Are butters effective in soap?

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Nyknits

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Good morning from Long Island, NY! Hey everybody, I have taken the advice given and limited myself to simple soap recipes and one soaping process. I started with hot process at the end of May (I waited for the Mercury retrograde to be over) and have 4 batches under my belt. I’ve been handing out samples to friends and family to test. I think I’m going to be overwhelmed with soap curing all over the place. Lol I’m ready to invest in this craft and will be researching this weekend. I thought I would throw this out here too. Is there a big difference between a silicone lined wood mold and just a silicone mold? Which do you prefer? What do you think about adding butters like shea and mango? Should I bother since it’s being rinsed off? Save it for after bath use? I have family with eczema and psoriasis. My original goal was making simple, fragrance free for them. However, I am now liking this too much and want to try making all the soaps. All tips are appreciated.
 

IrishLass

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Silicone is a great material for soap molds, but in my experience (if we are talking about log and slab molds as opposed to individual-type molds), I've found that it's not sturdy enough to stand on its own without bowing out to some extent when filled with soap, which is where having a wooden support box comes in super handy. I have 3 silicone log molds that thankfully came with support to keep the sides from bowing outward.

RE: butters. Whether to add ingredients such as butters or not really all comes down to personal preference. True- in the end, it all rinses off, but you'll have to do some experimenting to see for yourself if they add anything worthwhile enough to your formulas to include them. Some butters, such as shea for example, contain a high amount of unsaponifiables, which many feel lends a really nice touch to their finished soap that's very tangible to them.....but for others it might not be so noticeable. Much depends on individual skin types, which are all different. You'll just have to experiment to see what works for you and yours, which is one of the great things about making your own soap- you can tailor it to each person.

One sure thing about butters where soap is concerned, is that if nothing else, they are great for adding that extra bit of hardness to ones soap formula. My own formulas normally contain a bit of either cocoa butter, mango butter, kokum butter and/or illipe butter to bump up my hardess level without having to resort to using straight stearic acid which is very tricky to soap with in CP.

And of course, butters are great for lotions and body butters. My favorite butter for use in anhydrous (waterless) body butters is kokum butter, mixed with meadowfoam seed oil at a 75:25 ratio. And my favorite butter for use in emulsified butters (made with water e-wax to create a really thick lotion) is shea butter.


IrishLass :)
 

Nyknits

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Silicone is a great material for soap molds, but in my experience (if we are talking about log and slab molds as opposed to individual-type molds), I've found that it's not sturdy enough to stand on its own without bowing out to some extent when filled with soap, which is where having a wooden support box comes in super handy. I have 3 silicone log molds that thankfully came with support to keep the sides from bowing outward.

RE: butters. Whether to add ingredients such as butters or not really all comes down to personal preference. True- in the end, it all rinses off, but you'll have to do some experimenting to see for yourself if they add anything worthwhile enough to your formulas to include them. Some butters, such as shea for example, contain a high amount of unsaponifiables, which many feel lends a really nice touch to their finished soap that's very tangible to them.....but for others it might not be so noticeable. Much depends on individual skin types, which are all different. You'll just have to experiment to see what works for you and yours, which is one of the great things about making your own soap- you can tailor it to each person.

One sure thing about butters where soap is concerned, is that if nothing else, they are great for adding that extra bit of hardness to ones soap formula. My own formulas normally contain a bit of either cocoa butter, mango butter, kokum butter and/or illipe butter to bump up my hardess level without having to resort to using straight stearic acid which is very tricky to soap with in CP.

And of course, butters are great for lotions and body butters. My favorite butter for use in anhydrous (waterless) body butters is kokum butter, mixed with meadowfoam seed oil at a 75:25 ratio. And my favorite butter for use in emulsified butters (made with water e-wax to create a really thick lotion) is shea butter.


IrishLass :)
Thank you for your great input. Chockfull of information to digest. I’m ready to buy a mold and some other goodies.
 

