Hi, first off I'd like to say I've really enjoyed reading through the recipes on this board!! Thanks!
I've wanted to make soap for several years now, and bought some books several years ago, but never got around to actually doing it. So now I thought I'd try it, especially since I found a place online that told me how to use a bar of soap to make laundry soap...I hate the fact that I buy the laundry soap that is suppose to be free of dyes and all, yet my clothes STILL make me itch sometimes, so I thought it was time to try making my own.
Anyway on making the bars of soap I'm wondering if I can use ANY recipe I find and just change the amount of water it calls for...to the same amount of milk. I want to make a milk soap yet kinda want to use a recipe I found in the book I bought several years ago....and it just uses water.
Also since I'm asking questions, do any of you "hand mill" your soaps or just use it as it is once you make it? The book I have talks about hand milling after you make the basic recipe and then adding things you want to it. It says the soaps will last longer that way...so just wanted someone else’s opinion.
You can replace the water with milk, I think, but it needs to be frozen or mostly frozen because when the lye hits it, it superheats it, and the milk will burn. I haven't made milk soaps yet just for that reason (I'm chicken), and stick to my old standards instead.
As far as milling, what a bother. Yes, IF you can press the soap hard enough afterward it will be harder and last longer, but you're making your own, so just make some more. The soap will be plenty hard if you cure it for a month. The sooner you use it, the softer it will be. If I'm short on soap, I'll use mine after a few days, but they really don't last very long that way. And if I want to add something to mine like scents or botanicals, I do it at the trace, right before I pour.
Other people might have other opinions, but I'm all about making things as easy as possible. Hand milling isn't one of those things.
Thanks Lannie, I thought I could change it to milk...but wanted to be sure.
I think the hand milling would be a pain too...except it would let me make a small amount different ways. I like the idea of having just plain unscented soap for some things...and something nice smelling for me in the bath. DH however wouldn't be to fond of the same smells I'm sure! *giggle* Thanks for your input.
What is "milling" anyway? What about double or triple milled? Why would some people consider it a selling point?
As for the question about substituting milk, I have limited experience, but as long as you have the right lye to fat ratio based on the appropriate saponification numbers it seems like there aren't too many other really important ingredient constraints. I've mostly made milk soaps, and I've followed recipes very loosely with all of them, substituting entirely different fats, etc., and they've all turned out quite usable. The only trouble I've had, if you can call it that, is that a couple batches have turned out darker than I'd like, but that could very well have more to do with the preparation details than the ingredients. Depending on the kind of milk you're planning to use, I might make an appropriate (small) adjustment in the lye. 5% milkfat in the liquid would probably amount to a significant (but not large) extra lye discount.
LOL to tell you the truth I've never cared if soap was "milled" when I bought it, but guess maybe I've been reading about making soap to much instead of actually making it. LOL Well that and the fact that it would work better if I just wanted a few bars of a certain kind I guess.
Just freeze the milk! The smell of chemically burnt milk is vile and nasty and clingy. Add the lye to the weighed cubes of frozen milk and let that warm to a liquid solution. I make wonderful soap in my blender that way.
Just me. Luke, the family Fauberman. Immie, my leopard Appy, the biggest joker of us all.
Thanks so much for your help. I am having trouble finding Lye around here, and found a place to buy some online, but it's lye beads...is that just as good as liquid lye to use, or should I look for the liquid kind?
Lye beads (or flakes) is, as far as I know, the only way you can get it. When it's mixed with water, it's VERY VERY caustic. When it's shipped, it's usually shipped as a "Hazardous Material," and there are extra charges. I found a 50 pound bag of lye at a chemical supplier locally, and it was cheap. $49.00 for the 50 pound bag. I can make soap for the rest of my life now! Look in your Yellow Pages and see if you can find chemical or janitorial supply stores near you and they might have it. They might call it "caustic soda," "sodium hydroxide," or just lye. When I called, the lady that answered the phone drew a blank when I asked for lye, and then sodium hydroxide, but when I tried caustic soda, she said, "OH! Yes, we carry that." So sometimes it's a little tricky finding it just because different people call it by different names.
You make your own liquid lye by mixing the beads or flakes into chilled water while stirring and not breathing. I duck my head down below the level of the Pyrex measure that I mix it in, just in case I have to breathe. It won't kill you if you breathe the fumes, but it'll give you a knock-out headache for a while. I learned that the hard way.
Oh, I forgot, you're wanting to use frozen milk. I'm not sure how that works, as far as mixing, as in: how fast does the lye melt the milk and how long does it take to stir it in and completely dissolve it? And more importantly, how long can you hold your breath? Hopefully someone who makes milk soaps will advise you on this technique. Just try not to breathe the fumes as much as possible. Once the initial meeting of lye and liquid is complete, it's safe to raise your head. ;D
Thanks Lannie for the ideas! I'll look around more before I order some.
If anyone who makes milk soaps knows how to use the beads with milk let me know (in case thats what I end up with). I'm sure it will be a little while before I get around to making some, but I like to do as much research as possible before I get started...so need to know if I mix the beads with a little water first...or just put them in with the frozen milk.
Frozen milk cubes in the stainless steel milk shake cup, lye beads sprinkled over them. Left on the kitchen window, no children, no cats, well trained husband, until the milk melts from the chemical reaction of the lye. Then put the oils in the blender, pour the milk/lye solution carefully in, put the lid on the blender, a folded towel on top of the lid. Buzz and check, every 20 seconds or so, to the trace point. Add goodies, buzz one more time and pour out. Use a 16 oz total recipe, fats/lye solution. Small batches but ultra quick.
Just me. Luke, the family Fauberman. Immie, my leopard Appy, the biggest joker of us all.
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