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Susie

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DeeAnna-I read every word you write. I even save every word you like. I read it over and over and research what I don't understand until I do understand it. Keep on using the level of lingo you are comfortable with. We will either catch up or ask pertinent questions.
 

GirlinScience

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Actually the pH needs to be quite a bit more alkaline -- in that 9 to 11.5 range I keep mentioning -- in order for the saponification reaction to go to completion. The reaction will definitely not be complete if you stop it when the pH is 7. Or even a pH of 8.

Saponification is a particular kind of acid-base reaction -- it is the reaction of a strong base (sodium hydroxide) with a weak acid (fatty acids). The weak acid does not fully dissociate and the strong base does. The difference in how weak acids and strong bases behave is the reason why the soap solutions have an alkaline pH, not neutral (ph 7) or acidic (pH below 7). I got into this subject a little bit recently -- https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/oh-no-the-zaps.78711/#post-820204

If you add acid to a soap solution, you do indeed shift the reaction toward the reactant's side of the chemical equation, but most people usually expect a steep, linear drop in pH. That doesn't happen. Instead you will create a buffer solution. A buffer is a type of chemical mixture that has a relatively stable pH as OH- or H+ ions are added. A soap and fatty acid buffer acts to maintain an alkaline pH as H+ ions are added.

If you add enough acid, however, you will eventually overwhelm the buffer system. When it breaks down, the pH will begin to change more rapidly. By the time you add enough acid to the soap and fatty acid mixture to get the pH down to 7, the mixture will be mostly fatty acids, however, not soap. (The reactant in this situation is not fat by the way; it's fatty acids.) A fatty acid mixture might foam up some, but it will be greasy feeling and definitely will not function as a cleanser.
I figured, I guess I was just surprised by how basic the final product will be. I thought it would be silly to add acid, you'd just have fats...but what about the curing process? Is that just allow the rest of the lye to react with fats on top of water evaporating? If so, would a longer curing time, say of 100% castille soap for 3 months, make the soap even milder? What I am looking for is to make a low cleansing soap, probably with higher than average superfat as from what I've read I do want some oils left behind on the skin, especially those I know to absorb quickly into mine.

I have thought of making these combinations in small batches (200 g of oil) and am looking for low cleansing (all would be 10% superfat and the same amount of curing time to allow for comparison):

- 100% olive oil
- 80% olive oil, 20% sunflower oil
- 80% olive oil, 20% sweet almond oil
- 80% olive oil, 20% coconut oil

These are the oils I have on hand, I am not sure about how mild the coconut will be but if they work out they would be cost effective. Do these seem like reasonable recipes? I thought to not mess with the water discount since I am using a higher level of excess fat, but would it be better for curing to discount water anyway?
 

GirlinScience

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"...the concentration of acid...."

Do you mean concentration of alkali?

"...recipes don't explain well or don't mention water volume..."

Well, no, they don't provide water volume. All modern soap recipes are based on weight not volume. Some very old recipes do use volume, but those are the exception, not the rule.

Soap recipes HAVE to provide total water weight and total dry alkali weight. If they didn't, you couldn't make the soap. Given your science background, you can calculate the lye solution concentration from those two numbers, easy peasy.

All of the recipes calculated by every soap recipe calculator I've looked at also provide the lye concentration as well. Have you looked at the results from the Soapmaking Friend calc or Soapcalc or Soapee? Take a closer look at recipes calculated by any of these calculators and you'll find the information you're looking for.

"...a pH neutral soap..."

That's not going to happen. Soap that has a neutral pH (pH = 7) is no longer soap -- at that pH, the soap will decompose into fatty acids.

If you mean chemically neutral, as in no excess alkali and no excess fat, then the pH will be as I mentioned earlier -- anywhere between 9 and 11.5 depending on the fatty acid profile of that particular soap. Soap is an alkaline salt of a weak acid and strong base. It is not a neutral salt of a strong acid and strong base.

"...I was trying to research which specific salts (the soap I mean) are made from certain oils like olive oil or sunflower oil but they aren't mentioned...."

Sodium olivate is the generic name for olive oil soap. But the specific fatty acids in olive oil are what I think you're after.

Any reputable soap recipe calculator can provide a typical fatty acid profile for any given fat. Enter a weight in the calc for the fat you're interested in and have it calculate a recipe using that single fat. The resulting fatty acid profile given in the recipe will be for that fat.

