A moisturizing GM soap that is hard?

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Nov 28, 2015
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I want to use goat milk for my soaps. On the lye calculator, I have fiddled with the numbers but if I make the numbers go up for "conditioning," the numbers go down for "hardness."

If I add hardness ingredients, it goes up in "cleansing" so that the oils are stripped from the skin. I don't want to use lard....am I missing something here?

Thanks in advance for your help!
You really need some kind of hard oil. The common ones are lard or palm but if neither of those are acceptable, shea butter and coco butter can be used but not too much or the soap might not lather well. I've used up to 20% shea and got pretty good lather but I did increase my coconut oil to 25%
Thanks! So that made a hard long-lasting bar? What was the hardness number?

Palm oil is controversial...
My hardness was 43, harder than my regular recipe. I was mistake on the coconut oil though, I used 30%. If I ever tried the recipe again I would go down to 25%.
Palm can be controversial but there are companies that sell sustainable palm. Are you vegetarian? Lard really does make the best soap and it's a product that often goes to waste.
I'm waiting for a milk recipe (full water replacement) to cure that is 53% OO, 28% CO, 17% Shea, and soap calc gives a hardness of 40. My second recipe is a bastile, with 80% OO, has a hardness of 19 lol.
That's why I laughed at the hardness of the bastille bar. Given enough time, that bastille bar will probably be pretty hard. I have no idea what to expect though in terms of long lasting. I had a salt bar barely last a month with constant use, just to use and test the snot out of it.
Obsidian has the right idea, one of my favorite veggie bars without palm or lard have at least 25% coconut and 15% mix of cocoa butter and shea butter. It is plenty "hard" but it also lasts a pretty good while.
Here is a bit of info about soapcalc numbers. Written by DeeAnne.

So, okay, now let's look at the numbers for at a single fat -- let's choose your cocoa butter and assume we're going to make a soap from this fat. Cocoa butter has a fatty acid profile that looks something like this:

Lauric 0
Myristic 0
Palmitic 25-35% (average is about 30%)
Stearic 28-38% (average is about 33%)
Ricinoleic 0
Oleic 29-41% (average is about 36%)
Linoleic 2-7% (average is about 4%)
Linolenic 0

Lots of numbers, right? Let's look at how SoapCalc groups those numbers into fewer bits of useful information:

Hardness 61
Cleansing 0
Condition 38
Bubbly 0
Creamy 61

So now, okay, how does a person translate from the fatty acid profile to the Soapcalc numbers? Here's how:

Hardness: The hardness value is the sum of Lauric + Myristic + Palmitic + Stearic acids.

These are the saturated fatty acids. The Hardness number is a measure of the physical hardness-like-a-rock. It tells you how relatively easy it will be to unmold a particular soap after saponification. It does NOT necessarily tell you how long-lived the soap will be -- I'll get to that in a bit.

Hardness number from the fatty acid profile (above) = 0% + 0% + 30% + 33% = 63%.
Soapcalc Hardness = 61%.

Is the difference between 63% and 61% important? Nope, not too much. Keep in mind that any fatty acid profile for any particular fat is only an estimate. The SoapCalc folks calculated their Hardness number from slightly different data than we are using. Bottom line -- don't agonize over differences of a few percentage points.

Cleansing: The cleansing value is the sum of Lauric + Myristic acids.

It is a measure of how water soluble the soap is -- meaning it is a measure of how easily the soap dissolves in difficult situations such as hard water, cold water, or salt water. The Cleansing number does NOT tell you whether the soap will actually get your skin clean, which is the usual misinterpretation of the Cleansing number. A soap with a Cleansing value of zero will clean your skin; it is just not as water soluble in hard/cold/salty water as a soap with a high Cleansing value.

Cleansing number from the fatty acid profile = 0% + 0% = 0%
SoapCalc Cleansing = 0%

Conditioning: The conditioning value is the sum of Oleic + Ricinoleic + Linoleic + Linolenic acids.

These are the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The conditioning value is, to the best of my understanding, a measure of the soap's ability to soften and soothe the skin. The "anti tight-and-dry" property, so to speak.

Conditioning number from the fatty acid profile = 0% + 36% + 4% + 0% = 40%
SoapCalc Conditioning = 38%

Bubbly: The Bubbly value is the sum of the Lauric + Myristic + Ricinoleic acids.

This is a measure of how much loose, fluffy lather is produced. A "bubbly" lather is produced quickly by a soap, but doesn't last long.

Remember that the first two fatty acids make a soap that is very soluble in water, so it makes sense that a soap that has a lot of these two fatty acids would make lots of lather, right?

Ricinoleic acid does not make soap that lathers well on its own, but combined with other fatty acids, it enhances the lather the other fatty acids produce. Does a low or zero Bubbly number mean the soap doesn't lather at all? Nope -- just that the soap might not have a lot of fluffy big bubbles.

Bubbly number from the fatty acid profile = 0% + 0% + 0% = 0%
SoapCalc Bubbly = 0%

Creamy: The Creamy value is the sum of the Palmitic + Stearic + Ricinoleic acids.

Palmitic and stearic are the fatty acids that produce lather that is fine textured (like whipped cream) and longer lived. Ricinoleic, as mentioned before, enhances lather, whether it be big, bubbly lather or dense, creamy lather.

Creamy number from the fatty acid profile = 30% + 33% = 63%
SoapCalc Creamy number = 61%

Long life: The longevity of a soap is the sum of the Palmitic + Stearic acids.

Palmitic and stearic acids create a soap that is relatively hard and relatively insoluble in water.

Long-lasting number from the fatty acid profile = 30% + 33% = 63%
SoapCalc Long-lasting number = ???

I said I'd get back to this issue. SoapCalc numbers do not directly measure longevity. Many people confuse the Hardness number as being a measure of how long lived the soap is, but that is not strictly correct. If you are working in SoapCalc, the fastest way to estimate the Long-lasting number is this:

SoapCalc Long-lasting number = Hardness number - Cleansing number

For cocoa butter, it's a no-brainer -- the Hardness number is the same as the Long-lasting number. For a Coconut Oil soap, the story is quite different:

Hardness = 79
Cleansing = 67
Long-lasting = 79 - 67 = 12

Compare that to 63 for cocoa butter. Bottom line -- a coconut oil soap will not last nearly as long as a cocoa butter soap, all other things being equal.
Obisdian, thank you so much for that lengthy explanation! What an education!!

So, will using cocoa butter make as long a lasting bar as lard or palm oil?
Ditto. My GM soaps last as long as my other soaps. I use palm, lard or tallow or all three. You little bit of palm oil usage is not going to make any difference in the grand scheme of things. Several companies sell sustainable. Not sure if you are from the US but we are one of the smallest users of palm oil
i once used up to 70% of palm oil for an experiment and the soap i made with it came out gorgeous. it lasted longer in the shower.
Goat milk is just a liquid additive and cannot affect the softness of a recipe as others said.

The only reason I can think of that will make a softer bar is only if you add the milk without replacing the water but instead add it to the total liquids in the recipe making a full liquid recipe soap (eg. 28% lye concentration).

The more moisture the recipe will have, the more softer the bar will be, the more curing time it will need for its evaporation.