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back into soap

Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
Took a short hiatus from soap making but now I'm back in full force with some concrete plans. My goal is one 5lb batch per day. I found  a local supply for Sodium hydroxide and oils too! I did my first hot process soap yesterday in an attempt to speed the product along. Hot process is ready to use almost immediatly, cold process has to cure for 4-6 weeks. It is more labor intensive but I will be wasting less space on idle, curing, soap and space is in very very short supply in my house. It went well aside from botching the scent and I will be doing at least 1/2 hot process soaps from now on. After 30 days I will have some product to offer and look for some outlets. And if it doesn't work out....well, I'll be in debt but  at least I'll be clean and have chemical free natural soap for the rest of my freakin life! oh geez what am I getting myself into!!!


[img]http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n52/havlik1/permie%20pics2/permiepotrait3pdd.jpg[/img]

"One cannot help an involuntary process. The point is not to disturb it. - Dr. Michel Odent
Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
I love the hot process method. It suits my impatient nature. It looks as though it isn't suitable for milk soap though. It just makes it smell icky.
Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
I feel like I'm beginning to get a real handle on this! Soon I hope to be ready to offer some for sale.

Here are two 5lb (fats/oils) logs that are ready for cutting this morning.  Each "log" makes about 23 3.5 oz bars, but this varies somewhat.



Some of the bars ready to package and a few that already are. This is the perfect "job" for me. I like to create things and experiment and this is a fun avenue. I hope to make this eventually significantly contribute to the homestead income. The easy part is making the soap though, the hard part is going to be marketing it effectively.


Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
up to around 800 bars of soap sitting in my house now. 1st on the list for re investing in the business with profits (aside from actual supplies) will be a soap shop. i'm so tired of my kitchen being a mess. I think the fumes might be affecting me. I find myself cackling in an evil voice and saying "boil boil toil and trouble cauldron boil and couldren bubble" over and over while stirring soap and scurrying from soap pot, to molds and cutting to packaging in a big circle. I'm sure my elementary school teacher would be proud that I remember something from macbeth but this probably wasn't what she had in mind as far as application of her teachings. come to think of it I'm not even sure its macbeth. well shakespeare anyway. The UPS guy really thinks I've lost it. I tweakily dash out to the truck in my goggles and gloves to snatch up a package (not having run so much as a comb through my hair that morning  before stuffing it under a hat or updated myself from my mismatched socks that I lazily extracted from the unfolded clothes basket along with a ratty old sundress) and then rush to attend the soap again. Here he used to find me sitting in the yard in the sun most days. That coupled with the fact that he is delivering packages to someone who isn't ever here to accept them. he probably thinks my husbands name is just an alibi for me or something.
Susan Monroe


Joined: Sep 30, 2008
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
"ouble, double toil and trouble" is from Shakespeare.

It sounds like you're having FUN in your mess, though!

I don't know anything about soap.

How many BASIC kinds of soap are there? I use a glycerin soap, but I see things like goat's milk soap is shops.  What kind is yours?

Sue
Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
It is fun! I have been doing about 1/2 goats milk soaps. I want to have a good base in regular soap in case I run out of milk. my girls need to be dried up for two months in the last half of gestation so they can put their energy into making babies and preparing for the next lactation. I'm freezing every bit of extra milk right now to hopefully tide me through the dry time as far as soap making goes.

As far as how many kinds there are.... the possibilities are endless! different oils/fats  give the finished soap different qualities. all are basically fats/oils saponified with lye (sodium hydroxide)

pictured in logs is "cinnnamon swirl" a goats milk soap. already cut from left to right is rosemary (a GM soap colored with parsley) , pink cream a regular soap colored with pink oxide with a fruity floral scent. it has actual cream in it), red licorice (regular soap colored with paprika and scented with essential oils), pure (completely unscented regular soap), and "cinnamon in 'em"( a regular soap with cinnamon in it that makes a lovely scrub). I have been working on my website every spare moment (that I ain't making soap or attendingother responsibilities of course ) and will hopefully have that up in the next few weeks.
Susan Monroe


Joined: Sep 30, 2008
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
By the time you're finished processing, may I assume that the milk or cream-based soaps are stable?  Time limitations?  "Refrigerate After Opening"? 

Sue
Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
I have not had any trouble as far as spoilage in the milk soaps. I'm quite sure the lye would kill of any bacteria in the  initial saponification (it get really hot for about 6 hours) and after that its simply not an enviroment that is conducive to anything growing in it. I have some that is 6 months old at least and its fine.
                        


