Re: [SCA Newcomers] Re: Soap
- I have a few questions:
How does it smell when you’re finished?
Can you add a scent?
When you use this soap; does it dry your skin out?
Does it leave a residue?
--- On Wed, 4/1/09, Lava Quod est Sordidium <lavaquod@...> wrote:
From: Lava Quod est Sordidium <lavaquod@...>
Subject: Re: [SCA Newcomers] Re: Soap
Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 1:09 PM
I'm thinking that if you're going to make your own lye then you're definitely going to need to do HP soap processing. That means that if you're going to use an online sap calculator you'll have to tell it that you're using potassium hydroxide or KOH. But, given that this was done well before electricity (let alone the 'net) you'll probably be O.K. as long as you cook long enough and stirstirstir.
As for what Ph number? I really don't know and I'm not finding much online. However, I do have some other helpful sites. Aside of all the lovely websites that someone else posted you may want to look over this one:
http://journeytofor ever.org/ biodiesel_ ashlye.html
It suggests that you can use a potato instead of an egg for the float test! (I didn't know that. Pretty cool) Also, it has some other helpful info on lye as well.
This link has directions for hot process soaping:
http://www.mommamus e.com/2006/ 02/17/instructio ns-for-making- crock-pot- handmade- soap/
I'm not sure if this Miller Soap site has the traditional soap making info you're looking for but I recommend digging around on the site. There's a LOT of other information you may find helpful.
http://www.millerso ap.com/pennwalte tc.html
This site is more flavor text than any thing but it IS from a proper historic site and how they make lye and soap there:
http://www.nps. gov/fosc/ forteachers/ laundress7. htm
This site has a great collection of historic books on soap making. Since the process hasn't changed much the basic information will be good.
http://candleandsoa p.about.com/ od/bookproductre views/tp/ antiquesoapbooks .htm
Remember, most soap information is going to assume that you're using sodium hydroxide or NAOH when - if you're using your homemade lye and not store bought lye - you will be using potassium hydroxide or KOH. It's going to make a difference to your formula.
I hope some of this will be helpful to you. Please keep me updated on your progress; I'm dying to hear how it goes for you.
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Otto von Schwyz wrote:
> How does it smell when you’re finished?Unscented soap doesn't have much of a smell. The little it does have
is. . .soapy.
> Can you add a scent?Sure. There's a whole industry making natural and artificial scents
"Did medieval soap-makers scent their products, and if so, with what?"
is a question I can't answer, however.
> When you use this soap; does it dry your skin out?Soap has a lot of glycerin in it, unless it's been removed. (It's
produced as a byproduct of saponification, the reaction that turns fat
into soap.) It's much less drying than detergent.
> Does it leave a residue?Not that I've ever noticed.
If you live anywhere near a town or city large enough to have a natural
foods store, go there. They'll almost certainly sell real soap, in
bars and in liquid form. You can buy some and try it out before you
invest in materials and supplies to make your own. They might even
have locally-made soap from a micro-producer who uses the same
techniques that have been described here (though most of those, as you
would expect, use commercial lye rather than home-made lye water,
because it simplifies the process so much and gives such comparatively
Or you could go to <http://www.realhandmadesoap.com/> and find a
Barony of Bryn Gwlad
Kingdom of Ansteorra
> I have a few questions:Homemade lye soap has a very subtle scent all it's own depending on the initial recipe.
> How does it smell when you’re finished?
> Can you add a scent?You can add amazing numbers of things to effect your finished product depending on the effect you're looking for.
> When you use this soap; does it dry your skin out?Not if you've made the recipe to be well balanced (not lye heavy).
Contrary to popular belief (and certain popular movies), glycerin is NOT a 'byproduct' of handmade lye soap. It's actually an integral part of soap that takes a separate chemical process to divide it from the final product. Leaving it in means that lye soap is actually more conditioning for your skin than the bar detergent that is sold as over the counter 'soap'.
> Does it leave a residue?I have never had a problem with residue and none of my customers have ever complained about it. It does depend on the soap recipe, however, and whether or not it was designed to leave anything behind with the intent to be extra conditioning, formulated for oily skin, designed to relieve eczema, etc.
- Ld. Aengus mac Farlane,
Thank you for the info. Unfortunately, I think your recipe is modern.
If I make homemade lye from rainwater and hard wood ash, I get lye water of some strength. If the recipe calls for 2.15 oz of lye, they are referring to lye crystals which would be store bought. Homemade lye is Potassium Hydroxide, lye crystals are Sodium Hydroxide. Without the Sodium you get liquid mush soap, not a hard bar. I believe they overcame this by adding salt, but don't know how much. Do you think you could ask your Lady?