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karenricha

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Hello Fellow Soapers...Ok..so just need a bit of clarification... (I hope this makes sense..lol)
I was watching lots and lots of cold process videos...and I noticed some are adding oils at trace...so they may say.."I'm superfatting" with sweet almond oil...or I'm superfatting with Grapeseed oil...and I've also seen where your soap batter is at a thin trace..and they may add cream...so my question is...people like me who rely on soap calc to formulate a recipe...are they even inputting that extra few ounces of cream or oils..or are they just adding it. And by adding it...this would mean that those additives actually stay in the soap..and do not mix with the lye...is that correct? Its like I understand what they are doing in a way...but then I don't. To me..it looks wonderful to add additional oils...but I also am trying to see why they would do this..and how its calculated..or if it isn't?
Hope this makes some sense...
:) - thanks so much
Karen:)
 

TVivian

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Hi there! In Cold process soap, there is no way to choose which super fat oil you want to keep in the soap. In other words, the lye takes what it wants. Every oil should be added into a soap calculator with a pre determined super fat percentage. Some people believe that holding back a few ounces of oil and adding it after trace will cause that oil to become a super fat... This is just not true.

Adding cream/milk after trace is different. It does not become a super fat either, but by withholding a milk (or juice or another non-oil) and adding it either to the oils before the lye, or to the soap at trace, it's possible to prevent scorching of the milk. The liquid amount added, must also be deducted from the liquid amount in the recipe.

I hope this makes sense and I'm sure someone else will explain further :)
 
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The Efficacious Gentleman

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I'm not sure if there is much else to say, Viv! That is a really good explanation.

At trace, the saponification has just started. It takes around 24 hours for saponification to be finished - less with gelling, more with preventing gel, but as a number to use it is a good one. At trace, you have usually added the lye no more than 30 minutes ago, which means that you are 0.5/24th of the time through the process of the lye and oils combining. Not very much at all.

Dr Kevin Dunn has also lab-tested the results to see if the "added at trace" oil is proportionally less saponified than when it is added as usual with the other oils and it wasn't.
 

karenricha

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so basically what you are saying...is if I like the properties of Grapeseed oil or...shea butter..or basically whatever...I just put it as part of my recipe...no need to add it at trace because it doesn't make the difference...the lye takes what it wants to take.....correct?

And with the milk...unless I "freeze it" and use it as my "water" part...I should add that at trace...because the lye burns it...is that correct.

but what about cream? would I just freeze cream?...or use regular distilled water..and just add the cream at trace? I have made a few bars of goats milk ..but I just always assumed we freeze the milk and add the lye slowly...

I guess for me...I measure everything...I plug it in to the soap calc...and if soap calc says my recipe should be good...I'll go with it. And to just add "Cream" ...or "Goats Milk"..or additional oils...to me is not following the recipe...
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Creams and milks I'll leave to other people - I made a few small batches of shaving soap in the microwave and managed to burn one of the milky ones pretty badly.

But one thing I will say is that the properties of an oil itself can be totally different than the properties of a saponified oil. Take coconut as an example - as an oil is is pretty lovely on the skin, as a saponified oil it is not quite as good. But oils as we think of them are made up of various acids in various amounts, which gives the figures for cleansing and so on in the calculators, but that is also just part of the story - on the calcs, lard and shea are very similar, but as they have quite different SAP values, clearly there is a difference in the unsaponifiables between the two. If that is enough to come out in a soap, you need to decide yourself. I have never used shea in a body soap (just tooth soap) so I can't say, but I know many who find no difference and many who do.
 
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osso

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You can add your milk at trace or, alternatively, stick blend into your oils before adding your lye solution. I do the latter because I don't like to be bothered with adding things at trace. I even mix my fragrance into my oils before lye most of the time. Anyway, there is typically no scorching unless you are adding lye directly to your milk.
 

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