Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Homemade food wrap

A recent study showed pizza boxes increased the risk of miscarriage x16.  The grease proofing is not wax (ok I show my age or ignorance) but a flourine polymer or a version of teflon.  It is also found in food wraps (eg burger wrappers) sports clothes and furniture.  It may resist water but absorbs into skin.  Another killer from Dupont. It is an endocrine disrupter and has an input in obesity and diabetes etc.
This adds to the chemical load in the home and contributes to our declining health.

This got me to thinking about food wrap and oven proof papers etc.  I found how to make home made food wrap and dish covers.  They are reusable and work out cheaper than buying plastic wrap.

Easy to make.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Homemade Chicken Stock with Carcasses

See my page on Recipes (to the right) for home-made Chicken Stock made from carcasses and why you should make your own.  It's more than health.

Homemade Ghee -1/4 the price

See my page on Recipes (to the right) for easy, inexpensive home-made Ghee.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Low Cost Good Quality Natural Soap Recipes

Low Cost Natural Soap Recipes

These are perfectly good natural soap recipes.  I will try and give a variety to cover different oils as price and availability vary according to location.

They wont be so bubbly as other recipes but still very good for your skin and superior to what you would buy at your local supermarket.

Tallow and Olive Soap
640gm  Beef Tallow (if you can get this free)
160gm  Olive Oil
107gm Lye (Sodium Hydroxide - Caustic Soda)
280gm Water

There is nothing wrong with beef tallow, it doesn't smell and is excellent for your skin.  The only reason not to use it is if its against your religion.  It is not an inferior oil to use.

Lard and Coconut Soap
704gm  Pig Lard
96gm  Coconut oil
111gm  Lye (Sodium Hydroxide - Caustic Soda)
280gm Water

Single Oil Soaps
These could be very cheap depending where you live and availability of oils.

Coconut Oil
800gm Coconut oil
117gm Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) 20% Super Fat (needed for conditioning on skin)
280gm Water
This is an excellent soap. It cleans really well and bubbles like nothing else.  Very good shampoo soap, shaving soap and just a nice soap.

800gm Pig Lard
108gm Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) 4% Super Fat
280gm  Water
This will be a very mild soap, with few bubbles but creamy.

Beef Tallow
 800gm  Beef Tallow
 107 gm  Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) 6% Super Fat
 280gm  Water
This is an all round good soap.  Moderate cleaning and bubbles but gentle and creamy.  The super fat is increased a little to compensate for the just under recommended conditioning level.

You can use Olive Oil as a single oil soap but I don't know where it would be exceptionally cheap.  Also it takes a long time to blend and a very long time to dry and harden.

Nice pets, nice to eat, nice to wear, but smelly soap.
Sheep Tallow would make a good laundry soap as it is higher in cleaning quality, but too low in conditioning for skin.  It isn't hard enough to have a high superfat to compensate for that.  It smells like sheep.

Use to make your own recipe.  It is an excellent resource.  For first time users, just work through the boxes.  There is a beginners guide to using it.  Read the instructions before jumping in.

While the charted "resulting characteristics" of the oils in soap is accurate, there is a little bit more to it and you can work with some characteristics outside of the range.  Eg, Using Coconut oil soap is too harsh on skin but by having a very high superfat it prevents the skin drying  It is not recommended you have such a high superfat with soaps under normal circumstance but it works with coconut oil because of its extreme hardness..
Another example is Olive Oil as a single oil or high percentage oil soap (Castile).  It doesn't have a particularly high hardening rate, but it will harden given enough cure time. It may take 6-12 months to stop it being slimy when wet but it will work and make a very nice soap, especially for sensitive skin.

Use your own herbs to make an oil infusion

Because most of these oils are solid, you could use a slow cooker or double boiler to melt your oils and gently warm them.  Thoroughly mix your finely cut herbs into the oil.

You can use fresh herbs, just make sure they are clean and dry.  For citrus peel, have as much of the white rind removed.  Rosemary and Lavender are good for you.  Try and use a 2-1 ratio, oil - herb.  Its not important so just use what you have.

Do not boil the oil, just keep it warm/hot up to 6 hours, then strain out your herb "bits".

If you have a tree or plant in your area known to be good for your skin, try that. An example is Birch bark.  It has many wonderful healing properties.

If you live where is is warm enough for you tallow to be liquid, I would be reluctant to do a cold infusion with tallow for 6 weeks as you may find your tallow goes rancid.  This would be fine to do with Olive and Coconut oil.

Cost Saving with Natural Soap and Homemade Products

You will save money making your own soap, even though cheap nasty soap from the shop is a similar price, but from your natural soap you can make many other products that do save money. Don't forget that cheap shop soap has fillers in it like talc, besides the chemicals.  Laundry detergents have also have fillers and this is what causes the build up of grime in your washing machine. Using natural soap, you'll never have to buy shampoo or conditioner again and will reduce the need for products for dry skin and allergies and acne.  If you still need some of those then make your own and get a cheaper and healthier product.

If you end up making liquid soap (which isn't so hard) you will save a lot of money on shampoo, hand wash, body wash and what ever else wash they sell (even though its washing the same body - its just marketing).

Always remember that advertising is marketing.  This term was given to us by Freud's nephew who used it instead of the word, propaganda.

You can make your own and make it better.  To increase cost effectiveness of making your own products there are a few things you can do.

Making soap, you can tailor your recipe to the oils that are the cheapest in your area.  I can get free beef fat from my local butcher (I do give them soap) and render it.  It's not my favourite job but I do have the time.

You can save fat from meat that you buy and cook and freeze it till you have enough to render.  Keep each different animal fat separate as they have different saponification values.
*Just note (for any New Zealanders) that Sheep Tallow soap still has a noticeable "sheep" smell.  It would make a good laundry soap as it has a higher cleaning quality, especially with something like Eucalyptus oil in it.

Wait till olive oil is on 'special' as it keeps well.

Castor oil is not so cheap but its not essential. I buy mine in bulk to lower the cost. Bubbles are nice but are not everything and a little bit of milk and/or honey will increase the bubbles.  If you use Lard or Tallow the conditioning will be fine.  Putting a spoon of honey in the soap batter will increase the bubbles and be very good for your skin.  If you have a cheap/free source of milk, make a milk soap and this will also increase the bubbles and be good for the skin.

Buying bulk is one way I can reduce my costs.  Because I am not sure I would use some of my ingredients within the shelf life, I have found a few friends who are interested some of the different products and we share the cost of bulk purchases.  Mostly its with Essential oils as there is a large saving in bulk purchases with these. I have just received 5 litres of Eucalyptus oil. I buy Lavender oil a litre at a time.

I don't run a business but do make soap for friends for cost price, so while I don't have a large output, it is a lot more than my family would use.  If you are a person that is going to give a lot away maybe you should try selling some to neighbours or associates to recuperate some costs.

Grow your own herbs and do oil infusions.  Use Basil, Rosemary, Lavender, Oregano, Lemon Grass or what ever other beneficial plant that grows well in your climate.  You can dry them or use them fresh, so long as they are clean and dry from water.  Use a sterile jar.  Heat you oil and pour over them so no vegetation is above the oil and seal/cover.  You can keep it in a warm place for 4 -6 weeks but out of the sun.  Just make sure you don't use anything that may give allergies (ginger is nice to eat but some people don't tolerate it on their skin very well).  You can use dried herbs.

