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I make soap from first principles there are quite a few oils that you need get to start with but they do last a while. You can get recipes from the soap kitchen, I use them and another supplier who I can't remember atm but will look them up.


you need to be very prepared before you start, give yourself plenty of time with no distractions, ie. no dogs or children under your feet.


The sodium hydroxide isn't nice but just treat it with respect and you'll be fine.


I use pringle tubes for moulds.


Final tip....use a stick blender to mix otherwise you'll be there for ever.

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I have made soap like this using sodium hydroxide and various oils, and like TheGirlsMum says it is important to be well prepared and also read up well first. Use safety goggles and rubber gloves when using the sodium hydroxide and when mixing the raw soap, and don't leave it unattended. Really, it's easy and not dangerous if you take care.


The other important thing is a good set of scales, so that you can measure things accurately, so that the soap turns out nice and mild. You can go onto a website called soapcalc which will calculate the amount of sodium hydroxide you need for the oils you want to use.


I have got a book by Melinda Coss called The Hand Made Soap book, which has been invaluable for basic skills and recipes.


Try these websites: http://www.millersoap.com/ and also the soapmaking forum, which is mainly based in the USA but there are loads of friendly people on there who will answer all sorts of queries.


The thing I have found is that you DON'T have to spend a lot of money on different oils, and you can make lovely soap out of things you would find in the supermarket or Asian shop, ie coconut oil, olive oil, beef fat, lard, vegetable shortening.


I adore my home made soaps because they are so creamy and have such a lovely lather. Trouble is, I have to stop making them for a while as I have already made so much.

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