Brand new to soap making. Does this sound right?

Discussion in 'Recipe Feedback' started by DaniJ, Sep 8, 2019.

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  1. Sep 8, 2019 #1

    DaniJ

    DaniJ

    DaniJ

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    Hi everyone. I am about to start making my first batch of soap. Almost every lye calculator I came across made me feel like I flunked out of grade school but the one on brambleberry seemed to be the easiest. I came up with a recipe for the ingredients I have to fill a mold that's about 48 oz (I want to make about 43 oz).

    The problem is this calculator seems almost TOO easy so I fear I miscalculated something, and I have no idea to run it through another lye calculator to see if I get the same results. I'll post the recipe I planned on using.

    546 grams of pumice olive oil
    252 grams of pure coconut oil
    42 grams of caster oil
    117.51 grams of lye
    262.77 grams of distilled water

    And I was going to add about a tea spoon and a half of sodium lactate to the lye water. Im hoping that'll come out to about 43 oz of soap. I will probably add some coloring and essential oils but this is a trial batch so I was going to play around with the amount on both of those.

    How does it sound? Am I missing anything obvious? thank you!
     
  2. Sep 8, 2019 #2

    lsg

    lsg

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    It looks like you have an 8% superfat, which is OK. You also are using 31% of the oil as your water amount, which is fine. Weigh your sodium lactate instead of using spoon measurements. Soap Queen recommends not going over 3% of oils for sodium lactate. That would equal 25 grams of sodium lactate. I use SoapCalc and find it works well every time for me, but Brambleberry's Lye calculator is good, too. Almost everyone is apprehensive when first making soap. Don't sweat it. As long as you run a recipe through any good lye calculator and follow safety procedures, you will do great.:)
     
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  3. Sep 8, 2019 #3

    DaniJ

    DaniJ

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    Thank you! I chose it to superfat it at 5% and that's the calculation I got, this is why I asked lol. I got all my safety gear, I think I'm good to go :) .. I was going to mix in thick plastic mixing containers. I know Lye gets very hot, I saw a site that said plastic is okay as long as it has a 5 or above on it on the bottom (in that triangle ) .. The ones I got I think are 5 or 6 (if that exists) ..Does that sound okay, or am I asking for trouble?
     
  4. Sep 9, 2019 #4

    lsg

    lsg

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    Sounds OK to me. I mix my lye and water in a plastic container in the sink in my craft room. I ran your recipe through SoapCalc and that is where I got the numbers. Lye calculators differ so whether yours is 5% or 8% superfat, it will work.:)
     
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  5. Sep 9, 2019 #5

    DaniJ

    DaniJ

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    Thank you again :) I am glad I found this forum. I decided to start with the most basic oils for my first go but after I get the hang of it I am going to try other oils. It's a learning process for sure but I am excited to get started
     
  6. Sep 9, 2019 #6

    cmzaha

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    I will mention that is a fairly large batch for your first batch. It is a lot of waste if the batch fails, or you end up not liking the soap after cure. Why not start with a 1 lb batch? It can take a lot of test batches to come up with the one you really like.

    As for the recipe, my skin would hate it with 30% CO, but that is why you need to make smaller batches to test. Some folks like higher than 20% CO. I keep mine between 15-17%. I would add in the lard, tallow, palm, cocoa butter or soy wax to make a less soluble bar. Also, a high OO soap will take a long (6-12 month) cure to be at it's best. Sorry, I know you did not ask for recipe recommendations but I just thought I would toss in my 2 cents.
     