If you grow Aloe Vera add it to your soap.  Do a bit of research how to deal with it first.

While some products or home-made remedies may be more expensive to make than to buy don't forget that the same alternative treatment may require a prescription and cost you a doctors visit.

If you live in an apartment and don't have garden space, try window boxes or hanging baskets for herbs.  Dry them and save them till you have enough to use.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Natural Shampoo Bar Soap

Shampoo bar soap works very well,  is a lot better for you and is very economical.  This is where making your own soap saves you a lot of money and frustration (shampoos that don't perform).
It's not as complicated as some natural soap outlets would have you think as it is a rebranded natural bar soap with the recipe tweeked to give it more lather.  The special nourishing oils that people advertise for shampoo soap are the same nourishing oils use to make natural soap. While it is good, to make it seem particularly different from any other natural soap is an illusion - one that entices you to spend more money on something you may not have needed.

You can use any natural soap, however we do like lots of lather.  Bubbles don't clean, they just make us feel good in our minds.  An exceptionally hard bar (economical) may be take longer to spread the soap over long hair. A very soft bar will waste quickly.

Using a natural soap recipe, we can now individualise it to your needs.
Dry hair, increase the super fat or free oil in the soap recipe.
Oily hair reduce this.
Dandruff and scalp conditions, choose Essential Oils that are known to help these conditions.  See the end of this post for a specific anti-dandruff shampoo.

Vinegar or Citric Acid Rinse
If you don't rinse your hair in an acidic conditioner you probably will end up with hair that feels like straw.  The benefits of rinsing are less tangles and my hair doesn't get oily the next day.  Having long hair I don't want to wash it every day.  It may be individual how strong you make this.  Vary it till you are happy with the result.  50/50 vinegar/water works.
Vinegar smells when you rinse but not when it dries.  Citric acid doesn't not smell.  I keep a spray bottle in the shower for the final rinse.
If you like pretty smells there is no reason why you can't mist your hair with an Essential Oil after you have washed it.

See my September posts for directions on making soap if you have never done this before.

Coconut Oil Soapawesome lather
800gm Coconut oil
117gm Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) 20% Super Fat
280gm Filtered or distilled water.

24gm Essential Oils of choice.
(I use 16gm Lavender and 8 Lemon Myrtle - but you could use Lemon Balm or Lemon Grass with similar effect and smell)

Coconut oil soap is normally a very strong cleaning, but drying soap.  With the super fat so high it offsets the drying.  Normally you could not use a super fat so high (the soap would become a oily blob) with a standard recipe but the extreme hardness of the coconut soap allows for this.
It should not become rancid with such a high superfat very quickly as coconut oil has a long shelf life.

There are two more recipes in my Septembers blog, Tips and Recipes that have a good lather.  The higher the castor oil (15%) which helps create lather has its draw back in that it doesn't tolerate sitting in water very well and will waste (dissolve) if you don't care for it.

If you have very dry hair and the Coconut Oil soap is drying, try the recipe:  A Very Good Soap (Septembers blog)and add a further 30gm of Olive Oil once the soap has reached trace.  This will bring the super fat up to 8%.  I like to use this as a milk soap for my shampoo.

Many people who changed from commercial shampoos to natural soap have found their heads stopped itching. Some don't have the oil problems they had and experience far less scalp problems - which can be treated naturally.

You may find it takes a little while for your oil secretions to settle down after changing from shampoo.

Shampoos and conditioners cost a lot of money over the year, are full of chemicals and create problems that send you to buy more expensive shampoos to fix.

I have read that natural soap as shampoo doesn't affect the dyes and bleaches people use on their hair and they done't have to get them redone so quickly if they use the acidic final rinse.  This is far better as the less you re do this the better as bleaches and dyes have strong links to miscarriage amongst other problems.

For an excellent natural anti-dandruff shampoo see my April 2016 post.  Inexpensive and effective.

Solid Anti-dandruff Bar plan
I am making a solid bar soap with a higher level of honey and essential oils such as Melaluca (Tea Tree), Clove, Lemon Grass or Lemon Myrtle and Lavender which are all good anti-fungal's.

Two Tablespoons of honey per kg of oil is usually quite a high level and the mould will need to be put in the freezer while it hardens to stop it over heating.  I will try a higher level (4 Tablespoons) of honey in a harder bar recipe and use individual bar moulds (helps cooling) and freeze.  I will use cold process and only about 30% water, adding the honey at trace.

If this works it will be more convenient as my husband has problems with shampoo bottle lids since a head injury slowed his left hand down.

Will keep you updated

As soon as I added the honey, EO's the soap batter became a strong orangey colour. I put the moulds in the freezer as soon as I had filled them.  They had become quite hot, quickly.  I sat them on cooler packs so it was colder quicker and left them over night.  They have been slower to harden up but have become a light brown/creamy colour.  Otherwise they are behaving like normal soap thus far.
I think I would put them in the fridge on cooler packs next time as the individual bar moulds wont hold the heat like a log mould.
A week later.  It took a few days for the pH to drop which I think is a result of freezing it.  It also took longer to harden up but after a week + my sample bar is firm and bubbly.

Using Lye in Soap Making

Lye, whether it be Caustic Soda (Sodium Hydroxide) or Potash (Potassium Hydroxide) is one of two essential ingredients in soap making.  The misunderstanding about lye, lays in the ignorance of the chemical process that creates soap.

In well made soap, is there any lye?  No.
Was lye used to make it? Yes.

If anyone tells you no lye was used, they either have detergent (petrochemical) or soap nuts etc, but they don't have soap.  That it is not listed in the ingredients of soap is not saying it was not used.

It is impossible to make soap without lye.  Soap is the result of a chemical reaction called saponification between fats/oils and lye.  The fatty acids combine with the strong alkaline of lye to form glycerine and salts of particular fatty acids and alkaline used.  This forms a molecule that has one end fat loving and the other water loving. This allows the water to break through the tension of the oily grime, breaking it up and allowing for it to rinse off.

Charts give a precise amounts of lye needed for each oil so complete saponification occurs without excess lye remaining in the soap. In natural soap making a small excess of oil is used and this will not be changed into soap but remain as free oil in the soap.  This is one of the benefits of natural soap as it remains on the skin for conditioning.

Great grandma's soap may have been harsh.  This was simply because it was difficult to get an exact concentration of homemade lye and perhaps a lack of understanding in how to fine tune the process.  Even in history, soap makers got it right without the benefits of calculators and litmus paper.

Both lye's are highly caustic and caution is needed when handling them.  Rubber/plastic gloves are a must, glasses also.  Even when it is mixed into the oils, the batter is still highly caustic and will burn. I have some pitting on the concrete floor in the shed from soap batter that spilled. As the lye and oil molecules come into contact with each other they change.

My pseudonym, "No Lye" is a play on words, not an ingredient in my soap.  I have had several batches of soap turn out with lye present but they are all tested and those were fixed. No lie.

I have seen experts insist non professionals should not attempt soap making. They are protecting business not people.

