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LisaAnne

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I've been making soap for a year now and study or make soap daily. Early on I was adding everything I'd read about, oats, clays, silk and anything else I could. Now it seems I've come full circle, while I still add things to certain soap I find I am paring down and just working on the basics. What I'm wondering is (because I still feel like a rookie soaper) do you seasoned soapers use all the additives all the time, on occasion or never? What interests me now is all the different liquids I can use, it seems beer for lye pot, goatsmilk, heavy cream and coconut milk are my favorites. I'd like to try fruit juices next. Can I use any juice that is 100%? Thanks
 

shunt2011

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I too tried everything and anything when I first started. Now, I stay fairly basic. I do use oatmeal, clay sometimes, silk in all except my vegan and I always use either beer (sometimes) or some kind of milk.

I use coconut, goats, buttermilk or cream. My favorites are buttermilk and goat milk. Otherwise I use salt or Sodium Lactate and colorants. I've got most my recipes down to 4-5 oils, butter, lard. It's much more cost effective that's for sure.
 
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LisaAnne

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Good to know, thanks, I was wondering if it was overkill on my part. Yes, I forgot buttermilk, love it also.
 

lionprincess00

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You can use juices, but i never have. Most juice is high in sugar and I'd be wary of half water into lye half juice. That said many do the half method with wine and beer, but i dont have a comparison of juice sugars to wine to beer. Id start small and work up (dont want a volcano on your hands!). Hopefully someone with experience will chime in.
I use in every soap, to answer your question, sodium citrate and sugar @1tbs ppo.
I occasionally use silk, clay or colloidal oatmeal (fairly rarely).
I actually got off the milks bandwagon months ago and do water only (my soaps are usually swirl experiments and milks can warm and accelerate some).
 

LisaAnne

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I have been mostly making HP for the last year and just got back to CP, I've been working on the swirls also, I do room temperature. I'm going to have to try just water and see if I can get more intricate designs. I've never tried sodium citrate. I will have to look into it further.
 

lionprincess00

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It's similar to citric acid, but already has reacted thus you dont have to recalculate lye amounts and add additional lye like you do with citric acid. It's a chelator that helps break down hard water minerals and lessen soap scum (my spaps were very scummy before i started using sodium citrate ). With the breakdown of soap scum comes the addition of lather some, for now soap isn't binding to hard water particles and are allowed to flow more freely. I bought my 5 lbs off eBay and it's lasted months and months.
 

navigator9

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New soapers want to try every additive there is, and so they should. Experimenting is part of what makes you a soapmaker, trying things and seeing what happens. Sometimes the results are wonderful, sometimes you spend a lot of money on some miraculous Mexican tree bark (not that I would do such a thing!!!) only to find that it does absolutely nothing at all. But you keep notes, and you listen to the comments of your friends and family who use your soap, and sooner or later you distill all of those additives down to a few that you really like. You sadly discard all of the lovely rose petals and peony petals that you've dried, only to have them turn black on the top of your soap. But you replace them with oatmeal, and coconut milk and other things that you love in soap. And you probably replace the fancy, exotic oils with things like lard or avocado oil. Mine is a fairly short list. I've found that a simple, good, balanced recipe produces a great bar of soap. But I did a LOT of trial and error before settling on that basic recipe, that has only three oils. It's great on it's own, but when I add one or two of the extras that I've come to love in soap...then it's realllllllly good. But everyone's different, and everyone's skin is different. The great thing about soap is that you can fine tune a recipe until it's perfect for you, and on the way to that perfect soap, you learn a lot about soapmaking by trying every ingredient you can get your hands on. :-D
 

LisaAnne

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Thank you all so much. Now all my experiments and endless soap making makes sense to me. It is all just part of the process I must go through :) I will definitely look into sodium citrate and looks like I'm going to have to look into avocado a little closer I have some left, it seems to get mentioned a lot. I will have to cancel my Mexican tree bark order today :), actually hadn't heard of that one!
 

lsg

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Most of the additives I use are clays, colorants, EOs and FOs. I do like beer soap for its lather.
 

paillo

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In my first three years of soaping I too tried everything under the sun. Now I have it down to just five oils/butter (tallow next!), liquid split with coconut, goat or buttermilk, sometimes beer. In every CP (I do soleseife) and salt batch clay, salt, sugar, silk.

