There are a few things I'd like to do in this thread
- document my soap making process
- document process changes and upgrades to equipment
- detail common problems when making soap
- answer any soap making questions
- eventually let everyone know when and where product can be purchased
Basically everything to do with soap.
I'm not concerned about telling somebody how to make a product that I'm selling either. There are a few reasons for this: Some people won't be able to receive such a product overseas, or it wouldn't be feasible to ship. I'm not so petty to think that trying to conceal information somehow results in "job security". The soap making process is already quite well documented. Finally, I didn't start making soap to make money with, I started because of the memes, but also to have a product to better prepare myself for economic collapse.
I wish to share this with you guys so (you) too can better prepare yourself for whatever is coming.
Lets start with the boring stuff, like what is soap?
I would define soap as a surfactant. A surfactant is a molecule that will bind to water, oil, and particles.
The US legal definition is 'soap made from natural ingredients'. Synthetic soap is often sold as 'beauty bars' or 'body wash' instead of soap, because they are not made with natural ingredients.
Most modern engine and transmission oils, and heavy grease used for equipment will contain detergents. Don't let the word detergent mislead you, it means the same thing as surfacant.
Lye harvested for soap making in ages past is called potash. The potash lye soap making process is a fair bit more involved, and the chemical reactions are a bit different. https://classicbells.com/soap/woodAshLye.asp
Potash soap has been made for a very, very long time. If one of you decides to try this out, please let us know how it goes!
"modern" naturally made soap uses either potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide for the lye. Sodium hydroxide is used for making liquid soaps, sodium hydroxide for solid soap bars.
The easiest way to get sodium hydroxide is from a hardware store selling containers of "pure lye" drain unclogger in the plumbing section. For example https://www.homedepot.com/p/Instant-Power-Crystal-Lye-Drain-Cleaner-1650/204374017
Soap made from natural ingredients is a very sloppy chemical reaction. There are untold numbers of different chemicals and compounds found naturally in any given type of oil. Most of those oils will react with the lye to make some rather complex reactions that result in "soap". It is not uncommon for the soap to change color as it cures for this reason.
Oils are typically mixed and matched to make a nice bar of soap, as no single oil has a good mix of the fatty acids necessary for a good bar of soap.
When making your first batch of soap:
Start with solid bars of soap, instead of trying to make liquid soap. Liquid soap is much pickier about what kind of oils you use.
Use an existing recipe for your first batch, then try to make soap using as much local products as possible. When economic collapse happens, getting those foreign oils will be much more difficult or impossible.
Start with a 2:1 water:lye ratio. If your recipe calls for 12 ounces of lye, use 24 ounces of distilled water. Ignore however much water the recipe calls for.
When building your own recipe, or modifying an existing one, use the following two web pages:http://soapcalc.net/calc/SoapCalcWP.asphttps://classicbells.com/soap/soapCalcNumbers.asp
And when in doubt, ask in here.
This first post is just a boring autistic dump on chunks of important or related information. I'll post a lot more (actual making) soap stuff when I get the chance. I think this is a pretty good start though.
Be sure to ask whatever in here about anything related. Over the last year I've been pretty autistically going over how most people make soap, refining my own process, and doing fairly deep-diving research on the topic and general chemistry.