Jump to content

Soap Mentors Needed


eugenia
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been getting a ton of PM's from new soapers as of late. I consider that to be a very good thing. They are excited and have a lot of questions. Are there other experienced soapers that might offer to be mentors? These new soapers need people to guide them and soap samples to aspire to as well as experienced people to test their products.

If your expertise can help a new soaper, please post to this thread. Hopefully, our newest soapers will post as well so that we can see who may benefit from our help.

TIA,

e

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:yay: Me to..I nead a vertual guide threw all of this...It sounds so foregin to me..when i real aobut seizeing..and so on..but I am a glutten for punishment..I love new challenges..:grin2: .I bought 2 of the Mr. do right molds on the co-op..so I guess I am commeted....and don't know one thing about soaping..:laugh2: do you call that addiction?

or is that being crazy:confused:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can help with CP questions.

Quick personal summary on my preferences. I'm a veggie girl, have never used tallow, lard, etc. Don't have anything against them other than the smell of the lard melting nearly made me gag. Ended that experiment really quick! :P

I also have never really experimented much with milk or honey soaps.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE scents of all kinds, as well as color. I mostly make FO soaps because they sell better for me, but I have an aromatherapist for a MIL, so I have a good stash of EOs to play with and love using them in soaps as well.

I'm sure there's more, but it's way past my bedtime!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can help with CP questions.

Quick personal summary on my preferences. I'm a veggie girl, have never used tallow, lard, etc. Don't have anything against them other than the smell of the lard melting nearly made me gag. Ended that experiment really quick! :P

I also have never really experimented much with milk or honey soaps.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE scents of all kinds, as well as color. I mostly make FO soaps because they sell better for me, but I have an aromatherapist for a MIL, so I have a good stash of EOs to play with and love using them in soaps as well.

I'm sure there's more, but it's way past my bedtime!!!

Lindsay.. you have been such a huge help to me on so many occasions. I would love to send you a few bars that I load up with goats milk, silk fibers etc.. I use a nice variety of fragrances so I might have one that you like. Please let me know if I can send them to you to test for me. Thanks for all your unselfish explanations, advice etc.. Teri

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know a wonderful help would be some really good directions..

I copied down the recipes from the board for..Shortening & Shea Sudsy Soap and Emulsified Body Butter..Just would really like really clarified step by step directions...Are these recipes for a Beginner? If not what would you suggest? I know to you that know so much more about all this, it must be tiring when us newbies ask so many questions..But your help is really appreciated...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know a wonderful help would be some really good directions..

I copied down the recipes from the board for..Shortening & Shea Sudsy Soap and Emulsified Body Butter..Just would really like really clarified step by step directions...Are these recipes for a Beginner? If not what would you suggest? I know to you that know so much more about all this, it must be tiring when us newbies ask so many questions..But your help is really appreciated...

Some great step by step directions can be found at http://millersoap.com/

That site has so much to offer everyone, but especially those new to soaping. I have read that site time and again and every time I learn something new. Make sure you run every recipe thru a lye calculator. Never trust someone elses calculations.

There is also a tutorial by RobinInOr here at CandleTech, a step by step with pictures.

I have been soaping for a little over 2 years but am far from qualified yet to teach or tutor.

Another great source of information is this board. The search feature has it's flaws but if you tell it to show posts instead of threads you can find little tidbits of info, then click on the thread for more info. Sometimes I still search a keyword like "silk" just to see what else I can find.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been doing a lot of research on soaping...

I'll put in some keywords to search, and that takes me to something else, and then so on and so on until I forget what I was originally searching for. I've been doing this for days. And, tonight, FINALLY! I found out what the hell superfatting meant, and why it's done. I still haven't found out % FO to add (although I do admit I need to study the tutorials more), but I know that some add it to oils, and some wait... but waiting may be bad if the FO will cause seizing. I'm not exactly sure what a seizure is, but it sounds bad. I'm teasing, I searched seize and found out what it is. And recipes! And soap calc! Holy Bat Soap, Batman!! I'll get there... eventually! I did PM an experienced soaper with some questions, and received a speedy and helpful response. There's just so much I think I need to learn, and I wouldn't want to impose on someone when there is a wealth of information I can learn on my own... soon as I learn the key keywords. I suppose I could have bookmarked some links in the searches I found, but I tend to copy/paste and print what I find. It's like taking notes.

I forgot why I was posting....

ETA: how much should I be charging for a .... oh, chit, I don't know how much a bar of soap weighs... brb...

(just teasing! I'm not selling soap or anything else...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, I could definitely use some help,just when I think I got it, then like tonight I come up with lye pockets. Definitely something different everytime. That is so sweet of you to offer something like this. Show what good people we have on this board.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not even close to being an expert but I agree wholeheartedly with Carrie here.

Sure, a quick question to a willing/helpful member is great - but in all honesty, the answers are already here. This is a MASSIVE forum that is overflowing with tremendous information (and let's not forget the archives as well!!) I have also asked the same repetitive question here n there I'm sure - causing the vets here to roll their eyes at my post, lol. Some equally helpful members have gone to the trouble for me to do the search I should've done on my own (or maybe I didn't hit the right keyword) and post links to threads that had the answers (and usually then some) to my question. Tutorials, step by step (some with pics or links to video) are here.

Soaping is definitely a continual learning process. I have yet to encounter someone here that isn't willing to help out with a question or problem. My personal experiance with 'mentoring' is the student won't learn, but relying on the mentor for the answer for that particular issue, and the next, and the next. I would never insinuate that this is the case here with those posting to be involved in this - solely my experiance.