Olive oil contains roughly 70% oleic acid with some linoleic and palmitic acids (roughly 13% each), and a dab of linolenic and stearic acids (1-2% each). The salts that make up an olive oil soap are the sodium salts of each of these fatty acids if you use NaOH to saponify the fat.
Thanks, I am using the SoapCalc mentioned here make my first recipes. I did find the percentage of each fatty acid easily, what I meant was it seems each fatty acid reacts with lye to form a different sodium salt or soap with slightly different properties. I was hoping to find the properties of the different soaps so I could better choose which oils to use. This way I could choose the milder soaps.
 

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I realize the last few posts I've made were going to result in people having glazed eyeballs. Since some of the participants in this thread have mentioned they have science backgrounds and sound like they know the science-y lingo, I'm giving my inner geek a little looser rein than usual. But I promise I'll tone it down from here on. :D
You know I was only joking, right? Geek on...
 

DeeAnna

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Every fat creates a mixture of soaps. For example, that olive oil soap called sodium olivate is a mixture of sodium laurate, sodium palmitate, sodium stearate, sodium oleate, sodium linolate, and so on. You can make single OIL soap, but it's not too practical to make soap from a single fatty acid.

That's not a bad thing, necessarily. Over the centuries, people have learned by trial and error that a blend of fatty acids is often more desirable than a single oil soap, because the various fatty acids bring specific qualities to a finished soap.

Many of the online soap calculators try to provide some idea of these qualities. Since you've used Soapcalc, perhaps you've noticed the numbers for hardness, creamy, bubbly, conditioning, cleansing, etc.? I explain more about these numbers here: https://classicbells.com/soap/soapCalcNumbers.asp

I honestly don't believe the "conditioning" number as defined by Soapcalc is an accurate measure of conditioning or mildness. And the so-called "cleansing" number really doesn't measure whether a soap can clean the skin or not. So take the names for these numbers with a big grain of salt. That said, if you can remember the groupings of fatty acids represented by these numbers, these groupings can be helpful.

Mildness isn't defined by any one fatty acid nor by any one particular fat. And perception of mildness will vary with the person. Ethnicity, gender, relative humidity, overall climate, skin problems, the person's age, etc. all have a bearing on the perception of mildness.

There are some general suggestions for making a milder soap, but even if most people tend to agree with those general ideas, there will be at least a few who don't. So it's somewhat of a personal quest if you want to make a mild soap -- you have to learn what "mild" means to your skin.
 
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Steve85569

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Translating to hillbilly -
Each oil has a fatty acid profile.
Each profile contains several fatty acids in different quantities.
Sodium ( or Potassium) Hydroxide reacts with these fatty acid profiles to make soap ( salts of the fatty acids) in relation to the fatty acid profile(s).

Most of us have experimented on what we *think* is the best soap for our uses and have settled in on a "few" of our favorites.
It's a process more akin to an art form BUT it does include a lot of science.

The numbers give a general idea of what the final product will be but my perception of what makes a really good soap may be something you cannot use.
I am one that makes soap that is below the band for the "cleansing value". (Old skin)
I also make salt bars that are REALLY cleansing - they are great when I come in from the garden or wood cutting.

Clear as mud, right?

I have learned a LOT by being on this forum and I am still learning.
 

KiwiMoose

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Translating to hillbilly -
Each oil has a fatty acid profile.
Each profile contains several fatty acids in different quantities.
Sodium ( or Potassium) Hydroxide reacts with these fatty acid profiles to make soap ( salts of the fatty acids) in relation to the fatty acid profile(s).

Most of us have experimented on what we *think* is the best soap for our uses and have settled in on a "few" of our favorites.
It's a process more akin to an art form BUT it does include a lot of science.

The numbers give a general idea of what the final product will be but my perception of what makes a really good soap may be something you cannot use.
I am one that makes soap that is below the band for the "cleansing value". (Old skin)
I also make salt bars that are REALLY cleansing - they are great when I come in from the garden or wood cutting.

Clear as mud, right?

I have learned a LOT by being on this forum and I am still learning.
Dang straight Mister!;)
 

shunt2011

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I figured, I guess I was just surprised by how basic the final product will be. I thought it would be silly to add acid, you'd just have fats...but what about the curing process? Is that just allow the rest of the lye to react with fats on top of water evaporating? If so, would a longer curing time, say of 100% castille soap for 3 months, make the soap even milder? What I am looking for is to make a low cleansing soap, probably with higher than average superfat as from what I've read I do want some oils left behind on the skin, especially those I know to absorb quickly into mine.

