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Bees Wax, Stearic Acid, Cocoa Butter

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SoapSap

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While reading a different thread this question came to my mind. Bees Wax, Stearic Acid and Cocoa Butter generally lend to making hard bars of soap. Do they also to an equal degree cause faster acceleration of trace? Other than personal preference, and price, are they essentially the same when using them for their hard soap quality? It was suggested to me in the past using Stearic Acid should be used in Hot Processed soap making, but not Cold Process. Does this hold true for Bees Wax and Cocoa Butter as well?
 

dixiedragon

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I have never soaped with stearic acid, so I can't speak to that. Cocoa butter does speed trace - I only soap with it when I am making all-veg bars. It isn't unmanageable, but it tends to be rather applesauce-like when I pour it in the mold.

For me, beeswax is a different beast, b/c I use yellow beeswax which still has some honey residue, I guess you'd call it? It smells rich and sweet. I also use honey and beeswax in the same soaps. Because beeswax has a higher melting temp, you have to soap it hot, which speeds up the whole process. So I can't tell if the beeswax is causing fast trace or the heat is causing fast trace.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Beeswax would be the least "altering" to your recipe. Stearic will go solid very quickly, which is why it is generally only used in HP (it is basically unmanageable in CP) and cocoa butter can cause brittle soaps.

They should all be used in different amounts, obviously, and I think that they are far from the only and best ways to add hardness - if you are using a hard oil, something like lard (or palm) would be a better option than stearic or cocoa butter.
 

Seawolfe

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In my experience, pain in the @#$^%^ to soap with goes Cocoa butter > Beeswax > Stearic with stearic being the biggest pain. Cocoa butter doesn't seem any more difficult to work with than say shea, because while hard at room temp, it melts very easily.

Ive used both cocoa butter and beeswax in soaps, especially when I wanted to make a vegan no palm soap, and I was pleased with it.
 
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