Annilita (annilita) wrote in soap_making,

Total n00b

So, this friend of mine has a friend who has a soap-making business. And one day, this friend-of-a-friend decides to marry a guy and move to Texas. In the process of moving, she gives a bunch of her soap-making supplies to my friend, who, not having the time or inclination and knowing of my desire to adopt a back-to-basics lifestyle and make as many things as I can from scratch, gives all the supplies to me.

And when I say supplies, I mean it couldn't all fit in my roomy sedan and I have to go back tomorrow for the last few boxes. A lot of that is containers, but there is a HECK of a lot of supplies, and a lot of those supplies have price tags over $20 on them, so I'm feeling like a very lucky camper right now.

Thing is, I've never made soap before. So, yeah. Newbie. A book and a stack of recipes came along with the goods, and I've been googling around tonight, but I do have a few questions.

The first is whether there a source for 100% lye that I can find in a regular store or not? I found a link that said that the Roebic 2 Lbs. Heavy Duty Crystal Drain Opener from Lowes is 100% lye, and then I found a link saying that wasn't quite true. I'd really like to be able to find some lye locally, because it seems silly to buy it online for $7 and then pay $20 to have it shipped to me.

Second question is that amung all the supplies was about a gallon of shower gel that apparently never had any fragrance added. It's at least several months old. Can I add fragrance to it now? Should I heat it in a crock pot and then add some fragrance? The only website I could find about making liquid soap had you add the fragrance before the shower gel sequestered, so I'm worried that it's too late and I'll just have all this unscented shower gel. Really, not the end of the world, but it seems like a shame when I have so many fragrance oils and several of them are about to expire. It'd be nice to be able to throw some in the gel to use them up and scent the gel. Two birds, one stone and all. I'm pretty frugal with my shower gel, so a gallon of the stuff would probably last me a year, and I'd be sad to be fragrance-less for that long!

Thanks for any help you can offer!
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