Some make a mistake and get scared and now are fear driven to save us all from their mistake. Or one person has an allergy and tries to prevent everyone else from a good thing.

I have seen partial information given with the curious logic that people may try it if all the information is given and hurt themselves.  Personally I think this attitude will lead to more mistakes because now we all have to reinvent the wheel.  This was the strength of guilds that held secret knowledge while common people were left to struggle on without or with inferior products.

This was the same attitude that kept the world in darkness by withholding the Bible from the people through the dark ages.  The establishment argued that the unlearned would do harm with this knowledge (even though priests had been slaughtering their way through Europe for hundreds of years, Cardinals had been poisoning off rivals, and rape and pillage was all done in the name of God).  Yes there is hypocrisy such as infamous TV evangelists sucking up the peoples money(now where did they learn that?).  None the less, knowledge has brought liberty to those who genuinely seek.

The withholding of knowledge allows a minority to control the majority.

If you burn yourself with the Lye you have to take the responsibility for that but there is no reason why you can't end up with a superior soap than what you can buy at the shop (most of that is not soap as the glycerine has been extracted and chemicals added to make up the loss).

So lye, love or hate it you have to have it to make any soap.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Homemade Cough/Sore Throat Gummies

I would ignorantly carry Halls cough drops when I had a sore throat. That was till I found that Halls is one on a list of companies that use HEK, or Human Embryonic Kidney.  People can argue over the pathetic details that you are not actually eating the aborted baby, but cells grown from it.  Step back and look at the big picture.  Who thought of growing taste enhancers from baby kidney?  Who sold dead baby parts (OK so we know Planned Parenthood do)?  And if eating baby product doesn't touch your conscience (God help you) surely you must wonder what are these companies (like Pepsi, Cadburies, Nestles, Gatorade etc) are doing to the food since it doesn't have to be labelled. To use these products shows that these food producers have no conscience or moral compass so they would do anything for money while they can get away with it. You should be worried about that because if harvesting babies doesn't bother you, I know that you are not praying for the food (and if you are, God doesn't do hypocrisy), that God will cleanse it.

I read about people making their own cough drops, but this involved boiling sugar or a mix of honey/sugar.  Boiling the honey would cause beneficial nutrients to be lost from it so I passed by that one.  I saw a recipe for home-made vitamin C gummy bears and figured I could do the same for cough lozenges.

I have had the beginnings of a sore throat but they came to nothing since I made these.  My husband has used them with the same result.  Other than that I can't say much, except that all of these ingredients are known to be excellent for throat infections.

Honey Gummy
400gm   Honey (the darker it is the higher the antibiotic effect)
50gm     Molasses (just because its good and I can't taste it this way)
10 drops Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil (the benefits of Tea Tree but far stronger)
4 drops   Eucalyptus Oil
4 drops   Peppermint Oil
100gm   Gelatine
120gm   Cold Filtered Water

Soak the gelatine in the cold water and allow it to swell.
Mix the honey, and other ingredients well.  Because of our climate the honey is often very runny, but it would pay to warm it slightly to make it less viscose if it is thick or solid.
When the gelatine has absorbed the water, warm it gently in a pot to liquefy it and add the honey mix.  Stir in well.  Pour into a container lined with plastic wrap and cool it in the fridge or freezer.
When it is solid remove from container, pulling off the wrap and cut into pieces with scissors.
This will remain jelled at room temperature.  Store in fridge.

I have added a little coconut oil to make it more soothing but I would recommend that you cool it in the freezer to solidify it quickly as the coconut oil will separate while it is liquid.

If you can afford it and want an extra punch use Manuka Honey.  I have had tonsillitis completely gone in 3 days using Manuka Honey.  The worst of the pain was gone by the end of the first day, the swelling by the second and the ulceration by the third.

Manuka honey is expensive but compare it to going to the doctor plus the prescription.  Then there is the petrol cost and time as well as the possibility of gastro trouble with antibiotics.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Lip Balm

After having made soap, I saw recipes for home made lip balm.  This attracted my attention because I resented paying over $1 a gram for lip balm.  Think of it, for 100gm you are paying about $120.  Reading the ingredients, I saw that alcohol was put into lip balm.  Alcohol is drying - why put a drying substance into a moisturiser besides causing you to use it more frequently, then having to buy more?

You can make a balm base that can be used for a number of different products.  Be mindful that some oils don't taste so nice and if its going to end up on your lips you  might regret your choice.  Also while using wax will give the balm a stickability it may be too sticky for your liking in higher quantities.  Its good in lip balm but it depends for insect repellent.

Here in the subtropics the "stick" is good because of increased sweating, or if you are swimming it would be beneficial for sunscreen.

Home made lip balm is safe, effective and only costs cents to make.

Balm Base
Equal parts of:
Coconut oil
Bees Wax
Olive Oil.

Melt the Bees Wax and add the other oils mixing them in.
Dealing with wax is not so convenient and I have an old pot that is dedicated to wax melting.

From here on its very individual.  Some people like a thin lip balm, some prefer it more caked.  What I found is that I have to change it for summer or winter as it gets too hot here in summer and I don't want it to turn liquid.  Another variable is if you want to make a stick or have it in a little pot.

You may want to increase your soft oils to make it softer.

I have added a little honey and lemongrass essential oil. Citrus EO's are not suitable for use in the sun.  Using Manuka honey, though more costly makes an excellent healing balm.  I have seen very good results with this on painful, broken lips.

I have also added a little Zinc Oxide powder (not nano) for SPF (sun protection factor).  This can whiten it a little if over 20%.

These oils not only moisturise but help with healing which can only be a good thing.

See my post on Sunscreen discussing Essential Oils and SPF.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Tallow Balm

8 parts Beef Tallow
1 part Olive Oil

This makes a very nice balm/rub that has been used for many different things.  It was recommended for eczema and it works well. 

I also add Tea Tree or Lemon Myrtle oil for a foot rub (my husband suffers pain in one foot from a head injury and the EO reduces frequency of fungal infections)

Add honey and Tea Tree oil for rashes in unfortunate places. 

Add an a touch of honey and acceptable tasting EO for Lip balm remembering that citrus has issues with sunshine(try Lemongrass or Lemon Myrtle). Carrot Seed oil and Red Raspberry Seed oil have very high SPF levels for sun protection.

Turmeric and Rose Geranium oil for a skin moisturiser (I gave it to a friend to try without telling her the ingredients, then had others asking for this amazing yellow “cream”).  I first gave this for a little girl who suffered eczema and got terrible rashes on her bottom.  The results were impressive.  We call this Yellow Tallow at home.

For muscle pain rub magnesium oil then Beef Balm

It seemed a bit strange using "cow fat" but I got over it quickly enough.  I haven't found it "clogs" pours.  I think that the resistance to this is just a matter of the anti animal product push that we have been exposed to for decades now.

It only takes a generation for information to be lost. Advertising puts beautiful women who have had special effects to improve their skin further to promote chemical products that we can't make at home.  After 2 or 3 generations of dependence on shops we not only have forgotten but also built up a resistance to simple things at home that do work and remain dependant.

This is so simple and works very well.  I take it with me and a few of tiny bottles of EO when I travel.  Depending what I need I can mix in the appropriate EO. Moisturiser, balm, insect repellent, lip balm, muscle rub. And I love the feel of it.

