FDA to Crack Down on Home Soap Making

Discussion in 'Self Employment' started by Ken Anderson, May 1, 2015.

  1. Allie Seay

    Allie Seay Active Member
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    Whew! You scared me there, Ken. I've been making my own soaps for years with good ingredients that I choose for myself. My skin loves it. I didn't know what good soap was until I tried handmade and then I didn't want anything else. It was too pricey for me, though, when you can buy the corporate soaps for so much less. Still, I wanted it so I learned to make it and have been doing so ever since. When I saw your post I thought you were going to say the government was making it harder to purchase lye than it already is.

    I've never tried to sell my soaps. I've always thought that would be more trouble than it was worth so I've just made soaps for myself and those close to me who like to use it. It's truly a shame, though, that it has to be so hard for those who do want to make a business of it. I value most anything handmade in old ways over the things we're often forced to buy and would venture to say they are almost always better than mass produced medicines, toiletries and junk items that are made not to last but to fall apart as quickly as possible so that they must be often replaced.
     
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  2. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    Do you use glycerin? I have no idea where to get any or what kind of a price tag I'm looking at. I found some great dish soap and laundry soap recipes. But they're useless until I get glycerin. Or do you think lye is better?
     
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  3. Allie Seay

    Allie Seay Active Member
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    By definition soap is made with fat and lye. Glycerin is a by product of the making of soap (in the soap) and is in all handmade soaps naturally, but is removed from commercial soaps by the manufacturers so that they can then sell you two products instead of one. I've forgotten the scientific names of the two forms of lye used for making soaps, but one kind is for making bar soap and the other for making liquid soaps. You never see the word "lye" on the packaging of the manufactured soaps you see in the stores. You just see the scientific names, of course, as if they want you to believe the soap was made without lye. Which would be impossible.
    If you do not wish to deal with lye yourself you can buy some melt and pour soap bases, which basically is soap without the goodies (special oils, glycerin, fragrances, etc) that you can add to what you wish. In that case someone else has already done the work with the lye and whatever basic fat they've used to make the melt and pour base.
    Or you can learn to do the whole process yourself. It really isn't hard and the process of heating the oils and getting the temperatures right and all that is not nearly as mysterious as some people make it sound. I never even bother with a thermometer when I make mine. Of course, I've settled into hot process soap making as I like the shorter cure time. Hot processed soap can actually be used right away if you want to, but cold processed soaps have a cure time of several weeks. It takes that long for all the lye to process and actually become soap with the cold process.
    Even so, I started out with the cold process and made a great deal of it before moving to the ot process and never once bothered with a thermometer. I would just feel the sides of the pot that the fats were in as well as the sides of the glass container my lye solution was in and when they felt close together in temperature I would put the lye solution into the pot with the fats. Never had a problem with it.
     
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