February 21, 2017 at 12:55 pm #20488
Don’t buy a bunch of soap stuff until you know you’re going to like it! What if you hate making soap? Not that I think you will, because then we would not be twins, but what if!!! Just slow down and get the very basics. Lye, oils/butters, kitchen scale, a plastic bowl or container to measure out your lye in (I use cleaned plastic cottage cheese containers), distilled water, stick blender, soap pot to blend soap in, lye jug (I confiscated a plastic pitcher from my kitchen), mold, rubber gloves, goggles…..I think that’s the basics. A candy thermometer if you’re not doing room temp soaping. I think that covers the bare bones basics.
Barb, would you concur? I may have forgotten something.February 21, 2017 at 1:59 pm #20490
I was having a midnight shopping spree fill my cart because I was watching YouTube videos again. *sigh* This is a bad thing. I need pot, gloves I got, goggles I got just recently for over my glasses, so it’s figuring my favourite oils…I love you oils…..*goes cuckoos*February 21, 2017 at 4:07 pm #20491
Yes, YouTube can be very evil in regards to your wallet! *watches YouTube video…..* “Oh, what is that they’re using? How cool is that?!?! I must get me one of those!” And so it starts…….February 21, 2017 at 4:15 pm #20493
This is why I need a restraining hand. Because sometimes I can get a little yeah…February 22, 2017 at 8:09 am #20502
I know what you mean, Twin! That’s why we are twins!! HahaFebruary 22, 2017 at 10:47 am #20519
I saw a video with Barb’s frozen goat milk soap. I was like….ooooh. So yeah, this is why I need a minder. LolFebruary 22, 2017 at 2:21 pm #20525
I would say look closely at your kitchen cupboards. You’ve probably got everything you need to make soap. I only recently bought a 8kg pot to use for soaping and up until recently, I was just using a stainless steel salad bowl (they are ridiculously cheap and who doesn’t have a few of these?). Use old plastic containers or old Tupperware for pouring pots for lye like Belinda said. Soap making doesn’t have to be an expensive habit and shouldn’t be unless you love it and do it as a hobby or side business.
Thermometer: go by touch MUCH easier. Feel the side of your bowls and if they feel the same, chances are they are close enough. If you are nervous and want to be sure sure, then get yourself a thermometer. But don’t splurge on this, you’re probably going to use it once or twice. Look at lotion making.
Protective eye wear: I have an old pair of glasses.
Mask: you can use your dust mask from cosmetic making as it should also be a fine particle mask. I combine my lye to my liquid under the stove hood with the suction fans on all the way. This is one area where China living is wonderful! Our suction fans are amazing!
Molds: anything can be a mold. Old cottage cheese containers, milk cartons, old shoe boxes lined with cling film or parchment paper. A wine box. A pringles can.
If I could go back and do it all over again and just start out making soap, I’d tell the younger me to listen to the seasoned soapers who told me the same thing about not buying everything and the kitchen sink. I wasted so much money on such crazy things that I attempted to use once and realized, it was dumb and my thing I used for baking was better and easier to clean.February 22, 2017 at 2:40 pm #20528
These pictures are for Cyn. Nothing special going on with my old soaping materials. It’s all kitchen cupboard stuff. And I make kilos of the stuff in one go. As I said, it’s only recently I’ve bought materials and tools dedicated to soaping. It wasn’t needed till now.February 22, 2017 at 7:37 pm #20536
*sighs* You have no idea on how bad my OCD and ptsd get me every so often. Lately, my PTSD has been on super high alert, which translates to me obsessing on my stuff that helps me relax. This just eased like 1,000 lbs…kilos, both…of weight from me.
Now I’m focusing on what Twin said, cheap yet good oils for soaping and the specialty oils for pop. And for cosmetic use. And my wood mold. The more I see them, the easier things are. I do have my 12 cavity mold. It was my first mold and it’s basic, simple. I’m the curmudgeon in my family. Lol. Though I saw some fancy molds I squee over, I’ll never get them. I can’t justify the price. But the cool loaf molds…oh, I have envy.
I never considered salad bowls. I have some smaller and decent size ones that would work for split and smaller batches. So, I just need a decent pot. I wear glasses full time as I have a seeing issue. Lol. I got the goggles for extra protection, just in case.
