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Topic: A Soap Odyssey: CP Soapmaking Visual Steps  (Read 39599 times)
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« on: August 05, 2003 06:09:50 AM »

So I made 3 batches of soap last night and didn't take pictures of *ALL* them, but this a photo journey through the soapmaking process. ­Well, not completely - I skipped a few steps b/c it's hard to take pics with greasy hands wearing big blue rubber gloves and whatnot. BUT these pictures will be a pretty good visual asset to those interested in cold process soapmaking.  I will try to update with more photos as I get them!

A container of lye - not red devil b/c i bought some in bulk, but these containers ARE handy for putting it in so I saved them and split my lye up as much as would fit - and they're already marked "caution this is lye" etc.

This is the water/lye mixture being mixed...although this kind of soap is Lemongrass Tea so I made a green tea mixture instead of just plain water...looks kinda nasty

In the meantime my oils are slowly melting in the pot on the stove

Once my oils are done melting and I'm all ready I poured the lye mixture into the oils...

Eww looks pretty nasty right now

Now mixing it all up...changes to a more creamy colour - not so nasty now really

I added lemongrass essential oil and the contents of the tea bags and mixed it in with my soap...this is what it looks like before I pour into the mold

My empty and waiting mold

And the soap in the mold. ­It'll stay there for 48 hrs then I'll take it out and cut it apart - this is only 12 bars

And some other misc. pictures

I made some Chocolate hemp soap (not on the webpage yet) and I just got some new hemp oil in stock...this stuff is REALLY green, as you can see from this picture. It was so gross - looked like split pea soup. Amazingly, once I added the cocoa powder it went away Smiley I forgot to take a picture of this in the molds, but I'll update with the finished bars!

And the 3rd batch I made Apricot Freescia, another new scent I'm adding to the webpage. ­This one is cool and I used Martha Molds !!! for the first time tonight! ­I did a swirl but I'll see if it turned out when I cut the bars apart. Smells darn good though!

Had to cleanup the sink...least favorite part!

And the bars of soap in my shower! From left to right:
Castille (white, use this on my face), Sun Ripened Raspberry (pink), Strawberries n Cream (with strawberry seeds on it), Orange and Grapefruit Energy (melt n pour, not for sale, with gold mica powder for shimmer effect!), Scrubby Dream (on it's side, has ground almond for exfoliating!), and last but not least my Strawberry (melt n pour, I was trying to make a red/white/blue striped soap when I did this but it all poured together...that was try 2 b/c the first time all the layers just came unstuck. Oh well, cool rainbow effect! Smells damn good!)
« Last Edit: November 29, 2010 11:18:48 AM by jungrrl - Reason: changed non-working images to links. » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2003 02:17:41 PM »

Wow. Your soaps are gorgeous! I've only made easy-shmeasy melt & pour glycerin soaps. It's cool to see how the real thing is done.

I have a question... What exactly is lye? What is so dangerous about it?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2003 06:42:56 PM »

Thanks for the comments:)

To answer your questions about lye...

Lye is a solid form of caustic alkali, in the bottle above (The Red Devil bottle) it is sold as a drain cleaner in the plumbing/hardware stores so it's often used as a drain cleaner.  It is also called Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH), perhaps a more proper term for the form it is in since "Lye" itself is kind of hard to define.

The sodium hydroxide is extremely reactive, as a solid in the container or in whatever solution it is in.  It normally comes in little solid beads, and they are attracted to moisture - so getting even a little on your hand it will react with the sweat or moisture on the skin and literally burn you.  It should never be taken internally - it is actually quite fatal (!!). Speaking from experience - I had a lye volcano once that went into my rubber gloves and thank god I work close to a sink or garden hose when outdoors because it hurt and burned even for the 3 or 4 seconds before I could wash it off!

As a soaper, safety is a must.  Lye/Sodium Hydroxide is a dangerous chemical, yes, but with some respect and good safety techniques it's nothing to be afraid of.  Somethings everyone needs to remember when making soap:
x. wear goggles - you only get one set of eyes!
x. wear gloves - trust me on this one!
x. always mix in a stainless steel (the only metal the solution won't eat through) or glass (but preferably metal since metal won't break like glass can)
x. mix in a well ventilated area - the fumes are nothing pretty, try doing it outdoors if possible, otherwise run the fans and mix under the stove vent
x. do some research, i tried to give some info here but honestly - if you're going to be making soap you want to know about the chemicals you are working with!

Hope that helps a little bit in answer questions Smiley
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2003 07:04:11 AM »

Oooh, wonderful instructions! With pictures and everything! I, too, have only played with M&P but your instructions make me feel like I could possibly consider researching more about real soap making.
Maybe I'll stick to purses and just buy the soaps from you! Thanks again

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:08 PM by -1 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2003 02:05:35 PM »

omg i bet you feel like a goddess bathing in all that wonderfulness -- thanks for sharing..i was also interested on how the cp way is done!   Smiley
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2003 06:38:28 AM »

Honestly, you don't know what you're missing out on until you've bathed/showered with homemade soap:)

You seriously just have to try it to understand what you're missing!  If you are curious and don't want to order online - try to find a local soap shop that makes non-melt n pour soap (melt n pour is cool for funky and wild but the good stuff is the vegetable - or some people use animal fat - bars!)

I'm game for answering any questions and will probably be posting alot of topics in here with pictures...I just need to remember to take pictures Smiley Sometimes it's hard b/c actually I get quite involved and messy!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2003 07:24:49 PM »

that soap looks so lush.  i love the gold shimmery one!  i've been meaning to make my own soap for a while now.  i found a supplier so it's just a question of ordering now!  i'm sure those instructions'll be a real help!

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2003 09:27:47 PM »

i've always been weirded out by the whole lye thing.  my grandmother used to use it for all kinds of horrible cleaning purposes... and it smells bad and i've seen her get lye "burns."

it seems like such an odd thing to put in soap.  it seems like a toxic thing to put on my body.  are there alternatives to lye?  i know the veg. glycerine soaps don't need it, but what about other options?

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2003 11:28:08 PM »

Unfortunately - as the saying goes "no lye, no soap."

Even vegetable glycerin soaps have at one point been formed using some type of caustic substance (not necessarily lye, but just as caustic)

Even liquid soaps are made using potassium hydroxide (another form of lye).  

The finished soap does not contain lye, unless you didn't do it right or used a recipe that was no good (in that case you can get lye heavy soap with lye pockets) - The lye and vegetable oils go through a chemical reaction called Saponification and once the chemical reaction is done both the oils and the lye are no longer what they were when they were put into the soap - instead they are actually now SOAP Smiley

So unfotuantely, there is no other alternative to using caustic substances in soap.
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2003 05:25:20 AM »

Looks like fun!  I've wanted to make soaps for a while, but I admit I'm a bit scared of the lye since I'm somewhat of a clutz! Roll Eyes

Would you mind sharing your recipe?  Also, how bad is the clean-up?  Can this be done easily in the kitchen or is it best to have a more industrial space.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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