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caroljean

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Hi there.. am new to soap making, having only made two batches so far. I would love to try a new recipe and would really appreciate any comments. My oils are co 50%, sunflower 25%, oo 20%, castor 5%. My water to lye ratio is 2:1, sf is 5. My oils weight 500g and I plan on adding 10ml lavender eo and 1 teaspoon bentonite clay.

My first two batches were made with 60% co and 40% sunflower. Sf 5 and no additives. Turned out really great but would like to formulate my own recipe. TIA.
 

TheGecko

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If you are making the soap for personal use, my recommendation is to simply make it and see if you like it. If you are trying to formulate a recipe for sale, you might consider that not everyone can use a soap with such a high amount of Coconut Oil.
 

caroljean

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Yes I am making it purely for personal use - probably a good idea to simply dive in and give it a go! The soap I made with 60% coconut oil worked well for me.. am looking forward to adding a little clay and eo as I've not tried that before, have only added some blitzed oatmeal in the second batch which I like. Thanks :)
 

Obsidian

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Yeah, that much CO with a sf of 5 would dry me up like jerky. I keep my CO at 20 or less.

Do you have any hard oils like palm or lard you could use?
 

AlexanderMakesSoap

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Seems like most soapers use a lot less CO for their soaps, especially when SF is only 5%. But it's really about what works for you!

I've liked my high CO soaps so far, but I do SF them at 15-20% and they do still irritate my facial skin.

Are you using something like SoapCalc to figure out your numbers? You can play around there to your heart's desire and make up whatever formula you'd like.
 

caroljean

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Yeah, that much CO with a sf of 5 would dry me up like jerky. I keep my CO at 20 or less.

Do you have any hard oils like palm or lard you could use?
[/QUOTE

I've never seen palm oil in our shops, but I'm able to buy Holsum which is a solid vegetable oil. Reading the ingredients on the bar it says "vegetable oil (palm fruit, palm kernel), vitamin A and D". Would I enter that on Soapcalc as palm oil?
Seems like most soapers use a lot less CO for their soaps, especially when SF is only 5%. But it's really about what works for you!

I've liked my high CO soaps so far, but I do SF them at 15-20% and they do still irritate my facial skin.

Are you using something like SoapCalc to figure out your numbers? You can play around there to your heart's desire and make up whatever formula you'd like.
Thanks for the response.. I don't use the soap on my face, only in the shower - I wash my face with honey. I have played around with SoapCalc and absolutely love it, but as a newbie I'm not sure what constitutes a good bar of soap. What I have liked about the high CO content is the bubblyness of the soap. I'm assuming that comes from the CO? Still sooooo much to learn!
 

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Even used as a shower bar, a high CO recipe like that with only 5% SF can hurt your skin in the long term. My shower bars only has 5% PKO as cleasing oil and it can still get me squeaky clean.
You can use less CO but still bubbly with additives like sugar or sorbitol. Or, you can try a high CO recipe with high SF, like the classic 100%CO with 20%SF.

My own rule of thumb when making recipes of 15-30% CO/PKO for shower bar, 0-15% CO for facial bar with a 5% SF.
 

caroljean

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Even used as a shower bar, a high CO recipe like that with only 5% SF can hurt your skin in the long term. My shower bars only has 5% PKO as cleasing oil and it can still get me squeaky clean.
You can use less CO but still bubbly with additives like sugar or sorbitol. Or, you can try a high CO recipe with high SF, like the classic 100%CO with 20%SF.

My own rule of thumb when making recipes of 15-30% CO/PKO for shower bar, 0-15% CO for facial bar with a 5% SF.
Thanks so much for the advice - just to clarify.. would the Holsum bar I described be added as palm oil or palm kernel oil on SoapCalc? Does this oil promote bubbles? Does the clay promote bubbles? Sorry so many ??! If I raise my SF would that not cause the soap to leak oil?
 

