Best way to add in Kaolin Clay to soap base? Problem Solved!

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JrVTG

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Hey all!

Newbie question again, lol. I've finally found a soap base that doesn't have a heavy odor to mask, one worth working with. It's the natural soap base from WSP, so it does sweat and is a soft soap.

WSP states not to use stearic acid in it, as it turns the soap softer, but recommends adding Kaolin Clay to it to harden the soap. I bought the clay specified, and tried adding it into the soap, and ended up with a bunch of clay bubbles, so to speak. I broke as many of them as possible first time around, and it was an okay result.

My second time (And the last one for the night) I tried putting the clay into a smaller bowl and pouring a bit of soap into it to mix into a paste. But, by the time my 'paste' was of an even mixture, it had hardened. I put my soap into it anyhow, melted what I could with the heat of the soap, and nuked it again to try to re-melt it. I ended up still with a few bubbles of clay.

So I guess, long story short(ened)...what -is- the best way to add clays to your melt and pour soap? I want to keep using it, as if nothing else, I love the scent of it. But I'm not sure how exactly to get it in best.

Many thanks to all who answer! You are appreciated!
 

Genny

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The clay needs to be mixed in with a small amount of alcohol or vegetable glycerin to make a slurry. Then you mix that in with your melted mp.

HTH
 

JrVTG

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Hrm, I hadn't tried that. But could that be the reason my soaps are turning out a bit rubbery? o_O

My soap is about 3/4 of an inch thick, and definitely bendable and flexible. I hate to try another batch until I figure out what's causing it to be so rubbery, whether it's me or the method.

I don't mind it being rubbery for me, I guess :/ But I do need to figure this out should I decide to get into the gift giving I'm wanting to do. (This is a personal hobby for me, not commercial.)

Any help is greatly appreciated!

EDITED (Again) TO ADD:

I thought it might help to add the 'recipe' I used in case there's some help there...

3/4 tsp Kaolin Clay
1/2 tsp Fragrance Oil
4 oz WSP Detergent Free White Soap Base

The 2nd batch I did, I just found, had several 'bubbles' of clay like last night's batch did, so it wasn't as thoroughly mixed as I thought. I hope that helps to figure out why my soap is flubber?
 

Genny

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After searching WSP's forum for ways to harden the natural soap, I've found that some people do the following:
Add 1 TBSP Beeswax per lb
Add 1 TBSP Sugar per lb
Add 1 TBSP Cocoa Butter per lb
Add 1 TBSP Table Salt per lb
Add 1 TBSP Kaolin Clay per lb

I can't honestly say if any of them will positively work for you. But, I could see beeswax hardening a bar, since beeswax is a great hardener for other products.

I can also see table salt hardening a bar. When I make salt bars, they're pretty hard. Here's how I would do this one. Melt your mp and add fo and/or colorant like you usually do, pour it into your mold. Slowly add the table salt, while stirring, into your mp in the mold. Stir it up a bit until mixed. Then once it hardens, take it out of the mold. Let it dry for as long as you can, turning it every so often.

You can also try letting them dry out for about a week (I let mine dry out for at least a few days and mine get pretty hard - mine are at least 1 inch thick, though) or you can put them in a drying box.

Just remember, the more stuff you put into the mp base, the less lather you'll get.
 

Catmehndi

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Anytime you add a powdery substance to a soap base, you have to mix it with a small amount of your melted base and once it's blended in, THEN add it to the remaining melted base - not unlike you would add corn starch to a sauce. If you dump it all at once, you'll end up with clumps.

If you want to add a carrier oil, keep it to a max of 1Tbsp per pound - all oils combined.
 

txsoaper

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When adding any type of clay to M&P soap, what is the suggested amounts to add per pound of soap?
 

JrVTG

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txsoaper said:
When adding any type of clay to M&P soap, what is the suggested amounts to add per pound of soap?
In this particular case, the recommended amount was 1 TBSP per pound, which is what I used, only in smaller amounts.

But it turned out the rubbery texture wasn't from the clay or additives, but was because of the soap itself. It was a very 'soft' clay, and didn't set up well after pouring, even if pouring with just fragrance oil.

Thank you for all the advice though! If interested, I did find a good solution from one of our members here, and have a great soap formula that gives me a -good- hard bar with excellent lather! And that's even with using a bit of clay as well! I'm in love, no doubt!
 

rachelb5499

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I JUST received some "detergent free" clear and then also white M&P base from WSP so this thread really made me wonder. I'd LOVE to know what you found out!
 

Catmehndi

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I've made a two-layer soap for my daughter using clay with no problems - no rubbery texture or anything. Did you let it dry long enough?
 

JrVTG

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Hey all, and sorry for not posting back here sooner. I haven't been feeling too up to typing lately, too many aches and pains.

Anyhow, I've gotten a few PM's asking my solution, as well as the questions here, so I'll gladly share what I've found out.

Firstly, I've never managed to get the Detergent Free WSP soap to harden completely. I've tried it with their suggested kaolin clay, as well as with nothing added, and it always comes out rubbery. I've set it to dry for days and still have that rubbery softness. Sadly, it's just a softer soap, and personally, I can't get it to work. It was kind of a waste for me. Well, not kind of, was.

But what I -have- gotten to work is another brand. Wisteria Lane has a soap, their "Hard as Milled" base, or in clear, the "Extra Hard" base. You can find them all here: http://www.wisterialane.com/

It came wonderfully recommended, and even though shipping for me is not a pretty thing, it's worth the cost for my own personal pampering. Plus, it gives me a wonderfully hard bar.

The soap itself is fairly crumbly as hard as it is, so if I plan on slicing it, I add a bit of some other soap base in. I've also heard it said that you can use it straight if you're pouring into a mold, but I prefer to cut it with a bit of another base just to save on cost because of their high shipping. My recipe goes like this:
(And be forewarned, I only make per-bar batches, so you'll have to convert for bigger batches.)

3.5 weighed ounces Hard as Milled Soap
1.0 weighed ounces WSP Detergent Free Base (You can use another, I just have this on hand.)
1/8 to 1/2 fragrance oil, depending on strength needed
Colorants

I don't add anything else to it at this time. But that's my little 'secret' if anyone else wants to use it. And, feel free to give Wisteria Lane a nudge to move to UPS if you can, lol. I want to buy more soap than I do! XD

Hope that helps!
 
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