Natural Homemade Deodorant

Yes it does work, its cheaper and its healthy.
Advertising moulded my mind into the slot of thinking the large companies had some sort of magic to make something to stop us smelling, that we couldn't make in our own kitchens.  Well they do.  A whole lot of toxic chemical. But the rest of the story is, you don't need their black magic.

Cancer councils say the chemicals used in deodorants have no negative effect on the body. Evidence from independent labs who don't profit from industry and offer lucrative job opportunities show they do.

The stupendous Councils claim there are no links between cancer and:
Cell phones and power lines,     Cosmetics,                     Hair dyes
Deodorant                                   Radiation treatment,      Chemotherapy
Household cleansers,                  Processed foods,           Artificial sweeteners
Soy products,                              Stress
Enough said.

Most recipes you will read online use coconut oil and corn flour or some mix like that.  They are fine and work quite well but I have a problem with one armpit getting rash (maybe from the limited movement because of a prosthetic shoulder joint).

After trying a few different things this is the most simple, effective and versatile.

Deodorant Recipe #1
Magnesium oil with your favourite essential oil for smell.
Equal parts of Magnesium Chloride and distilled water mixed and dissolved with a little bit of essential oil.  Lavender is a non sensitising and gentle EO.

Use in a small spray bottle.

If you think that you are particularly smelly, you may be magnesium deficient.  Most of the population is deficient in Mg.  This will also cause more headaches, cramps and other problems.  To correct this you can can take a supplement or make Magnesium Oil (equal parts of Magnesium Chloride and filtered water) and apply it topically (on the skin).  It absorbs very well.

Most people are magnesium deficient and Magnesium Chloride absorbs well through the skin so incorporating it into deodorant or any other body lotion is excellent for your health.

Deodorant Recipe #2
Corn flour/ Tapioca flour
Baking Soda
Coconut oil/Shea Butter
Essential Oil

Mix up to 50%  Baking Soda with the Corn flour/Tapioca flour. Make sure its not GMO.
Use enough oil to make the mix pasty.  Add Essential Oils of your choice.  Massage in.

Some people react to the Baking Soda so you can reduce it or leave it out should that be the case.  It makes a better deodorant if it can be tolerated.
Essential Oils high in antibacterial action would be advantageous.

For men Cedarwood, Frankincense, or herbaceous oils such as Rosemary might be preferred.
Cedarwood with a very small percentage of Clove oil.
Cedarwood with 25% Frankincense
Cedarwood with 25% Rosemary

For women there are many floral smelling oils but a few blends are:
Lavender blended with 25%  Rosemary, or Lemongrass/ Lemon Myrtle..
Rosemary, Lavender and Ylang Ylang.

My preference is to use Shea Butter, melt it and add Tapioca flour.  Wait for it to cool so you can tell how moist it is, then add Essential oils.  I also add a little Castor oil, which also has antibacterial properties and is very good for lymph function.

When you change from using commercially sold deodorants to natural deodorants, you will have a rebound effect. Because the sweat glands have been messed with most of your life they will over work for several weeks.  It does settle down.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Soap Art

I haven't done a lot of soap art, just a few basic swirls.  Because I use natural products and try to keep my costs down it is a bit limiting.  Unless I have reason to do something a bit more involved, I will just use turmeric for a basic swirl or colouring as it has so many skin/health benefits.

There are lessons on You Tube with some really impressive results.  I have seen colours that are incredible but have to admit wondering if they make you glow in the dark and Geiger counters tick.

This is very, very basic but will show you what a non professional can do with no practise.

I didn't realize just how orange the paprika would make the soap.

The black soap is coloured with Aussie Black Clay and is Man Soap for shaving.

Palm Kernel Oil made the round soap at the right very white.

The bar at the back is Goat Milk with turmeric.

The green swirl in the centre milk soap wasn't natural colour.

The side bars are from a batch of 50% Beef Tallow (creamy coloured) soap with swirls of Turmeric and Spirulina.  This was cut length ways in 4 then placed down the sides of two moulds.  An entire batch was made with spirulina to give it the light green colour rather than the swirls of dark green.  I put this in between the slabs of solid swirled soap.

This soap can't be stored for extended periods as the colours fade (the spirulina quicker than the turmeric).

This was done hot process.  I separated two cups of hot soap and mixed in the colours (mixed in a bit of water) I layered the coloured soap in amongst the uncoloured.  When the mould was filled I used a tablespoon to stir in a circular motion from the top to the bottom moving along the mould.  I repeated this twice and was very happy with the results.

I incorporated a soap that was too soft for my liking into a batch I made that was harder than normal.  The softer soap was a hot processed milk soap(hence the brown colour) and the harder soap had a higher level of Palm Kernel (the whiteness).  I hot processed the PK soap, remelted 3 bars of the softer soap and mixed it at the end of the hot process, not stirring it in completely.  My mould was a PVC drain pipe.

My daughter wanted me to make shaving soap for her boyfriend (he owned 180 of the real ones) and gave me 2 moulds used for cookies.  I had intended to put more black clay in but these chicks came out grey.  When I unmoulded them I built up the wings and contours with some excess soap I had while it was still a bit soft.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Natural Soap Making Instructions

You would do well to read all of my “soap” posts before getting started as there are many variables depending on your ingredients such as milk and honey.

Check September's post for Natural Soap -Tips for Beginners; Natural Soap and Oils; Natural Soap and Essential Oils; Bar Soap Recipes and tips: Fixing Failed Soap.

Safety Precautions: Wear rubber/plastic gloves and safety glasses.  I have had caustic splashes to the face and on my glasses. You may not feel any pain initially but wipe it anyway as it will become painful, raised and red in a short time.
Keep Vinegar handy to neutralise any splashes on your skin if you are not covered.  Wipe off large splashes with a paper towel first as vinegar does heat as it neutralises the caustic batter.  Some people say to wash under running water.  I have found that it resists water at this stage and would rather use the paper towel and vinegar.
Do not use Aluminium equipment. Wood will be eaten away quickly.  Plastic or Stainless steel is ideal.

Cold Process
Prepare your equipment and ingredients first having everything ready so nothing is forgotten.
Pot                         Blender                                Scales                    Gloves                  Glasses                 Mould                   Oils
Containers             Essential Oil or other ingredients.                      Vinegar                Spatula
Paper towels          Don’t have little children or pets 'under your feet' – it’s not safe.

Check your recipe.
Goat Milk ice slurry dissolving as lye is mixed in.
Measure out your ingredients putting oils /fats into a slow cooker or stainless steel pot and keeping the lye and water separate at this stage.  Mix the lye slowly into the water stirring till dissolved.  The lye will heat the water as it dissolves.

If you are making a milk soap, you must keep the temperature down or it will burn and stink.  Some people use a 50/50 water milk mix.  I like 100% so freeze the milk to an ice slurry or in cubes.  I have a bowl of ice water available to double bowl it if the mixture begins to go orange.  This is ok to a point and will fade.  If you had to melt your oils (eg bees wax) let them cool prior to this.

