Baby soap takes too much time to set.

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pcs

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Hello all,

I am a beginner and this cp baby soap is my second attempt. I did it for my baby who is due in January 2017 :) But it seems I went wrong in my calculations may be, my soap is not setting:think:. I used the following links as guidelines for my project :

http://www.soap-making-resource.com/baby-soap-recipe.html
http://www.mommypotamus.com/diy-bar-soap-gentle-enough-for-babies/

However I didnt follow them exactly, but used http://soapcalc.net/calc/SoapCalcWP.asp to calculate the weight of ingradients, which was as follows:

water:171gm
lye: 58gm
Olive oil: 405gm(90%)
Coconut oil 76deg : 45gm(10%)

Screenshot of my recipe from soapcalc is attached.

I did the usual procedure for making soap which is, add lye to water, cool to 130 Deg, warm oil mixture to 120 Deg, mix them and blend to trace, and pour into mold, wrap in towel and keep away to set. But I noticed that even after three days the mixture was still not cured.

Could someone point out what is going wrong? I really want this to be ready by January!

Thanks.
pcs.

14963375_1252091544852911_4548251027349961965_n.jpg
 

BattleGnome

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I think cured is the wrong word. saponified is probably the right term. With olive oil at that high of a percentage it would probably be better for your soap to cure 6 months (though will be useable for an adult, I'm not sure about for a baby since I have no kids of my own).

My guess is that you reached a false trace. Do you use a stick blender or do you mix by hand? The last time I made a soap with a high % of olive I used my stick blender off and on for 10 minutes to make sure I was at trace.

I'm sure someone with more experience will chime in with advice but I think you might need to emergency hot process to ensure you reached trace then remold and cut.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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That soap will need a holy long cure, which is fine as soap is not great for babies, certainly not very small ones.

I use soap on my 16 month old in the same way that I use Terpentine soap on me - sparingly and only when it is required! A normal bath (twice weekly is fine) with a little bit of oil in the water is all that is needed, unless the baby had gotten in to some right mess - in the same way that normal soap is fine for me unless I have something particularly tough to clean off, in which case I need something stronger.

Regardless of what those blogs say, by the way - soap is not a regular requirement for a baby. Period, full stop, end of.
 

shunt2011

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I agree with the above. Soap should not be used on babies. They don't get that dirty. Your recipe is going to need 6 month minimum cure. High olive required a good long cure to make a usable soap in my opinion and many others.

Did your soap go through gel? If not it will stay soft for quite some time. I would just leave it until it's firm enough to remove and cut.
 

pcs

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Thanks for all the replies.

The mixture was blended using an electrical stick blender for a good 10 minutes and I m sure trace wasnt false.

So I guess I added too much olive oil to my recipe. Also from the replies I have to assume that soapcalc is not completely reliable. (or atleast it wont give any info about the time taken for curing completely.) Different opinions on the superfat in my combo also is confusing for me. How is it actually calculated? (I am right now nervous about my first project also, which is curing now, may be I ll post it as a different thread!)

I dont intent to use soap on my baby frequently, its meant for may be couple of times per week that too only for areas that might get dirty eg: neck folds, genital area etc. I dont want to rely on commercial soaps/baby products after the news about many of them containing harmful chemicals. I just thought knowing how to make a gentle soap might be a handy skill as a mom. :) Thanks for all the well meaning comments.

So if I were to repeat this project to make a gentle baby soap, how should I go about it?

Cheers!
 

DeeAnna

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You didn't add too much olive oil if that's the specific soap you wanted to make. It's fine, except you may not have realized what kind of soap you were making.

"...soapcalc is not completely reliable..."

Soapcalc is a decent soap recipe calculator. If "not reliable" means you aren't interpreting the "bubbly, creamy, etc." numbers or the fatty acid profile correctly, that means you may not fully understand this information, including its limitations. It's not that the information is incorrect or not useful.

***

So back to your soap problem -- In my opinion, the likely reason why your soap is staying soft is because your lye concentration is 25%. That means your recipe has a lot of water in it. An olive oil soap needs less water, not more, and that problem comes from using the beginner's default of "38% water as % of oils" per your screenshot.

That 38% water as % of oils works okay as long as the recipe uses a balanced, typical blend of fats. A 90% olive oil recipe is not a typical balanced blend of fats, so the water content when using "water as % of oils" becomes unbalanced as well.

The solution -- Forget about "water as % of oils" and use "lye concentration" or "water:lye ratio" instead. For a recipe with high olive oil or other oleic fat (avocado, high oleic sunflower, etc), I would set lye concentration to 35% or 40%. Less water means the soap will saponify faster, come to trace easier, and set up firmer.

For an introduction to using lye concentration or water:lye ratio rather than "water as % of oils", please see this thread:
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=54095

...and read the full explanation of why you want to do this here:
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=53642

***

False trace only happens to recipes with a high percentage of fats that are solid at room temperature -- typically recipes with high lard, tallow, palm, or butters. The OPs recipe can't show false trace.
 
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dixiedragon

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Totally normal for soap like that to take a long time to firm up! What kind of mold is it in? If it will hold up to oven temps, pre-heat your oven to 150ish (whatever your lowest temp is), turn the oven off, and put the soap in. That will help speed things up a bit and firm up your soap.

I like to cover a cookie sheet with paper towels and put my mold on that.
 
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Steve85569

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"So if I were to repeat this project to make a gentle baby soap, how should I go about it?

Cheers!"

For a mild soap I personally start with lard. Lots of lard.
60-80% lard
8-12% coconut
5% castor
Maybe some olive or rice bran oil if I'm in the mood.
Run all of the ingredients through a good lye calculator. Watch the longevity and hardness values as you blend.