Marilyn Norgart

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I have only made one soap with cocoa butter in it--it was one of my first soaps--so its about a year old. I didn't like it when I made it and just tried it again last week and still don't like it. I don't even remember what recipe I used but it feels slimy and doesn't really lather. I am sure I did something wrong but what ever it was--it was enough so that I don't want to try it again
 

runnerchicki

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I am a relatively new soaper - I've been doing CP for just over a year - so I'm not an expert. :) But, in my year of experimenting I have found that I personally like just a little bit of butter in my recipe. It adds a nice, creamy feel to the lather, but too much and I had problems with accelerated trace (EVERY TIME!), decreased lather, etc. So you will have to experiment to see how you like it and how much to use. I am only now, after many trials, at the final tweaks of my recipe and all along the way I was reducing the butters. The absolute max I use now is 10% of any given butter, and if it is something really hard like Kokum butter, I will drop it down lower. My recipe is hard, low on the cleansing number, lathers decently, and doesn't get goopy in the shower. It really took a lot of test recipes to realize that I didn't need a whole lot of expensive butter in the recipe to get a nice bar.

I have silicone molds, and wood molds with liners (all small batch sizes). I use both, but a silicone mold on its own is going to need support if it is filled all the way, and it will not retain heat as much as a wood mold. So I usually have to leave the silicone mold batches in the mold an extra day or two in order to get them out without damaging the soap because I can't peel them back as well as with the wood molds w/liners.

Also - if you are concerned about Mercury in Retrograde during your experimentations - you might want to wait a few more days. It's happening again right now from July 8th to August 1st. :D I, myself, am blaming it on my poor effort at a hanger swirl this morning. :p
 

cedarstar

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I make most of my soaps with either cocoa butter or shea butter. I have been told they make your skin feel feel soft. Yesterday I had an older woman come to my table to purchase a bar of soap, that had previously taken a sample tell me that it's the best soap she's ever used. I like what the butters add to my final product with my combination of oils
 

DKing

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I make a goat milk soap that has shea butter which I absolutely love. I make others that do not have shea, and they are still very nice soaps as well....but the shea adds a bit of a luxurious feel to it.
 

Dawni

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I'm one who uses cocoa and shea butters to harden my soaps. Cocoa is harder. I have used only Shea in some, together with lard, and I like what it adds, compared to lard being the only hardener. I do cure it them longer than the others though, for better lather, especially if I'm using a lot of the butters.
 

Obsidian

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Everyone has there own preferences when it come to certain oils. I myself, do not like butters, especially cocoa.

A little shea is ok but I find it doesn't really add to the soap but at least it doesn't decrease the qualities I like.

I've heard some butters like shea, can cause reactions with eczema so you might run that by your doctor.

If you do want to try a butter. Make a 1 lb batch with 10% and see how it is.

I spent around $2000 my first year soaping just on oils, trying to find a perfect recipe. I finally stopped using luxury ingredients and was able to perfect my recipe with grocery store ingredients.
 

cmzaha

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I make a 57% Shea Butter soap that is long aged, mainly for a facial bar and selling /label appeal. I will say after a year it lathers very nice but really does not feel much different from my lard/tallow or palm based soaps.
 

Nyknits

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Thank you for all your input. I have a lot of things to try. Another question, I just made a batch of bastille with a recipe from soaping 101. What do you do with all your experiments? I’ve been been keeping one aside from each batch to see what it’s like in 3,6,9 months. I, of course use some and I give away a lot. And I’m only making 1lb batches! I’m liking this a bit too much and I want to keep at it. Should I store them in the basement? A closet? Designate a dresser drawer?
 

Obsidian

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You know @cmzaha, I never did tell you how much I like your lard/tallow recipe. Its one of my favorite soaps.
If tallow wasn't so dang messy to render, I would use it in all my soaps.

