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avoiding the lye smell

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nastea

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Hello!

My first batch, my first post :)

So I made this CP soap following this recipe:

28 ml water
15.4 g lye
10 ml castor oil
60 ml coconut oil
30 ml olive oil
3 g beeswax

Now my goal was: good lather, smooth feel (therefore the castor oil, beeswax and little OO) and no smell (again, little OO)

While I am quite happy with the lather, I am not excited about how the soap leaves the skin smelling and feeling.

While removing the soap with water, the hand doesn't glide over the skin. You know how the skin feels after you wash with a Dove bar, I want to recreate that feel but avoid lard. I added the beeswax and castor oil and tried to use very little OO.

The result is not BAD, but I still think it can be better.

And oh the smell. I used the soap at night and in the morning I can still smell the lye on my skin, not to mention the soap. I did let in cure for only a week, so maybe that's the problem.

What do you suggest I do to get a bar that leaves the skin feeling more like a Dove bar (I guess avoid the snottiness) and does not smell so soapy.

Cure more? Less OO?

Thank you! any advice will be highly appreciated
 
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The Efficacious Gentleman

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I really hope you can't smell the lye on your skin, or your skin will be burning! Soap (oils and lye combined) does have a certain scent depending on the oils used. My Castile, for example, has a different scent to my pumpkin seed oil soap. Neither have scents added, but the oils used have made the difference.

That said, both smell similar in that it is the smell of soap. If you want to change that, make sure you don't use EVOO and then also add some essential oils in there.

As for the "Dove" feeling, bear in mind that Dove has some tallow, coconut, palm kernal oil and lye in there, but also more lab-made chemical mixes to help things along somewhat.
 

osso

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Yep, let it cure for a bit. It will feel differently after it has cured for a while. What you're smelling is not lye, it is the natural scent of the soap. If you don't like the smell you can try a little essential oil or fragrance.
 

new12soap

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Your recipe is far too small, please consider making larger batches, it is safer.

Your recipe is a very cleansing somewhat "harsh" soap, that is a very high percentage of coconut oil.

You do not need to use beeswax in a properly formulated soap, and I would never use it in such a high percentage. Yours is almost 3%, if you are going to use it at all keep it to 1% or less. A bar that hard does not need wax, and wax kills lather. It is at least part of the "draggy" feeling on your skin.

Your soap has not cured. Dry it off, put it away somewhere for another 5-7 weeks and leave it alone. Keep reading recipes, watch tutorials, learn about formulating a recipe for the qualities you want, and start playing!

HTH
 

eyeroll

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Cure more? Less OO?
Cure more. Less COCONUT oil. Your recipe is 60% coconut oil with 5% SF, which would strip my skin right off my bones, even if it had cured for weeks. Pomace olive oil has less of a scent than regular olive oil, if it bothers you that much.
 
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dixiedragon

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Out of curiousity, what's your objection to olive oil?

millersoap.com has some great recipes using all sorts of different combinations of ingredients.

You could substitute some of the olive oil in her recipes for some rice bran oil, sunflower oil or soybean oil.
 

Belinda02

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I think u need to be using weights instead of ml. Much better control of results.
 

judymoody

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I agree with what has been said before:

Let it cure.

Reduce your coconut oil to no more than 30% of your recipe or up your lye discount to compensate for the drying

Eliminate the beeswax, it will make your soap draggy.

You can use olive oil at 40-50% of your recipe with no slimy feeling, if your recipe is properly balanced, if that's what you're worried about. If you don't like OO, you can substitute rice bran oil, or high oleic safflower/sunflower.

Not sure about the smell that you're reporting. Soap shouldn't smell like lye. If you don't like the smell of unscented CP soap, you could try experimenting with fragrance.

Oh, yes, bigger recipe! I'd do a minimum of 500 grams of oils.
 

nastea

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thanks!

Thank you all for your advices!!

Indeed it wasn't lye I am smelling. I did the tongue test and I barely felt any pinching. But I am sure you all know what kind of smell I am talking about

I will let this small batch cure for a few more weeks, it was a test batch to see if I'm comfortable with the whole process but now it is time for more experimenting

But I do need to learn to be more patient, CP takes time

However the result was actually pretty nice. It will need more refining but it feels more gentle on the skin than most commercial products
 

nastea

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Out of curiousity, what's your objection to olive oil?

I read somewhere that it is the oil most likely to give that specific smell, AND it makes the soap more draggy

Your recipe is far too small, please consider making larger batches, it is safer.

Your recipe is a very cleansing somewhat "harsh" soap, that is a very high percentage of coconut oil.

HTH
will keep that in mind. and I will not use the beeswax next time. I read it helps prevent the draggy feel, but I guess that's not true

Soap lathers better and moisturizes better when it has a proper cure time. Even the difference between 5 weeks and 7 weeks makes a huge difference. Here is a good recipe for a super moisturizing soap

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIvDlhxXqNM
I did see this recipe before, but I want to avoid tallow. Thanks for the tip though!


so, to recap. cure more, no beeswax, less CO, more OO, but not EVOO, grams not ml and bigger batches

again, thank you all! :) great feedback!
 

FlybyStardancer

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The draggy feeling could be a result of soap in hard water, if you have hard water. I noticed it after switching to true soap from Dove, and I have very hard water. Dove can't actually be called soap because it has a few SLS-variants to help it along, and those rinse better in hard water (though they're really stripping to the skin).
 

songwind

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What's the resolution on your scale? If you have a centigram scale (or maybe even decigram), small batches aren't necessarily any less safe than big ones. But if yours only goes down to grams, then your measurements could be off enough to cause problems.
 

nastea

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The draggy feeling could be a result of soap in hard water, if you have hard water. I noticed it after switching to true soap from Dove, and I have very hard water. Dove can't actually be called soap because it has a few SLS-variants to help it along, and those rinse better in hard water (though they're really stripping to the skin).

That's a very good point, I did use hard water. Will distilled water work better?

What's the resolution on your scale? If you have a centigram scale (or maybe even decigram), small batches aren't necessarily any less safe than big ones. But if yours only goes down to grams, then your measurements could be off enough to cause problems.
It's grams, and even that somewhat imperfect, it can show different weighs depending on where I place the product on the scale.

Do you recommend a certain type of scale?

Next time definitely using a bigger batch to make sure my measurements are as close as possible to the ones I need.

Oh and I wanted to add: the odd smell seems to be going away!
 

shunt2011

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They are not talking about just having/using hard water in your soap but bathing in hard water. That can make your soap feel different during use. I always use distilled or filtered water when making soap (except when using beer, wine or milks).
 

Happysoap

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The lye stink goes away with a god cure. However, I have noticed that my unscented soaps sometimes have an oily stink to them even after 2 months cure. Maybe that is what you are experiencing.
 
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