Chocolate soap question

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

Dharlee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2015
Messages
163
Reaction score
53
Hi, I am fairly new to all this and think I have made a mistake in wanting to try too many oils in my soaps to start with. I have read so many things about soaping, but came to this conclusion when I found you guys! Apparently many poeple are in my camp, so now I am trying to learn to crwl before walking. :)

Anyway, here is the recipe. I know it's wrong. My first guess would be taking out the almond oil, my second would be cutting the cocoa butter down a notch. Other than that I am not sure. Would you mind telling me what you think?

If I put this in the wrong forum I apologize. I thought because I was such a newb this might be right:

12% Cocoa Butter: 4.08 oz
4% Sweet Almond Oil: 1.36 oz
28% Olive Oil: 9.52 oz
28% Palm Oil: 9.52 oz
28% Coconut Oil: 9.52 oz
Lye: 5.082 oz
Water: 11.22 oz

SF 5% I think it was.

I added 1 Tbsp cocoa powder to the Almond oil and about 2 oz Dark Choc FO at trace.

This gelled a bit funny in my opinion. It seemed to gel fine, and turned dark after it was cut and sat out for a month. Then I cut a bar into 3 parts today and it was not completely dark inside. In other words you could see where it only gelled around the edges and the middle was lighter in color. Now I don't mind the color, but this soap is still a bit soft and I wondered, is the color difference from the air not getting to it? Maybe the FO made it dark and not further gelling? Color me confused lol

Also, is it soft because there are too many oils that are making it that way?

Thanks!
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,713
Reaction score
9,214
Location
Texas
First off, there is no "wrong" recipe as long as you use a lye calculator and weigh correctly. Every person will have their own idea of what the "right" recipe is. I would cut that CO down to 20% or less, but that is because that is right for MY skin. Not a hard and fast rule YOU must follow.

Next, you can use up to 15% butters without negatively affecting your bubbles. Use them if you like them.

I am not sure if you are trying to simplify your recipe or not by cutting out the SAO. I feel sure you do not notice the 4% in there, though. You can do without it if you are trying to simplify. Most people want to use lots more oils until they have enough experience to figure out that they can simplify their recipes with no appreciable difference in quality.

However, if you find that you like what "X" oil brings to the soap, then stick with it. But, you have to have enough batches without "X" to KNOW that is what is making the difference.
 
Last edited:

IrishLass

Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
17,287
Reaction score
11,090
Location
Right here, silly!
I just checked your recipe weights out on SoapCalc and I keep coming up with a 1.1% superfat for your lye amount of 5.08. For a 5% superfat, SoapCalc gives me a weight of 4.88 oz.


IrishLass :)
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
10,328
Reaction score
8,160
Location
Idaho, USA
I really don't know why this soap would be soft, it has plenty of hard oils. I don't really understand why people are concerned with someone using many different oils, sure its not necessary and adds extra steps that can get messed up but if all your weights are right, then it will be just fine.

The dark color is from the chocolate FO, the lighter insides is just because the FO needs to be exposed to air in order to discolor. Your soap sounds perfectly fine to me. Your soap didn't gel on the outside, gelling always start in the middle and moves to the outside.

That being said, I would find that recipe to be too drying due to the higher amount of coconut oil. Many people keep the coconut oil between 15-20%. Here is a basic recipe that is really nice

palm oil or lard 50%
Olive oil 25%
coconut oil 20%
castor oil 5%

I have dry skin so I SF at 8%, I also use lard as it makes a wonderful soap and easy to find. I don't much care for butters in soap. I'd rather save them for a nice whipped body butter.
 

kumudini

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
824
Reaction score
404
My first recipe also had several oils in it, I'm yet to make a simple recipe, which I've been itching to do. But as long as you are careful with writing down your entire recipe and making sure to measure all the oils and lye accurately, it shouldn't be a problem, not with the soap anyways! Also, I don't see SAO as unnecessary but I do think castor oil would've added something to your soap. I would use 5% and take that out of coconut oil. And obsidian is right, gel typically goes from center to the periphery. I don't have any experience with discoloring fragrances, so I'll accept what the experienced folks have to say.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
8,998
Reaction score
9,103
Location
Austria
I always suggest starting simple for this reason - if an athlete always wore the lucky socks, the lucky wrist band, crossed themselves leaving the changing room, tied their shoes twice before getting on the pitch..........and so on and so on, they would not know what it was that was making them a success until they started leaving bits of the routine out.

By starting off with all sorts of stuff going on in a recipe, it is easy to think that it is all required for a good soap when some of it might not only be doing nothing, but it could even be stopping it from being better.
 

Dharlee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2015
Messages
163
Reaction score
53
You guys are awesome. Thank you for your willingness to share and help. I hope I can return this someday.

I think it might need more cure time for sure then. And Irish Lass, I think you're right, I couldn't firgure out what I wrote down wrong on my recipe, but I know I did a SF of at least 5%. I HAD to have that lye written down wrong. I had a problem with losing some of my recipes and was re-writing them down late one night and was tired. I know I messed that one up, but I do know the oils are right. And I have only ever used SF from 5 to 8 % so far. (unless I did it wrong lol)

I started out trying to get a feel for basics and found a post that said I could start with a trinity of CO, OO and PO in equal amounts so that's what I went from with that. Now I am hearing that CO is drying when you use too much. So I am learning all the time. I just want a basic recipe to get down and get it right. Then like you guys said, add things ONE at a time to see what does what and what I like. :) I want to help make this a small side business for my DIL at some point. I hope to learn and when they move hear teach her and learn with her. :)

Thank you so much once again! And especially for sharing that recipe Obsidian. That you are willing to do something like that means the world to me.

I don't have any lard, but I do have tallow- Beef tallow. Is that interchangeable with the lard in percentages (as long as it's run through the lye calculator of course)?
 

Consuela

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
240
Reaction score
177
The dark color is from the chocolate FO, the lighter insides is just because the FO needs to be exposed to air in order to discolor. Your soap sounds perfectly fine to me.
This is what I was also going to say.... certain FO's (high Vanillan/Vanillin?) discolour when exposed to the air - during the cure. So - a few weeks later, when you cut it - again, the center of that piece is going to be lighter...give it a few weeks - it'll also discolour the same as the others.. :)
 

Dharlee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2015
Messages
163
Reaction score
53
I feel sure you do not notice the 4% in there, though.
Here is a basic recipe that is really nice

palm oil or lard 50%
Olive oil 25%
coconut oil 20%
castor oil 5%
Please know that I am not arguing at all, only trying to understand. If 4% Sweet Almond Oil isn't very noticeable, is it just that Castor oil is more so, so that you only need 5%? I know it's mainly for bubbles (which I adore) but I was wondering about this.
 

KristaMarie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2015
Messages
201
Reaction score
128
Location
Buffalo, NY
The properties castor oil has are different than any other oil, while almond oil has similar properties to other conditioning oils. Castor oil is very high in ricinoleic acid, pretty much the only source of it you get in soaping oils while the fatty acids in almond oil aren't that special in comparison
 

Latest posts

Top