@Nyknits I store my cured soap in paper bags in the closet. I know others store in boxes under a bed.
A basement would be ideal provided its not a damp dirt floor basement like mine.
The soap should be stored cool with some air flow so no plastic bins.
 

Nyknits

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You know @cmzaha, I never did tell you how much I like your lard/tallow recipe. Its one of my favorite soaps.
If tallow wasn't so dang messy to render, I would use it in all my soaps.

@Nyknits I store my cured soap in paper bags in the closet. I know others store in boxes under a bed.
A basement would be ideal provided its not a damp dirt floor basement like mine.
The soap should be stored cool with some air flow so no plastic bins.
Thank you. I’ll try the basement for now. I have a small house and don’t want to be overrun with soap everywhere.
 

Mobjack Bay

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I’m a relative newbie, too (and I grew up in Smithtown :)). I’m 6 months and about 30 batches into soap making and have tried all kinds of recipes (but, sadly, not tallow). I haven’t been wowed by butters in soap, especially given their price, but I’m still experimenting with them. Based on everything I read here, and much to my surprise, I decided to try lard soap pretty early on. It makes a dense, creamy lather, that I really like, but I have no idea how it would be for those with eczema and psoriasis. I do love the butters for the lotions and creams I make.

Do you have soap in every room yet? If not, you still have capacity :)

As for molds, I have 2 small wood molds with silicone liners and find them super easy to use. I just bought a smaller stand alone silicone mold for test batches and found that the perimeter bows out a little. Compared with the silicone liners, I thought it was easier to “pop” the loaf out of the stand alone mold. When I buy my next, slightly larger mold, it will be a lined wood mold because I don’t want to deal with trying to support a larger stand alone silicone mold.
 

KiwiMoose

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Do you have soap in every room yet? If not, you still have capacity :)
:lol:

I use 10% Shea in every batch. I started out with a bit more than that, because it was my only 'hardener' alongside coconut (which is hard but doesn't last long). I have also tried cocoa butter and liked it, but it is just too expensive for me to keep including it. Bearing in mind that I'm palm free and animal fat free in my soap my options are limited. I eventually went with 20% soy wax as my main 'hardener' and still use 10% Shea butter and 20% coconut oil - then the rest is made up of my soft oils.
 

Nyknits

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I’m a relative newbie, too (and I grew up in Smithtown :)). I’m 6 months and about 30 batches into soap making and have tried all kinds of recipes (but, sadly, not tallow). I haven’t been wowed by butters in soap, especially given their price, but I’m still experimenting with them. Based on everything I read here, and much to my surprise, I decided to try lard soap pretty early on. It makes a dense, creamy lather, that I really like, but I have no idea how it would be for those with eczema and psoriasis. I do love the butters for the lotions and creams I make.

Do you have soap in every room yet? If not, you still have capacity :)

As for molds, I have 2 small wood molds with silicone liners and find them super easy to use. I just bought a smaller stand alone silicone mold for test batches and found that the perimeter bows out a little. Compared with the silicone liners, I thought it was easier to “pop” the loaf out of the stand alone mold. When I buy my next, slightly larger mold, it will be a lined wood mold because I don’t want to deal with trying to support a larger stand alone silicone mold.
Thank you for your input. It’s nice to meet you. I’m from Rocky Point and work in E Setauket. My very first batch was 100% lard with turmeric. I liked it! I’m going to do a bunch of experimenting and I’m definitely getting a wood. Old. Thanks again.
 

Nyknits

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:lol:

I use 10% Shea in every batch. I started out with a bit more than that, because it was my only 'hardener' alongside coconut (which is hard but doesn't last long). I have also tried cocoa butter and liked it, but it is just too expensive for me to keep including it. Bearing in mind that I'm palm free and animal fat free in my soap my options are limited. I eventually went with 20% soy wax as my main 'hardener' and still use 10% Shea butter and 20% coconut oil - then the rest is made up of my soft oils.
Thank you. Do you make cold or hot process soap?
 

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