Once all your oils/fats are liquid (eg Tallow and Palm oil need heating mostly, Coconut sometimes), pour lye water into the oils and begin blending with a stick blender.
You could use a hand beater or whisk if you are patient and have good stamina.  A hand held cake mixer would also work.  Some people are confident that they can wash them properly but some wouldn’t use them for any other purpose – your call.

Your aim now is to bring the soap batter to trace.  This is when it thickens enough to leave slightly
Milk Castile soap with Turmeric (it fades as it cures)
raised marks on the surface as you stir or dribble batter over the surface. You will probably have to turn the blender off regularly and to let the motor cool especially as the batter thickens.

Solid oils thicken a lot quicker, especially Palm and Coconut.  Olive oil takes a very long time.

Once the batter has come to trace, add your essential oils/fragrances or other ingredients like oats and honey etc.

When all ingredients are stirred in properly pour into moulds.

Cardboard boxes lined with plastic rubbish bags are fine.  Just make sure the volume is enough to contain the soap and that the walls of the mould are sturdy enough not to sag or buckle.
1 litre of oil will make 12 bars of soap a little over 100gm when dried, but has had about 350gm of water and 200gm of caustic soda added so make sure your mould can contain over 1.5L.

Partial gel of very white coconut soap.
The soap will heat up as the chemical reaction turns oil and caustic soda to a glycerine based soap. Gel stage.  This will give a darker, more translucent soap.  Added colours will be more vibrant.  OR you can keep it cool and prevent the gelling resulting in a lighter coloured soap.  Sit the mould on ice packs or refrigerate.  A partial gelled soap will have the lighter colour around the edges where it was cooler and a ring of darker colour soap in the centre of the bar.  Purely cosmetic.
You can cover it to keep the heat in and encourage the gel so the whole soap is gelled.

Any soap with sugars in it (honey or milk) must be kept cool or they run the risk of erupting.  The bigger the mould the harder it will be to keep the centre cool and you will probably end up with a partial gel even with it sitting on ice packs or in the fridge.  Shallow or individual bar moulds make it a lot easier to prevent gel.

Cover with plastic wrap to prevent soda ash forming. It's not a problem if it does form.

Turn out of mould when solid (12-24 hours).  Shorter if you have had it in the freezer it or longer if you let it heat and gel.

Make a little soap slurry with water after about 24 hours and test the pH, to make sure you don’t have too much lye

Hot Process Soap
You can use a double boiler, but a slow cooker is very convenient.  I brought mine for $10 second hand.
Don’t discount your water (reduce water to speed up trace and drying time) as there will be evaporation and this will cause your soap to harden up quicker while trying to get it into the moulds.

Once the soap has come to trace, turn the slow cooker on.  I do not add my essential oils at this stage
Cooking soap raising up the sides (coconut is very white)
as a lot will evaporate in the heat.  Cook for about an hour.  The soap will raise up the sides of the cooker as it heats and fold in on itself.  Check that it doesn’t overflow and stir it back down a few times.  It will become more translucent.  Test with a pH strip to make sure it is between 8-9pH.  Turn the heat off, stir in your essential oils well and scoop out the mix with a large spoon into your moulds.

It will not be caustic now, though the heat can burn you if you drop some on your skin.

Shake your moulds and give them a bang on the bench to settle the mix into the corners etc.    

This will give you a rustic bar (rough top) but can be used as soon as it cools and hardens.  It will harden further if left to dry more and give you a longer lasting bar of soap.

Things can go wrong and I have had to fix a few batches of soap but never wasted any ingredients.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Headache Roll and Muscle Rub

This is one of those things you wish you had known a long time ago.  It has certainly reduced the amount of pain medication we use, which is always a good thing – and for just a few cents.

Make Magnesium Oil.
Though it is mixed in water it does have an oily feeling.  Dissolve Magnesium Chloride in distilled water in a 50/50% mix.  Magnesium Sulphate or Epsom salts can be used but Magnesium Chloride is better.

Add a few drops of essential oil such as Peppermint, Rosemary, Basil, Lavender and Eucalyptus which are beneficial for headache relief.  There are others but these are more common in the home. Shake before use.

It's not so easy to wash off your hands so a roller bottle is most convenient.

Apply to neck and temples for headache. The relief from this is near to instantaneous. 
Rub on tight muscles and you could try it on muscles that have cramped.

 Magnesium deficiency can also cause you to have worse body odour.

Many deficiencies are being treated symptomatically by doctors and the underlying causes are not being addressed.
A family member of mine and get prescribed Quinine for a long time by a doctor, because they suffered leg cramps, exposing themselves to high risk of heart and platelet problems, severe sensitivity problems and death.  

Home Made Household Cleaners

Grime on clothes, or on walls or on benches is grime - so I figured that cleaners don't have to be very different.  Strength and application would be the biggest differences.

This led me to using the basic laundry cream recipe that I make for my other cleaners.  I make a spray cleaner replacing “Spray and Wipe” type cleaners and a cream type cleaner to replace the abrasive cream,“Jiff” and “Vim” type cleaners for more heavy duty cleaning.

Multipurpose Household Cleaner (Spray)
50gm bar of coconut oil soap
(A laundry soap such as Sunlight Soap will be fine though being a tallow soap is harder to dissolve and doesn’t have the cleaning punch that coconut soap has).
¼ cup of washing soda (Sodium Carbonate)
¼ cup of baking soda (Sodium Bi-Carbonate)

Dissolve the soap in 3 cups of hot water.  Stir in sodas till dissolve and leave to cool. Dilute a portion (store the rest for later) till it is a thin liquid with a slip feeling between your fingers and add eucalyptus essential oil.  Use in a spray bottle.  Spray on greasy surfaces (eg tops of kitchen cupboards), marks on walls etc.  Give it a minute to work before wiping it off.  It works well if the dilution isn’t too weak.

Add Eucalyptus oil when diluting for an antibacterial/viral, added cleaning qualities and a nice fresh smell.  It is also an anti-fungal and should help if mildew is a problem.

You could probably use Borax instead of Baking Soda.
While coconut liquid soap would be effective as a cleaner I think it would be too bubbly used in this way.

Lemon may be good for these sorts of things but I can't reconcile decreasing the alkalinity of the other cleaners.  If you wanted lemon smell, you could try Lemon Grass or Lemon Myrtle oil.  

None of these ingredients are toxic.

Very cost effective 

Cream Cleaner
Diatomaceous Earth Right.  Mixed Cream cleaner, Left
Use the laundry cream and add finely ground or food grade Diatomaceous Earth (a fine abrasive).
I use this to spread over my shower floor, laundry tub etc, leave it to work for a short time before rubbing it and rinsing off.
Remember that this is an abrasive cleaner so don’t do your polished wood table with it unless you want to resurface it.

Add Eucalyptus oil for a nice fresh smell and cleaning qualities.

If the cream cleaner is quite ridged as you see in the picture it wont spread so well.  Mix a little water with it to make it more spreadable.

Diatomaceous Earth can be brought at Natural Health Shops or outlets that sell chicken feed and supplies.

Cost effective.

Home Made Laundry "Detergent"

Works well.
The first time I saw this recipe it was called “moms super laundry sauce”.  OK.  But I’m going to take the liberty to call it Laundry Cream because that is the description.  You can watch the "sauce" video on You Tube.