I normally use a 2:1 water:lye ratio sometimes I drop down to 1.5:1.
For a comparison it sounds like you were at 3:1 with a very high olive oil content. That's a lot of water to need to evaporate out.
The soap you made will harden over time. Lots of time. It *may* be "slimey" when you use it too. It will be a gentle cleansing soap though.

Just my thoughts and what I do. Many people do not like to use animal fats so please do not be offended if you are one.

Steve
 

Dahila

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Make it a toddler soap no baby, babies have some difficulties to handle high ph of soaps. Toddlers it a different story
I would use very mild surfacant soap for babies, using just a bit, they can be washed very well just with water with added colloidal oats to it:)
 
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Obsidian

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I would go with a 100% lard soap. It will be super gentle, lather better then your high olive oil soap and cures so much faster then a high olive. One word of caution with lard, don't get it too hot or it can smell piggy. It only needs to be warm enough thats it's completely melted and clear.
It can take quite a long time to trace too so be patient and don't burn up your blender trying to get trace faster.
 

Arimara

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Surfactants are not all inherently evil. Looking into them would be a good idea. There are also soaps called Syndet Bars (sp) I believe but I know little of them.
 

Dahila

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Arimara Susan have a lot of option on her blog for syndet bar , some of them so simple it takes 10 minutes to make and few ingredients. I am using syndet bar shampoo of years, I tried soap but it had damaged my hair so much. Took a year of cutting very short........ Now my hair is shiny and soft :)
My man uses the soap but he cuts his hair every three weeks;)
 

Obsidian

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Obsidian but it is still high ph , and babies do not handle it well.
Humans have been using lye soap on babies for generations with no ill affects. As long as it a gentle soap, I see no reason not to use it but I'm not here to debate soap vs no soap, just simply giving a opinion on a gentle soap that is better then castile.

Syndet bars are just bars made with synthetic detergents instead of saponified oils/fat. They really aren't much different then buying commercial bath bars except you can control the kind of detergents used.
 

Dahila

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We used paraffin which is derived from mineral oil on babies and they survived, but so many skin cancers can not be blamed on Sun only. Today, we know better and stop using lotions based on mineral oil, We are better educated now, we have easy access to information........ not everything used for generations is good. ie I was suffering with asthma for years, still my parents had no idea that smoking in house is causing my asthma attacks
Everyone smoked in houses in presence of children ............. now we know better

No not debating just stating that babies skin does not handle high PH to well.
Adults are pretty good in this area. they can balance skin PH in 10-15 minutes;)
 

Arimara

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Commercial bars are also designed to dry your skin out. If you made your own syndet bar, it will still be superior to a commercial bar. While we're on the subject, isn't it mis-informative to lump all commercial soaps as detergents when a good chunk of them have the non-surfactant additives that we as soapers also use? I've looked at many of the soaps that I used to buy on the regular and most of them are actually soaps, albeit unbalanced soaps. Dove, and a few others like it, is not a soap to my knowledge.
 

pcs

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Thanks for all the information.

Lard, Colloidal Oatmeal, syndet bar.. all new revelations for me :)

I would like to try lard sometime, but dont know where to get it.. Its not available online. Or can I just go to the meat shop and ask for pig fat?

I too agree that baby skin doesnt handle high pH well and there are many alternatives to using soap. Here we use Besan, greengram powder etc. I intend to stick to these as much as possible. I too use soap sparingly, a good wash in water is often sufficient :)

Anyway as of now I think I will redo this project using the new lye concentration as 38%. Also I will try adding almond oil to bring down use of too much olive oil. I ve heard that Almond oil is good and gentle enough for baby skin.

Recipe calculated using soapcalc as follows.

Lye Concentration 38.0000 %
Water 213.03gm
Lye - NaOH 130.56gm

Coconut Oil, 76 deg 120.00g (12%)
Almond Oil, sweet 200.00g (20%)
Olive Oil 680.00g (68%)

superfat 8%

Does it look alright? How long it might take to cure?

Babysoap Recipe v2.jpg
 
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christost7

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I made lard myself the other day, as i also could not find any online.
I asked my butcher store to give me some pork fat.
Thankfully it had no meat at all (far less work to do) so i washed it, dried it, cut it into small pieces with some citchen scissors and put it in a large pot (with just a little water) on very low heat setting (2 out of 9) for about 4 hours.
You really have to stir often.
I filterd the clear oil into jars and now i look forward to making my first lard soap :)
 
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DeeAnna

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"...Also I will try adding almond oil to bring down use of too much olive oil. I ve heard that Almond oil is good and gentle enough for baby skin. ..."

Have you compared the fatty acid profile of almond oil and olive oil? They are fairly similar, so I don't quite how subbing almond for olive will really address your concern.

Almond oil is 71% oleic acid according to my notes. That oleic acid is exactly the same as the 69% oleic acid from olive oil. The rest of the fatty acids in either oil are palmitic and linoleic, so again these two oils have a lot of similarity.

You would be better to use a high palmitic or high stearic fat such as palm, tallow, or lard to really alter the fatty acid profile of the soap and still keep the recipe as mild as possible.

Also, please don't confuse the properties of any given oil with the SOAP made from that oil. The lye breaks the oil down into glycerin and fatty acids and makes soap from the fatty acids. There may be trace amounts of the fat remaining in the soap if there's not enough lye to react with all of the fat, but you can't count on almond, for example, being ALL of the left-over fat (aka superfat).
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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^^^ this. Pretty much 19 times out of 20 the baby bath (16 month old) is water and sweet almond OIL. One time in 20 we use a soap. Because soap is not needed more often than that and the oil does wonders for the skin
 
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