A little slimy & lacking in lather


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Dec 25, 2013
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Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Dear Soap Friends, My five-pound basic soap recipe is a *little* slimy in my opinion and lacks enough lather. These are small problems but I always want to improve. Any suggestions? Thank you! Here is the recipe:

Castor -- 5 oz
Coconut -- 23 oz
Olive -- 17 oz
Palm -- 10 oz
Distilled water -- 18.7 oz
Lye -- 8 oz
Peppermint essential -- 1 oz

Superfat, 7%; water discount 34%; and forced gel.

Coconut-Peppmint Soap.jpg


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Jan 20, 2010
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That actually looks like a well-balanced recipe. How long do you cure? I find most soap is OK at 4 weeks, but I strongly prefer an 8 week cure even on things that are supposed to cure faster.

High olive oil soap benefits from a 3+ month cure, but your recipe isn't high enough in OO for that to be much of an issue.

I suppose you could try lowing the olive and raising the palm to decrease slime and increase creamy lather. Personally, I wouldn't go higher on the coconut as the amount you use would already be intolerable for me (I prefer Bastille or Castille myself).

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Nov 19, 2013
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I agree - with that much co lather shouldn't be an issue with a cured bar.

Maybe add 2% oil weight of sugar to the water before adding the lye to up the bubbles, just remember that it'll heat up more with the sugar


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Jun 17, 2014
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Buckeye, Arizona
I second the sugar addition as well as lowering both the olive oil to 10 and the coconut to 20 add both to the palm. That would be my adjustment, although everyone is different.

Too high of coconut will be a bit drying, to compensate for that lather is the sugar addition. Lowering the olive will eliminate the slimy feel and the added palm will increase creamy lather and create a harder bar.
Last edited:


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Feb 11, 2008
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Right here, silly!
Can you elaborated further as to what you mean by your statement, 'it lacks lather'? In other words, do mean that it lacks bubbly lather or that it lacks creamy lather?

I ask, because 'on paper', it looks like your formula would be super bubbly, but I've sometimes found that having lots of bubbles does not always equate to having 'great lather', because it's lacking somewhat in depth, or 'body' or 'oomph'. The best way I can describe it is like the difference between having 2-dimensional lather and having 3-dimensional lather.

If it's depth/body/oomph you're looking for to enhance your bubbly lather, if it were me, I'd switch out your palm for lard. Besides lard, other ingredients that I've found to be lovely 'depth' enhancers are castor, goat milk, coconut milk, and sodium lactate. I've found that by just subbing as little 30% goat milk or coconut milk for part of one's water amount lends a nice creamy depth/oomph to the bubbly lather already present.

What type of water do you have? I ask because hard water can really mess with one's bubbly lather. I myself have pretty hard water, and I've found that adding a little of the chelator Tetrasodium EDTA to my batches (@ .5% of my entire batch weight) helps my lather out quite nicely. In lieu of EDTA, you can use sodium citrate instead (does the same thing).

Like the others have said, you can use sugar to boost your bubbly lather quotient. I myself like to use 2 tablespoons ppo in my batches. Of course, you'll have to play around with it to find the 'sweet spot' amount that works for your own formula, but for what it's worth, that's the amount that works for me.

IrishLass :)