Most of the recipes I have seen are very similar but I like this one because of the concentration reducing the need for a large container or bucket.

    Laundry Cream Recipe

Left: Blended cream.  Right: Gel prior to blending 
2 x 100gm bars laundry soap.
1 Cup Washing Soda (Sodium Carbonate)
1 Cup Borax
Eucalyptus Oil (optional) 

Grate up soap and dissolve in 6 cups of heated water.  Add dry ingredients and stir till dissolved (no longer gritty).  Leave to cool about 4 hours.

Whiz in a kitchen blender till smooth and creamy.  If it isn't blending very well add a little more water.

Use 2 tablespoons per wash or according to size of load and heaviness of the soiling. Yes it is low sudsing.

 Using coconut oil laundry soap is also perfect for people who have hard water, as coconut soap is used for salt water bathing.  Coconut soap also dissolves a lot easier than tallow based soap like Sunlight soap.  The coconut soap caused the mixture prior to blending, to form a softer gel right through the mix.  Sunlight soap caused the mix to form a denser rubbery gel to form on top of a liquid.  I cut it up and mixed it prior to blending.  I use left over body soap bits (mostly Olive oil and Tallow soap) and coconut oil laundry soap.

If you use coconut soap, it will come out white like pavlova mixture, or tallow soap more cream, like mayo in colour. The cream does “set” and become more ridged though the cream using coconut soap will not thicken up as much as using a beef tallow soap.

I drop mine onto the clothes in a top loading machine.  I also put Eucalyptus oil in the fabric softener dispenser.  You can add it to the cream but there will be no smell by the time the clothes have gone through the rinse cycle.

This costs about $4 and will give you about 60 washes.  I have brought bulk Borax and bigger buckets of Washing Soda from a cleaning outlet and this costs me about $2.50.

If you use fabric softeners please do some reading on the chemicals used and the damage they do.  There are alternatives.

Fabric Softener Ingredients
1.  Alpha-Terpineol– linked to disorders of the brain and nervous system, loss of muscle control, depression, and headaches
2.  Benzyl acetate–Benzyl acetate, linked to cancer of the pancreas
3.  Benzyl alcohol–Linked to headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, depression, as well as disorders of the brain and nervous system
4.  Chloroform– is on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Hazardous Waste list.  Identified as a carcinogen and neurotoxin (toxic to the brain and nervous system)
5.  Ethanol–On the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list.  Causes brain and nervous system disorder
6.  Ethyl Acetate–causes headaches and is on the EPA Hazardous Waste list
7.  Linalool–in studies, this chemical caused loss of muscle coordination, nervous system and brain disorders, and depression
8.  Pentane–causes headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and depression

Saying that the amount of the chemicals to which a person is exposed is insufficient to cause harm is not supported by studies that show even small amounts of these toxins can have serious effects.  Neither does this take into consideration the combined effect of other toxic chemicals that we are exposed to.

I use sun and wind for the healthiest and best results and economics.

I have never used Soap Nuts but might try them one day just to satisfy my curiosity.

Dishwashing Liquid

I tried making some of the dishwashing liquids from recipes off the internet that were similar to the laundry liquids, but personally wasn't happy with them. 

I am happy however with my home made coconut oil, true liquid soap at a dilution of 30% and a 0% superfat.  This cuts out the oil residue.  I add a citrus essential oil.

You can add dissolved washing soda but too much will thicken excessively I have added this and it makes the dish washing liquid more concentrate.

Because it does go somewhat cloudy in the dish water, the dishes do need to be cloth dried for best results but just rinsing is OK. 

I have found that using shallower water with enough soap to leave a slip between your fingers is best.

The cleaning power is good.  I have soaked greasy cups, with the water half way up the cup (laying down). A short while later, there was a line around the cup at the water level and the portion of cup immersed was grease free without rubbing.

I haven’t done measurable data comparisons but my observations satisfy me that this is cost saving – remembering that I make my own, paying $5 Australian for the ingredients of 2.5kg of soap paste.  Added to that would be the electricity for over 4 hours of the slow cooker (which isn’t much) and a little essential oil (optional).

 Coconut oil liquid soap is very clear so looks nice and then on cold mornings, it becomes a pretty powder blue as the soap become white in the lower temperature.

Essential Oils and Thickening Liquid Soap

The only information I have been able to find about the effect of EO’s on viscosity of the soap is that the Citrus' thins it.

Cedarwood                         Thickens
Cypress                             Thickens
Frankincense                      Thickens
Lavender                            Thickens
Lemon Grass                      Thickens
Lemon Myrtle                     Thickens
Rose Geranium                   Thickens a lot.  Reduce salt thickening. Try 2% first.
Tea Tree                             Thickens

Twice I have had salt thickening fail when I mixed a blend of Cedarwood and Rosemary in natural liquid soap shampoo.  Either of them alone was fine.

Curdled salt thickening in liquid soap
I thickened a batch of natural liquid soap with salt.  I added Cypress and Lavender.  It thickened a little more but the moment I added Cedarwood the mix went whitish and shortly after the curdled thickening rose to the top of the soap.

Because I am not a scientist, the blend may not be the problem - this is just an experience I have had.

I have thickened the soap with the salt first - not taking too much care about amounts.  Then when I added the EO the thickening has "undone" and the mix turned the whitened colour.  I have added more unthickened soap and the whiteness goes and it thickens up again as the salt saturation is lowered.

Without EO's I have thickened soap with salt till it is a gelatinous blob but have only had that happen with Rose Geranium Oil.  It seems that for some reason other EO's don't like this"over thickening".

Diluting and Thickening Natural Liquid Soap

A 10% dilution is good for standard use though I dilute mine at a slightly stronger dilution because I still have to add the thickening.

A 10% dilution means the weight of oil and KOH would be 10% of the total water added.

I have my shampoo at 20% so I don’t have to use so much to get a good lather.  For dish washing I leave it at 30%. These things are personal preference.

When diluting the soap paste. Put it in a bowl and use hot water from the kettle and let it sit overnight.  It dissolves itself.   No mashing needed.

Use distilled water.  I use filtered water from reverse osmosis filter.  I don't know how much difference there will be if you use tap water.

Weight of Oil and KOH
x2 = 50% dilution is your paste weight.
eg If your oils and lye weigh 1000gm, top up your water till it weighs 2000gm.  It may weigh about 1300gm after cooking it with the water from initial recipe water to dissolve lye in. Use hot or boiling water and as you stir it in, the paste will thicken up and become really tacky.  I leave it for a a few hours and stir it again later or it takes too much time.

You can store this soap paste and dilute further as needed.

From there on
x1.66=30% dillution
x2     =25%
x2.5  =20%
x3.3  =15%
x5     =10%

eg. If you have 100gm of soap paste (50% dilution) and want to dilute it to 15%, multiply
100gm by 3.3 = 330gm.
100gm Soap paste    +    230gm of filtered water      =  330gm of liquid soap at 15% dilution.
Add water and let the soap paste dissolve.

Salt Thickener
I have only ever thickened my liquid soap with salt.  It is very simple and inexpensive.  It does cloud the soap a little but I am not concerned about that.  I suppose that this also acts as a preservative.  While the salt will be good for your skin it also may be a bit drying if you are inclined that way. A 2% superfat should off set this.

