Basic trinity of oils starter formula

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Johnez

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Excellent stuff as always @Zany_in_CO , I've taken the info and am 2/3 of the way into my first batch of the Basic Trinity-first recipe with zero changes (except EOs added). I must say so far this has been a delightful soap to create compared to my first one. The slower tracing and steps in between (separation, applesauce, puffing) have all been manageable. I'll play with specifically superfatting in the next batch, that should be fun. :)

Well, I did it. I made a bar of soap big enough for my hands!

Going to cut it tomorrow and let it cure.

Ok, couldn't wait to cut. Showing only the pretty sides. I learned another lesson-slab molds might be best left for cold process pours being I have a rough side.
 

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Zany_in_CO

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Well, I did it. I made a bar of soap big enough for my hands!
Going to cut it tomorrow and let it cure.
Winner.gif

Ok, couldn't wait to cut.
Smack Laugh.gif


TIP: Compare oils side by side using SoapCalc.
First, enter 100% Olive Oil and tick Calculate. Look at the Left Menu. The OO Fatty Acid numbers are displayed in the right column under "All".

Go down the list of oils and select the oil you want to sub for the OO. Those numbers are displayed in the left column under "One". Go down the list and select another oil to compare one at a time. For example, select Canola oil for comparison. Then HO Canola, Almond, Corn, Grapeseed, Peanut, Rice Bran, Sunflower, HO Sunflower, etc.
:thumbs:
Olive vs Canola.png

This tip is especially useful when you run out of an oil during the weighing and need a sub. That's how I learned lard is a good sub for shea butter and vice versa. ;)

HAPPY SOAPING!
 

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TIP: Compare oils side by side using SoapCalc.
First, enter 100% Olive Oil and tick Calculate. Look at the Left Menu. The OO Fatty Acid numbers are displayed in the right column under "All".

Go down the list of oils and select the oil you want to sub for the OO. Those numbers are displayed in the left column under "One". Go down the list and select another oil to compare one at a time.
I'm happy I was already using this tip!
Thanks, it helps checking whether I'm doing right or not!

Happy Bubbles to all of you,
Stéphanie
 

pjj

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A balanced bar starts with the Basic Trinity of Soapmaking Oils:

BASIC TRINITY OF OILS STARTER FORMULA

Olive Oil 35% ~ for emollience, conditioning
Coconut 25% (or PKO* or Babassu) ~ for hardness, lather
Palm or Lard 40% (or GV* Shortening from Walmart) ~ for bulk

*PKO = Palm Kernel Oil (flakes)
*GV = Good Value

After getting the feel on trace times, bar hardness, lather, etc., start tweaking, to build other elements into the bar… TAKE NOTES each time you tweak the formula.

TWEAK 1
Olive 30%
Coconut or PKO 22%
Palm, Lard or Shortening 40%
Shea Butter 5%
~ for luxury and moisturization
Castor Oil 3% ~ humectant and lather booster

TWEAK 2 (to reduce cost of Olive oil)
Olive 20%
Rice Bran 10%
(or Sunflower, Safflower, Almond, Avocado, etc)
Coconut or PKO 22%
Palm, Lard or Shortening 40%
Shea Butter 5%
(or Cocoa Butter, Mango Butter, etc.)
Castor Oil 3%

NOTE: Shea Butter and other “luxury” oils & butters ... at 5% you WILL notice the difference in the bar, it keeps the cost per bar still within a reasonable profit margin for resale, and gives you a GREAT ‘adjustable’ formula to tailor to your own formula creations.

Just be sure to run any and all changes through a lye calculator.
5-6 kinds of oils are hard to find, hard to store long term [for me] oil flakes ? i do not know how to take % and convert them to weight, ounces, but appreciate your time

i guess that after 50 yrs,i am NOT a real soap maker, just a one trick pony
 

Zany_in_CO

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i guess that after 50 yrs,i am NOT a real soap maker, just a one trick pony
It may surprise you to learn that I made my first soap in 2003 at age 60! I'm basically self-taught from books I got at the library. I made CP (cold process), HP (hot process) and transparent soap (before I knew any better).

To this day, most of my soaps contain lard/tallow, the 3 basic oils or variations of those oils once I understood what I can sub for the Coconut, Palm and Olive in the Basic Trinity of Oils. My Zany's No Slime Castile can be made with a single oil, olive oil, or a variation thereof although, for personal use, I use 85% OO, 10% coconut and 5% castor.