I have thought of making these combinations in small batches (200 g of oil) and am looking for low cleansing (all would be 10% superfat and the same amount of curing time to allow for comparison):

- 100% olive oil
- 80% olive oil, 20% sunflower oil
- 80% olive oil, 20% sweet almond oil
- 80% olive oil, 20% coconut oil

These are the oils I have on hand, I am not sure about how mild the coconut will be but if they work out they would be cost effective. Do these seem like reasonable recipes? I thought to not mess with the water discount since I am using a higher level of excess fat, but would it be better for curing to discount water anyway?
They are all going to need a fairly long cure. 100% OO soap needs about a year. High OO soaps get a snotty lather which I don't like plus I am one who finds high OO soap drying. Soap doesn't need a high superfat. It washes off and too high may also cause issues with rancidity and make a soft soap. Any high liquid oil soap will require a much longer cure time than a better balanced bar that will only need 4-6 weeks.

Curing is more than evaporation of water. Over time there are structure changes and it becomes a bit more mild.
 

GirlinScience

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They are all going to need a fairly long cure. 100% OO soap needs about a year. High OO soaps get a snotty lather which I don't like plus I am one who finds high OO soap drying. Soap doesn't need a high superfat. It washes off and too high may also cause issues with rancidity and make a soft soap. Any high liquid oil soap will require a much longer cure time than a better balanced bar that will only need 4-6 weeks.

Curing is more than evaporation of water. Over time there are structure changes and it becomes a bit more mild.
So would it be better to go with 5% superfat? Is three months of cure time too low for these soaps? I don't have access to animal fats, lard, especially pig lard, does not exist. The best I can do it get a little beeswax but more than likely I would have to purify it from honey comb since the purified wax pellets are very expensive unless I buy tubs of 3 kg or more...It's too much to test on a project. Do you think the combinations I listed would make soaps that last? I don't want much lather at all honestly, olive oil is nice for my skin but the additives in the soaps I can buy are very drying for me. I could just buy savon d'alepp (100% olive oil) but it's expensive and not every brand is the same or available regularly.

Every fat creates a mixture of soaps. For example, that olive oil soap called sodium olivate is a mixture of sodium laurate, sodium palmitate, sodium stearate, sodium oleate, sodium linolate, and so on. You can make single OIL soap, but it's not too practical to make soap from a single fatty acid.

That's not a bad thing, necessarily. Over the centuries, people have learned by trial and error that a blend of fatty acids is often more desirable than a single oil soap, because the various fatty acids bring specific qualities to a finished soap.

Many of the online soap calculators try to provide some idea of these qualities. Since you've used Soapcalc, perhaps you've noticed the numbers for hardness, creamy, bubbly, conditioning, cleansing, etc.? I explain more about these numbers here: https://classicbells.com/soap/soapCalcNumbers.asp

I honestly don't believe the "conditioning" number as defined by Soapcalc is an accurate measure of conditioning or mildness. And the so-called "cleansing" number really doesn't measure whether a soap can clean the skin or not. So take the names for these numbers with a big grain of salt. That said, if you can remember the groupings of fatty acids represented by these numbers, these groupings can be helpful.

Mildness isn't defined by any one fatty acid nor by any one particular fat. And perception of mildness will vary with the person. Ethnicity, gender, relative humidity, overall climate, skin problems, the person's age, etc. all have a bearing on the perception of mildness.

There are some general suggestions for making a milder soap, but even if most people tend to agree with those general ideas, there will be at least a few who don't. So it's somewhat of a personal quest if you want to make a mild soap -- you have to learn what "mild" means to your skin.
I haven't been paying much attention to the numbers since most recipes I put into SoapCalc give me 0 for cleansing. I am just tired of itchy skin, I narrowed down the problem to soap that dries me out and lotion that has irritating additives, so right now I thought to do something about the soap then tackle the lotion/cream. What would you suggest to try and make a very mild soap that would still last if left in the shower? Also it seems 10% superfat is too much? Obviously the articles saying a soap is moisturising are wrong but wouldn't a higher level of excess fat cut down on the harshness of the soap? I would like to make many small batches changing just one variable so when they are ready I can compare easily and decide what to do for the next batches. I tried looking at what moroccan women are doing but the only one I found on youtube used old cooking oil she fried in and solid drain cleaner to make her soap so...no.
 