The mask 😷 is awesome, never thought of it. Bam, one less item. I thought I’d need a different one. Duh…
I’ve been worried about the lye thing. So, I need to have good plastic or glass. Which is better? I have mason jars and I have old pitchers, etc. I even have 2 Pyrex for my stuff- 1 cup and 4 cup. Plus, I’m jealous your hood fans work better. We need better tech in America.February 22, 2017 at 10:03 pm #20560
I don’t use a mask for soaping, but I got a pair of cheap paint goggles at Walmart, less than $10. Perfect! I started by going outside to mix lye, but now just do it in the kitchen. I turn my face to the side so fumes don’t get me in the face. My kitchen is large so i don’t find fumes to be a problem unless I’m facing the pitcher as the lye is being poured and stirred. I have a plastic Tupperware pitcher that was a tea pitcher in a previous life. I pour a bit of lye in water, stir. Pour a bit more, stir. I watch as I pour and quickly turn my face while I gently stir. As long as the fumes don’t make me cough, I figure I’m doing fine. My lye cup is a cleaned discarded cottage cheese container. I mix micas in smaller cleaned plastic containers….sour cream, small yogurt cups, stuff like that. You can use popsicle sticks, or wooden chopsticks from Chinese takeout, or plastic spoons for stirring micas. Long handled plastic or stainless steel spoons for stirring lye water and soap batter. Spatulas from the dollar store for stirring in mica, scraping out the last bits of soap batter, or making texture on soap tops. You can do a lot of stuff very cheaply. Barb is right. Go through your kitchen first and see what works. Plastic and stainless steel. No aluminum though! Lye and aluminum are not friends! I used a stainless steel bowl once and I didn’t like it as well as my small stainless steel pot, but that’s just me. I’ve used plastic bowls, dollar store plastic containers with handles, paint mixing containers. I’ve not used any glass mixing bowls/measuring cups, but those would work if they’re large enough. I do have dedicated soap stuff vs kitchen stuff, but I have room for separate stuff. The soap mold you have will work fine until you get a loaf mold. If you really like soaping, I think a wooden loaf mold is just a must have. That’s my favorite mold to use, I have to admit. Fancy molds are cute but seriously not necessary. Like Barb said, you can spend a lot, then find out half the stuff you bought you don’t use. I tried really hard not to do that, but yes, I have stuff I bought that who knows if I’ll ever use it.
I’m so tired I’m falling asleep typing! I hope what I have typed makes sense! Haha! If not, I have an excuse! Will type more tomorrow!February 22, 2017 at 10:08 pm #20563
So what you’re telling me is back away from Brambleberry before I keep going crazy. 😆February 22, 2017 at 10:12 pm #20564
Yes! All the pretties you see in videos are nice, but LATER! Much later! Start off simple. If you fall in love with it, then go a little crazy. Just don’t go crazy right out of the gate. Baby steps!February 23, 2017 at 2:26 pm #20569
The face mask: I would strongly suggest using one since we all have them for cosmetic making. When you work with your titanium dioxides, clays and fine powders, they can cause some nasties.
If you are working with titanium dioxide and want an even soap, you blitz it through your coffee grinder. If your clay happy (like I am… tons of kaolin in soap??? Drool!!!), you need to sift it and any sort of light breeze in the wrong direction? Well, that’s why I now wear a mask when working with soap. Micas, well, I look at my surface areas in my kitchen after making soap and think well, at least the autopsy person will get a sparkley treat after looking through all the micas. When all the powders are weighed down with oils or incoperated into the soap then I remove my mask. And if I’m not working with powders, no mask.
Safety is important, and the first few times you make soap, I would suggest nipping outside. You are going to want to see everything that is going on. You’re going to want to see the reactions taking place. But after a while, you’ll do what Belinda does.February 23, 2017 at 11:12 pm #20571
So, no pictures of lye water forming. Wait until soap is poured check. Yeah, careful is as a friend’s daughter broke her foot sliding down the stairs as she wasn’t paying attention.February 24, 2017 at 6:54 am #20572
You have a balcony, right? You could mix your lye water there. Stir until you can’t hear any solid bits of lye clinking about, then take it back inside. The first few times, I took mine outside to mix and stir, then brought it in. I don’t think there are fumes once the lye is melted. I wouldn’t stick my face in the pitcher, but the smell is not as strong after a minute or two.
Also, make sure your dog is penned up where he can’t get anywhere near your work area, for his safety and yours. He could trip you, you could accidentally spill something, etc, etc….Keep Shango safe! I do not soap when little missy is in the house and I put the dogs outside.
What Barb said about the mask and micas…..since I haven’t been using micas for soap until recently and very rarely, I never even thought about wearing a mask. I’d use clay, mostly, to color soap, or let it do its own thing. I’ve never blitzed my kaolin or TD in the coffee grinder, but I have seen that suggested. It is very hard to incorporate, so blitzing would probably help. Another trick I’ve seen a couple of people do with kaolin is mix it in with the essential oils you’re using to scent the soap. It seems to blend better that way and it’s supposed to help anchor the scent so it sticks around longer. With TD, I put mine in oil or water, use my mini mixer I got from Brambleberry, and blend it. That works really well and I don’t have to blitz it through the coffee grinder that way. The TD I have is both oil and water soluble, so I can use either liquid with it. Check which one you have so you know what to mix with it when the time comes.
I really want to make that tons of clay soap. That just sounds so yum!!
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