exactly 100 batches of soap before I ever sold a bar.

Say Hi to Olivia at the Whisk for me...(I'm tracerace there too!).

    Bookmark   January 16, 2005 at 8:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cowsandchickens(z6N WV)

Thank you for all the information. I am still very early in the looking stages. I tried to find WHISK but came up with all different kinds of cooking sites. I just found out that my brother in law makes soap. He is a great guy and we get along good, but he was never around livestock so now we have something in common to talk about. A friend has already said she would donate goats milk for half a batch but I told her I need simple recipes first. Always something new to learn. Thanks again, I'm going to go look at the sites.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2005 at 12:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sewcrazynurse(MI zone 5)

Try this link.

for some reason I can never post a direct link.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2005 at 7:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
basilmom(z5 IN)

Try this one:

Here is a link that might be useful: The Whisk

    Bookmark   January 21, 2005 at 9:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cowsandchickens(z6N WV)

Made my first two batches of soap and I think they are going to turn out good. I can feel a new hobby coming on.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 11:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sewcrazynurse(MI zone 5)

Careful it's addictive. If you plan to sell eventually keep making and collecting supplies and fragrances. because everything has to cure for 6-12 weeks unless you do a water discount. Oh and keep a notebook of your recipes and what you scented them with and how they behaved. Likes and dislikes about the recipe.

Hey I have a recipe for sugar scrub that is to die for! I got it from the whisk and then tweaked it a little. I sell it for $10 for an 8 oz Jar. sells well and gets me a little cash for expanding my fragrances and supplies.


Hey should we go rejuvinate the soaping forum?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 12:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have made "grandma's recipe" -- years ago when I felt like I had to use up all that lard from butchering a hog, or be guilt-ridden forever for being wasteful. Times change, thank goodness, LOL! I agree with GD, it tackles farm stains that regular soap just can't touch, but I remember that even after it was a year old, I still got a "burning lye" sensation on my skin when I used it. I also recall that you couldn't color or scent it because the lye just ate up anything that you added.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 7:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
basilmom(z5 IN)

Susan, that would be because the lye to fats ratio was dangerously high. Thank heavens for digital scales and a calculator!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 11:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sewcrazynurse(MI zone 5)

Basilmom. I checked out your website! Awesome! What do you use for a mold and how do you package your soaps to sell?

I'm thinking I'm going to wrap mine in muslin and handstamp my logo and business name.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 8:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Caren, I've always had the "want to", even bought a few books, etc, but never actually tried it. But OH! MY GOSH! You gotta try Tracy's soap. It's wonderful, and I also LOVE the lip balms and the lotion.

Her packages are too cute, just what you'd expect from Tracy!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 10:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
basilmom(z5 IN)

Caren, Suzie, thank you very much for the nice words!

Caren, muslin bags are a good idea and some people do them really well. There is a girl on the Dish, her company is called Oh My! and she uses silk screened muslin I think. Whatever it is, they are really cute. I can't remember her name.......she makes neck pillows and stuff like that too.

With my soap, I wanted people to see them, and smell was a challenge, but I came up with a way to do it. It's not the most time efficient packaging (it takes too much time really).
First, I do a cigar band, than I wrap with cello (but leave the top opened) then I use a hole punch on the top and make holes for wraphia and add a bow/knot. I'll try to post a picture if you want me to.

Whatever you decide, just remain open to change. You may find that your products don't sell in a particular venue with a particular packaging. I know people who sell their soap with no packaging at all just out of a display crate or something (makes me so jealous), but it wouldn't go over well with my customers. My lotions used to be in a pump bottle with bright labels...I couldn't sell them that way. I changed the bottles and the label style and I can't keep them in stock (I'm still trying to find quality/affordable waterproof labels though).

Most importantly, use you own style and flare, but remain open minded, and it should pay off :)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 8:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cowsandchickens(z6N WV)

I know soap has to cure for a few weeks to get hard evaporate out the water and such, my question is, can you use the soap before that time is up? Will it hurt you or will it just not last as long from not being totally cured? I'm not trying to sell anything yet but just wanted to try it out to see what recipes I like the best. Thanks again, Kelli

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 1:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
basilmom(z5 IN)

The soap only saponifies in the mold for a short time (24-48 hours). Do the tongue test...if there's a "zap" or a "zing", than it's isn't good to use yet. If it just tastes like soap with no tingle at all, it's safe to use. Curing the soap makes the bar last longer and makes it harder - if you don't mind softer soap it's not a big deal. It also keeps your packaging from "growing" when wrapped too soon (the bar can continue to shrink if wrapped before fully cured). That cure time can be shortened drastically with a steep water discount, which is what I do; of course this takes some practice and there is a risk of screwing up your batch. But sometimes you just can't wait!

Oh, Caren you asked me what kind of mold I use and I forgot to answer you (sorry!)...
My husband makes my loaf molds out of scrap wood for me. They have hinges on one long side.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 9:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sewcrazynurse(MI zone 5)

I just had a couple of those molds made but I didn't put the hinges on the sides lined it with freezer paper and poured in the soap! it worked great. But didn't hold as much as I thought it would. I have to say I was sweating bullets! I think the sides need to be taller though or I need to do a water discount to make it all fit.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 7:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cowsandchickens(z6N WV)

I had a bunch of scraps from my first batches and decided to make laundry soap out of them. I mixed them with water on the stove and it came out too thick to use for liquid laundry soap so I poured it into a mold just to see what would happen. It hasn't gotten hard yet but is still too thick for clothes. Did I ruin the scraps or is there something to do to save them? Thanks again, Kelli

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 6:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
basilmom(z5 IN)

Kelli, if you put too much water in the mix it may take forever to get hard again. When I first started I did the same thing....I swear I had soap in a mold for a month, and let them set weeks after that. It was ugly soap, but it still worked :) I eventually threw it out though...strange texture.

