- Nov 21, 2017
- Reaction score
I have always had the problem that the tallow ones crack and look ugly soon. And don't lather much (not that this bothers me) -- but the cracks and splits bothered me. Just on a whim, I tried flaxseed gel instead of water, and 20% KOH. Citric acid as chelator. I used 90% tallow and 10% castor oil; No coconut oil because it dries out my skin. I think this gel acts like a kind of glue -- no more cracking! And lathers better too.@Vicki C Did you make the 100% tallow soap? I’ve been testing mine, which I made with 10% KOH. It’s okay, but it’s not what I would call lovely. The bar will make lather if I work at it, but even with dual lye it’s a very hard bar of soap. In use the bar is so slick that it’s hard to hold on to, which is not at all what I expected. It’s like hard shiny plastic coated with a film of soap. I wonder if my hard water is a contributing factor? Maybe I need to up the KOH for the next batch?
eta: I’ve been scouring the threads and have seen cautions about exceeding 10% KOH, but based on the firmness of the soap, I think I would have better results using 13-15%. The KOH I’m using has been fine in other soap recipes with the purity set at 90%. On the other hand, I just recently bought a new box of tallow and noticed right away that it’s a bit harder than the tallow I was using over the last year. Perhaps that’s a contributing factor and I’m ending up with less than the calculated SF, which was set at 3% for the initial batch. I could make two small test batches, one with 15% KOH and 3% SF and one with 10% KOH and 6% SF for comparison. If anyone has any other ideas or suggestions, please let me know. I will report back!