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Old 09-02-2011, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Susquehanna River, Union Co, PA
885 posts, read 1,310,109 times
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I just started making soap and I really recommend it for anyone who is frugal and wants a good natural cleaner. I am experimenting with the lye ratio and find that only a pinch of extra lye makes a wonderful strong laundry and dish soap whereas less lye leaves the soap very silky and creamy for skin.

I'm using beef tallow and don't have much experience but it was so easy I wish I'd tried it before.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:59 AM
 
3,060 posts, read 7,145,635 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SusqueHappy View Post
I just started making soap and I really recommend it for anyone who is frugal and wants a good natural cleaner. I am experimenting with the lye ratio and find that only a pinch of extra lye makes a wonderful strong laundry and dish soap whereas less lye leaves the soap very silky and creamy for skin.

I'm using beef tallow and don't have much experience but it was so easy I wish I'd tried it before.
I would probably try it if it didn't involve melted down cow parts.
I am pretty sure it can be done as well with olive oil but wouldn't have a clue where to start!
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:00 AM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,289,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SusqueHappy View Post
I just started making soap and I really recommend it for anyone who is frugal and wants a good natural cleaner. I am experimenting with the lye ratio and find that only a pinch of extra lye makes a wonderful strong laundry and dish soap whereas less lye leaves the soap very silky and creamy for skin.

I'm using beef tallow and don't have much experience but it was so easy I wish I'd tried it before.
I have thought about this but when I call our local "butcher shop" which is really the meat department of the grocery store (no real butchers around), they want .96 a pound for beef tallow. (huh?) Until I find a more inexpensive source for fat, I'm going to have to hold off on making soap, although I would love to do it.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:06 AM
 
1,933 posts, read 3,236,741 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
I have thought about this but when I call our local "butcher shop" which is really the meat department of the grocery store (no real butchers around), they want .96 a pound for beef tallow. (huh?) Until I find a more inexpensive source for fat, I'm going to have to hold off on making soap, although I would love to do it.

20yrsinBranson
Branson, and OP have you thought about doing a vegan version of soap or would you prefer to do it with beef tallow?

I always wondered about making my own soap but I believe I do not have the patience or it will be to complicated.
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:13 AM
 
3,060 posts, read 7,145,635 times
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There are olive oil versions out there:

Make Olive Oil Soap - Olive Oil Soap Recipes - Castile Soap Recipes

SusqueHappy - where would one buy lye from?
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Susquehanna River, Union Co, PA
885 posts, read 1,310,109 times
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I got my lye from Camden-Grey online.
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:42 AM
 
3,060 posts, read 7,145,635 times
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Originally Posted by SusqueHappy View Post
I got my lye from Camden-Grey online.
Cool - thanks!
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
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I've considered trying this as well, but now I'm living in an apartment and I'm not sure I have a good spot to do it. But I really like the idea of making soap with a variety of scents. Also, the shaving soap I like to use is quite expensive, though it does last a while. There's actually a soap-making workshop in my town, and I believe a basic soap-making class is just $35.
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Old 09-02-2011, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Susquehanna River, Union Co, PA
885 posts, read 1,310,109 times
Reputation: 1136
I haven't done it too many times, but I haven't yet come up with something that wouldn't clean even if the consistency was poor.

I'm paying more than $1 per pound for tallow. Yet it's still cheaper than manufactured natural soap (if you can even get tallow soap, which I prefer). I bought a lot of lye to save on shipping but I'm sure it will last a long time because so little is needed per batch.

The recipe I use is the basic hand soap recipe here

Abigail's Country Craft Soap Making

I add 1 teaspoon essential oil to the basic recipe. I like this recipe because I don't have a scale and it uses volume measurements.

I actually do not use any thermometers but pour the lye into the fat right away and slowly while stirring constantly, pioneer-style.

A stick blender is very helpful; I always use one.

I've had crumbly batches, slimy batches, but it's still all natural soap that cleans and smells great. I'm sure I'll get better at it in time.

* I just use an old stainless saucepan on the stove, no equipment or workspace needed. I've made more challenging appetizers

Last edited by SusqueHappy; 09-02-2011 at 02:24 PM..
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Old 09-02-2011, 04:58 PM
 
1,933 posts, read 3,236,741 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SusqueHappy View Post
I haven't done it too many times, but I haven't yet come up with something that wouldn't clean even if the consistency was poor.

I'm paying more than $1 per pound for tallow. Yet it's still cheaper than manufactured natural soap (if you can even get tallow soap, which I prefer). I bought a lot of lye to save on shipping but I'm sure it will last a long time because so little is needed per batch.

The recipe I use is the basic hand soap recipe here

Abigail's Country Craft Soap Making

I add 1 teaspoon essential oil to the basic recipe. I like this recipe because I don't have a scale and it uses volume measurements.

I actually do not use any thermometers but pour the lye into the fat right away and slowly while stirring constantly, pioneer-style.

A stick blender is very helpful; I always use one.

I've had crumbly batches, slimy batches, but it's still all natural soap that cleans and smells great. I'm sure I'll get better at it in time.

* I just use an old stainless saucepan on the stove, no equipment or workspace needed. I've made more challenging appetizers
Thank you for posting! I really like this thread and it is giving me more incentive to at least try to make my own soap.
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