I didn't join a forum until 2004 where I was able to share my experience with others. I also had excellent mentors that helped me along my soapmaking journey of 19 years to date. I also joined the Liquid Soapmakers Yahoo Group (now defunct) where I participated for 10 years before the arrival of FaceBook which was the death of many good forums and groups.

It's totally up to you if you fall off that one-trick pony whether you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get on with your journey or not. We're here to help. :nodding:
 

pjj

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It may surprise you to learn that I made my first soap in 2003 at age 60! I'm basically self-taught from books I got at the library. I made CP (cold process), HP (hot process) and transparent soap (before I knew any better).

To this day, most of my soaps contain lard/tallow, the 3 basic oils or variations of those oils once I understood what I can sub for the Coconut, Palm and Olive in the Basic Trinity of Oils. My Zany's No Slime Castile can be made with a single oil, olive oil, or a variation thereof although, for personal use, I use 85% OO, 10% coconut and 5% castor.

I didn't join a forum until 2004 where I was able to share my experience with others. I also had excellent mentors that helped me along my soapmaking journey of 19 years to date. I also joined the Liquid Soapmakers Yahoo Group (now defunct) where I participated for 10 years before the arrival of FaceBook which was the death of many good forums and groups.

It's totally up to you if you fall off that one-trick pony whether you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get on with your journey or not. We're here to help. :nodding:
despite watching several U Tube video's, my old brain is unable to figure out how the soap calculators work, or rather how i can use them, they just say to add random numbers to calculator, and still no recipe at the end. how do i weigh or measure a percentage/% ?!! it makes me feel so stupid !
 
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despite watching several U Tube video's, my old brain is unable to figure out how the soap calculators work, or rather how i can use them, they just say to add random numbers to calculator, and still no recipe at the end. how do i weigh or measure a percentage/% ?!! it makes me feel so stupid !
Hmm. You’re not stupid. But it does sound like you’re getting frustrated! 😕
On soap calc, when you click “calculate recipe”, the recipe opens in a new screen, which isn’t obvious.
You mentioned that you have watched several youtube videos. May I suggest trying a video of Holly from holly’s soapmaking (aka Kapia Mera) - she includes a demonstration at the end of several of her videos of how she uses soap calc, and she has such a gentle, soothing voice and style. Here’s a recent video.
 

artemis

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dibbles

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@pjj You need to know the total weight of oils in your batch to begin. If you don't know that from your written recipe, you can figure it out by multiplying the length of your mold (in inches) by the width of your mold (in inches) by the height of your mold (or how tall you want your soap bars to be). Multiply this number by .4. For example, I have a mold that is 9" long by 3.5" wide by 2.5" tall. I want to fill it completely, so 9 x 3.5 x 2.5 = 78.75. 78.75 x .4 = 31.5.

Looking at Soap-Calc:
soapcalc1.jpg
In Section 1 'Type of Lye' - NaOH is selected by default. You are making bar soap, so leave this as is
In Section 2 'Weight of Oils' - pounds is selected by default. Change this to either ounces or grams (whichever you are more comfortable with - the calculator will give you a recipe with both). Change the default amount to the weight of oils you have calculated for your mold, or what you know from your original recipe.
In Section 3 'Water' - change the setting from the default 'water as % of oils' to either of the other two settings. For this example, try using 'lye concentration'. Enter a value from 30 to 33.
In Section 4 it is fine to leave the superfat at 5% and the fragrance amount is dependent on the safe usage rate.

You will now have something that looks similar to this:
soapcalc2.jpg

Section 5 is where you will find the oil properties.
Section 6 is where you enter the oils you want to use and choose an amount (%) for each one
soapcalc3.jpg
As an example you might end up with something like this
soapcalc4.jpg
Below your list of oils you will see Section 7 (1) - Calculate Recipe. Click on that box and the calculator will fill in the amount of each oil you need in ounces (or grams if that was the value you chose).
soapcalc5.jpg
You will also see that Section 7 (2) - 'View or Print Recipe' is now an option. Select that and a new window will be available. There will be a new tab at the top of your screen. Select that tab
soapcalc6.jpg
Here you can enter a name/date for your recipe and notes for any additives, etc. The recipe is calculated in pounds, ounces and grams, and the correct water and lye amounts are provided. There is an option to print your recipe in the top right corner.

Learning to use a soap.calculator can be a little confusing, but it is an important skill to have and worth the effort. Keep asking if you have questions. You aren't alone in feeling overwhelmed by this - lots of us have been there.
 
