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  #1  
Old 10-16-2012, 06:26 PM
AlabamaBelle Female AlabamaBelle is offline
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Default Anyone used these soapmaking books?

As I said in my last post, I'm finally about to begin my great soapmaking adventure Looking through the books I have, it seemed so confusing and nearly like you have to be a chemist to make soap. But two weekends ago I attended a Homesteading Weekend and the soapmaker there clarified alot for me. Below I've listed the soapmaking books I have (the first being my favorite so far) and I would love to hear from anyone who has used any of these books and what you think about them; i.e. would you recommend them, why or why not? Thanks everyone for helping out the newbie

1) "The Complete Soapmaker" by Norma Coney
2) "Natural Soapmaking" by Marie Browning
3) "The Natural Soap Book" by Susan Miller Cavitch
4) "The Soapmaker's Companion" by Susan Miller Cavitch
5) "Milk-Based Soaps" by Casey Makela"
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2012, 09:54 AM
Mom5farmboys Mom5farmboys is offline
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I made soap for the first time last year and I was suprised when the gal I was making it with (who's made once before) pulled out a can of Crisco, a bottle of olive oil, and a container of dry drain cleaner (100% lye).

The soap turned out great though. It wasn't as complicated as I thought it would be. I think after doing it just once, I could do it solo if I had too. Although its more fun to do it with buddy. I guess thats our idea of fun.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:56 AM
AlabamaBelle Female AlabamaBelle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom5farmboys View Post
I made soap for the first time last year and I was suprised when the gal I was making it with (who's made once before) pulled out a can of Crisco, a bottle of olive oil, and a container of dry drain cleaner (100% lye).

The soap turned out great though. It wasn't as complicated as I thought it would be. I think after doing it just once, I could do it solo if I had too. Although its more fun to do it with buddy. I guess thats our idea of fun.

You're right... it seemed so hard to me reading the books, but the soapmaker at Homesteading Weekend I attended just put some store bought lard, dry lye and water in to make her basic soap. I got all my supplies this weekend and hopefully I'll be attempting my first batch soon. I'll let everyone know how it turns out (even if it's horrible)
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:27 AM
sbemt456 Female sbemt456 is offline
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I cant give any advice on the books you have. But the one thing I will tell you that has clarified a lot for me was the soap calculator and learning the properties of different oils. Here is the link to the calculator I use. http://blog.thesage.com/2009/07/30/h...ye-calculator/ Dont let this intimidate you, read thru it an play with it and if you plug in the amounts of fats and what kinds you have it will tell you how much lye and liquid to use, easy as can be. If you are new to soap making stay within the 5% range, this will make sense when ya look at the calculator.

Also this link will tell you the properties of different fats an what they can do for your soap. http://www.colebrothers.com/soap/oils.html This is very informative in helping you decide what type of soap you want to make and you can kind of customize it to your own needs.

Hope this helps a lil bit.

Have a great day!

stella
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2012, 06:31 PM
AlabamaBelle Female AlabamaBelle is offline
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Thanks Stella! I haven't attempted my soap yet, I'm still trying to soak up as much info as I can. I got a tub of lard from Wal-Mart and a bottle of 100% lye "crystal drain cleaner" from Tractor Supply Co. as someone in a previous post suggested. Since most of the recipes in my books only talk about redered tallow instead of purchased lard, I'll definitely plug it into that calculator. Thanks again!
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:42 PM
oldtimer oldtimer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlabamaBelle View Post
Thanks Stella! I haven't attempted my soap yet, I'm still trying to soak up as much info as I can. I got a tub of lard from Wal-Mart and a bottle of 100% lye "crystal drain cleaner" from Tractor Supply Co. as someone in a previous post suggested. Since most of the recipes in my books only talk about redered tallow instead of purchased lard, I'll definitely plug it into that calculator. Thanks again!
It seems to me that after making soap for forty years, that the best soap is made from about half tallow and half lard. We just always use clarified cooking grease and that equals out to be about that.

I would have a real hard time a using store bought lard, crisco or oil just for soap. I'd much rather use the lard for cooking and then use it as that's recycling. I'd make doughnuts and fry stuff in my lard, then once it's used a few times, I'd clarify it and make soap, not use perfectly good lard but to each his/her own, I'm just thinking the day will come when we might wish we had that grease for food.
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