Which is Your Favorite Soapmaking Method?

ponderinstuffOctober 20, 2010

Just wondering which kind of soap everyone prefers to make and why . . .

Do you prefer Melt & Pour? Or do your prefer to make soap by rebatching? Or maybe you make your soap completely from scratch by the cold process method using lye?

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sara-s

I like Melt& Pour. It is simple and you can get some very high quality, all-natural bases. Also, I don't want to handle lye, in my home, so I do not do cold-process.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 7:47AM
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Brent

I have done hot and cold processes, as well as rebatching, I much prefer the cold process and have done so for over 8 years(maybe more, it doesn't matter).

I used to have 7 accounts (making 10 pounds of soap at a time, with thousands of bars under my belt).

Now, it's just a hobby.
I still like making soap, and our friends know where to get their soap.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 6:46PM
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ponderinstuff

I'm getting ready to attempt my first batch of soap tomorrow afternoon with a friend. I'm not sure which method she's going to teach me. Ronniner, why do you prefer the cold process method? What makes it better?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 8:19PM
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Brent

just_me_6
,

I prefer cold process because to me the cosmetics are better, and I don't have to worry about the soap trying to climb out of the pot over the stove (if this what you would use for heat).
The number of times I did hot process, it looks much the same as rebatched soap. (and I hate rebatching!)

Cold processed soap just feels nicer in my hand after unmolding the soap. I also feel that I have more control of the whole process from start to finish. Controling, additives (like colour, herbs, and powdered milk) , temperatures (I judge by feel (I aim for body temp)), tracing (if I'm splitting a recipe (1/2 swirled, and the other 1/2 recipe plain), pouring, and I'm more satisfied with the final product.

Good luck with your lesson.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 11:49AM
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ponderinstuff

I am brand new to soapmaking so asked this question as a way to pick the brains of those of you who make your own soap :-)

Rebatch seems to me to be the easier way to 'make' soap but I would like to try cold process soapmaking at least once. I realize rebatching isn't techinically making my own soap but it seems like a good introduction to soap making. Especially since I haven't been able to find a nearby workshop or class that offers lessons on how to make handmade soap.

I know there are books and internet instructions on soapmaking but I'd feel more comfortable working with a real person in a hands-on class for my first attempt. I live in a rural area of West Virginia so one would think there would be someone around that teaches this but so far I haven't found anyone. I have done internet searches and found people in my area who make it, but not anyone who offers classes. I also live near southern Ohio and eastern Kentucky if any of you know of people in my area who offer lessons.

As a beginner I am also having trouble finding detailed rebatch soap recipes on the internet (such as grapefruit, various herbal bars, lavender, strawberry, fresh laundry scent, etc). Most sites I've come across just give a list of ingredients without any specific guidelines as to how many drops of this or that, and what order to add them.

Can I take a cold process recipe and just ignore all the info at the beginning about lye, etc. and just follow the last few instructions about adding dried herbs, moisturizing oils, scents, and color? I have bought some pre-shredded rebatch base from Brambleberry.com so that's what I'm starting with.

I am especially interested in the beautiful, artisan soaps that I've seen on the internet (link below). I actually emailed the lady who makes these soaps and she is thinking of offering an online tutorial soon but, again, it's not a hands-on lesson like I'm looking for. I think her soaps are just beautiful but I'm wondering if a person could do ever do this with rebatch.

Thanks for your help!

Here is a link that might be useful: DeShawn Marie Handmade Soap

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 9:47AM
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Brent

Hello just_me_6,

I haven't been coming here often lately, not enough traffic,and I've been busy doing other stuff
In rebatching, you need soap to begin with. The trick with this method is to get the amount of moisture right; I can't stress this enough. Depending on how much soap, I'm talking about less than a cup of water/milk/?. And only start with tablespoons of the liquid.
Then it is reduced, maybe by grating.
Heat is applied, crockpot or microwave, and other ways as well.

Normally, you need some moisture, depending on how recent the soap base was made; the newer the soap base, the less moisture is needed.

The soap is melted, this is very hot with crockpot or stovetop, enough to burn you.
All the while, you are over the pot stirring the melted soap, making sure that is not rising out of the pot and that it is not too dry.
Once everything is melted and maluable, you can add some of the additives, like botanicals .
If the soap is hot, do not add your scents, these will burn off almost immediately. Add your scent as late as possible and still be able to pour the soap into your molds.

Soapers, generally, are a generous bunch, so send ing an E- mail to someone in your area just may get you an invite, and only cost you some baking goods.

.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 2:46PM
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