Creating first recipe - am I going in the right direction?!

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Debs

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Hi
after reading sooooooooooo many posts and trying to absorb the difference between lauric and oleic and even giving myself a chemistry lesson on short and long tailed fatty oils!! i decided on these oils because of what they seem to do to the skin and tried to keep linoleic oils down to avoid DOS.... i thought i would post my thoughts and see what 'the professionals' think!!
i was thinking about making a first batch of ..(oh, i'm a veggie and don't want to use palm oil - still not read enough about the debate to make a decision)

first batch
olive oil 50%
coconut oil 25%
shea butter 25%

it looks ok on the calculator and seems to fall in line with a balance between hardness and conditioning....

my plan is then to add another oil one at a time so trying to keep the OO and CO at the same % so i can see the affect of the other oils

Ingredients
cocoa butter 10
coconut oil 25
olive oil 50
shea butter 15

Ingredients
castor oil - 5
cocoa butter 10
coconut oil 25
olive oil 50
shea butter 10

Ingredients
Castor oil 5
Cocoa butter 10
Coconut oil. 25
Olive oil 45
Rice bran oil 5
Shea butter 10

and lastly!
Avocado oil 5
Castor oil 5
Cocoa butter 5
Coconut oil 25
Olive oil 50
Rice bran oil 5
Shea butter 5

AM i going in the right direction in terms of which oils i am using and in the % to give a balanced bar...i know there isn't a perfect bar from previously read posts but i'd like one that doesn't disintegrate quickly and yet gives a lovely feel to the skin - creamy with good lather but not drying!!
Thanks in advance and sorry it is such a long post!!!
 

dixiedragon

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Of your recipes, I think the last 2 are best. One thing to keep in mind is that hard oils like shea butter and cocoa butter will VASTLY speed up trace. Most of your recipes are going to be soap on a stick. If you're cool with that, then go for it! I think people generally keep butters at 10% or under. That's one reason that palm (and lard and tallow) are so beloved - because they yield a hard bar without making the recipe seize.
 

lsg

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I use either olive oil or rice bran oil as they have a lot the same qualities. I like 5% Castor oil, 25% coconut oil, 10% shea butter, 10% avocado oil and 50% olive or rice bran oil.
 

Debs

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Dixiedragon - does soap on a stick basically mean that it will be too hard?? - sorry such a newbie!!

ISG - thanks for the alternative %
i was trying to add RBO as i read that it is easily absorbed but i didn't think it gave the hardness that OO does - guess i need to read more!
 

dixiedragon

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It means it gets very thick very fast. Thick like cold grits. So you can't pour it, you scrape it off and smush it into the mold as best you can. The soap is fine, it's just not pretty!

Here's a video:
[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xNNyhTcNIU[/ame]
 

dixiedragon

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If you really want to try one of these recipes with large amounts of shea and cocoa butter, hot process would probably be a better choice. That's when you cook the soap in a crockpot. Google it for pics.
 

KristaMarie

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I don't use lard or palm, but do use 20-30% butters. Trace is fast, but not unmanageable, and I still have time to swirl. Not a lot of time, mind you!

My recommendation would just be to use full water until you're comfortable.
 

Debs

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LOL - that was just crazy - I had no idea it could go hard that quick!! Ok - so when soapcalc says 40% hard is this what will happen when the recipe uses over 10% of butters but it would be ok if other oils were used to get it to 40% hardness...or is 40% simply too hard?! i am struggling to know which part of soap calc to use to check the balance so i am looking at the graph....
 

dixiedragon

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Don't get too hung up on the numbers. Worst case scenario (assuming you measure correctly) - your soap seizes and you HP it. You can do that in a crockpot or you can just put your soaping pot on the stove on low heat.

Re: 40% - I don't think that's 40%, I think it's the number 40 in the range of 29-54.

One reason that lard is so beloved is that it gives you a hard bar of soap AND it is a very well behaved oil - it actually slows trace a bit. No veggie oil can compete. (sorry). Palm is better behaved than the butters, but a lot of people have concerns about it. So you can make a batch of soap that is 100% lard it will behave beautifully.

It is totally possible to make a bar that is 100% cocoa butter or shea butter, if you want. But it will be tricky.

For your very first try though, I wouldn't use the high amounts of butters.

Maybe:
5% shea
5% cocoa
25% coconut
5% castor
30% olive
30% rice bran

And just see how you like that.

Once you get a better feel for the process, then try higher amounts. If you are using touchy ingredients, it's very important to have ALL of your supplies and equipment ready to go. It's a good idea generally, but crucial with touchy batches. One benefit of making a few easier batches is that they give you a chance to figure out what supplies you want to have on hand and ways you can make it easier on yourself.

My suggestions:
Roll of paper towels
Large spoon
Silicone spatula (when you start coloring, you will probably want a spoon and a spatula for each color)
Pre measured fragrance - I like the tiny glass measuring cups, it looks like a shot glass. They are about $2 at Big lots. (If you use measuring spoons, use stainless steel. Many FOs and some EOs will melt plastic.)
Grease your molds.
Gloves

A lot of people here will discourage you from scenting your first batch, but I did and it worked out fine. If you really want to scent your first batches, use lavender EO. Anecdotal evidence suggests it slows trace a bit. Make sure the bottle is 100% lavender ESSENTIAL OIL. Lavender OIL is not the same as ESSENTIAL OIL.
 