Anstarx

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Palm oil and palm kernel oil, which make up the holsum you mentioned, are two different oils.
Palm is usually used for its hardness, it doesn't contribute much to cleansing. Palm kernel is usually used as a slightly gentler alternative to coconut but still a cleansing oil, therefore yes, it bubbles. In order to use it, you need to know what percentage of holsum is palm and how much of it is palm kernel as they have different SAP.
Clay, unfortunately, does not promote bubble. The only thing I found to really promote bubble (as in I can feel the difference) is anything containing sugar. Beer, syrup, juice, things like that.
As long as everything is emulsified when blending, your soap won't leak oil. I don't make brine bars anymore but my salt bars (80% coconut oil) have 20% SF and they never leaked oil.
 

caroljean

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Palm oil and palm kernel oil, which make up the holsum you mentioned, are two different oils.
Palm is usually used for its hardness, it doesn't contribute much to cleansing. Palm kernel is usually used as a slightly gentler alternative to coconut but still a cleansing oil, therefore yes, it bubbles. In order to use it, you need to know what percentage of holsum is palm and how much of it is palm kernel as they have different SAP.
Clay, unfortunately, does not promote bubble. The only thing I found to really promote bubble (as in I can feel the difference) is anything containing sugar. Beer, syrup, juice, things like that.
As long as everything is emulsified when blending, your soap won't leak oil. I don't make brine bars anymore but my salt bars (80% coconut oil) have 20% SF and they never leaked oil.
Thanks so much for all your help.. much appreciated. I will try somehow or other to establish the percentage of palm and palm kernel. Sorry.. another question - what are salt bars?
 

GemstonePony

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Thanks so much for all your help.. much appreciated. I will try somehow or other to establish the percentage of palm and palm kernel. Sorry.. another question - what are salt bars?
Bars made with more salt added than the water can dissolve, on average 20-100% of the oil weight as additional salt. Salt also cuts lather, so they frequently have high CO percentages, high SF to account for the CO, and need to be cured for a fairly long time compared to other soaps as well. The salt makes the bar hard, and the water dissolves the salt with the soap for a softening but not exfoliating effect.
Unionized table salt and sea salt are fine, but epson salt will form scum with your soap instead of letting the soap clean, and himalayan pink salt contains impurities that may cause rancidity and water scum but it often also has sharp micro edges that will cut up your skin without you noticing anything until the scarring shows up.
 

caroljean

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Bars made with more salt added than the water can dissolve, on average 20-100% of the oil weight as additional salt. Salt also cuts lather, so they frequently have high CO percentages, high SF to account for the CO, and need to be cured for a fairly long time compared to other soaps as well. The salt makes the bar hard, and the water dissolves the salt with the soap for a softening but not exfoliating effect.
Unionized table salt and sea salt are fine, but epson salt will form scum with your soap instead of letting the soap clean, and himalayan pink salt contains impurities that may cause rancidity and water scum but it often also has sharp micro edges that will cut up your skin without you noticing anything until the scarring shows up.
Thank you so much for such an in depth explanation! I most definitely have a very long way to go yet...
 

Catscankim

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Bars made with more salt added than the water can dissolve, on average 20-100% of the oil weight as additional salt. Salt also cuts lather, so they frequently have high CO percentages, high SF to account for the CO, and need to be cured for a fairly long time compared to other soaps as well. The salt makes the bar hard, and the water dissolves the salt with the soap for a softening but not exfoliating effect.
Unionized table salt and sea salt are fine, but epson salt will form scum with your soap instead of letting the soap clean, and himalayan pink salt contains impurities that may cause rancidity and water scum but it often also has sharp micro edges that will cut up your skin without you noticing anything until the scarring shows up.
Sorry, dont mean to hijack this post.

@GemstonePony so i made salt bars about 4 months ago that are curing. I used Himalayan before i knew you shouldnt. I have a tester that i use on my hands. Now you are talking about scarring. Should i throw them out?