Joined: Oct 25, 2009
Posts: 3
Location: Iquitos - Peru
Hello Leah
I am new here. An Argentinean working in a project in the Peruvian Amazonia, with communities deep inside the jungle.
Soap is an issue for us: they need it a lot, it is very expensive and it contaminates our waters.
So we need to start making our own soap.
I ahve just started with my research, and your process sounds nice. But the truth is those materials are not easy to find here... we need to use resources from here.
There are coconuts around, we could take oil from them, but we will need another source of oil material. We also have Aloe Vera we would like to use.
I guess you are more experimented by know, so any ideas could be great for us.
Thanks a lot lot and sorry for my english....
saludos desde Perú!

Justina
http://thelevogyre.com/casalupuna


Justina
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
What plants from that region were traditionally used for washing, before Columbus?

If you don't discover any, a Hawaiian variety of ginger (shampoo ginger) produces a high level of saponins in its flower stalk, and the climate should be similar enough to grow it.  Here in California, indigenous peoples used a plant called soaproot; Europe had both soapwort and horse chestnut.  A different plant is native to Australia, but works similarly.  In general, saponins poison fish, and greywater should pass through some sort of biological treatment, maybe reeds or fungus, before passing into streams or rivers.

As to soap making, you might ask locals about inedible nuts from the region, perhaps mentioning lamp fuel.  Jatropha and tung tree are two old-world sources of non-food oil; it would be good if soapmaking didn't compete with nutrition, and presumably there are appropriate trees already in the jungle.  Rendered animal fat works, if the soap doesn't need to smell nice in a boutique; presumably there are some animal tissues going to waste, that can go to this use and toward glue making, diseased livestock perhaps?

Wood ash should not be scarce, and can be leached to form lye.  I have read that at one time in the US, soapmaking was an annual event, with ashes and fats stored up through the year.

Your English is much better than that of the average native speaker on the internet, no need to apologize.


"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men.  They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
                        


Joined: Oct 25, 2009
Posts: 3
Location: Iquitos - Peru
thanks Joel for the info.

As for looking for plants with hight level of saponins, I am sure there are many around, but I find a problem with this: people take baths and do the laundry IN the river. There is no way of procesing the used water. The community has no water system, and during the rain season (November to April) all the area is flooded. We have the idea of building a water system, but it is going to take a while before we can make people stop drinking the same water they use to do the laundry.
The other issue would be: if we make soap with lye, is that lees harmfull for the water?

Regarding the oil resource, you are very right about not competing with nutrition. I am still researchig, there is the Nactandra Reflexa (Moena Amarilla) from which aparently oil can be extract. Anybody is familiared with this plant? I would rather avoid animal fat. Fishes do not have fat. I would not like to increase hunting, that is already a problem here.

We can make lye from ashes? is that possible?

Other plant we have here is the Aloe Vera, or Sabila. Is this useful for the preocess, or it is just an addon?

thanks again for all the info, all your ideas make me fell more orientated.
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Here's one article on traditional lye-making, but I'm certain similar instructions are available in Spanish:

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Lye

The part about adding a potato to check the density is particularly clever.

I think lye soap is less toxic to fish than saponins are, but I'm not certain.  Lye soap is likely to be only as harmful as the what they are currently using, perhaps even less so.

I agree that expanded hunting should not be encouraged.  Do people there keep chickens?  My first thought was to render any chickens that die of disease (or are otherwise unsafe to eat).

Fish tissues can be rendered to produce oil, especially the brain, eyes, and skin, but also the internal organs and possibly the bones.  It is possible that the people you work with eat all of these parts of their fish, but if some portion would otherwise go to waste, it might be rendered over slow heat.  The result will be oil for soap, floating on a solution of gelatin for glue. 
                        


Joined: Oct 25, 2009
Posts: 3
Location: Iquitos - Peru
I was mistaken: fishes DO have fat, apparently quiet a lot during the firsts months of the summer: during the winter, with the floods, they have lots of food, so they get fat. Thought the also eat it: fried and smushed with platano (big green banana) and make TACACHO.

There are chickens, buy they eat every single part of it. Fathers are the only thing left.

Incredible the info about the lye. I will try it, but after the soap process comes right.
thanks a lot againg Joel
                                            


Joined: Oct 28, 2009
Posts: 10
Your soaps look very nice! Very pretty!

I also make soap. I make cold process. I have never tried the hot process. I usually make Goat Milk Soap, so I am not sure if the hot process would work for that or not.


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Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
when I tried to hot process goats milk soap it got stinky. I think it is better suited to cp.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
where can I get a good soap making tutorial. Both hot and cold processes.
 
After burning through the drip stuff and the french press stuff, Paul has the last, ever, coffee maker. Better living through buying less crap.
 
subject: back into soap
 
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