I do still go way overboard with my shampoo bars and dog soap, at least nine oils and a lot of additives, but don't make them often and don't sell them.

Yup, it's all part of the process and part of the fun. :)
 

navigator9

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Thank you all so much. Now all my experiments and endless soap making makes sense to me. It is all just part of the process I must go through :) I will definitely look into sodium citrate and looks like I'm going to have to look into avocado a little closer I have some left, it seems to get mentioned a lot. I will have to cancel my Mexican tree bark order today :), actually hadn't heard of that one!
Whaaaaat! You haven't heard of the miracle tree bark from Mexico? Well, I don't know, maybe it does result in miracles, but NOT infused in oil, and made into soap. That I know for sure, even though it pains me to admit that I was that gullible. :oops: As my mother would say, "Live and learn." Which also translates into, "Soap and learn." I learned a good lesson on that one! lol
https://kshamicamdblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/tepezcohuite-the-skin-tree/
 

LisaAnne

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I have a few lessons myself, every once in a while I will toss something and it pains me to. :)
 

LisaAnne

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Oh boy! Just read about Mexican tree oil! Thanks for the heads up. Lol
Fun to laugh at ourselves isn't it :)
 

snappyllama

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I have a pretty standard set of additives that almost every soap gets:

Water Substitution: Mostly GM, but I sometimes do CM or aloe or some combination of those.
EDTA: I use it instead of sodium citrate (because that's what I have on hand)
Silk: I have a bunch and think it does add a certain something
Sodium Lactate

I'll sometimes use kaolin clay if I'm trying to anchor a scent.
Sometimes I use collodial oatmeal if I want that feel in my soap.
Sometimes I'll use a fruit puree.

That's about it. :)
 

KristaY

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I have a pretty standard set of additives that almost every soap gets:

Water Substitution: Mostly GM, but I sometimes do CM or aloe or some combination of those.
EDTA: I use it instead of sodium citrate (because that's what I have on hand)
Silk: I have a bunch and think it does add a certain something
Sodium Lactate

I'll sometimes use kaolin clay if I'm trying to anchor a scent.
Sometimes I use collodial oatmeal if I want that feel in my soap.
Sometimes I'll use a fruit puree.

That's about it. :)
I'd like to try EDTA or sodium citrate. I use SL in every batch to unmold easier and add a bit of bubble action. Can I use either EDTA and/or SC along with SL or is there an adverse chemical reaction that might occur? I normally use SL at 2%.
 

Seawolfe

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Im an oddball in that I've never used a mammal milk in soap, for some reason that has absolutely no appeal to me. I have tried coconut milk in a salt bar, and ended up going back to water. I dunno, it didn't feel as "clean" to me?

So my only additives are really: citric acid, sodium lactate, sugar, salt, clays and charcoal (last two are colorants as well, but I like them for themselves in soap).
 

LisaAnne

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Now citric acid mentioned, will have to look close at that also. I seen it mentioned here and there. I know what you mean by the not so clean feeling. I think I need to lower my super fat again. Right now I am also trying to up my coconut a bit. I've been stuck at 15, thought I'd up a little and see what happens.
 

snappyllama

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I'd like to try EDTA or sodium citrate. I use SL in every batch to unmold easier and add a bit of bubble action. Can I use either EDTA and/or SC along with SL or is there an adverse chemical reaction that might occur? I normally use SL at 2%.
I can only speak to EDTA since that's the only chelator I've used. I haven't seen any adverse reaction to using it alongside SL. You should see even more bubbles and much less soap scum. How big a difference will depend on the hardness of your water.

I'm on well water in the Rockies and have particularly hard water. Using EDTA really makes a difference for me though my family with soft water didn't see nearly as much of a change from my pre-EDTA bars.
 

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