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Soap Making as a hobby can be very rewarding and with a little practice you can make the most wonderful bars of soap to use as gifts. The only limitation to what you can make is your imagination and the time spent in it’s actual manufacture. The first method is called a cold process and is the method described in my two recipes. An alternative to them is by using ready made glycerine soaps which you melt down before adding your colour or fragrance. This is a quick method and although far easier than doing the full process for me does not produce the same quality in the finished item. However for those of you with small children who want to make soap it would be the better option as it eliminates the need to use sodium hydroxide. Homemade soaps are easy to make given a little patience and will reward you with wonderful bars of soap that will have been made by you. I would stress that the soaps below are for personal use or for gifts, there are many rules and regulations about manufacturing soap that unless one wishes to become serious about selling your products it is best avoided. Trace: Like cream when your soap mixture leaves a solid line on the surface of your mixture when spooned onto the surface. Sodium Hydroxide is Caustic Soda you need it to be 95% pure. Water best distilled or rainwater that has been filtered. Pina Colada Soap. ---------------------- This is a two tier soap, compromising a yellow top and a creamy base, that smells good enough to eat although I wouldn’t recommend it! Base. You will need 850g of coconut oil. 57g of cocoa butter. 168g sodium hydroxide. 340g water. 5ml coconut fragrance. Top. 112g clear glycerine soap base. 3 drops of pineapple fragrance. Yellow liquid food colouring. With Hazel. Equipment. Stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Protective glas ses. Rubber gloves. Wooden, plastic or stainless steel spoon. Two glass thermometers. Square plastic tray. Sharp Knife. Plastic or glass jug. Method. To make the base: Place the coconut oil and butter into your pan and heated until melted together. Then add the sodium hydroxide to the water and stir to mix. ( wear rubber gloves and eyes protection while doing this). Place a thermometer into the oil mix and another in the sodium hydroxide & water mix (lye). Heat both to a temperature of 49 degrees C / 120 degrees F then carefully add the lye to your oil mixture. Stir well and leave until the mixture reaches trace point. Now we add the fragrance oil and stir it in well. The next stage is to pour the mixture into our mould, I tend to use old ice cream cartons but a shoe box lined with a bin liner is a good alternative. We now leave the mixture for a few hours or preferably overnight. To make the top: Cut the clear soap base into rough chunks and put in a glass jug. Stand this in a saucepan half full of water and heat until the soap begins to melt in the jug. Keep the heat as low as possible cover the saucepan. When the soap is completely melted add the pineapple fragrance and the food colouring. Stir this in very gently so you do not get any air bubbles. Spray your coconut base with Witch hazel then pour your new mix on top of the base mixture. Gently shake your mould so the topping is evenly spread and leave to set. When the mixture is set turn out of the mould and cut into chunks. Leave to cure in a well ventilated place for four weeks before using. This gives you a lovely bar of soap that is soft and creamy and perfect for those summer bath or shower times. They make the perfect gift but I would caution any of you that would like to make soap to sell. Beware the regulations they are many and varied, home soap making is really for home consumption and the pleasure i t can give you, you can make it for retail but to me this removes the fun from the process. Rather than just give you one recipe for those of you that love chocolate below is a recipe for a Chocolate Lime Slice. Ingredients (you will need double the quantities below) 175g coconut oil. 175g vegetable oil 150g palm oil 187.5g water. 74g Sodium Hydroxide. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Chocolate layer.(you will need double the quantities below) 100g cocoa 2.5ml chocolate fragrance oil. ----------------------------------- Lime layer. ( These quantities make one layer) 5ml lime fragrance or essential oil. 15ml diluted D & C green 8 pigment powder. ------------------------------------------------------ Equipment. Stainless steel or Enamel saucepan. Whisk. Rubber Gloves. Protective glasses. Spoons. 2 glass thermometers. Mould. Palette knife. Blanket/Tea Towel Sharp knife or Cheese wire. Method. Melt all your oils in your saucepan on a gentle heat. Add a small amount of warm water to the cocoa and whisk until lump free. Wearing gloves and glasses mix your sodium hydroxide with the remaining water and stir well. place a thermometer in to both mixtures and when both reach 49 deg C 120 deg F mix together and stir well. When the mixture reaches trace add your cocoa mix and mix well, then pour into your mould. Repeat these stages but this time when the mixture reaches trace add the lime mixture instead of chocolate. When it reaches trace pour over your chocolate base mixture and leave to set for two hors. Now mix up another chocolate level and using a palette knife swirl it over the lime layer like a rough icing. Cover with a cloth and leave for 48 hours or until hard. Turn out of the mould cut into bars and leave to cure for four weeks. There you ar e two easy recipes for lush soap, there are dozens of recipes and for those of you that want to know what exactly goes into your soap making it yourself certainly lets you know. Flower Fancies a glycerine soap based recipe. ------------------------------------------------------ 1kg of glycerine soap base 5ml of the fragrance or essential oil of your choice Method; Cut the soap into chunks and melt, do this by placing them in a plastic or glass jug stood in a saucepan of hot water. When completely melted add your oil or fragrance. Stir in very gently to avoid air bubbles. Pour soap into your mould. Now using silk