Average Cleansing Number?

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gsc

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I want to make a nice bar with an "average" cleansing number. I am trying to keep my CO down (typically it ends up 21-23%) and I've been averaging a cleansing number of 15-16. I'm not talking about a facial bar - just a mild bar to wash the body (and one that is somewhat hard). I'd appreciate hearing from you experiencing soapers
 

snappyllama

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I normally keep my cleansing oils (CO/PKO) to between 16%-20% of my total. I like to do an even split on them. Compared to CO alone, the CO/PKO combination produces a more mild bar with improved longevity and a somewhat slicker/waxier feel. at least that's been my results in a high lard recipe. :)
 

Susie

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My cleansing number is normally under 12. I am prone to dry skin, though. YMMV.
 

shunt2011

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Mine are between 12-16. I too use a combo of CO and PKO. Generally a bit more PKO. Mostly around 14. No complaints from my followers.
 

OliveOil2

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Also right around 14 and do a split of CO and PKO. I love PKO, wish there was a local resource, but haven't found any.
 

IrishLass

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"Average" will vary depending on the person (mine are higher than other's averages), but for what it's worth, here are mine:

My zero-cleansing formula is my new favorite gentle body bar made with Genny's Shampoo Bar formula (Castille, eat your heart out. You have summarily been replaced! lol)

My main all-veggie bar has a cleansing of 19, superfatted at 7%.

My main tallow/lard bar has a cleansing of 21, superfatted at 8%.

My 100% coconut formulas (salt and non-salt) have a cleansing of 67%. The salt bar is made with 100% coconut milk as my liquid and is superfatted at 13%. And my non-salt bar is superfatted at 20%.


IrishLass :)
 

dibbles

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Snappy and Shunt, do you find that PKO will accelerate trace? I thought I read that somewhere.

My cleansing number usually ends up in the 15-20 range. I'm still playing with formulas and oils. I should really stop that nonsense and settle on a few recipes I like.
 

shunt2011

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I haven't noticed any major acceleration. I have plenty of time to do multi color swirls etc. I use lard or Palm and soap relatively cool. Not over 100 most of the time.
 

Obsidian

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My base recipe is 14 but I do make some more gentle bars. I tweaked genny's shampoo recipe and it has a # of 3, its really nice, especially for a facial bar.
 

cmzaha

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My bars which would usually be purchased by women are 11 or less with a 3% superfat, my men's soaps are between 14-15 with a 3-4% superfat.
 

Arimara

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I have some between 10-20%. I found 15% and lower is generally better liked by me and mine.
 

KristaY

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My bars which would usually be purchased by women are 11 or less with a 3% superfat, my men's soaps are between 14-15 with a 3-4% superfat.
I'm right in the same ballpark as Carolyn on my numbers - 12ish for women and 15ish for men. I also use a lower superfat and my norm is 3.
 

topofmurrayhill

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I want to make a nice bar with an "average" cleansing number. I am trying to keep my CO down (typically it ends up 21-23%) and I've been averaging a cleansing number of 15-16. I'm not talking about a facial bar - just a mild bar to wash the body (and one that is somewhat hard). I'd appreciate hearing from you experiencing soapers
My advice would be to ignore the cleansing number. It's just a substitute for saying, "How much coconut oil is in my soap?" Or babassu oil if you think your coconut oil doesn't cost enough, or palm kernel oil, all of which are called lauric oils. You can use any combination of them up to about 30% of your recipe.

The reason the percentage is more important than the cleansing number, even though they are pretty much equivalent, is that the term "cleansing" is a lie. Soapcalc has no idea how cleansing or drying your recipe is.

These days hardly anyone posts a recipe without our coconut oil police trying to get them to decrease the amount. The amount however isn't meaningful unless you take the whole recipe (actually the fatty acid proportions) into account. I have experienced bars that are gentle at 30% lauric oils and those that are drying at 20% lauric oils.

The harder your recipe, particularly the more stearic acid it contains, the less drying the coconut oil in the recipe will be. In a hard bar with iodine number down around 50 and INS around 160 (Soapcalc gives you these numbers for your recipe) you can use 30% coconut oil easily.

IrishLass additionally makes the point that the lye discount ("superfat") also affects how much effect the lauric oils have.
 
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TwoHippies

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My advice would be to ignore the cleansing number. It's just a substitute for saying, "How much coconut oil is in my soap?"
The Cleansing number is actually measuring Solubility, which is only one aspect of true cleansing. I as well ignore this
 

topofmurrayhill

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The Cleansing number is actually measuring Solubility, which is only one aspect of true cleansing. I as well ignore this
That number directly reflects the percentage of lauric + myristic acids in the recipe, which usually is just represents the amount of lauric oil in your soap. There's not much need to look at "cleansing 20" versus "coconut oil 30%".