Make a 20% salt solution (4 parts water, 1 part salt).  When you add this to the soap it will get stringy white thickened streaks.  Just stir or shake and it will disperse become clearer.  If it doesn't go stringy but instantly cloudy whitish, something is wrong and it will not thicken.  Stop adding the salt solution and use a foamer with this soap. I add this at 4% if I have an essential oil that also thickens.

Use table salt not Himalayan or Dead sea salt.  The experts agree...and when I used Himalayan it didn't thicken but the white thickening rose to the surface.  Curiously the liquid soap cleared of all its colour. Still a good liquid soap, just not thick.

My thickened liquid soap as a gel
I see no logic in evaporating water to thicken your soap.  It won’t produce the ideal thickness but will just make it stronger and you will use it quicker.

Salt does not thicken liquid soap with a high Coconut oil content.  I think there would be little practical point to try as the best use for this soap would be as a bubble bath or cleaning soap.  It would make an excellent mechanical workshop, grease removing soap but otherwise I wouldn’t want to use this on my skin because it is so drying.

Thickening soap that is too diluted will cause curdling that floats on the top of the soap.  To fix this, add less dilute soap to bring it back. This increases the soap concentrating for the salt to work on.

Coconut oil and thickening
Higher levels of coconut oil in the soap paste will not allow the salt to thicken it.
After testing different levels and many failures, 18% coconut oil in the recipe is the highest limit I will use if I want to thicken the finished product with salt.

Castor oil and thickening.
I made soap with no coconut oil in to add to one that had too much, I made up a recipe with 25% castor oil and 75% olive oil.  In all my reading I had not seen a caution using castor oil in regard to thickening.  After many hours trying to get the soap batter to a paste I gave up and cooked it regardless.  It ended up looking like sticky mashed banana rather than the thick stiff soap paste.  The soap worked nicely diluted, but would not thicken.  Since then I found one comment that 20% might be too high.
After some testing in the kitchen I have found that soap with 15% Castor Oil will thicken but higher than that the thickening just whitened the soap and didn't thicken it.  If I left this a little while the whiteness would raise to the top and sit there

Using Borax to Thicken
I have tried using borax to thicken without success.  It turns out that if you have a "superfat" it will not work.  This is most likely the problem I have had.
As with using salt, it will not work with unless the coconut oil content is low.
Catherine Failor says that it works better with a more concentrate soap and decreases efficiency as the dilution increases.

With new recipes and thickenings try a small amount to start with to check that it will thicken.  If it doesn't use the runny liquid soap in a foamer pump.If youI can't

Natural Liquid Soap Simplified: Recipes and Tips

Liquid soap looked so complicated it took me a while to get confidence to make it.  When I did, it was so straightforward I wondered what I had done wrong.  If you don’t need it perfectly clear, it’s simple.  Yes it takes longer than bar soap (the longer you cook it the lower the pH) but you don’t have to be in constant attendance.

A small super fat (1 or 2%) takes care of the pH or you can do a 0% super fat and add a little Borax or something less Alkaline if the pH is too high.  Look in your pantry – citric acid (take care not to use too much as you don’t want the pH too low)

Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) runs at about 90% purity.  Summer Bee calculator adds it at about 95% of the saponification rate. This all goes towards preventing it from being lye heavy (which can be easily fixed if it’s not too bad, by adding borax to the dilution water.  If a mistake with the recipe or measurements has been made I would just start adding a bit more oil at time, cooking and stirring). Soap Calc has a box for the 90% purity which would have the lye measurement a little higher than Summer Bee.

In Australia and NZ, KOH can’t be posted due to its dangerous goods category.  Dedicated soap supply shops stock it and I found very inexpensive bulk KOH supplies at swimming pool, chemical outlets.

I wear a mask as well as gloves handling the flakes as the dust causes nose/lung irritation.

The Potassium Hydroxide may make noises if you add it too quickly to the water.  That's OK, just slow down and stir it.

Castile soap (Olive oil) may be good for the skin but I found it left a stickiness while the skin was still a little damp. It also took hours of blending to bring anywhere near a thick mixture.  I prefer a mix with Olive, Coconut oil/castor oil and even a solid oil like Palm or Tallow.

Use reverse osmosis filtered water or distilled water.

100% Coconut liquid soap at 30% dilution is the best homemade dishwashing liquid I have made.  This thickens up quickly when blending.  Interestingly, if the temperature is low the completed liquid soap will go white.

I run my recipe through Soap Calc because it has an excellent description of what your soap’s characteristics will be (forget the hardness with the liquid soap).  I started off using Summer Bee Meadow advanced calculator because it is more detailed with the water content until I worked it out for myself.  Summer Bee only works in ounces and I had to convert everything.

A tip in Catherin Fallor’s book “Liquid Soap”, is to grate bar soap with your oils to speed up the process.  The Sodium Hydroxide mixing with the Potassium Hydroxide causes it to firm up very quickly.  For this I use 100% Coconut Oil bar soap with a 1% Super Fat.  I make this for laundry/cleaning.

Another idea from this book I like though don’t necessarily use is to make single oil liquid soaps and mix according to need.

Use a stick blender to mix oil and lye till it starts heating up and then use a hand held cake mixer.  This works well and doesn’t overheat because of the bigger motor.

Soap paste can vary in colour according to the oils used. Yellowy with Olive oil, more greeny with increased Tallow.

I have read that soap paste can store indefinitely in the fridge.  I dilute to 30% to store and let it settle.  While it is perfectly fine to use straight away, if you let it sit for 4 weeks a white layer of solids forms on the bottom.  I pour off the clear soap and do this process again with the milky remnant.  I use the white, left over for any cleaning.

If you are colouring your soap keep in mind the original colour of the soap.  If it is amber your reds will be more orange. Yellows and greens will be vibrant but blues won’t do so well. Good luck with Lavender.  Oil type affects colour of soap.

I use salt to thicken my liquid soap to make a gel, but this can not be done if the coconut oil or castor oil content is higher.  I haven't found the exact percentage and after some disappointing results. I have found that my soap with a the Castor Oil content over 15% wont thicken.  I think this might be the same for Coconut oil which probably also applies to Palm Kernal oil and Babassu oil or any oil that has high levels of Lauric, Myristic or Ricinoleic Acids. It becomes a balancing act between bubbles and thickening.

High levels of coconut and castor oil would be fine if the soap was to be used liquid or in a foamer.

Higher coconut oil content will also prevent Borax from thickening the soap.

Sometimes, depending on the recipe I haven't been able to get the batter to trace after hours of blending.  A small amount (no more than 10gm) of grated coconut oil bar soap softened with a bit of water added in has worked quickly. Several times I could not get the batter into a paste and gave up blending.  After cooking till the pH was right and it was clear in water, it still was thinner and not so translucent but when I added the water to bring it to a 50% paste solution it gelled up and become a very thick paste.  It was fine.

Use as a body wash, hand soap, shampoo (don't forget to rinse hair in dilute vinegar or citric acid or it will feel like straw).

