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CP and superfatting... again

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I've continued thinking about the revelations in a recent discussion here at SMF, that when you add superfats at trace the lye just eats them up exactly like any other fat or oil that was present when the lye was added. The conclusion of the other thread was that only a small part of the saponification had occurred by the time of trace, so adding more fat at trace is more or less superfluous and the additions might as well be put in at the beginning.

This means that if you're adding your precious jojoba oil or shea butter at trace, say perhaps 2 tablespoons ppo, and let's say your lye is discounted 5% (i.e. superfatting level set at 5%), that those two tablespoons added at trace will result in 0.05 * 2 T. = 0.1 tablespoons ppo in the final soap, IMO hardly worth adding considering the expense of those precious fats.

Unless anybody finds flaws in the reasoning above, it appears to me that adding expensive fats/oils at trace is a waste of time and money. However, this applies only to cold process. What I'm thinking is that anybody who wants these oil and fat additives present in their final product should consider using one of the other processes where additions are put in after the lye is totally used up. Then *ALL* of your additions will be actually present in the soap you are making.

So I'm considering either of the following:

1. hot process (I'm planning on trying crock pot hot process, CPHP)

2. hand milling which appears to be just another name for rebatching, except rebatching usually means you didn't plan on it, where hand milling means you meant to do it all along. (right?)

I note also that either of these processes will also stretch out your EOs and FOs by not exposing them to lye, and would probably help protect some other additives that are susceptible to lye damage.

So does my reasoning check out? That if you want your expensive superfats to be in the final product you should use either HP or rebatching/milling?
 

happyday

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I was just questioning all this among some friends earlier this week, and the basic answer was that I was overthinking the process. But that's my style, and I'll worry the idea to death till I'm satisfied. Here are the questions that I think help clarify the soaping ingredient dilemma. I don't know if the answers are known, or if they matter in the end:

1. Do all fatty acids react to the lye at the same rate relative to one another at all temperatures? Or are some more resistant than others? If so, which ones? It seems as though the most resistant would become the "superfat" regardless of order of addition in CP.

2. We know that various oils and butters are composed of various single or multiple types of fatty acids and that the saponified salts of these oils have different qualities. Will ANYTHING that provides a certain ratio of specific fatty acids provide the same benefit, or do some oils simply have a synergistic effect because of their make-up?

3. Each oil has some percentage of unsaponifiables. Is there a chance that those inert ingredients play a part in skin response? If yes, how much?

I don't know if there is technical information like this available, but I'd sure like to stumble over something! It seems as though it would make it easier to plan for maximum efficiency in both the economics and the esthetics of a CP recipe.......

In the end, you are absolutely right about HP or rebatching being the only sure way to keep your specialty ingredients from being saponified. Just make sure that your "cleansing" and "conditioning" scores are balanced in a way that the cleansing part doesn't simply lift the goodies off your skin and send 'em down the drain! But do consider that the benefits of certain oils may not require that they be left unsaponified.

I have a recipe that is "the" one for my skin, period, the end. It's a very simple and uncomplicated salt bar, but it does have mango butter in it. At the time I added the mango, I also ran it through Soapcalc and upped the superfat by 5% and on my skin, in my water, the recipe went from "good" to "WOW." But I changed two qualities at once, the mango AND the superfat, so I'm going through these mental gyrations because I wonder if it's really the mango, or just the superfat that get the credit? If it's the superfat, I could achieve that at 1/4 the cost using a different ingredient.

SORRY! This kind of mental tap-dancing is exactly what led my friends to say "STOP! If you make it and it works, don't question it, just keep doing it that way!" And after all, where would the soap gremlins go to play if we had absolutely all the answers, and what the heck would we talk about here??? ;)
 
G

Guest

I think they're good questions.

Only one I can address is that my soap books speak highly of oils with unsaponifiables, so evidently they are good for your skin, or at least the authors think so.

I'm going to add avocado pulp to my next batch of avocado soap, 1 T. ppo, and see if that makes the soap nicer. I expect that would be more or less the same as having unsaponifiables.
 

SoapyGal

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happyday said:
I have a recipe that is "the" one for my skin, period, the end. It's a very simple and uncomplicated salt bar, but it does have mango butter in it. At the time I added the mango, I also ran it through Soapcalc and upped the superfat by 5% and on my skin, in my water, the recipe went from "good" to "WOW." But I changed two qualities at once, the mango AND the superfat, so I'm going through these mental gyrations because I wonder if it's really the mango, or just the superfat that get the credit? If it's the superfat, I could achieve that at 1/4 the cost using a different ingredient.
A good test might be to create the exact same bar, with exact superfat properties, etc, ony use a different "butter" or luxury oil to see if you get the same "WOW"...

All great points, guys... I've been pondering the exact issues. Is it the "oils" we choose, or the amount of "superfat" we allow that make the diff between an average bar of soap and a "wowie-zowie" bar of soap....


