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For Those Of You Who Struggle To Find Decent Soaps

Discussion in 'Body Care' started by Amazoniac, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    I must comment right away that preparing them involve many variables to control that you can almost consider the process an art. The following is an offense for true soap makers because it's just a precarious way of doing it, but the improvisation does work (and unexpectedly well).

    It was never on my plans to create this kind of thread and I don't think members from the US and A will relate, but there are many people charging abusive prices, using questionable ingredients or suspicious practices, taking advantage of others' unfamiliarity with the process. It makes no sense to subject ourselves to this if it's quite simple to make it.

    Given that preparing it was against my principles, I was thrilled when a kind soul offered to do it for me.

    A basic (solid) soap requires just oil, sodium hydroxide and water:

    - Calculate amounts
    - Mix water with sodium hydroxide
    - Mix the above with oil

    And that's about it.

    No need for any fancy equipment.
    It takes less than ein hour to complete the preparation process and you'll have a massive batch of soap.

    • A surplus of oil in relation to sodium hydroxide will remain unsaponified and prevent the final product from becoming too harsh, this excess helps to protect the skin after its oils have been removed. 20% ('superfat') appears to be the standard recommendation.
    • SoapCalc was used.
    • Calculating in a way that minimizes weighing ingredients and dispenses scales will simplify the process. As an example, I calculated the amount of oil required to simply dump a 500 g bag of sodium hydroxide; it required a bucket and a small container of oil, both were sealed; so all it was needed to do during preparation was to open everything and pour. Even for the water, it was removed from a mineral water bottle a given amount using a cup to end up with the correct quantity ready to use.
    • The input for calculation is often in grams and sometimes an oil product specify the content in volume in 'ml'. Just search for the density of yours (g/cm³), it's around 0.91-0.93 g/cm³. So if you have 1000 ml of oil, that's about 920 g.
    • ☠ Sodium hydroxide is dangerous, so follow precautionary measures. I'll just comment one thing that I learned: in case of accidents, using acids to neutralize will potentiate the damage, more heat will be released and it can be a serious mess; water has to be used in abundance to dilute sodium hydroxide.
    • Sodium hydroxide in flakes instead of powder is safer to manipulate.
    • When you mix sodium hydroxide with water, there will be an irritating vapor, therefore it's better to mix them in an open place that ventilates away from you. There will also be heat, so it's preferable to let the solution cool for long enough that it's comfortable to touch on the outside of the container before mixing with the oil, it can take more than an (effortless) hour.
    • It can be mixed while hot, such temperature will even speed up the reactions, but using it closer to room temperature will be gentler on oils.
    • The oil has to liquid, so if you live in a warm climate, it will be easier; otherwise you can compensate by adding the water solution earlier (while warm) or melt the oil. When the water solution is added to the oil, it's just a matter of mixing them until it thickens. I'm not sure if hand blenders or mixers are needed, I think that a spoon can do the job.

    @Makrosky
     
  2. Lee Simeon

    Lee Simeon Member

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    Thank you for this! Tried the soaps the wife of tca300 made, and it is made of these ingredients. I have never ever tried a better soap, but I cant purchase more due to customs. Will probably give this a shot when I run out!
     
  3. OP
    Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    I also find it impractical to import soaps.

    There are videos available but many of them overcomplicate.

    It's worth commenting that less than 1 hour is for the preparation time, after the wards it requires time to set (dispensing supervision). If higher temperatures were used, it's relatively fast; if lower ones were used, it can be quite slow, but it's not a problem because you can prepare in advance.

    In terms of sodium hydroxide safety, there are savages that make the soap without wearing any protection; they combine it with water while on balcony/out of the doors (this term escaped me when I wroted 'open place'), leave them there and only return after the reactions settle. I'm commenting this because even though it's dangerous stuff, it should be fine as long as you're protected and careful with it.

    If you're still not comfortable, liquid soaps require the safer potassium hydroxide for preparation. But the pederast here doesn't know whether the process differs.
     
  4. Lee Simeon

    Lee Simeon Member

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    Do you have any opinion regarding glycerin soap? Besides glycerin, it contains Sodium Hydroxide, water, coconut oil and palm oil. Found a 12 pack of soap at a good price with decent shipping rates, and I find this the best option at the moment.
     
  5. OP
    Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    It should be alright. Saponification releases the glycerin from triglycerides anyway.
    If you could find one using palm kernel oil it would be betterer:

    - The surprising differences between palm oil and palm kernel oil

    upload_2019-3-12_10-28-55.pngupload_2019-3-12_10-29-24.png
     
  6. Makrosky

    Makrosky Member

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    Isn't it easier to buy it from the internet ? There must be someone doing this, right ?
     