All my other ones are regular sea salt.
 

earlene

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Thanks so much for all your help.. much appreciated. I will try somehow or other to establish the percentage of palm and palm kernel.
Good luck finding that out from the manufacturer, if that's what you were going to try to do. If my search found the correct company information, Holsum Foods merged with Ventura Foods and I can't find the nutritional information for the palm shortening in question. Which is really surprising since it is a US company & nutritional information labeling is pretty clear here.

IF your Holsum includes a nutritional label listing saturated fats and unsaturated fat, and whether or not the product is hydrogenated, that would be VERY useful in determining approximate percentages.

See this link for some information for Saturated & UnSataturate fat profiles for palm fruit vs PKO: What is the difference between Palm Fruit and Palm Kernal Oils? - Moms Meet

Here's a description of how to get an approximate percentage of how much of one oil and the other oil are in a mixed blend: Tallow/canola oil mixed shortening -Sunspun brand In that case it is for another oil mix, but the concept is the same.

You can also look up the individual oils for saturated & unsaturated percentages and use that to help you figure out the different percentages.

PKO is 75:25
Hydrogenated PKO is 90:10
Palm Oil is 50:50
Palm Stearin is 67:33

If your label indicates one of those as the ratio of Saturated to Unsaturated, I might choose the corresponding one as my sole ingredient in the recipe in my Lye Calculator. That would give me a pretty accurate calculation for how much lye will be needed when input into the lye calculator, But, since I know both oils are in the mix I would also try to figure out approximate percentages as @Saponificarian spells out in order to get a better fatty acid profile for my soap formula when input into my lye calculator.

ETA: I was remiss in leaving out information about how to actually test an oil for saponification values:

See this post: Calculating saponification value from a product's fatty acid profile

Here is a link to Dr Kevin Dunn's handout that he used in his 2017 lecture at the HSCG conference on how to test an oil for saponification value: https://www.soapguild.org/conference/2017/handouts/Dunn-SecretsofSaponificationValues.pdf
 
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caroljean

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Good luck finding that out from the manufacturer, if that's what you were going to try to do. If my search found the correct company information, Holsum Foods merged with Ventura Foods and I can't find the nutritional information for the palm shortening in question. Which is really surprising since it is a US company & nutritional information labeling is pretty clear here.

IF your Holsum includes a nutritional label listing saturated fats and unsaturated fat, and whether or not the product is hydrogenated, that would be VERY useful in determining approximate percentages.

See this link for some information for Saturated & UnSataturate fat profiles for palm fruit vs PKO: What is the difference between Palm Fruit and Palm Kernal Oils? - Moms Meet

Here's a description of how to get an approximate percentage of how much of one oil and the other oil are in a mixed blend: Tallow/canola oil mixed shortening -Sunspun brand In that case it is for another oil mix, but the concept is the same.

You can also look up the individual oils for saturated & unsaturated percentages and use that to help you figure out the different percentages.

PKO is 75:25
Hydrogenated PKO is 90:10
Palm Oil is 50:50
Palm Stearin is 67:33

If your label indicates one of those as the ratio of Saturated to Unsaturated, I might choose the corresponding one as my sole ingredient in the recipe in my Lye Calculator. That would give me a pretty accurate calculation for how much lye will be needed when input into the lye calculator, But, since I know both oils are in the mix I would also try to figure out approximate percentages as @Saponificarian spells out in order to get a better fatty acid profile for my soap formula when input into my lye calculator.
Thanks for such an informative response! My soap making venture has turned out to be very 'science-like' and I know I will have to do a lot more reading to understand the ins and the outs. After reading your reply I did a very quick search on Holsum and it is made in South Africa (where I live) and is described as Malaysian Palm Oil - 100% palm oil. I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding palm oil but I will have to read a lot more about it before I decide whether I should use it or not. They do claim that it is approved by the RSPO.
 