I used to make it with 100% coconut oil and 0% SF (sometimes I'd sub 20-40% of the coconut with lard too). That boring formula is ideal for cleaning!

I never melted it down...I just pulverized it in the food processor and shook the "flakes" in like regular laundry soap. Oh, lemon and orange EO's are great in that formula too :)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 8:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cowsandchickens(z6N WV)

I have been looking around for scents for my soap. I am having trouble finding essential oils and was wondering if fragerance oils will ruin a batch of soap? I am also wondering what is a good price for scents such as lavender and sandlewood? What rate scent to soap do you use to get a good lasting scent? Sorry for all the questions again, I have really enjoyed making soap and wanted to try the next step. Thanks Kelli,

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 12:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sterling3(z4 NY)

A good place to buy on the internet is
"To die for". Its

They have great sales and I find their prices are the cheapest.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2005 at 10:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
basilmom(z5 IN)

kelli....FO (fragrance oils) won't "ruin" soap if that is what you like to use. Personally I use essential oils ONLY because I am highly sensetive to FO's (they make me sick). SOme FO's are difficult and will seize the hotsoap and make it hard to work with. Actually spicey and floral EO's will do the same thing.

Typically you should use .5 oz. FO per pound of oils. If you're using essential oils you will need to use more in order for them to sstay - as much as 1 oz. per pound of oils.

Sandalwood essential oil isn't in my budget - I don't know about yours...last I looked it was over $85 per ounce. I buy my eo's by the litre or gallon so my concept of pricing is affected by that. I wouldn't pay more than $9 an ounce though. FO's can be less expensive.

Please be sure to learn the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils if you don't already know (FO's are synthetic and eo's are plant derived). Nothing irritates me more when I see someone labeling or selling a "Blueberry Soap made with Essential Oils"...D'oh! There is no such thing as a blueberry essential oil. And if you buy on eBay be weary of the sellers who don't even know the difference.

You can learn so much at the soapdish...I hope you're reading up over there.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2005 at 4:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dosaye(Zone 9)

2-1/3 C Crisco
1-1/4 C Coconut Oil
1-1/4 C Olive Oil
2/3C Lye
2 C Distilled Water
1/8 C Dried Patchouli
Eo or FO added at trace.
Use an online conversion chart for ozs if you'd like.
This is a fun recipe to work with, run it through online Lye calculator. Always be safe when working with Lye.
I add EO's or FO's at light trace, add herbs, botnicals,clays & colorants at regular trace. This is a CP method. You can do other methods just keep an eye on it because Patchouli does speed up the trace factor.
I mold, insulate, unmold & usually you can cut 12 to 24 hrs. later let cure for 3 or more weeks.
I usually melt 1 tblsp per lb of oils of regular white sugar to my water (dissolved) before adding my Lye, this seems to help out with BUbbles!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 3:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I haven't made soap in a couple of years, However when I did, I found that if I milled it after making it worked so much better and went further too. I could double my quantity or more! My husband used to be a mechanic and loved my regular lye soap for cutting grease. Another good use for it is for poison ivy. I had a severe case this year and if I washed with the lye soap it helped dry the stuff up quickly.
I have also put cinnamon in it and sage, and aloe. My husband likes the aloe vera one, I used a muffin pan and filled the cups in it half way with milled soap. It was the perfect size for his shaving cup! and the aloe helped prevent razor burn!
I have not been brave enough to try any of the oil, scented soaps, I just used tallow, lye, water, and cocoa butter, and something else I can't remember. Now that I have goats milking I would like to make some goat milk soap.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 11:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
treasurificgal(z8A CA)

I have only made a few batches of soap, but am getting ready to jump in and make another batch. I found a good source for bulk ingredients. I just bought some coconut oil, citric acid (for making bath bombs), and cocoa butter. They have essential oils, and all manner of colorants, molds, packaging etc. I like to make a basic batch, then mill it after curing. That way I have the basic soap for everyday (which is really nice) and fancy soap for gifts and other uses. I have a couple of soap books and have basic recipes using tallow, olive oil and coconut oil. The above site also has bulk sodium hydroxide (lye). I am using the red devil brand that comes in a can. I understand that if you make your lye from scratch, (hard wood ashes, leached) it makes a softer set soap. I have not tried to make my own lye yet, but we do have plenty of wood ash. Thank you ladies for sharing your recipes.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 11:08AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
old water well question...
There is an old well on our farm that used to be run...
Need help on choosing raw milk farmer
Hello, everyone, I have a little dilemma: I have a...
Inactivity on this forum...?
Like I said in an earlier has been 6 years...
Water Well Question
I have an old water well on my property. It was originally...
Making a little money on the farm?
I realize that much of an enterprises success depends...
Sponsored Products
Crystorama 5579-AB-CL Dawson Chandelier - 5579-AB-CL-MWP
Ivory & Light Teal Itza Hand-Loomed Rug
$29.99 | zulily
Multicolored VIII
$199.00 | FRONTGATE
Safavieh Indoor/Outdoor Safavieh Rugs Cambridge Beige / Ivory 2 ft. 6 in. x 4
$70.97 | Home Depot
Red lacquer wreath
Origin Crafts
Polished Stainless Steel Round Shower Head & Brass Ceiling Mount Arm
Hudson Reed
Serena Quilt Set
$79.99 | zulily
Quoizel Hillcrest HCE8411IB Outdoor Wall Lantern - HCE8411IB
$369.99 | Hayneedle
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™