Bath Soap recipe - looking for feedback

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Tara_H

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I want to make one more batch of soap for my mother's day hamper, but I've run out of some of my usual supplies so going to branch out and try to make a recipe with only things I have on hand so I can get it done today without being distracted by going shopping 🤣

This is the base recipe I've come up with:
Shea butter 30%
Cocoa butter 25%
Almond oil 20%
Coconut oil 20%
Castor oil 5%

I'm planning to scent it with Fig, Frankincense, Orange and Lemon EO for a calming and cheerful effect. Thinking of doing a green & yellow swirl, possibly with a small bit of purple also. (I have both mica and liquid colours, would be happy to get any feedback on which to use also)

The outcome I'm looking for is a mild and reasonably durable soap that can be used in the bath. I'm speculating that with the amount of hard oils in the recipe I'll need to keep it at a very light trace if I want to do swirls. I also will do CPOP at a very low temperature (my oven will do about 40C/100F) to avoid partial gel since the batch size I'm planning is just over a kilo total oils.

I'm aiming to soap this evening, so maybe in 5 or 6 hours time - if anyone can spot any major issues before then please shout!
 

lsg

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The high butter content will give you very little bubbly lather. You will have a creamy lather, though. You might try a one-pound batch to see how you like your recipe.
 

Tara_H

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The high butter content will give you very little bubbly lather. You will have a creamy lather, though. You might try a one-pound batch to see how you like your recipe.
Sounds good! My usual recipe is very bubbly so I think a creamy one for baths would be a lovely contrast. Mother's day here is in March so I don't have a lot of time for testing and re-testing; if it comes out really bad I just won't include this soap but I want to make a decent sized one to have room for swirling and cutting.
Thanks for the reply :)
 

AliOop

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The scent sounds lovely, and I think that recipe will make a lovely bar after a good cure. But for me, the cure would need to be at least six months due to the high butter content. High-butter soaps tend to have very little lather at all before that. You could add some sugar, or use AVJ or coconut milk as your liquid to boost lather a bit.

You may not have much time to swirl since the high butters will probably make it trace pretty quickly. Maybe use a lower lye concentration, like 28%? That lowers the gelling temp, which is good for your aim to achieve full gel, but it also brings an increased risk of ash and glycerin rivers. Decisions, decisions 😉

The micas are your best bet for colors unless the liquids are from a reputable supplier and are specifically labeled as CP-safe and stable. Most are for MP only.

It is very sweet that you are making her a special soap. It took my mom a while to try mine bc she didn’t like the first one I gave her. Finally got her to try a lard-goat-milk bar. Now she loves my soap and comments often on how much it means to her that I made her one in colors she likes. I bet your mom will feel so blessed, too. 😊 Please post a pic when it is done!
 

Tara_H

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The scent sounds lovely, and I think that recipe will make a lovely bar after a good cure.
...
Thanks so much, that's really helpful info! I've never used butters in soap before so this will be a learning for me definitely. I'll tell her to leave that till last, I think - she's going to be spoiled rotten with not just this but a bar of my standard recipe with lavender, some ginger and lemongrass hand wash, a bar of my tree soap and possibly the dead sea one also if I can pick out one that's more or less respectable looking. Oh, and a bunch of bath melts in tropical and chocolate orange scents... I hope she appreciates it all now 😂

Well, it's in the oven!

I used a 30% solution in the end (lowered from 33%) and soaped at a temperature just enough to keep the oils and butters melted (didn't actually measure the temperature, but not super hot).

I had a nervous moment when I put in the lye, it started to thicken very fast with just stirring and I wasn't sure if it was the oils getting solid or if it was getting to trace already. I nuked it in the microwave for 2 minutes and it got slightly thinner but was still somewhere between emulsion and light trace from the looks of it, so I went ahead and added fragrance and colours.

The pour was also a little hairy, I was using heavy paper for dividers and they tended to warp as the pressure on one side got higher. Also I had calculated and lined for a 3" height and it wasn't until I had nearly finished pouring the batter that I realised I had left basically no buffer...

Happy enough with the swirl, I used popsicle sticks á la Tree Marie and it moved a nice amount of soap, although in retrospect I should have done them a little closer together.

IMG_20210228_202629.jpg

(Apologies for the dark grainy picture, I had my hands very full until it was in the oven!)

Seemed nice and solid this morning, so I tried cutting it, but it turns out it's still a lot softer than I thought! There was a bit of tearing at the top and I was leaving marks on the piece I cut off, even with gloves on :(
I guess I can't expect it to behave like the recipe I'm used to and I'll just have to be patient, but I love the colours so much I can't wait to see what the bars look like!
IMG_20210301_101555.jpg
Cutting it into 4 sections according to those marks, then will cut each block in 3 horizontally. I don't know if there's a standard size but I have little hands so I like little bars😄
 
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