Debs

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Dixiedragon that is great thank you!! i will definitely heed your advice on 'essentials' I am in the UK but we do have some great bargain shops for spatulas etc.

Reference the EO, which i do intend using eventually, i believe from what i have read it is safe to use up to 3%. Am i correct in thinking that I don't include the oils in working out the lye - i can't see the facility to do that on soap calc so i am assuming i simply work out 3% of the total amount of fatty oils and add it after trace - ie if i need 21 oz of oils for my mold i can put in 0.63 oz of oils ....gosh that sounds so little!! (i worked out the amount of oils by multiplying the volume by .4 which someone posted was the way!?)
 

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FO's and EO's don't saponify so they do not need to be included in the lye calculation. Each EO will have it's amount for safe use so you'd have to look up what you are using. CLove EO for instance can be used only in very very small amounts.
 

dixiedragon

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Brambleberry has a fragrance calculator that includes a lot of essential oils. I like to use that. It will give the amounts in grams, ounces and teaspoons. I admit I prefer to measure my EOs and FOs by volume, simply b/c I can hold the container against the mouth of the bottle and not have expensive EO or FO running down the side of the bottle and getting every where.

I am somewhat confused about your question regarding the percentages, but I think the rule is that the percent applies only to weigh of oils - not lye and not water. The BB calculator says for a strong scent you use 1.09 oz lavender.
 

Debs

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Um, 1.09 oz, is that per pound of oils??....I will go and have a read of BB site to confirm as you have been more than helpful with my recipes which was my original concern. I can learn about oils whilst waiting for my soap to cure!!! THANKS!!
 

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I don't use lard or palm, but do use 20-30% butters. Trace is fast, but not unmanageable, and I still have time to swirl. Not a lot of time, mind you!

My recommendation would just be to use full water until you're comfortable.
I was thinking the same thing. I've tried recipes with generous amounts of butters, particularly shea, and had nothing resembling a seize. You are liable to get faster trace, especially soaping warm, but that's it.

If you don't use animal fats or palm, the next most sensible thing to do is use butters. Otherwise you've mostly run out of sources of palmitic acid and stearic acid to add hardness and longevity to the soap.

You might want to note that cocoa butter contributes more saturated fats to the recipe than shea, and this may be useful for the sort of recipes you're trying to do. To my eye, for instance, that first recipe looks a little more balanced with cocoa butter. Probably worth making as a starting point and see what you think.
 
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Debs

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You might want to note that cocoa butter contributes more saturated fats to the recipe than shea, and this may be useful for the sort of recipes you're trying to do. To my eye, for instance, that first recipe looks a little more balanced with cocoa butter. Probably worth making as a starting point and see what you think.
Hi -
so, does this mean i should use more shea butter than cocoa as it contains less saturated fats which equates to a slower trace or that i should use more as it will produce a harder bar like palm (or lard if i wasn't a veggie..sorry all the lardinators out there!)
 

topofmurrayhill

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Hi -
so, does this mean i should use more shea butter than cocoa as it contains less saturated fats which equates to a slower trace or that i should use more as it will produce a harder bar like palm (or lard if i wasn't a veggie..sorry all the lardinators out there!)
I would try using more cocoa butter, as it might be easier to craft good recipes with it. It has more saturated fat and a mixture of both stearic and palmitic. Faster trace might be one of the challenges you have to deal with to make good soap, but I think it should be manageable. Let me just do a quick review of the issues here:

In everyday life, you might say a vegetarian has to figure out how to add protein to their diet. In the case of a vegetarian soaper who also doesn't want to use palm, the problem is how to add saturated fats to their soap.

Specifically, the majority of good soap recipes include hard oils as sources of stearic and palmitic acid. These are the saturated fatty acids that make your soap hard and lasting. Otherwise you end up making relatively soft recipes that might look okay in Soapcalc but are really pretty mediocre. So here are the hard oils that are normally used and what they primarily contribute:

Palm Oil - palmitic
Lard - palmitic
Beef Tallow - palmitic/stearic
Tropical butters - stearic

Notice you have crossed everything off the list except the tropical butters. So that is what you're going to have to depend on to achieve a balanced recipe that produces good, hard and lasting soap.

I have only dabbled slightly in making no-palm soaps, but the little test batches I made came out well. It should be doable if a bit expensive. So I think you are on the right track, and that simple first recipe you proposed is not a bad idea. So I would follow your instinct there with the possible substitution of cocoa butter for the shea.
 

dixiedragon

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Um, 1.09 oz, is that per pound of oils??....I will go and have a read of BB site to confirm as you have been more than helpful with my recipes which was my original concern. I can learn about oils whilst waiting for my soap to cure!!! THANKS!!
1.09 total. That's the maxiumum recommended.
 

Debs

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Let me just do a quick review of the issues here:
In everyday life, you might say a vegetarian has to figure out how to add protein to their diet. In the case of a vegetarian soaper who also doesn't want to use palm, the problem is how to add saturated fats to their soap.

A brilliant analogy and one that I so understand! I will replace the shea with the cocoa and heed other advice on moving quickly! Hopefully it will work and then I can play with the other oils and % trying to take all advice in!!!
 

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