In my own case, I bought: RBO, Shea Butter, Jojoba, Hemp & Avocado to put in a recipe for myself, along with the regulars of Palm, Coconut & Olive. I want to make a "luxury" bar that is moisturizing & nourishing to my skin, as I suffer from very dry skin, and very over-sensitive skin. So, short of standing in the shower after bathing each day & just smearing all those oils straight from the bottles all over my body before getting out, how can I possibly ensure that the healing properties of those oils are still present in a bar of soap that I've put them in? Short of taking them to a professional Lab & having them analyzed?? :lol:

One thing that does lead me to believe that there are healing properties left in the soap is the comments made by the people who use them.... I've read on this forum & others where it seems obvious to some when they compare Bar "X" with said oils in them, and Bar "Y" that is the same recipe, minus the "special" ingredient... it's usually very apparent to them that there is a difference in the soap.

In fact, one soaper I remember at this forum was Paul, in a thread awhile back where he was talking about the special yummy ingredients he uses, and he seemed to feel very strongly that they made quite a diff...

Where are you Paul? Does that ring a bell?

But I'm brand new at this, and have less than a clue! :oops: But I would love to learn more about it, like you.... I agree -- why use up the oil in soap if the good stuff will get altered? Why not use in a lotion that you put on AFTER the bathing experience?

Or, if a Lard soap will have the same properties in the end as the gourmet soap, only be a lot cheaper to make, why bother with all the fancy stuff? In the end, is the soap just soap? :lol:
 
G

Guest

Hi -

I think as happyday suggested - you are over thinking it. Some people handmill all of their soaps for this reason - but the labor required - to me - is not worth it as the end result is not that much different.

You can increase your superfat from to 7or 8 percent with the same results. And as mentioned, oils that are high in unsaonifiables like shea or avocado oil is a great option.
 
G

Guest

My attempt at hand milling (rebatching) was a dismal failure, although milling would be one way to ensure that the superfats you want are actually in the bar. Fortunately there is a second way to ensure that, hot process, and my next batch will probably be CPHP.

Over the weekend I bought a 7 quart crock pot (to save my present crock for food) and got a heck of a deal, $20 at Sears, special ending today. Anybody who is interested in buying had better get by Sears today or this evening. Note that you can check stock online to see if your nearest Sears has it, look for the Euro-Pro brand. Today is the last day of the sale!!!

I've been amazed at the great soaping gear I've gotten for such low prices: two speed stick blender for $20, 2-1/2 qt. steel double boiler for $10, 7 qt. crock pot for $20. Next to the cost of soap ingredients these are NOTHING! :)

So I'll probably do my next batch CPHP and cut the lye discount back to just enough to make sure I have a margin for measurement error, perhaps 2%, and then I'll add some nice expensive fats/oils after the soap has completely saponified. Then I'll know for sure what my superfatting is and which fats it came from.

The only uncertainty for me is wondering if the CPHP soap has any liabilities to go along with it's nice benefits. I'm worried that the soap will be too thick to get any nice swirls or other decorations.

As far as I can tell, to make the grade as gifting or selling the very best hand made soap you have to get four things right:

1. uniform and regular bar size, shape and weight

2. good recipe blend

3. nice scent

4. nice artistic appearance

The superfatting comes in under #2 good recipe blend. I'm worried that I may not be able to achieve #4 nice artistic appearance with the HP soaps. I'm certain that #4 is quite possible using CP as the many examples being sold by members of this forum prove.

BTW #3 scent is surely aided using HP because your EOs and FOs won't get eaten by your lye, although I understand you have to ensure that your batch is below the flash point before adding EO/FO or you'll vaporize your scent. And also, HP doesn't require as long a curing time from what I read, so you soap sellers can get your batches on sale sooner with HP soap.

Well I hope I can get a nice swirl with HP soap because if so that should solve all my problems.
 
G

Guest

# 4 is very hard to achieve with HP. Your attempt at handmilling may have given you a take of it. Lots and lots and lots of practice will eventually get you there though.

#3 is really not as big of an issue as you have been led to believe. I have very few issues with scents burning off in CP soap. When it does happen I switch FO or find a way to anchor EOs. Have you experienced with fragrance yet? I think you'll be surprised at how strong the scent is.

Lastly - I think you may be putting way to much stock into what 2T of oils will do for your soap in the end. That much fat will not make a huge difference no matter how you soap it.

In the end - you should try all of the methods you are interested in trying and compare the final results a few months down the road after cure.
 
G

Guest

Okay thanks Marr. Actually I've scented 6 of my 7 batches and ended up with one too strong and the rest either unnoticeable or barely noticeable, nothing like the soaps I buy at Whole Foods Market.