Sodium oleate and linoleate soaps are very soluble, whereas palmitate and stearate are not. Since the cleansing number takes no account of these other fatty acids, it can't be used to predict the solubility of the soap.
 

TwoHippies

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That number directly reflects the percentage of lauric + myristic acids in the recipe, which usually is just represents the amount of lauric oil in your soap. There's not much need to look at "cleansing 20" versus "coconut oil 30%".

Sodium oleate and linoleate soaps are very soluble, whereas palmitate and stearate are not. Since the cleansing number takes no account of these other fatty acids, it can't be used to predict the solubility of the soap.
I've only been soaping for a couple of years, so I could be wrong (I'm always learning). However, I'm basing this on information that was originally provided here (unless there is another destination abbreviated as SMF), and passed around soaping groups. Here's the excerpt from the doc for the cleansing explanation:
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif][FONT=Helvetica, serif]"Cleansing: The cleansing value is the sum of Lauric + Myristic acids.[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif][FONT=Helvetica, serif]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."

Edit:
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[FONT=Times New Roman, serif][FONT=Helvetica, serif]If you have a link to a more complete explanation I would love to have it :) I will search the forums tonight too when I get done with my codework for the day. If it's here, just let me know that :)
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topofmurrayhill

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I've only been soaping for a couple of years, so I could be wrong (I'm always learning). However, I'm basing this on information that was originally provided here (unless there is another destination abbreviated as SMF), and passed around soaping groups. Here's the excerpt from the doc for the cleansing explanation:
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif][FONT=Helvetica, serif]"Cleansing: The cleansing value is the sum of Lauric + Myristic acids.[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif][FONT=Helvetica, serif]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."

Edit:
[/FONT]
[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif][FONT=Helvetica, serif]If you have a link to a more complete explanation I would love to have it :) I will search the forums tonight too when I get done with my codework for the day. If it's here, just let me know that :)
[/FONT]
[/FONT]
There is certain information passed around that only represents an individual interpretation. Not that there isn't truth to it, but it's looking at it from a particular point of view. Solubility in "cold/hard/salty" water seems a little far afield from the intended usefulness of the cleansing number. I think we can ground it a little better.

Assuming average water for a moment, sodium oleate is sometimes listed as more soluble than sodium laurate, and this seems plausible when you soak your year old castile bar in water. However, the effect of these two soaps on the skin is quite different. I'm not sure, but it might have something to do with the varying tendencies of soap ions to dissociate in water.

It has long been a simple fact in the soap industry that the soaps derived from lauric and myristic acid have an intrinsic drying/irritating effect on the skin that you don't find with the other fatty acids. "Cleansing" might not be the best word -- maybe "Drying" would be better? -- but for practical purposes the number refers to the unique effect of these soaps on the skin as it has always been understood.

This intrinsic drying effect applies also to the saturated fatty acids with a shorter carbon chain than lauric acid. Make a soap with a generous amount of fractionated coconut oil and you will have the definitive tight skin experience of your life. Soapcalc contains a fudge for this oil, because it contains very little lauric or myristic acid but the "cleansing" number is set to 100.
 

TwoHippies

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There is certain information passed around that only represents an individual interpretation. Not that there isn't truth to it, but it's looking at it from a particular point of view. Solubility in "cold/hard/salty" water seems a little far afield from the intended usefulness of the cleansing number. I think we can ground it a little better.

Assuming average water for a moment, sodium oleate is sometimes listed as more soluble than sodium laurate, and this seems plausible when you soak your year old castile bar in water. However, the effect of these two soaps on the skin is quite different. I'm not sure, but it might have something to do with the varying tendencies of soap ions to dissociate in water.

It has long been a simple fact in the soap industry that the soaps derived from lauric and myristic acid have an intrinsic drying/irritating effect on the skin that you don't find with the other fatty acids. "Cleansing" might not be the best word -- maybe "Drying" would be better? -- but for practical purposes the number refers to the unique effect of these soaps on the skin as it has always been understood.

This intrinsic drying effect applies also to the saturated fatty acids with a shorter carbon chain than lauric acid. Make a soap with a generous amount of fractionated coconut oil and you will have the definitive tight skin experience of your life. Soapcalc contains a fudge for this oil, because it contains very little lauric or myristic acid but the "cleansing" number is set to 100.
Thank you for this! Like I said, I'm still learning, but this is a much better explanation :)
 

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