CP soap recipe help

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ohmygoth

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I'm currently working on my own CP soap recipe after using a basic 80/20 olive oil/coconut oil recipe for a long time.
I'm noticing that with the recipe I'm currently using my soap is staying EXTREMELY soft for a very long time and is really hard to unmould and I was wondering if anyone here would have any feedback on the recipe I'm using.

My recipe:
58% Olive oil
20% Coconut oil
5% Avocado oil
5% Hemp seed oil
5% Rice bran oil
5% shea butter
2% castor oil

2:1 water to lye ratio, 287g water and 143g lye

I have also been adding 2 teaspoons of sodium lactate in my batches, which has helped some but I'm still losing the corners of my loaves when unmoulding, and this is usually 48 hours after pouring!
Do I just need to be more patient or should I think about tweaking my recipe?
 

lsg

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You have a lot of "soft" oils in your recipe. You might increase the shea butter to 15%. You can also wait longer to unmold your soap or put the soap in the freezer for a few hours before unmolding.
 
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I agree with @lsg. You could add cocoa butter or soy wax (415) if you want vegan ingredients that will add hardness. If you are ok with non-vegan, try adding tallow.

Another suggestion for harder bars is to use vinegar for a water replacer. Just be sure to adjust the lye for the vinegar.
 

Zany_in_CO

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basic 80/20 olive oil/coconut oil recipe for a long time.
You might be surprised by trying that same combo with Zany's No Slime Castile recipe. If you try it, I think you will like it. I start using it to wash my face AM and PM daily at 2 weeks, although, the longer the cure, the better the bar. I like the 85% olive, 10% coconut, 5% castor variation. NO sodium lactate needed. It's hard enough. Follow directions precisely for the best result. Feel free to fragrance with any EO you like although unscented is quite nice too.

This video will give you an idea of how hard it is and easy to unmold.


As for your recipe, to get a more balanced bar, try reformulating within the confines of the Basic Trinity of Oils starter formula.

OLIVE OIL PORTION - Olive oil, avocado, hemp seed, RBO
COCONUT PORTION - Coconut oil
PALM PORTION - Shea Butter (sub shea butter for all of the palm. Nice!)
Plus 5% castor oil - Boosts lather and conditioning.

This article is worth a read to understand what goes into designing a winning soap recipe:

Secrets to Designing the Best Soap Recipe

HAPPY FORMULATING! :tub:
 

ohmygoth

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You have a lot of "soft" oils in your recipe. You might increase the shea butter to 15%. You can also wait longer to unmold your soap or put the soap in the freezer for a few hours before unmolding.
It's really strange that I never had any issues before using 80% OO, which is why i based my recipe reformulation off of that - I tried to keep my soft oils at around 80%. Looking at it now its no wonder they're coming out really soft.
You could add cocoa butter or soy wax (415)
Just curious - what's the method for adding soy wax to recipes? Would I just melt it down and add it to my oils before adding the lye, or is there another way?
You might be surprised by trying that same combo with Zany's No Slime Castile recipe.
Those bars look wonderful! Might have to try that sometime, it looks like an improved version of what I used to do.

As for your recipe, to get a more balanced bar, try reformulating within the confines of the Basic Trinity of Oils starter formula.
This article is worth a read to understand what goes into designing a winning soap recipe:
Perfect thank you so much! These are exactly what I was looking for. I think I understand building up a recipe a bit better now, because I have to admit I may have been winging it a little. Luckily, it seems I was at least on the right track with it 😅
 

earlene

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Just curious - what's the method for adding soy wax to recipes? Would I just melt it down and add it to my oils before adding the lye, or is there another way?

Yes, you can pre-melt the soy wax and then add it to the soft oils. Or you can put some or all of the soft oils into the bowl with the soy wax and melt in the microwave or stove top that way. I find it easier to use some of the soft oil with the soy wax because it helps speed up the melt for the higher melting point of hydrogenated soy to be surrounded by the warm soft oils.
 

ohmygoth

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Yes, you can pre-melt the soy wax and then add it to the soft oils. Or you can put some or all of the soft oils into the bowl with the soy wax and melt in the microwave or stove top that way. I find it easier to use some of the soft oil with the soy wax because it helps speed up the melt for the higher melting point of hydrogenated soy to be surrounded by the warm soft oils.
Okay brilliant! Thank you :) And that would count as a percentage part of the oil mixture?