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Mobjack Bay

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At the three month mark, the 100% olive oil soaps I’ve made make a lotion like lather with very small bubbles. There’s nothing wrong with it for getting me clean, and I would say it’s gentle enough, but it’s not the big bubbly, lusciously creamy lather of the other soaps I make. It doesn’t make me want to stay in the shower :p.

Can you get Shea butter? Or palm oil (not palm kernel oil)? A recipe made with mostly soft oils, 10-15% coconut oil and a butter or palm oil or combo at 20- 25% will benefit from a few months of cure, but it will make respectable bubbles and have some creaminess while still being gentle at a SF of 5%. I’ve used shea up to 40% and made some really nice soap, but it’s relatively more expensive for me. At higher percentages, palm produces a creamy lather and makes soap harder and longer lasting.

I formulate my recipes by focusing on fatty acids that increase longevity (stearic + palmitic) and those that produce a silky, bubbly quality in my recipes (linoleic and linolenic). I like the linoleic + linolenic to be 13-15% if possible. My soaps seem especially gentle to me when I’m in that range. I aim for stearic + palmitic to be around 30% (but as low as 20% and as high as 40% in some of my recipes). I keep my coconut oil at 20% or less and use oils that are high in oleic fatty acid to “fill in” once I have those percentages set in a recipe.
 

DeeAnna

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I figured, I guess I was just surprised by how basic the final product will be....
You aren't alone -- a lot of people have the same misperception about the pH of soap. We've gotten into knock-down arguments with people who absolutely cannot accept the fact that soap must remain alkaline to be functional soap. Pat yourself on the back that you are staying open minded and inquisitive about this.

"...but what about the curing process? Is that just allow the rest of the lye to react with fats on top of water evaporating? If so, would a longer curing time, say of 100% castille soap for 3 months, make the soap even milder?..."

The short answers to your 3 questions are yes, curing is important; not exactly, because saponification is 99.9999% complete in a few days at most; and yes, soap does get milder during cure for various other reasons. I have more here: https://classicbells.com/soap/cure.asp

"...What I am looking for is to make a low cleansing soap, probably with higher than average superfat as from what I've read I do want some oils left behind on the skin, especially those I know to absorb quickly into mine...."

You're assuming the fats in soap will stick to the skin, but that's not necessarily true. Typical levels of superfat in soap will leave only the smallest traces of fat on the skin. Frankly, you're going to be far better off to make a lotion if you want to add enough fats to the skin to truly condition and soothe the skin.

A recent person here on SMF explained he was making soap with a superfat of around 50%, and the soap left a fatty film on the skin after "washing". That's probably about where the superfat would need to be to turn the soap into a moisturizer. But I found myself wondering if his "soap" is actually functioning as a cleanser ... or if it's really a lotion that uses soap as a delivery method for the fats?

Getting back to soap with more typical amounts of superfat -- soap that's still a cleanser, in other words --

You can modify a soap that is a strong cleanser (like a 100% coconut oil soap) by adding a lot of superfat to make it milder. But what you're really doing is muting the ability of this kind of soap to emulsify and strip natural fats and proteins off the surface of the skin. The additional superfat is emulsified instead.

More: https://classicbells.com/soap/superfat.asp

"...I thought to not mess with the water discount since I am using a higher level of excess fat, but would it be better for curing to discount water anyway..."

Both "water discount" and the related idea of "full water" do not have firm, widely accepted definitions. These concepts are also not grounded in the science of soap making. Focus on understanding lye concentration (or water:lye ratio).

The ideas of "water discount" and "full water" and "water as % of oils" seem mysteriously important, but IMO they are the source of many soap failures and problems that soap makers, beginners especially, seem to have.

I don't modify the lye concentration if I change the superfat. Maybe other soap makers have good reasons to alter the amount of water in response to different superfat amounts, however. If so, perhaps they will share their thoughts here.

More: https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/how-much-water-is-full-water.78719/ and https://classicbells.com/soap/waterInSoap.asp and https://classicbells.com/soap/waterRatioConc.asp
 
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Todd Ziegler

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Every fat creates a mixture of soaps. For example, that olive oil soap called sodium olivate is a mixture of sodium laurate, sodium palmitate, sodium stearate, sodium oleate, sodium linolate, and so on. You can make single OIL soap, but it's not too practical to make soap from a single fatty acid.