  7. OP
    Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    I forgot to add: SoapCalc mentioned above gives you the properties of each oil, and you'll realize that there's a marked difference between palm oil and palm kernel oil.
    There are plenty of people doing it everywhere. But in my experience it has been quite difficult to find simple soaps without shady ingredients locally because this criteria by itself excludes the majority of the ones available. For the minority left, some use oils that could be better, sourced from places with suspicious practices, still containing unnecessary ingredients (that can be problematic), the price being unfair or they don't appear frank. When you finally filter these out, the acceptable rarities are often out of stock in an unpredictable way (3 months unavailable, returns for a week, out again for months, and so on). Custom-made ones can be expensive and it's not uncommon to tell that there's unwillingness on their part (from contact to shipping).

    Some time ago I remember Zeus having problems in inquiring Whole Foods for information on a soap they sold and he seemed to be having a hard time finding decent ones. If I'm not wrong it also took a while for Dan to find a basic soap to recommend in his website. It's only recently that it's becoming easier to find them. But Lee Simeon is a fresh example that it's still not in some places.

    The need to fill in the gaps with more ingredients shows you that the basis of the process is simple, and that adding complexity must be a way that vendors find to get around the feeling that it was unearned.

    This is likely more than what you wanted to read, but I can't get over the fact that finding a green soap in a crocodile shape is just as challenging for me as finding a simple clean bar, it's funny but I mean it. I would definitely go with convenience if they were available.
     
  8. OP
    Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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  9. Lee Simeon

    Lee Simeon Member

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    Lol regardless of ingredients, I actually want to buy that!
     
  10. Lejeboca

    Lejeboca Member

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    Very inspiring and constructive post. Thanks @Amazoniac ! I will try to make some.

    +1 wanting to get one like that with good ingredients. Lol 2x
     
  11. OP
    Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    :ss

    Custom (silicon) molds are also not difficult to make and people appear to enjoy these yocular forms. You can have various miniatures of yourself:
    - How to make unique custom soap mold

    The process isn't much different than the plastic industry version:
    - How It's Made Plastic injection molds

    There was a thread where people were wondering about ways to earn money, and I believe that making reliable soaps for your local community is an honorable option. The problem in making these in the US and A is that Debra and tca's wife might fight you like bulls for territorial dominance.
     
  12. Soren

    Soren Member

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    @LifeGivingStore has some pretty good soaps. Never tried them myself but on paper the ingredient list looks pretty legit.

    - Life Giving Store

    "Handcrafted Soap That Cleans & Moisturizes While Supporting Your Metabolism”

    Ingredients:
    Saponified oils of Coconut oil(organic), Cocoa Butter (organic & fair trade), MangoButter, Sal (Shorea) Butter. Distilled water

    Description:
    Blend 1 has more coconut oil and less cocoa butter then blend 2, has almost a neutral smell. Foams nicely with good suds. Cleans and moisturizes. All our friends liked this blend, about half of them favored this blend over blend 2. So there was no clear winner between blend 1 or 2, so we decided to carry both.
    We use only the best ingredients to make our soap, butters and oils high in stearic acid and saturated fats. We use no fragrances and no preservatives, just a solid, healthy, great cleansing and moisturizing bar of soap.
    The response we have had to our soap has been fantastic, our friends and family members who have been testing it ask for more! We have been told several times that this is the best soap they ever used! We tested them on our most sensitive friends and family and they were amazed at how gentle this soap is and how well it moisturizes. So not only does it clean well, it is very gentle, and supports your metabolism all at the same time!
    You will notice that we offer our soaps in “Blends”. “Blend 1” will always be the same and will not change, “Blend 2” will always be the same, and so on. So if you fall in love with a blend no worries, it’s not going anywhere!"
     
  13. OP
    Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    Yes, but here's what I mean:

    - 10 soaps: $80.00
    - Shipping: $62.00 (outside Usanda)
    Total: $142.00

    A particular issue where I live is that anything imported costing more than $50 increases the chances of having to pay taxes markedly. Supposing that each bar weighs 100 g, it's going to be a heavy package; for being attractive to customs, it's very unlikely to pass unnoticed. If taxed, we often have to pay more than double the price, ending up costing for example $300.00. Add to this the problem that they can retain it for an uncertain period: it might be delivered in 20 days, 2 months, and the record for me was more than 6 months.
     
  14. Soren

    Soren Member

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    That is a very good point. I have a similar problem as I spend a lot of my time in the Canary Islands. The EU is already a pain for shipping costs and the Islands even more so.
     
  15. OP
    Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    Out of the curiosity:

    Another feature in common with plastic industry is that when setting/curing, the soaps shrink, and the same happens to the plastic that has been injected between molds after rapid cooling. Both will adhere to the mold if there are protrusions in it, but a difference is that the soap mold is soft and if this occurs, unmolding easy (as you can tell above with the part responsible for hollowing the shell); but the plastic industry has to use tough molds to resist pressure, and it will require ejecting pins for that, which in turn explains the marks that you'll find in cheap plastic objects.
     
  16. OP
    Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    No reason to be struggling, the process can be simpler than the one exemplified by Holly, she used coconut fat:
    - Coconut Oil Cold Process Soap
     
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