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Topic: I don't want to kill the cat...  (Read 1434 times)
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CAUTION!! Crazy cat lady approaching!!

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« on: August 30, 2010 07:18:01 AM »

Hi everyone,

I've been lurking on the b&b section for a while now, and I've found some lovely soap recipes I want to try out - soap making is going to be a New Years resolution, as you've all inspired me so much!  Grin

Question is, am I going to kill my beloved cat (and housemate, oh, and me!)? We live in a tiny tiny tiny English farmhands cottage, with no ventilation, the kitchen is in the living room, and we can't open any of the (tiny) windows more than an inch.

Obviously, soap making is not something I could do hiding in the bathroom, and I'm desperate to try it out, but I've read about fumes and stuff.

Thing is, I love trying new things, but not at the risk of our lives (with possible exception of my cooking lol!)

Is it a good idea, or do I have to resign myself to only being able to make soap when I'm rich and can move to a house with the kitchen in it's very own room?

I'd love to know your opinions, whether there's different methods that are OK to try, etc.

Thankies so much!!!

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Rowan Atkinson
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2010 09:01:57 AM »

I live in a tiny house too, I mix my lye on the front step, the smell don't notice outside

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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2010 02:10:18 PM »

I second monnie here--is it possible for you to mix your lye outside?  Other people should step in & shout at me if I'm wrong, but I feel like the bulk of the lye fumes are going to be released when you're mixing your lye and water.  As you don't need a stove for this part, it's pretty easy (and kindest to your cat) to take the bowl to your stoop or yard.

If you decide that from-scratch soap isn't going to happen in your itty bitty cottage (which sounds lovely, by the way!), you could look into hand milling.  You get the fun of customizing and amping up the luxuriousness of soap without having to do the cat-killing lye bit.  Some folks find M&P rewarding too--it's not as "from scratch," but you can do cool things with it, and it might scratch your crafty itch until you get a bigger house.

Good luck!

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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2010 02:38:41 PM »

I actually don't recommend mixing the lye outside, to me that's just more dangerous to walk around with the lye. But, if you have to be extra careful! Stick the cat in another room and it'll be fine.
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2010 08:34:27 AM »

I agree with MareMare, walking around with lye solution is NOT a good idea.

To reduce the amount of fumes the lye solution will give off, use ice cubes as part or all of your liquid.  When the lye solution doesn't heat up, less fumes are given off.

Also, don't stick your head directly above your lye solution container OR above your soap pot!


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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2010 12:03:30 PM »

My stuff is outside, I mix it there, I only and I then take the oil out there and combine them there too, it's like on a ledge on the front deck

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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2010 10:17:28 AM »

thank you everybody!!
I've been 'banned' by my housemate (don't worry, I'm working on it!) by making soap and I think I've killed bath bombs off too (was looking up bath bombs on the internet, and I was STUPID enough to say 'ha ha!! Did you know you use citric acid for REAL bombs too? I only wanna make bath bombs!')

Yep - it's my own stupid fault, I know. But your advice is really helpful, and when she's forgotten all about it, I'll try again!!


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Rowan Atkinson
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2010 03:11:30 PM »

It seems to me that soap making was traditionally done outside in huge pots over fires. Maybe you cold do the whole thing outside I'm not sure if they have them in England but in the US we have turkey fryers that have huge pots and a propane burner. Most people like to deep fry turkeys outside rather than in the kitchen. My husband and I use ours to make mead at friends houses or on camping trips. I would think these would be good for soap making so long as the pot is stainless steel. Good luck on your adventures.

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