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Country Living Handmade Soap

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2001

    Soaping Success

    I have used the basic recipes in this book to produce many wonderful bars of soap. I test all my soap before use, and I have no problem with these recipes being 'lye-heavy'. I have used the recipes as written, and I have easily modified them to suit the needs of my family and myself, both providing excellent results. I have also found these recipes to work as well with the hot process as with the prescribed cold process.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2000

    Nice pictures, but bad info!

    Defintely some very nice pictures that would lure you into buying this book. I have the following comments: (1) The information given about soapmaking in this book is very superficial. Even worse, there is definitely some wrong info! For example, the book said that pure castile soap (olive-oil based) will have brown-orange spots on them as they cure. In my experience this only happens when one doesn't mix the lye/oil solution enough, or when the oil calculation is wrong and the orange spots indicite areas of rancid oil. (2) All the recipes in this book is lye-heavy! And worse yet, they don't tell you in the book how to check whether a recipe is lye-heavy (unsafe). (3) The recipes in this book also call for some outrageous amount of essential oils. Essential oils have their beneficial properties. Remember these are really small molecular substances and can be easily absorbed into the body, and in excess can act just like drugs being overdosed! If you check any other reference books on essential oils, you will find that the quantity of the essnetial oils used in these recipes is over and above the limit. Dangerous! (4) There is also a lack of information as to how to design your own recipe and how to trouble-shoot if you have a problem. The same can be said about information on the different properties of oils--not enough info! So basically, you are stuck with their dangerous recipes if you buy this book, and won't be able to creat your own recipes or even check if they are right. If you only care for nice pictures, and nothing else, this book is for you. But if you really want to make soap, I'd recommend 'Essentially Soap' by Robert McDaniel (or Dr. Bob).

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