That's not a bad thing, necessarily. Over the centuries, people have learned by trial and error that a blend of fatty acids is often more desirable than a single oil soap, because the various fatty acids bring specific qualities to a finished soap.

Many of the online soap calculators try to provide some idea of these qualities. Since you've used Soapcalc, perhaps you've noticed the numbers for hardness, creamy, bubbly, conditioning, cleansing, etc.? I explain more about these numbers here: https://classicbells.com/soap/soapCalcNumbers.asp

I honestly don't believe the "conditioning" number as defined by Soapcalc is an accurate measure of conditioning or mildness. And the so-called "cleansing" number really doesn't measure whether a soap can clean the skin or not. So take the names for these numbers with a big grain of salt. That said, if you can remember the groupings of fatty acids represented by these numbers, these groupings can be helpful.

Mildness isn't defined by any one fatty acid nor by any one particular fat. And perception of mildness will vary with the person. Ethnicity, gender, relative humidity, overall climate, skin problems, the person's age, etc. all have a bearing on the perception of mildness.

There are some general suggestions for making a milder soap, but even if most people tend to agree with those general ideas, there will be at least a few who don't. So it's somewhat of a personal quest if you want to make a mild soap -- you have to learn what "mild" means to your skin.
That is a great article, I learned a lot from it.

Based on the information from the article, would there be a way to create a longevity scale? I know that you couldn't say that this bar will last (x) amount of time because there are to many variables that would factor in. However could you create a range of numbers based off of your own recipes and your own controlled test conditions. Or would it just be a monumental task for someone who makes soap from their kitchen to do.

Dang straight Mister!;)
Do you have hillbilly in New Zealand lol?
 
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DeeAnna

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I suppose a person could create a longevity scale for that person's soap, using their water, their particular skin and personal preferences, and the way they use soap. What I see repeatedly here on SMF is this info does not necessarily apply to anyone else's experience with their soap.

IMO, newcomers to soap making often expect want hard black-and-white facts and rules. They want soap making to be a rote process -- follow the rules, do X followed by Y, and the soap always turns out fine. I think that's why many authors of basic soap making books tend to give absolute rules -- they're trying to simplify the process to get the beginner started. Those simplified rules can become more of a hindrance than a help as a person gains experience.

I think most experienced soap makers eventually realize that soap making is more about shades of gray. In other words, there are lots of ways to get to the end goal of "good soap" assuming we can all agree on a common definition of "good soap". None of the ways are necessarily bad, but some of those ways will be more appealing and interesting to a given soap maker than others.
 

Todd Ziegler

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I suppose a person could create a longevity scale for that person's soap, using their water, their particular skin and personal preferences, and the way they use soap. What I see repeatedly here on SMF is this info does not necessarily apply to anyone else's experience with their soap.

IMO, newcomers to soap making often expect want hard black-and-white facts and rules. They want soap making to be a rote process -- follow the rules, do X followed by Y, and the soap always turns out fine. I think that's why many authors of basic soap making books tend to give absolute rules -- they're trying to simplify the process to get the beginner started. Those simplified rules can become more of a hindrance than a help as a person gains experience.

I think most experienced soap makers eventually realize that soap making is more about shades of gray. In other words, there are lots of ways to get to the end goal of "good soap" assuming we can all agree on a common definition of "good soap". None of the ways are necessarily bad, but some of those ways will be more appealing and interesting to a given soap maker than others.
I completely agree. In my limited experience I have not found any hard rules, only suggestions in varying degrees. For example ;I couldn't find any hard rules for the gel phase, so I created ones that work for me and my particular recipes. I only posed the question to you, to reaffirm what I already thought, that it would be a waste of time. However I do think that some of the information from the article will be helpful.

In the end though, you are absolutely right, it is almost always a matter of taste and preference.
 

GirlinScience

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At the three month mark, the 100% olive oil soaps I’ve made make a lotion like lather with very small bubbles. There’s nothing wrong with it for getting me clean, and I would say it’s gentle enough, but it’s not the big bubbly, lusciously creamy lather of the other soaps I make. It doesn’t make me want to stay in the shower :p.