For example, NOW lemon EO 1 oz ppo, just barely noticeable. Auria Cacia lime EO 0.5 oz ppo, just barely noticeable. GenWax bits of orange FO a little bit better but not much. GenWax papaya FO 1 oz ppo just barely noticeable. Then there's the NOW lemongrass 1 oz ppo that was way too strong, the one I'm trying to rebatch, although it's fading a bit now and might ultimately be okay.

I'm a bit reluctant to go over 1 oz ppo because most of the stuff I've read on the 'Net seem to state that as a reasonable amount. What do you think?

As far as 2T of oils in the end, superfatting, is that a good amount, 2 tablespoons ppo? I think that makes it about 8 percent. Do you think the recipe is more important? The different compositions in fatty acids resulting from the different combinations of oils? And the unsaponifiable parts of the oils?

I figure if I can't make better soap than Proctor & Gamble then I might as well give up. Well, actually I already have because P&G takes the glycerine out of their soap, but I really want to make soap noticeably better than store soap. I figured the additives had a lot to do with that.
 
G

Guest

Hi -

Citrus Essential Oils fade even if they do not burn off if not anchored with another essential oil. There have been several posts on that here. Do search for anchoring scents and you should see several suggestions for what works for different citrus EOs.
 
G

Guest

Marr said:
Hi -

Citrus Essential Oils fade even if they do not burn off if not anchored with another essential oil. There have been several posts on that here. Do search for anchoring scents and you should see several suggestions for what works for different citrus EOs.
I'll search "anchoring scents," thanks for the tip.

I've ordered some Crafter's Choice blended EOs from WSP. Do you think they will be better for that reason?

Dreamsicle
Ocean Rain
Lime, Basil, Mandarin
Eucalyptus & Spearmint
Frankincense & Myrrh

Ooooohhh!!! I can't wait for them to arrive. :) :) :)
 
G

Guest

Got approved. Gosh, I'm not too sure about sites that admit people of my ilk... ;)

Pretty good information although a bit of an odd site, technically a forum site but not really a forum per se. I was a bit bothered by the supplier review for Tradewinds who I just ordered from. They couldn't possibly stay in business if everybody got such bad service.

I have yet to check my own FOs although I did browse around some. It will probably be a useful site.
 

SoapyGal

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Lovehound said:
Got approved. Gosh, I'm not too sure about sites that admit people of my ilk... ;)

Pretty good information although a bit of an odd site, technically a forum site but not really a forum per se. I was a bit bothered by the supplier review for Tradewinds who I just ordered from. They couldn't possibly stay in business if everybody got such bad service.

I have yet to check my own FOs although I did browse around some. It will probably be a useful site.
You're lucky.... they won't even let me apply because I have a Gmail email address. (*pout*) I am not worthy

I have to come here & hope that nice people like you will look stuff up for me :p (hint, hint)

Actually, I did that once... I think it was Irish Lass who was kind enough to look stuff up for me. That's why I love this forum :)
 
G

Guest

Check out Mailinator. The free service was designed just for people who want temporary email addresses. You don't even need an account there. You just use whatever email address you like, like whatever@mailinator.com and give that to the forum site. They send you the email and you go to mailinator.com and type in "whaever" as the email address and there's your mail. (1) the mail disappears after 24 hours (2) anybody who knows the address can read the mail. They also provide long, random generated email addresses for those who are unimaginative. I've used the service often when I wanted to join some site but didn't want them to spam me. Read all about it here: Mailinator
 
G

Guest

@SoapyGal

I use gmail too. Some of the forum software handles all web based emails that way. I wrote to the admin and they let me in.

Gmail is so unlike other web based emails like Hotmail and Yahoo in that you have to have a working cell phone to get an address and can only have one address per account, making it more difficult for spammers to get 100s of disposable email addys.
 
G

Guest

I must have got my Gmail before they started that. :) I never use mine...
 

SoapyGal

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Marr said:
@SoapyGal

I use gmail too. Some of the forum software handles all web based emails that way. I wrote to the admin and they let me in.

Gmail is so unlike other web based emails like Hotmail and Yahoo in that you have to have a working cell phone to get an address and can only have one address per account, making it more difficult for spammers to get 100s of disposable email addys.
Thanks for the tip. I will try writing them.

And thanks for the education about what the big deal is about gmail... I didn't have any idea that it was all about keeping spammers away, or any of the rest of this info. Thanks! :D
 

SoapyGal

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Lovehound said:
Check out Mailinator. The free service was designed just for people who want temporary email addresses. You don't even need an account there. You just use whatever email address you like, like whatever@mailinator.com and give that to the forum site. They send you the email and you go to mailinator.com and type in "whaever" as the email address and there's your mail. (1) the mail disappears after 24 hours (2) anybody who knows the address can read the mail. They also provide long, random generated email addresses for those who are unimaginative. I've used the service often when I wanted to join some site but didn't want them to spam me. Read all about it here: Mailinator
Thanks, Greg... I will look into this :)
 
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