Basic Recipes for a Newbie?

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Sep 13, 2019
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Here's a little bit of background before I jump to my questions. I currently have a mold that holds 32 ounces of oils, something small and suitable for a newbie like me. I started with the cheaper, common oils being olive pomace, coconut and castor. I also have cocoa butter pastilles on deck. I attempted my very first batch in history today using these oils, minus the cocoa butter. I also used a teaspoon of lavender powder that I bought on Amazon. My recipe included a 40% lye concentration, 4% SF (which I'm now learning to be a bit high for my water situation). I noticed it reached trace very quickly, so I'm considering trying 33% in my next batch with 3% SF. After pouring it into the mold I noticed many small air bubbles even after attempting to burp the soap.

Fast forwarding, I'm curious to hear your suggestions on beginner recipes I can use with these ingredients. Any additional tips would be kindly appreciated.
When I was new... I took what I had on hand, plugged them in a calculator, fiddled with the numbers based on research I did regarding what each oil brings to soap, and made the soap.

It took me a lot of research before I attempted my first soap. Nothing beats practice, yes, but personally I don't think starting anything without at least taking the time to read about what I'm attempting to do is wise. I searched on each fat, water, additives, etc. and I posted a couple of recipes asking for opinions.

Have you tried the search function? Considering you have a total of 4 fats it shouldn't take long to research.

Coconut will up your cleansing factor. Most don't go beyond 20-30 (with appropriate superfat) but some like less. A lot of coconut will also increase hardness but also solubility. I usually use only between 14-17% but I also superfat less than 5% normally.

Castor has some conditioning but in the calcs it really ups your bubbly factor. Too much makes sticky soap though. The most common/safe usage rate is 5% but people have used more, depending on the other fats.

Cocoa butter increases hardness, a little cleansing and also longevity. Most don't recommend more than 10-20% but more works for some. You'll have to search n see what's a good temp if you're using a lot of it as you could get stearic spots if you soap too cool.

Lastly, olive oil will up your conditioning more than anything else. On its own its actually makes a hard bubbly soap but only after about a years cure. The curing time decreases as the amount you use decrease but most find anything above 30-40% is still drying and a bit slimey unless cured a longer time than the usual 4-6wks. I personally don't use it always, and if I do, less than 30%.

All that being said, with just these oils you're left with variations of a Bastille. There's lots of info around the forum. If I were making it for me (I won't lol coz I don't wanna wait that long for it to cure and olive oil doesn't really like me haha), I'd do 15-20% coconut, 5% castor, 10-20% cocoa, and fill in the rest with olive.
Have a look in the recipe feedback forum. Lot's to choose there, just start reading or start in the Beginners forum from today and go backwards through the threads.