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Old 09-03-2014, 07:25 AM
Super Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Posts: 4,299

Originally Posted by jude by the sea View Post
First it was mentioned that you used fragrance oil and not essential oil. I am confused because I thought I read that fragrance oils don't mix well in soap and there was chemicals in fragrance oils.
Not all fragrance oils (FO's) are the same! Look for FO's made specifically for cold process soap; they are made without any alcohol which is usually the "problem" ingredient. M&P soap fragrances are usually NOT okay for CP soap, but you usually can use CP soap fragrances in M&P. Essential oils are nice in some ways, not so nice in others. People tend to assume that "natural" means "safe" but that is NOT always the case!! Some essential oils are downright hazardous to touch; some are hazardous only after long term exposure (so wear gloves!), some are fine until they hit sunlight (mostly citrus oils). So if you do intend to use essential oils, please please do research on each one you would like to use to protect yourself and others, and make sure you buy them from a reputable source.

Originally Posted by jude by the sea View Post
Another question is how do you all measure your fragrance oils?
By weight! That's the most accurate way to do it, and another reason why you need an accurate scale that can measure down to 0.1 oz. (one tenth of an ounce) Some fragrances are stronger than others; I usually added about .5-.7 oz of fragrance per pound of oils used in the recipe.

Originally Posted by jude by the sea View Post
Where do you all make the soap? I don't have a sink outside. I have granite countertops and stainless steel sink. Is this a problem with the lye?
Nope, shouldn't be a problem unless maybe your granite isn't sealed well. If you're concerned, it's not a terrible idea to get a cheap plastic tablecloth to work on - just give it a good rinse when you're done. I did most of my soaping outside...I'd hose out my lye pitcher after pouring the mix together but other than that...I would actually leave my soap pot out somewhere safe overnight after making soap. Why? Because by morning, enough of the mix would have saponified right there in the pot that cleaning it was super easy. Why scrub out a caustic mix of lye and oil when you can just rinse out soap the next day??

And a few quick words about safety...I've read soap books that advise keeping vinegar on hand and say that if you get lye on your skin to douse it in vinegar. I think this is TERRIBLE ADVICE!! Vinegar is an acid, lye is caustic (alkaline/base) - what this means is that if you mix lye and vinegar they do cancel each other out, but they do this by going through a chemical reaction that generates heat!! You don't want that happening on your skin! Instead, if you get lye on your skin, rinse it with lots of water. This dilutes the lye and washes it away, and if you do it relatively quickly you're likely to get off scott-free. Vinegar is fine for wiping down your surfaces if you've had a lye or uncured soap spill but water is really what you want if you get lye on your skin. Lots and lots of water.

If you've been making soap and later on you notice a new red or itchy spot on your hands or arms or elsewhere, that's probably from lye or uncured soap touching you. Don't panic, just wash it off and you'll be fine! If you get lye in your eyes, immediately flush with water. I definitely recommend wearing goggles whenever handling lye.
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