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More Soap ramblings... - Random babblings of a fiber-obsessed nutcase — LiveJournal

About More Soap ramblings...

Previous Entry More Soap ramblings... Apr. 14th, 2010 @ 08:43 am Next Entry
I know it's getting old. :grin: But I was asked in the comments yesterday about the cost effectiveness of making your own soap vs. buying; I did the calculations and posted the comment, then decided it was something that *should* be posted for everyone to see. So:

I pulled out my receipts (fortunately I still had them in my purse - that doesn't always happen!)

What I bought:

Lye - $3.99/lb
Coconut Oil $5.28/2 pounds (I think)
Vegetable Oil $2.34/3 pounds
Olive Oil $4.98/25 oz. (The pounds are estimates - I honestly don't know, and I can't read my photo. :lol:)


What I used for this batch of soap:

About half of one bottle of lye ($2)
Full bottle of Olive Oil ($4.98)
About half of the coconut oil (maybe a third?)($2.64 for half)
About half of the veggie oil ($1.17).

So.... for the oils and lye it was $10.79. I can't calculate the milk - I'm swimming in it! - but if I use storebought as an example, it would be about $2 or so (because you only need a little over a pound, which is about a pint, and goat's milk is going for about $4/quart at Wally World).

So...call it approx. $13 for a 5 pound batch - buying the oils at Wal*Mart. I've been pricing oils, and can get them cheaper than at Wallyworld if I go bigger (found a place local that I can get almost wholesale prices on them), which would lower the costs......IF you cut the bars correctly (which I didn't do - I just eyeballed and cut where I felt was "right"), you get 15 close-to-same-size bars. (The lye I bought was expensive - the local place? Has it for $1.99/pound. Yes, I'm going to get some - it's cheaper! :lol:)

What does Ivory soap go for right now? $2/bar? If so, you'd come out cheaper making it - UNLESS you factor in your time, and the pro-rated costs of the equipment (stick blender/dedicated pitcher/bowl/spoon/thermometers/molds)(I didn't do that - because the pro-rated costs go down with each batch made, and I could have used "found" objects in the kitchen that had already been used enough to have a net cost of $0. I bought new, though, so I'd KNOW that these were SOAP ONLY. I'm weird like that, though! I also already had a scale - you really do need one if you're going to make soap. I found one at Kitchen Collection this weekend for $19; the soap places local have similar ones for $25. I'd recommend digital - postage scales work great, and eBay has those relatively cheap. Haven't checked CraigsList - need to do that, for comparison.)

My deal is that I have more milk than I have fridge space to store it right now (with only 2.5 goats online! :blink:) I don't want to waste the milk - so, soap and cheese and icecream it is! (But there's only so much space for cheese and icecream....soap is easier to store.)

Plus, I know what's in this, and I can pronounce every ingredient. :lol: I haven't bought soap in years - I've been doing melt-n-pour soaps for at least 4 years, because Himself is allergic to something in most commercial soaps. :sigh: I'd rather make my own than pay shipping.....

Shampoo bars......Shampoo bars last LONGER than bottled shampoo, and - for my hair - do a better job. I haven't needed to use vinegar as a rinse; some people do, my hair is fine without it. I know my Lush bars last at least 3 months (and they're small!)....so....And again, if I make my own, I know what's in it. I'm looking at oils that have conditioning properties to make my own now. We'll see how it works....

I found a chart that shows the different properties each commonly-used oil will give to your soap. I'm playing around with oils (on paper!) to come up with a conditioning shampoo bar. I'm thinking: Castor Oil, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, and Shea Butter....I figured up a recipe using my GM one as the start, then changing the oils. Ran it thru The Sage's lye calculator, then resized it for a 1 pound batch. (I have a mold that will make a 1 pound batch that I bought ages ago, when I first started into Melt-n-Pour. I didn't know that it was for CP soap; I thought a mold was a mold was a mold....I can use it now, though! :lol:) I don't want to make a 5 pound batch that turns out to not clean my hair.....:grin:

Last night was spent weighing out and freezing some milk. I needed the space and the jars! (We're filling 5 quart jars a day, now....:gulp:) I have 3 for 5 pound batches, and 3 for 1 pound - I don't think I'm going to use the milk for shampoo bars, though...I'm thinking Chamomile tea (the neat thing about The Sage's calculator? It tells you how much liquid you need for successful saponification! How cool is that??)....it might be an interesting experiment, though, to use milk for one batch. :ponders:

Anyway...that's where my brain is right now. Sweet Geek found a local place that sells cheese starters (he thinks, anyway :lol:), so we might be shopping this weekend. Supposed to rain again, so that would work...but I wanna make more soap! :lol:
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