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Zany_in_CO

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@dibbles Good job! Thank you for taking the time to explain SoapCalc. It is more universally used than any other calculator available and best for Newbies, IMO.

However, there are a few missing points...

In Section 2 'Weight of Oils' - pounds is selected by default. Change this to either pounds or grams (whichever you are more comfortable with - the calculator will give you a recipe with both).
There are 3 options. You can select ounces as well

In Section 3 'Water' - change the setting from the default 'water as % of oils' to either of the other two settings. For this example, try using 'lye concentration'. Enter a value from 30 to 33.
FWIW For Newbies, it's best to start with the Default Setting of 38% water as % of oils until you become familiar with discounting water and how that effects the results. There's nothing wrong with trying Lye Concentration or Water to Lye Ratio but those are best left to experienced soapers who understand what they're doing when they tick those options.

Section 6 is where you enter the oils you want to use and choose an amount (%) for each one
For Ounces, choose the button above "OZ" and enter the amounts. Once entered, click "CALCULATE" and it will give you the total amount of oils in the recipe as well as the % of each oil. Cool, eh?
 

dibbles

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There are 3 options. You can select ounces as well
Good catch - I purposely wanted to leave out pounds and meant to say ounces instead. I have amended my post.
FWIW For Newbies, it's best to start with the Default Setting of 38% water as % of oils until you become familiar with discounting water and how that effects the results.
I have to disagree here. I started using 38% water as % of oils and, as a newbie had problems with soap that was too soft (not knowing why) and glycerin rivers (not knowing why). I think 30% lye concentration is plenty user friendly, and up to 33% will give a good amount of working time for those who are learning. It's good to know why water is discounted, but as a starting point knowing that would have made no difference to me. It (the default setting) was just a starting point. It seems that most people aren't happy using the 38% water as % of oils default and change it, why not start using lye concentration from the beginning. I agree that for water discounting above about 33% lye concentration some soap making experience and understanding why you are doing this is best.

From my own experience, starting with the default water setting on Soap.Calc made me very timid about discounting the water at all.
 

Zany_in_CO

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despite watching several U Tube video's, my old brain is unable to figure out how the soap calculators work, or rather how i can use them,
First of all, forget all you've learned on U Tube until you are able to tell the good ones from the not-so-good ones. They are not all the same and there are a lot of them that have more bad than good into. Fun to watch for inspiration but that's about it.
they just say to add random numbers to calculator, and still no recipe at the end. how do i weigh or measure a percentage/% ?!! it makes me feel so stupid !
I know the feeling! Since I am both math challenged and my cognitive reasoning isn't as good as it once was when I was younger, I am grateful for SoapCalc. It is my #1 go-to helper in my soapmakers tool box.

TIP: When I first started using it, I entered all the Tried & True recipes I wanted to make. I entered the ounces and after doing the calculation, once I had the %s of each oil, I would tick on the % button, enter 16 oz or 500 grams in #2 Weight of Oils and resize the batch to make smaller batches. :thumbs:

I was the same age then as you are now when I first started using SoapCalc. I spent HOURS learning to use it over a period of 2 weeks until I was comfortable using it. Granted, I didn't have brain injuries to contend with, but when I first saw it, it was intimidating! With a "CAN DO" attitude I proceeded at my own pace.

The thought that kept me going was "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."
 
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I'm not sure exactly how old I was when I started soaping, but definitely in my 60's. I made soap with a friend who gave me her recipes. I couldn't understand recipes that used percentages at all. Then at some point I found this site and ventured into using the soap calculator. The very first recipe that I created myself was in 2017 when I was 75.

It looks like you have some instructions and a good video to guide you in another part of your soaping journey. I know I spent hours just playing with various oils and sizes of molds just to get totally familiar with the soap calc. I do prefer the one from Soapmaking Friend and I'm not sure why. I'm not as adventurous as I used to be...I've found a few recipes that work fine for me and my family so haven't tried anything new in quite a while. But from this forum I found that olive oil does not like me, low coconut oil is better for my aging skin and I like lard and tallow batter than palm. Don't feel stupid, ask questions and there is an abundance of help at your fingertips.
Good luck in your endeavors
 
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BadPanda74

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Any ideas for a basic recipe without palm or lard?

Have stopped making soap for a while with frustration at not having a recipe that consistently works, isnt drying and doesnt use palm or lard - I have a few recipes but tbh whilst they are all good soaps, they are not amazing!
Anything is better than Dial or Ivory. Just sayin.
 
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