Can you get Shea butter? Or palm oil (not palm kernel oil)? A recipe made with mostly soft oils, 10-15% coconut oil and a butter or palm oil or combo at 20- 25% will benefit from a few months of cure, but it will make respectable bubbles and have some creaminess while still being gentle at a SF of 5%. I’ve used shea up to 40% and made some really nice soap, but it’s relatively more expensive for me. At higher percentages, palm produces a creamy lather and makes soap harder and longer lasting.

I formulate my recipes by focusing on fatty acids that increase longevity (stearic + palmitic) and those that produce a silky, bubbly quality in my recipes (linoleic and linolenic). I like the linoleic + linolenic to be 13-15% if possible. My soaps seem especially gentle to me when I’m in that range. I aim for stearic + palmitic to be around 30% (but as low as 20% and as high as 40% in some of my recipes). I keep my coconut oil at 20% or less and use oils that are high in oleic fatty acid to “fill in” once I have those percentages set in a recipe.
Thanks for the tips, I could get shea butter, just not now with the lock down. The only supplier I found was in another city and the military has stopped movement of non-essentials. Right now I can get:
- Olive oil
- Sunflower oil
- Sweet almond oil
- coconut oil
-castor oil

I didn't think to use castor oil because it irritates my skin, sweet almond is always great. I will use shea butter if and when I can get it, I would rather work with what is always available for my first tries. I will look the types of fatty acids in each oil up.
 

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I realize the last few posts I've made were going to result in people having glazed eyeballs. Since some of the participants in this thread have mentioned they have science backgrounds and sound like they know the science-y lingo, I'm giving my inner geek a little looser rein than usual. But I promise I'll tone it down from here on. :D
As one of those with glazed eyeballs, I want to thank you for sharing your knowledge and letting your geek flag fly high! I may have to read the posts a couple of times but this get us to do more research into what we love to do. Keep sharing with us as I for one appreciate your passion
 

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We know I am not science-y but I love reading and studying the posts from DeeAnna, and have learned so much more than I knew when I started soapmaking. Granted I had to have some chemistry when attending Cosmetology school but it was unfortunately minimal.

BTW, I consider my soap quite gentle for my old very sensitive skin with a 2% superfat, keeping in mind my plumbing hates all the free oil going down my drains, but my plumber used to love it. I see him much less now. :D Besides, I simply do not like washing with oil.
 

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That is a great article, I learned a lot from it.

Based on the information from the article, would there be a way to create a longevity scale? I know that you couldn't say that this bar will last (x) amount of time because there are to many variables that would factor in. However could you create a range of numbers based off of your own recipes and your own controlled test conditions. Or would it just be a monumental task for someone who makes soap from their kitchen to do.


Do you have hillbilly in New Zealand lol?
No - I lived in Kentucky for a year though ;-)
AND I used to watch the Beverly Hillbillies when I was a kid. "Y'all come back now y'hear?"
 

Steve85569

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From an oils / fatty acid chart I have:
___________Luaric Myristic Palmetic Stearic Ricinoleic Oleic Linoleic Linolenic
Olive_________0______0_______14 _____3______0______69____12_______1
Sunflower______0______0________3_____4______0______83_____4_______1
Sweet Almond ___0______0________7_____0______0______71____18_______0
Coconut_______48_____ 18________9____ 3_______0______8_____2_______0
Castor_________0______0________0_____0______90_____ 4______4 ______0

Those are the fatty acids in the oils that you have that react with the base you have. Here are how the numbers are calculated...
Hardness= Lauric+Myristic+Palmetic+Stearic
Cleansing= Lauric+Myristic
"Conditioning"= Ricinoleic + Oleic +Linoleic + Linolenic
Bubbly = Lauric+Myristic + Ricinoleic
Creamy = Palmetic + Stearic +Ricinoleic
Lasting = Palmetic + Stearic

So from this you can see that coconut is an oil the makes a hard, cleansing bar that does not last very well.
The other oils that are available to you do not have the acids needed for hardness so I would call them "soft" oils. They will make a soft bar of soap.

This brings up a thought - do you have access to any soy wax? this is one of the "oils" that is used to harden soaps that several of us use. Bees wax works too but it makes a soap with more "drag" to it.

And the hillbilly thing is that I am a 4th or 5th generation hillbilly.
Don't mean no offense to you'uns.
 
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