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  7. Sep 9, 2019 #7

    DaniJ

    DaniJ

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    No no, I am definitely open to suggestions and recipes and appreciate it very much. A friend of mine wants me to make it so we can sell it eventually so knowing what people like /dislike is very helpful :) . I picked that size recipe because it should just about fill one of the molds I have, but I am kinda terrified of messing up and wasting all those ingredients . I've done a bit of research since I got these oils and I'm thinking for my next batch I might try jojoba oil or shea butter . I see palm oil in a lot of recipes but he asked me to avoid it because I guess it can be controversial sometimes? So I've been looking for natural oils with the longest shelf life
     
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  8. Sep 9, 2019 #8

    Arimara

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    I would strongly suggest against thinking of selling anything until you are comfortable making soap and have a recipe you're confident in. You don't want to be demonized by a bad batch of soap, for starters. There are also too many novices in the market trying to make a buck off their inferior soap (by that, I mean poorly formulated and/or just uncured).
     
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  9. Sep 9, 2019 #9

    earlene

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    I'd suggest you get a smaller mold for test batches. Since you are new, all your beginning soaps are really test batches.

    If you want, you can just use something out of your recycle bin. Any cardboard box lined with freezer paper will do. Margarine tubs work well, too. I used plastic Ice Cream tubs for a sort of odd shaped soap at one time (sort of an oval shaped container), but would recommend something smaller than a half gallon ice cream container for test soaps.

    About 400 to 500 grams is a good test batch size.
     
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  10. Sep 10, 2019 #10

    Adobehead

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    I recently wanted to try some variations on my recipe which makes 8-9 pounds, that is the size mold I have....... so I used milk cartons and it worked out great.. about a pound each and they are waxed inside or maybe it is plastic, but it made nice workable sized bars. I ripped the carton off after the soap was hard.
     
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  11. Sep 10, 2019 #11

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

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    Jojoba Oil is expensive and really adds nothing to soap. You can use soywax in order to make a longer-lasting bar of soap. If you cannot or do not want to use animal fats it would be better to add in a hard butter such as cocoa butter at 10%.
     
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  12. Sep 10, 2019 #12

    DaniJ

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    Y'all are life savers . I appreciate this info so much. We won't be selling anything for a long time. I told him I want to be REALLY good at this before we unleash it to anyone else so, anything I make for a while will just be to test.

    I was actually thinking of different things I could use for molds and watched some videos on it. I saw a professional soap maker/seller talk about how he uses cardboard boxes, and something I was thinking about (for the future), dresser drawers.

    I probably will resize the batch just for testing because I don't want to waste anything, and once I get the hang of this, try other oils.
    I picked jojoba because it was recommended by a site but I'll try cocoa butter instead cus you're right, from what I see it is fairly pricey.

    I made a list of different oils with their properties and shelf life. I want to make soap that is moisturizing and lathers good but is also ok for sensitive skin. I'm sure I'll tweak my recipe more than once so I will definitely be back.

    Thank you all so much. I am going to start today or tomorrow (after I resize my recipe). I'll let you know how it goes :)
     
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  13. Sep 11, 2019 #13

    DaniJ

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    I just realized the coconut oil I have is fractionated ..does this change anything?
     
  14. Sep 11, 2019 #14

    JoeyJ

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    Definitely does, regular coconut oil is solid, and usually the 75% type listed in soap calculators. Rerun you recipe through the soapcalc to get the updated values.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
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  15. Sep 11, 2019 #15

    DaniJ

    DaniJ

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    oh noooooooo lol. That 1 in 3 thing is kinda scary but I did already warn my friend that I could screw this up a few times before I get the hang of it .. So I don't see an option for fractionated on the only lye calculator I can understand (brambleberry) .. Is there another lye calculator with that option, that is fairly easy to understand? I tried soapcalc but they want me to enter something about the lye/water ratio/percentage or something along those lines . I feel like I need to go back to college to understand these lol.

    The oils i picked were because they seemed like kind of the easiest/most common to get started with, and have a pretty long shelf life. Do you mind if I ask what oils you used and what went wrong?
     