{goin' back to my corner now...:tiptoe: }

Some great step by step directions can be found at http://millersoap.com/

That site has so much to offer everyone, but especially those new to soaping. I have read that site time and again and every time I learn something new. Make sure you run every recipe thru a lye calculator. Never trust someone elses calculations.

There is also a tutorial by RobinInOr here at CandleTech, a step by step with pictures.

I have been soaping for a little over 2 years but am far from qualified yet to teach or tutor.

Another great source of information is this board. The search feature has it's flaws but if you tell it to show posts instead of threads you can find little tidbits of info, then click on the thread for more info. Sometimes I still search a keyword like "silk" just to see what else I can find.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't been soaping even a year yet, so am hardly qualified to mentor anyone.....but, I can field a few basic questions here and there based on the mondo screw ups I've had! Experience really is the key.

Like has been said...the info is here already....there are tons of threads on just about every soaping subject. I got lost for WEEKS going through the old posts. Still...the only "dumb" question is the one you don't ask. I have no problems with questions from newbies being posted, and I try to answer them if I see them, and have an answer different than someone elses.

That having been said, I fondly recall screwing up the courage to PM Grumpy Girl, The Queen of Soap Porn, with a soap question, thinking that she would just blow this newbie off.....and now, she's my sistah and I love her to death!

Donna

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is an excellent thread. I was ready to make soap, have bought everything I need to start but I have been side tracked on candles lately. When I am ready to soap (couple more months) I hope everyone is still willing to help us newbies. I just want to say thank you to all of you who have volunteered information and are willing to help us. Big kudos to all of you !!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have tried to research about superfatting and the info I have found sometimes seems contradictive (spl?) so I am still at a loss for it.

NOW Lye pockets is new to me.....Then again maybe they are not, maybe they have happened to me and I just didn't know it.

Can someone give a quickie explanation or description about it?

Thanks Mentor Volunteers, where would we be without you guys and CT!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ooooh! ooooh! I can answer the superfatting question!!

Now, someone PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong!

Superfatting, as I understand it:

Newbie soapers tend to make their soap lye-heavy. Which is super bad and dangerous. Even experienced soapers may make slight mistakes due to scales being off, etc. Superfatting, or adding more oils, etc, than the lye can saponify gives a cushion, and makes the bar of soap a bit more moisturizing. It's going back to high school chemistry and the solute, solution... or as we say with candle wax, it's like a sponge, it will only hold so much FO. Well, lye can only saponify so much fat. If more fat is added, then it decreases the chance of making a lye-heavy soap. Now, I've also read that it's not a great idea to go more than 5-8% superfat because it also decreases the lathering, cleansing, etc quality of the bar. My question was... 5-8% of what? But, on soap calc, it's a number that is filled in, and it automatically discounts your lye. I've read that some add extra oil at trace, but I'm not sure if this is how it's ALWAYS done. I just wanted to show off that I'd actually learned something by searching and reading. Now I only hope that I got it right!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My question was... 5-8% of what? But, on soap calc, it's a number that is filled in, and it automatically discounts your lye. I've read that some add extra oil at trace, but I'm not sure if this is how it's ALWAYS done. I just wanted to show off that I'd actually learned something by searching and reading. Now I only hope that I got it right!

You've got the concept of super-fatting correct, Tereasa! As for how it's calculated, both ways are right. You just don't want to do both. Calculators are set up two different ways. Most take a lye discount, which then results in a superfat.

Basically using the Lye Discount method, the calculator calculates the exact lye needed for the soap recipe, and then give you decreasing amounts of lye for various superfatting levels. The soap calculator at MMS is a perfect example of this type of calculator. I believe this type of calculator is most common as well.

However, you can also add excess oils to your recipe. Basically you'd calculate for 0% superfat (exact lye to saponify all your oils), then add extra oils above and beyond that. If there is a calculator that calculates this way, I'm not aware of it. (anyone know of one???) It would be much more difficult to calculate the percentage of superfat using this method.

The reason you shouldn't do both is because you'd be doubling up on the superfat, and could easy end up with 12%, 15% or more in superfat. And like you mentioned, these free oils in the soap decrease lather, they also can make a softer bar, and contribute to DOS problems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NOW Lye pockets is new to me.....Then again maybe they are not, maybe they have happened to me and I just didn't know it.

Can someone give a quickie explanation or description about it?

Lye pockets are pretty much what they sound like. Little pockets of lye in the final soap bars. Sometimes they're liquid that will end up burning your skin if you touch. Other times it can appear as whitish crystals.

How it happens? Well, somehow the lye didn't get fully mixed in. Either it didn't fully dissolve in the water, or you discounted the water enough that it started to recrystalize (I did this), or you didn't reach a true trace before pouring, and you had some free lye floating in your soap mixture. These are the situations I can think of where lye pockets might show up. Anyone else think of other situations?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NOW Lye pockets is new to me.....Then again maybe they are not, maybe they have happened to me and I just didn't know it.

Can someone give a quickie explanation or description about it?

Lye pockets are crystals of undissolved lye. They ALWAYS have pockets of liquid around them, hence the name. There are many things that can cause white spots, like oils saponifying at different rates. These look like little white dots and are harmless. They will not ooze anything. 2 examples that can give this result are coconut milk added directly to your lye water (the fat in the milk begins saponifying) and palm oil.

e

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...