Weigh out your oils into a slow cooker making sure the solid oils are warmed to a liquid state.  Dissolve the KOH in the water and then add to the oils. Blend. Continue past trace (I use a cake mixer when it gets thick) till it becomes really thick.  I cook mine on high but medium might be better.  Mix now with a ridged spatula or spoon as it is really thick now. This can take some time and if over 80% Olive oil it may take "forever". I gave up with one and it solidified when left.

After about 4 hours it should become translucent. Put a little bit in a glass jug with some filtered hot water and dissolve it.  If the water is cloudy, continue cooking.  It may take 6 hours.  When the water is clear, it is done.

Check the pH.  If it is 10, add a Tsp of Borax to the dilution water and bring it down to about 9.  Borax has a pH of about 8 and is an ideal buffer.  Its good for you, and it wont ruin your soap (citric acid could be used to lower the pH but care needs to be taken not to lower the pH so much that you don't undo the saponification).

Weigh your thick paste and add enough boiling water to bring it back to double the weight of the oils and KOH.  This is your done paste.  It is now at 50% dilution.  When you need to use it dilute further to 10% if you wish.

The following recipes use 1000gm of oils.  This will give 10-12 litres of liquid soap when diluted down to 10%.  

Coconut Liquid Soap (for cleaning)
Coconut oil                         1000g
Water                                  793g
Potassium Hydroxide         268g  (0% superfat)

Cleaning              67
Conditioning       10
Bubbles               67

Weigh the soap paste after cooking and add enough water to bring to total weight to 2580g.  This is a 50% dilution.
Check my blog for dilution ratios if this is a mathematical struggle for you

3 Oils Liquid Soap
Coconut Oil            120gm
Castor Oil               120gm
Olive Oil                 860gm
Potassium Hydroxide     210gm
Water                              630gm
Dissolve KOH in water, then mix into the oils and blend.
When paste is cooked, weigh and bring it up to total weight of 2420gm with boiling/hot filtered water.  This will give you your paste at a 50% dilution.

70% Olive Oil Liquid Soap
Coconut oil        100gm
Castor Oil          100gm
Beef tallow        100gm  (you can use Palm oil without changing the lye measurment)
Olive Oil            700gm
Potassium Hydroxide   210gm
Water                            630gm

When the paste has cooked weigh and bring it up to 2420g with boiling/hot filtered water

1 Bar Liquid Soap
Adding the bar soap to the oils will speed up the trace a lot more. With the above recipe I would use a 110gm bar of Coconut Na OH soap grated and added to a little water first.

Coconut Oil Bar Soap 110gm
Castor oil       100gm
Beef Tallow   100gm
Olive Oil        700gm
KOH              185gm
Water             564gm

I would use a small portion of this water to mix in with the bar soap to soften it prior to adding it to the oils

Remember, diluting and letting it sit for 4 weeks will let the solids settle and the liquid clear.  Pour off the clear soap.  You can use the cloudy portion.

Fixing Failed Soap

I have been able to fix all my failed soaps so far.  I’ve read of people throwing out hundreds of dollars of ingredients because of reasons that could have been fixed.  Try rebatching them

If this occurs during cooking or any stage of making, blend it again.  It will come right.

Separated Bar Soap.
I had problems with 2 honey soaps.  In one the honey settled and the other separated all through the middle. I cut them up and cooked them, stirring till they melted and poured back into the mould before they became too thick.  They turned out rustic. My goat milk, honey and beeswax soap with a swirls of turmeric came out looking more like a chocolate browny and the beeswax smell was more noticeable.  It’s good.

The auto setting on SoapCalc. for water is 38%. I now reduce this to 33% if I am adding liquid type extra ingredients (for 1000gm oil = 330gm water) or 35% if I am doing hot process.  Some use a lower percentage to reduce drying time and shrinkage but it will come to trace quicker and need to be moulded before it hardens.

Lye Heavy
Yes you can fix this.  If you don’t know what went wrong so have no idea if you made a mistake with the measuring.  Cut the soap up and melt it (slow cooker or double boiler) and add 5% of oil mixing in well. Let it cook a little while, stirring and test the pH.  If it is still lye heavy add another 5% oil.

Because 5% super fat is good, while it is lye heavy you know you can add this much oil without overdoing it.  If it’s getting too thick during the process add a touch more water till it mixes well.  If you add too much water, don’t panic, the soap will just take longer to dry and show shrinkage but will be fine to use.

Burnt Milk
 Milk soap smells like vomit?  It overheated and the milk is burnt.  Time does fix this but it will take quite a long time.  Put it away in a far corner for a few months and the smell fades.
You can hot process milk soap lowly and slowly, stirring it away from the edge of the slow cooker often.

Seizing soap
I haven’t had a batch seize completely but one started to go very quickly.  Fortunately I had spare water next to my pot and I just tipped a good splash in.  It gave me time to finish mixing and pour it.

I would try heating/melting it and adding more water if it did seize. I wouldn’t add a whole lot at once, do it in smaller amounts and stir till it is just liquid and smooth enough.

If it isn’t a problem of wrong quantities I would try cooking any other problem. It might not end up your favourite but it will probably be functional.

Some fragrances are prone to this and use of oils such as Coconut, Palm and Palm Kernel oil could be a problem if water was discounted too much or you got distracted at a crucial time.

Too Soft
The first soap I made was from an internet recipe and was very soft. It had quite a high conditioning level. I made some others then revisited this one.  I melted it and stirred it in, near the end of hot processing another recipe that was very hard with conditioning that would have been a bit low under normal circumstances.

 The resulting soap was a very attractive lightly marbled soap with a lovely feel.
The original hot processed milk soap was the darker contrast in the very white soap (Palm Kernel oil).

Lye Spots
Orangy and white Lye spots
These can be either little white or orangy blisters on the surface of the soap or white patches through the soap.  If you want to be sure, get a toothpick and moisten the whitened area, then dig a tiny bit out and spread it on litnus paper.  You'll probably find it reads about 12pH and if you do the same to an area close to it you might get 8-9pH.

The reason for this problem is not stirring the lye till it is dissolved.  If you made a soap and had milk
too cold it will take a lot longer to dissolve.  Some ice blocks present at the end of your stirring are fine but if it is still mostly an ice slurry you should let it melt a bit more and stir well before adding to the oils.

Note the white blisters showing.  Undissolved lye.
OK.  Cooking as is, probably wont help - it didn't for me.  At  a guess the soap immediately around the lye spot is probably harder because of the lye excess and forms a layer around the lye spot resisting water penetration to dissolve the lye.

 After a few attempts that weren't so successful I just took the plunge and put a whole lot more water in to make it a lot more fluid.  I figured I could deal with the high water content later.  It took a while but with cooking and mashing the spots disappeared.  I took quite a few samples to test the pH in case I had missed some.

 I cooked it longer to dry it out, but that was taking too long so I poured it into a large container and left it to dry naturally for about a month.  With our warm weather it happened.  I broke it up and then to expose it all to the air (keeping it covered with a thin cloth for some weeks before melting it down again to put into moulds.  It was still quite moist at this stage but not unmanageable.  I chose not to mould it earlier as the shrinkage would look silly and create sharp edges as the centre shrunk.

If you have more time than money it can be done but it does take a while.

If this had been a standard soap I probably would have just used it for the laundry but it was a castile soap and had low cleaning, high condition characteristics so I chose to try and fix it.

Good luck.