flowers trim off any stem and gently push the flowers below the surface of your soap. I find a tooth pick ideal for this purpose. You now leave your soaps to set, when this is complete turn out trim to smooth them and voila soap with flowers set in them. Side note ----------- All soap is made with caustic soda but due to the reaction with the oils/fat you use none is left in the bars after curing. People who are allergic to certain things should ensure they do not add them to their soap mix. What is Trace point? ------------------------ Trace: Like cream when your soap mixture leaves a solid line on the surface of your mixture when spooned onto the surface. Sodium Hydroxide is Caustic Soda you need it to be 95% pure. Water best distilled or rainwater that has been filtered. Useful information. ----------------------- If you want to sell your soap you will have to take note of several important things. Trading standards will require you to have accurate scales and to have the soaps labelled with a net weight to allow for moisture loss. It is wise to make your soaps heavy than its advertised size to allow for this drop in moisture content. Soap by law has to be sold by weight. You will be able to find your local trading of fice in your Yellow pages. When using man made pigments you need to use ones suitable for cosmetic use. You must not use textile dyes or dyes for use in candle making. If selling your soap you have to include a list of ingredients each ingredient is issued with an INCI name and these must be listed on your label. These are obtainable from http://dg3.eudra.org/inci/incif1.htm Essential oils should be described by their Latin names, water should be called Aqua. It is not necessary to list the Sodium Hydroxide as I have already said if made correctly it no longer exists in the bar. You also have to have a batch number so if any problems arise you can trace the batch back to your records. That brings me on to the fact that you have to keep detailed records of all the soap you make. These are called Product information packs and your supplier should provide them for you. Each batch of soap you make will have to be signed off by a pharmacist or a toxicologist and they must have full insurance cover. It is worth you having insurance in case somebody suffers an allergic reaction to your soaps and sues you. It is not however a compulsory thing it is left to the individual. Before selling your soap you have to inform the Department of Trade and Industry of your address and that soap is being manufactured on your premises. It may also be soon necessary to have a licence to make soap but your local trading officer can inform you if this is the case. I must stress all the above is only for those of you that wish to sell the soap you make, if you are just making the soap for your own pleasure and for gifts you do not have to worry about any of the above. take care and happy soap making. Laundry Service
My Nan makes soap. Not the fancy kind like you buy in shops like Lush, all colourful and textured and looking good enough to eat. My Nan uses an age-old technique, no doubt taught to her by HER grandmother, called "saving up all the old slivers of soap to make a brand new bar." This, quite simply, is genius. Everyone hates the last few days of a bar of soap. The once proud bar sits forlornly in the dish, cracked, discoloured, it's Imperial Leather sticker peeling and faded. Trying to use it for even rudimentary ablutions is a minefield. Will it crack in two during vigorous lather production? Will it get trodden on, and secure itself limpet-like to the floor of the bath? Will it fade into nothing at a vital juncture of your cleaning regime, forcing you to locate and unwrap a fresh bar whilst only partially washed? A nightmare, I'm sure you'll agree. Rather than let these veterans of the bath chamber end their days in such ignominy, my grandmother lifts them from the soap dish just before the lean times begin. After a few gentle words, she places it into a tray with others of its kind. There the down-on-its-luck sliver of soap finds new purpose, a new reason for cleaning. Its horizons are widened by mingling with soaps of many other cultures and backgrounds in a truly classless society. A little water mixed in the tray allows the soaps to mix and mingle freely while still maintaining their unique identities. After a few days (weeks?) the soaps harden together into a new, unique, multi-faceted bar. Ready to take pride of place in the bathroom. This new bar of soap is not bound by the conventions of its factory manufactured brethren. It revels in its multiple personalities. Here brown and transparent remnants of Pears, there green and unassuming traces Palmolive. Anyone using this new bar is in for some other pleasant surprises. Early morning face-washes occasionally bring to the su rface many hairs of interesting shape and unknown origin. The experience of pulling such a hair from one's lips is always a wonderful way to waken the wits and sharpen the mind in the early hours. My grandmother has not seen fit to impart to me the arcana and artistry of this method of soap creation. Possibly this knowledge only travels down the distaff side of a family. I look forward to the day I can provide a grand-daughter, so that she to can be tutored in this time-honoured form of recycling. A final thought. Each re-manufactured bar is itself placed into the tray of rebirth when its time comes. Therefore basic science tells us that some miniscule portion of the bar my Nan creates today comes from a proto-bar made by some distant ancestor many generations ago. When we wash with it, we are, in effect, washing with history. Maybe some of the hairs within contain the DNA of my great-great-great-great-great grandmother? It's a provocative thought. So I urge you to start making soap this way, if you can learn how. If nothing else it may be your one shot at true immortality. P.S. I remind readers that due to an oversight by DooYoo, there is no "useless" option when rating opinons. I suggest using the "Crown" button to alert the authorities to the shocking lack of useful information in this review.