Another question I have is about mixing multiple types of hard oils/butters/waxes. I've read that for most hard oils and waxes, the recommended maximum usage is around 15-20%, and using much more than that can cause the bars to become dry and crack. So if, for example, I wanted to use:

coconut oil 20%
shea butter 15%
mango butter 15%
cocoa butter 10%

to make up 60% of hard oils in a recipe, surely multiple butters/oils at maximum usage rate would still cause cracking etc or the soap to be too hard? I don't want to use too much coconut oil because I know it can be drying and irritating if used in too high amounts, and I and many people I make for have skin conditions.
 

Zany_in_CO

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what's the method for adding soy wax to recipes?
Some more "Homework" 😁

SOY WAX USE IN SOAP

coconut oil 20%
shea butter 15%
mango butter 15%
cocoa butter 10%
That looks more like a "lotion bar" to me! 🤔 For soap, put those %s into SoapCalc to see what comes up compared to "recommended range". That totals 60%. For the other 40%, add 35% oiive oil and 5% castor for conditioning and to boost lather. Also, to prevent cracking from being too hard.

Screen Shot 2022-06-21 at 9.07.51 AM.png


I have always used that calc when designing recipes. I aim for an INS Value of 160 -- so-called "perfect soap". But as long as you're within the recommended range, it's all good!
 
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ohmygoth

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That looks more like a "lotion bar" to me! 🤔 For soap, put those %s into SoapCalc to see what comes up compared to "recommended range". I have always used that when designing recipes. I aim for an INS Value of 160 -- so-called "perfect soap". But as long as you're within the recommended range, it's all good!

1655824333201.png


It has an INS of 145, everything seems to be within the recommended ranges but I wonder if I should nix one of my butters and bump the coconut oil up to 30% instead? I'm concerned about the high level of super hard butters causing problems in the finished bars. Perhaps I'll do a couple trial mini batches and see what works for me. It seems to all look okay on paper, but I know in practice things can turn out differently haha

_

Whoops, looks like I jumped the gun there lol. Yea, my full recipe would be the 60% of hard oils plus 30% olive, 5% hemp seed and 5% castor. But your INS seems to be better with just the OO and Castor. Should I not bother with the hemp seed oil?
 

Zany_in_CO

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Those bars look wonderful! Might have to try that sometime, it looks like an improved version of what I used to do.
It is! I lost count at 75 testimonials from soapers who tried it and then added it to their stock recipes.

The only problem with the video is that she didn't read the directions carefully. She ignored the temps. Hence, it took longer to trace. It you make it, first make a small test batch and follow the directions precisely. Then, tweak to your heart's delight. (Although, personally, I think it's perfect as is. Not bragging, not at all, just saying... ;) )

I wonder if I should nix one of my butters and bump the coconut oil up to 30% instead?
It's fine just as you have it.:thumbs::thumbs: Upping the coconut to 30% would make it harder. When I see INS 145 I think "more conditioning & less cleansing". It may take a little longer to cure but, in my experience, it will be worth the wait. I do use 30% coconut in some recipes. Use your best judgment. :)
Should I not bother with the hemp seed oil?
Haha. Totally up to you. I'm probably the wrong person to ask. As a long-time soaper, less (oils) is more in terms of performance and having to store fewer oils in my inventory. To be honest, I would use the Trinity of Oils formula (tweaked), would nix the hemp and sub shea butter for the trio of butters. So: Coconut + Shea Butter + Olive to keep it simple. If that sounds like too much shea butter, here is one of my all-time favorite recipes:

67% SHEA BUTTER CP - INS 155
 

earlene

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The only soap I have made that I've seen crack as it got down to the sliver of the soap was a soap with high Cocoa Butter content. That is not to say it would not happen with others, just that I have not had it happen. I don't normally use butters at a super high content, though, more because they are more expensive than anything else.

I don't like to use lard soap myself, but my husband was using a lard soap in the shower for the past few months and it cracks as it gets down to the sliver. I didn't make it so I don't know the actual percentage of lard or other oils.

But is cracking as it gets down to the sliver really a problem? If I recall correctly, didn't many commercial soaps do the same thing as they got down to the sliver?

Or maybe that's not exactly what you are referring to when you say they get dry and crack. I have seen soap with high Coconut Oil content crack while heating up in the mold, but that's when it is new. That's a different issue caused by overheating, easily remedied by increasing air flow around all surfaces of the mold by lifting the mold up off the counter and onto a cooling rack (some people use canned food as pedestals to lift the mold up). Does that soap later crack as it gets down to a sliver? I don't know; I don't normally use soap high in CO content.

To answer your question about the percentage of liquid oils to use for the melting of the hard oils, it depends on you. I often use all or most of the liquid oils when melting the hard oils, (if that was your question.)
 
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