GemstonePony

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Sorry, dont mean to hijack this post.

@GemstonePony so i made salt bars about 4 months ago that are curing. I used Himalayan before i knew you shouldnt. I have a tester that i use on my hands. Now you are talking about scarring. Should i throw them out?

All my other ones are regular sea salt.
I wouldn't give it away or use it on my face, but if it doesn't feel scratchy I might use it once or twice for science. However, if I got scars from it I'd be the only one who knew and I also wouldn't care. If you have other soap to use, I'd discard the mistake and use better soap. But the scarring is a risk, not a guarantee, so it's really up to you.

Thank you so much for such an in depth explanation! I most definitely have a very long way to go yet...
You're welcome! Soap making is a much bigger universe than I thought it was when I first started, too. I think salt bars are more of an intermediate skill, but they could be up your alley as you get more experienced.
 

Catscankim

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Well now theres an expensive mistake lol. I made (2) 12 bar cavity molds of them lol. And they are so pretty and smell so good.. And they later so well already. But i dont want to babysit them for 8+ more months if i cant use them.

How about with a washcloth? Or are they just no good?

Thanks for such an informative response! My soap making venture has turned out to be very 'science-like' and I know I will have to do a lot more reading to understand the ins and the outs. After reading your reply I did a very quick search on Holsum and it is made in South Africa (where I live) and is described as Malaysian Palm Oil - 100% palm oil. I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding palm oil but I will have to read a lot more about it before I decide whether I should use it or not. They do claim that it is approved by the RSPO.
I will only use RSPO certified palm, but i will admit that I really do not go out of my way to see if their claims are valid.

I just tried their website to see if i could validate a product, which it kinda looks like you can, but it was a lot of hoops to jump through. I gave up interest.

From past experience, finding something that was non-gmo was easy research. I dont know why it wasnt that simple with the RSPO website.

Somebody here might know better. But i also think that the RSPO cert almost means nothing
 

caroljean

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You're welcome! Soap making is a much bigger universe than I thought it was when I first started, too. I think salt bars are more of an intermediate skill, but they could be up your alley as you get more experienced.
You are so right!! It's huge! After my first batch I was very puffed up and thought I 'had it'.. until I started doing some reading. Gosh, was I ever wrong.. I have many more miles to go :D

I will only use RSPO certified palm, but i will admit that I really do not go out of my way to see if their claims are valid.

I just tried their website to see if i could validate a product, which it kinda looks like you can, but it was a lot of hoops to jump through. I gave up interest.

From past experience, finding something that was non-gmo was easy research. I dont know why it wasnt that simple with the RSPO website.

Somebody here might know better. But i also think that the RSPO cert almost means nothing
Sadly I think that you are correct.. I would imagine the RSPO claims don't amount to much.
 

earlene

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Catscankim, as long as governments take no part in ensuring sustainability, and the RSPO organiaztion won't really have much power for enforcement. But change doesn't happen if consumers don't care and take action themselves.

IMO RSPO is heading in the direction to make needed change and the companies who participate to the extent to qualify for RSPO certification shows they are headed in that direction as well. So I believe it does mean something.
 

Catscankim

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Sadly I think that you are correct.. I would imagine the RSPO claims don't amount to much.
A company that i sell for is big on their certs on the labels...”non gmo, rspo, sustainable, organic, blah blah”. All of the key words. I did a little to make myself well-versed, somewhat, with all of these terms. I had a party which i was all prepared to talk about the Orangutans. I got blank stares from the crowd of ppl in my living room. “Ok, so who wants to talk about our winter line” lol

@earlene ...I 100% agree. But there are a lot of vendors, sellers, etc that know how to plop a label on their product, and the average consumer will not question it. Thats where the problem is. Its headed in the right direction for sure. But i do not think it is regulated well enough.

They should have a simple thing like an MSDS, where you can type in the product name and find out for sure...
 

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