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-   -   Cold Process Soap (https://www.quiltingboard.com/general-chit-chat-non-quilting-talk-f7/cold-process-soap-t252927.html)

susiequilt 09-02-2014 04:29 PM

Excellent info sewnoma!
I have made cold process for years and years! RTCP (room temperature cold process).
I get my oils from Columbus food in Chicago.
I sell at an herb shop where they don't want me to use essential oils but love the fragrance oils.
I'm ready to quit but they beg me to continue so I will for a while.
I make beer, goat milk or distilled water or a mixture! It's a fun hobby or business but don't expect to get rich.
I don't even color or swirl anymore but my customers love my recipe the way it is. Everything natural but the FO. My favorite to use is unscented goat milk soap. I have also used carrots and silk. Even tried dried corn silk! Just the thought of using crayons makes me cringe! Fun playing.
I find that spraying the top of the soap in the mold with 91 percent alcohol will help prevent ash.

I agree with your assessment of M&P. Might be fun to play with but I won't use it personally.
Enjoy the process but use safety measures handing lye.

Sewnoma 09-03-2014 06:05 AM

How ironic, selling in an herb shop that doesn't want essential oils?? I would expect the opposite!

just_the_scraps_m'am 09-03-2014 06:19 AM

always wanted to, but didn't! Sounds complicated, but definitely worth the effort!!! thanks for the soap making lessons, Sewnoma & others, I enjoyed reading them!

jude by the sea 09-03-2014 06:24 AM

Oh boy, so glad to hear from you soapers out there. I am also a newbie to soap making. I have the supplies which I got at thrift stores and from my shelves. Sewnoma wish I had all your info in my head, your responses were great and full of information. I don't plan on a business but really want to make soap for myself, friends and family. The idea of making soap intrigues me and to have pleasant smelling soap really sounds like fun. I have several questions I hope one of you can answer. 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. Another question is how do you all measure your fragrance oils? I tried a dropper but if I was afraid the dropper with one scent would tarnish the second scent if dipped in bottle. I can't figure out how to accurately measure the fragrances. I think I will subscribe to this link so I can keep up with you soapers out there. So now to finish piecing my quilt then maybe a batch of soap will be started. 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? Thanks for any responses! Thart795 thanks for starting this post.

quiltin-nannie 09-03-2014 06:26 AM

I have never made soap, and have no desire to do so, but I found this thread fascinating, even though it was way over my head! You gals are so talented!

coopah 09-03-2014 06:31 AM

WOW! I didn't think soap making had so much information to absorb! I'm thinkin' I"ll just keep supporting those who already have the info and make the soap. Love any soap with shea butter.

Sewnoma 09-03-2014 07:25 AM


Originally Posted by jude by the sea (Post 6872568)
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 (Post 6872568)
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 (Post 6872568)
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.

jude by the sea 09-03-2014 08:51 AM

Wow, a big thank you to Sewnoma! So concise, I so appreciate it. So you worked you soap batch outside! And you used a hose and a hot plate to melt soaps and such? When you mix the lye and water do you simply rinse off the container it was in into the soil? Or down the sink if I work inside...I am trying to get place set up just to make soap etc. I have been getting into making things like laundry soap myself and lovin it...so a little work space outside might be an idea? Since I been reading so much on the soap making about not putting lye in sinks on counter tops and clean up is difficult I have been afraid to start the journey...so far I have done malt and pour but I want to move on. Are you object able to having a private message with questions. I already feel like I owe you a fee! Lol but I truly appreciate your input and I hope Thart750 is reading this too nice to see others on the soap path that is a newbi too!

madamekelly 09-03-2014 09:03 AM


Originally Posted by thart795 (Post 6871212)
Does anyone on here make cold process soaps at home? I just made my first two batches yesterday.

Any favorite "recipes", tips or tricks to share with a newbie? Where do you buy your supplies from?

Any info would help!

My daughter makes one with olive oil and oatmeal that is divine.

Sewnoma 09-03-2014 09:10 AM

I didn't use the hose much; I just had it handy in case of "oopsies" and for that single rinse-out of my lye pitcher. I'd just dump it on the ground - it's such a tiny amount it never even discolored my grass. (And lye does occur naturally!)

I never worried about lye on my counter tops or in the sink as I started off using Red Devil brand drain opener as my source of lye - it was 99.9% pure lye which was perfect for soaping. Then meth became a huge problem and apparently lye is a main ingredient, and Red Devil stopped making their pure lye. So lye won't hurt most kitchen surfaces and may actually help clear your drains. :)

I worked outside mostly because of smells - my DH has a sensitive nose and I'd often make 2-3 different batches at once so the combinations of the different smells were often not so lovely, LOL. I did eventually get a hot plate for convenience but most of the time I'd just melt my oils inside and then bring them out - I do the "room temperature" method so I only added enough heat to melt my solid oils so it didn't take much. And then of course my oven (where I'd put the molds after pouring to force gel) is indoors so the soap ends up back inside at that point anyway! In the winter I'd do most soaping inside but I would always mix my lye water outside. Those fumes are EVIL and the cold air would help cool it back down anyway.

Feel free to send me PM's! I'm a little rusty but it's coming back to me. Actually all this talk is really making me want to dig my stuff out and see how much of it is still good! It's been too long since I've donned my mad scientist lab coat, LOL.


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