December 2016 - Soap Making
Updated: Jan 23, 2018
I’ve started to research supply chains and different stock ranges, as well as gathering some recipes that I may try out.
I’ve spoken to all the prospective executives about the idea to create a community of people that are interested in personal behavioural change, using a non-profit structure and they all seem interested enough in being on the executive to actually get it registered. However, there’s no point rushing into that yet, but it’s good to know that this basic element is at least in place
20/12/2016 First Soap Making Day
I gathered a few people together and we had a Post-Situationist Society (PSST) soap making day at my place, which was everyone’s first time making soap. Oils were mostly bought form Woolworths and Coles supermarkets, which is not the ideal as far as alternative consumption goes. Ideally, we would source items direct, but finding these supply chains will take time. I did a bit of a costing on the oils that were used as follows:
Olive oil was $25 for 3 litres (approx. = $8.30/litre = $0.83/100ml. Note: normally $32); Lye $5 for 500gms – approx. = $1.00/100gms;
Coconut oil $13 for 700gms – approx. = $1.85/100gms.
I thought we’d start off simply by making what appear to be two ‘easy’ soaps: 100% olive oil soap, and a blend of olive oil and coconut oil (60/40 ratio). These batches are apparently about ¼ sizes, which I thought would be better to start with too. The 100% olive oil soap, known as Castile, is a gentle, moisturising soap. The recipe is as follows:
Olive 616gms – approx. = $5.10; Lye 84gms – approx. = $0.84
Water 168gms (tap water); Total – approx. = $6.00
6 bars @ approx. = $1/bar
A one litre milk carton was used as a mould, creating about 6 squarish bars. Of these, everyone got a ½ bar for testing and the rest will be distributed to others
100% olive oil soap -
The other soap, ‘olive and coconut’, was also a ¼ size batch, moulded in a 1 litre milk carton. The recipe is as follows:
Olive 370gms – approx. = $3.70; Coconut 246gms – approx. = $4.50
Lye 84gms – approx. = $0.84; Water 168gms
Total – approx. = $9.00
6 bars – approx. = $1.50 (1/2 bars distributed for testing)
60% olive oil & 40% coconut oil - second batch
I researched about colour supplies, such as oxides etc. even though I will be experimenting without colour initially.
When ready to assist others, I will consider buying in bulk and selling amounts as required to D.I.Y soap makers who provide their own containers (at a reduced price to members). This begins the no waste provision of goods. It would be good if this could also be done with base oils and lye (perhaps essential oils, moulding supplies and moulds also).
There are a few different types of colours, methods and suppliers that could be used, but when ready the main consideration will be environmentally friendly sources.
I also had a quick look at moulds for soap making and then researched the possibility of making moulds, which could also be taught; silicone seems like a good option.
Today I’m having a solo soap making day, trying another recipe, which should be cured by March. I’m being a bit adventurous and making a batch that is three times the size of the previous two batches. The recipe uses the following oils:
Olive 27%, Canola/Red Palm 27%,
Rice Bran 27%, Coconut 13.5%,
and Castor 5.5 % - third batch.
These oils were chosen to produce a type of soap that has good moisturising qualities. To see how much more difficult it is to make a larger batch, I made a batch that was three times larger than the first two test batches. The recipe is as follows:
250 grams coconut oil; 100 grams castor oil; 500 grams olive oil; 500 grams rice bran oil, 500 grams canola/red palm oil, 600 grams water, 250 grams lye. I also used a teaspoon of salt to speed up hardening and some sugar to help create a longer lasting lather.
I considered putting in ½ teaspoon of turmeric as a colouring agent but decided it wasn’t necessary after seeing the effect of the canola/red palm oil on colour.
Note: This soap heated up in the 2 litre juice carton and went through what I later learned was known as ‘gel phase’.
I had an idea today to call the non-profit organisation the School of Alternative Consumption (SoAC Inc.), which would have an internet presence as soac.org. I have researched the availability of this name and it is suitable to register. The aim of the School of Alternative Consumption is to provide educational information that assists people to undergo behavioural change, i.e. ‘personal revolution’ (intending to add weight to global social change movements through individual actions).