Soap questions

Discussion in 'Soap Making' started by Faithful Crown Nubians, May 23, 2008.

  1. I was looking on this link,
    http://www.candlesandwoodcrafts.com/woodensoapmolds.html

    Im not sure what size of mold I should get. :sigh Any thoughts or suggestions?

    Im also new to making soap. A friend of mine sent me everything i needed to make a batch of soap and it turned out great but I'd like to make my own now but I am not sure where to start.
    How do you decide which oils to use? And how much to use of each?

    I am sure I'll have more questions. :help

    Thanks in advance! :)
     
  2. Halo-M Nubians

    Halo-M Nubians New Member

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    You need to decide how large of a recipe you want to deal with before you pick a mold. The mold is definitely not required there are a lot of options for simple molds. I started with milk cartons..and I still like and use the silicone baking "pans". I also really like using individual bar molds..like milky way and others. When I started I just did 32 oz of oils (about 8 of the individual bars, give or take depending on size)..and its so easy to work with and traces really fast with the stick blender. Even just doing small batches like that I was over-run with soap until I started to sell it. Use a lye calculator to figure out your recipe-I use soapcalc.com

    Here you can see pix of my individual bars..and the rough cut ones were just done in pans...
    http://www.halogoatsoap.com
     

  3. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

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    You'll need to decide what size bars you want and then what size batch you'll be wanting to make. Also, how you want to pretty up the tops or layer will determine if you want a slab or log.

    As for the oils.....different ones bring different qualities to your soaps. Can't think of a site off the top of my head but you should be able to find several that will explain it better than I can.
     
  4. What is the difference between a slab and log?

    Are there oils that shouldn't be used together?

    What kind of things around the house or stuff that can be bought at like walmart or something that would be a good mold for bars of soap, I want them to look nice, so that is why I was going to get a mold.

    I am not sure on the size of the bars. Do you go by weight of bar or size of them (Length,width ect ect)

    Thanks :D
     
  5. lynpea

    lynpea Guest

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    I would suggest that you start with a small batch, say about 2 lbs worth. Do you have an IKEA anywhere around you? I have bought their 9 drawer DVD/CD storage unit and have used that for molds. It's somewhere around 10-12 bucks. Each unit holds 32 oz. of soap and will give you 9, 1" bars.

    DO a LOT of reading, www.susanmiller.com has tons of info. www.summerbeemeadow.com has info about the diff. properties of oils. www.soapcalc.com is an on line lye calculator that you will find invaluable.

    A slab mold is a shallow rectangular box. The soap is generally pored to the depth you want your bar to be. I use mine doubled so I can get twice the amount of soap from a pour. I use mine when I am making (or attempting) fancy swirls. I have a Slab with dividers (a TOG mold that I bought off of ESTY) and it has dividers. The dividers are 2.5x3 and I pour 2.25 deep, so when the bars are out I cut them in half. A log mold is narrower and deeper, genrally the Heigth of a bar of soap and as wide as one. So it may be 2.5 inches tall, 3" wide, and however long you want it. A bar cut at 1" with be about 4-4.5 oz.

    I haven't been successful with finding molds at walmart. I like nice straight sides.

    You really can't go wrong with olive, palm and coconut, but the palm you won't be able to get at walmart, so you could use the shortening. Look in the recipe section in this form, there are some recipes there. But I really wouldn't recommend making 7# of soap for your first few attempts. One susans site she has smaller beginner recipes.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
  6. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    There's always the walmart recipe in the recipe section here. It is very popular and made with oils you can easily find.

    In my soap classes I use a coin box (free from banks) lined with freezer paper for the mold and a very basic recipe of 60% lard, 20% canola (In my recipes I prefer sunflower - but canola is easier to find for a newbie), and 20% coconut. The boxes are very sturdy and you can use them again and again.
     
  7. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    When I first started out I used any thing with straight sides found a lot at junk stores plastic boxes etc. even lined cardboard boxes with parchment paper. Then hubby build me some molds.
     
  8. Jo@LaudoDeumFarm

    [email protected] New Member

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    Also, don't forget about silicone muffin cups and tuna cans.

    One of my favorite recipes is 80 grams of almond, 80 grams of crisco (soybean oil) 80 grams of olive, and 80 grams of cocunut. Has about 35 grams of lye and about 90-100 of goat milk. (run it through a calculator if you are going to try it out.) This is what I use to test scents, colors or anything new. Makes 3-5 bars, depending on my molds. Takes only and hour to do and this is what we do when I'm teaching a soaping class.

    So you see you don't have to make 2 lbs, or 7 lbs all at once. I think one of the worst things you can do is make a really big batch when you are just getting started. It's lots easier to scale the batch down to something that will fit one martha mold. (4 bars) It also frees up your fats so you can experiment with other ingredients and scents.

    I love to experiment so we add things to the soap just to see what will happen.
    Here are some experiment ideas: Use almond oil and almond meal, and honey with a almond and honey scent.

    freeze the goat milk, crush it to slush then add the lye to keep the temperature lower. This gives the soap a light beige to creamy white color.

    or: use warm milk and a tablespon of honey in the batch. This makes the soap darker. ( I made a soap as dark as dark chocolate this way. Made a beautiful hard, long lasting bar with giant white lather! )

    swirl with cinnamon and spices.

    use oatmeal, cornmeal, kelp, tea, roships, ground lavender, crayons, micas, clay, eggshells, berries. Lots and lots of stuff to choose from.

    And then you can swirl, make mosiacs, make soap frosting and ripply tops.

    My favorite right now is cocoa butter and shea as some of the oils and sunflower instead of olive oil. Made a very light bar, with a good hardness to it and oh-so-creamy suds.
     
  9. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    PVC pipe makes great molds and you can even heat them and make them into ovals.
     
  10. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    I also recommend 5 batches just in what you have, with the Wallmart recipe now that MM molds are nomore. Then when you do buy a mold, don't go buying some square pine box. You could make it for $5. Now matter what they say you wil have to line the POS....and that sounds fine today...fast forward millions of batches later and if you ever see another lined anything you will scream.

    Up on the stickies above are the website for molds. Visit the ones that have silicone liners, buy a small one, they all make the same uniform size bars, you can cut them bigger or smaller. Start off this soaping addiciton with a good mold. Then when you get larger you already have a source for more molds, or get the liners and have a local craftsman make the simple wooden boxes that go around the liners. No lining ever, the same size bars each time....if I started over it is exactly what I would do. I am stuck now with my size bars, and there is NO STOCK sizes of my bars, so it's all custom...very very expensive custom :) Vicki
     
  11. Rosnasharn Farm

    Rosnasharn Farm Guest

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    I have tried going to the sites reccommended but susanmiller.com is all about Astrology....? The other sites have been most helpful...I will be trying the 3-Oils soap, a beginners soap recipe...will let you know how I go. :)
     
  12. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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  13. lynpea

    lynpea Guest

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    AKKKKK you're right, thanks kidsngarden...sorry, brain fart...
     
  14. Wow I so totally forgot all about this thread! Thanks for all the replies...and obviously, I haven't made any soap yet! LOL I'm going to this year though. :)
     
  15. SimplyE

    SimplyE New Member

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    When I first started out, i went to the thrift store for my molds. Silicone bread molds work really well and can be fairly easy to find. I also like "the everything soapmaking book" by Alicia Grosso for starters.