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  16. Sep 11, 2019 #16

    JoeyJ

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    I did heaps of research, like weeks and weeks...but nothing is like the hands on experience.
    I tried a hot process batch first and the sugar i added to make it harden up made it burn.
    Then tried another recipe and the fragrance made it sieze...
    Then I tried Zanys castile but with magnesium chloride and worked out after weeks of research that that particular deep sea salt is also an accelerant.
    The next failure was a rebatch (to fix a failure) that I added too much water to.
    The next failure was related to water discount and trying to get a black soap using activated charcoal.
    The next one I tried to add melt and pour to cold process because the batch wasnt enough to fill the mould.
    The next one the fragrance oil made the oils separate about 5 minutes after adding it...
    Most of them I rebatched, and decided that my creativity had run faster than my experience. 15681705909897527430083911575493.jpg I think I am impatient maybe? LOL

    Looking for the failures? There in there...inside the rebatches...now usable, and after testing them myself I will decide if they're saleable, but I guess it takes many years before they turn out exactly how you imagine.
    By the way, melt and pour isnt the easy soaping its made out to be, it takes real skill to get it to look decorative.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2019 at 3:05 AM
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  17. Sep 11, 2019 #17

    earlene

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    I've use Fractionated Coconut oil in bar soap to use up huge bottle I had sitting around. It works fine, but since it costs more than regular CO and is better for cosmetic purposes, I don't do that anymore. At the time I was wanting to eliminate some of the excess that wasn't getting used.

    Some of the fatty acids in regular coconut oil are removed during the fractionation process, so Fx CO has no lauric acid. You can see the FA profile of the two by checking in your lye calculator (if you use one that includes that info, most do).
     
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  18. Sep 12, 2019 #18

    DaniJ

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    Joey that soap looks amazing! I hope mine turns out half as well. Im going with cold process to keep things simpler ..I definitely want to play around with oils and additives but Im not ready yet.

    Earlene, the funny thing is When I added it to the list of things I needed, I still didn't understand there was a difference between regular coconut oil and fractionated. I ordered the one I did purely based on the reviews on it. When it came it was liquid but it was hot out so I figured it was melted from being shipped. When it didnt firm up I started looking into it more lol. I know a lot more about soap making now than when I made the list, but I got the essentials to get started and make the very basic of soap. I do think next time I want to go with regular coconut oil though

    Oh yeah, I wanted to add that since my last post I am understanding soapcalc more. It is recommending more lye than brambleberry, but the amount of lye it recommends matches up to the other calculators I tried more closely so I am inclined to believe that one a bit more. I think I have it set for a 33% lye concentration. Is 33% a good amount to go with?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2019
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  19. Sep 12, 2019 #19

    TheGecko

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    I am a new soap maker, first year. After numerous months of research and collecting tons of recipes, I decided to order Bramble Berry's Beginner Cold Process Soap kit. It gave me a tried and true recipe, ingredients for two batches of soap (one with fragrance) and a 2lb (10 bar) silicone mold. It was a success. Then came the failures ('opportunities to learn' as I call them) and while I knew it was going to cost money as I learned a new craft, I didn't like wasting it...which is why I invested in a couple of 1lb molds.

    After many 'opportunities' and success, I have settled on the following 'base' recipe:

    5% Castor Oil
    5% Cocoa Butter (organic/unrefined)
    20% Coconut Oil (76 degree)
    40% Olive Oil (pomace)
    20% Palm Oil (RSPO certified)
    10% Shea Butter (organic/unrefined)
    30% Lye Concentration
    5% Superfat

    I also add appropriate amounts of Kaolin Clay and Sodium Lactate.

    Regarding Palm Oil; I went back and forth on the issue and decided that if Palm Oil could be responsibly and sustainably produced, than I would support those efforts and thereby encourage others to follow that same path (aka 'positive reinforcement').
     
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  20. Sep 12, 2019 #20

    Arimara

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    I have to say, that brightly vivid blue soap certainly caught my eye. Those were some pretty good failures indeed since you made some fantastic "lemonade" with them.
     
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