Newbie here - have a couple of questions :)

Discussion in 'Soap Making' started by nappint, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. nappint

    nappint New Member

    Thanks to all of you (and the Walmart recipe) I made my first batch of soap last night.

    I didn't have any fragrances so I just made Oatmeal, Honey and Goat milk soap. It was very uneventful - no curdled milk, volcanic eruptions or acid burns LOL! I really enjoyed the process. I've already unmolded and cut it because it was getting pretty hard and I didn't want it to get to where I couldn't cut it AND I also took a sliver and washed my hands with it...sorry I just couldn't help myself (it actually had suds and everything).

    I was reading another soap board a few weeks ago and there was a thread by someone who just started soaping and she was already trying to sell her soap. Quite a few members were really upset with her saying she didn't have enough experience and that she could hurt someone badly with a lye heavy soap - some even went so far as to say that they soaped for 2 years before they even thought about selling :really

    After reading the Walmart recipe and some other threads on this site - it sounds as if the soap (if mixed properly and run through a calculator) is ready almost immediately except for the evaporation and hardening of the bars...Is this right? Am I missing something?

    I would like to eventually sell soap after I feel like I know what I'm doing and after it is fully cured but I don't believe I need to soap for 2 years before feeling ready to sell. What are the things I need to know before selling soap?

    I already have a place to sell that I'm sure would be a good location but I don't want to jump in until I have all my bases covered. Any of your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks - I love this site!
  2. MRFBarbara

    MRFBarbara Guest

    Hi Judy,
    Even an experienced soaper can accidently make lye heavy soap, but would recognize it quicker (maybe)... I only soaped about 6 months before I started selling, up until then i pretty much gave it away and ask for comments etc.. I have been on forums of the same mind, and I sometimes think they are just a little snippy, but I keep my big mouth (printed words shut)
    Some soapers will test each batch themselves before they sell it, by just using slivers.. I think that is the way to go personally, it to test your own soap, and get couple of family members to try it..

  3. New Member

    If you ask a candle site they will tell you to test for a year :)

    I sold my first batch of soap.

    The biggy is that most sites don't give you recipes that actually work. They give you vague instructions, and simply aren't helpful. Sure everyone has a recipe they won't part with, but helping folks make good soap with the wallmart recipe isn't taking business away from anyone. I really don't get the idea of that.

    Ask away.

    Yes a good cure will only improve this recipe. Vicki
  4. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

    I sold almost right away as well, but I do tell people to gain some experience before they sell. You get better at making soap over time, perfect your recipes, etc. So someone could get your so-so soap and think a year later your soap is still so-so.

    And one thing those "soap box" soapers don't take into consideration is what's done in two years for one person can be done in 6 months by another. You would not believe the astronomical amounts of time I spent on websites and forums reading and asking questions before I ever even soaped. Then I soaped 5 days a week for many months before I began seriously trying to market soap. It was truly a full time job for me. Many people are working full time and trying to soap, etc. Maybe I was lucky in that my soap was good enough for repeat customers so early, I don't know.

    Those 2 year advice gals are one of two people a)they have talked to too many people who have had bad experiences with handcrafted soap so they are worried newbies are wrecking things for the rest of us or b)they just are jealous because someone can make decent soap early on and find succes and they can't or coudn't.

    And remember, we don't always "say" online what we REALLY do in real life because it's not the "right" (commonly accepted) way.

    But I will say this Vicki, the testing for candles is insane. I tried making soy for awhile and QUIT. There are so many variables each time you want a new container, wax or fragrance. Wick size, the amount of fragrance, it's totally crazy. And if you think soap forum folks are nuts - watch out for the candle folks. They eat newbies for breakfast!
  5. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

    Agreeing with what's been said. I did TONS of research before I got up the nerve to make my first batch....just because that's the kind of person I am. I did not want my first batch to fail. :LOL I started in Jan 07 (and thought WHY didn't I try sooner?). My first 4-5 batches were mostly lard 'cause I didn't want to waste any good oils while learning the process. Then I made my first OMH and it turned out great. Next batch was my first with fragrance. Again, turned out super. I ended up selling bars from that batch for Mother's Day gifts, so 4 months later. By then I had made a whole lot of small batches and was happy with the results.
  6. nappint

    nappint New Member

    Thanks ladies :)

    I feel much better now after reading your replies. I almost gave up on soap making/selling after reading that thread but I thought I'd do some more research and get some more opinions.

    I've been using the soap I made the other night and I love it! I will be ordering in a small amount of EO's and plan on just playing for the next few weeks when I have time. Then when I think I'm ready I'll try selling a few bars :biggrin

    Thanks again!
  7. birdiegirl

    birdiegirl Member

    Great thread! This is something that I had been wondering about, but was afraid to ask. I don't want to hurt anyone with my soap, but if I have to wait 2 years before I can sell any, I am afraid I might lose interest......or at least only soap occasionally, never getting the amount of experience that I really need.
    I've got about 10 batches under my belt, but I have to say that I love the Walmart recipe, it really is easy and it makes me more excited about soaping.
  8. New Member

    Good Donna and Judy! It's nice to hear this forum is helping. Vicki