do I need to use a preservative in my bar soap?

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debikers

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I have only been soaping a few months and trying several recipes to see what i like and what I don't like. Someone told me my soap would get rancid if not used in 6 months or so. Is this true? Is it only for soap with lard or tallow in it, or all soap? I was looking at Optiphen, since it is for oil based soaps. I have also heard about grapefruit seed oil, but heard it was not really a preservative. I have "The Soapmakers Companion" book and that's all she uses is grapefruit seed extract to preserve her soaps. Someone want to help me out? Please? and Thank you!!!!:confused:
 

KristaMarie

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Bar soap doesn't need a preservative. I've only been making soap for a bit over a year, but I have some of my firsts and they're still good. Many soapers here have soaps that are years and years old. Your soap will lose it's scent after enough time, but if it's well formulated and stored in a dry area without direct sunlight, you shouldn't have any issues.
 

Susie

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You do not need to use preservative for bar soap. If you use oils that are not close to expiration, and low-DOS prone oils, then you need not even use anti-oxidants like grapefruit seed oil (which is not a very good anti-oxidant, use rosemary oleoresin, AKA ROE).
 

DeeAnna

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I think you're confusing an antioxidant (protects against oxidation and rancidity) with a preservative (protects against microbial growth -- mold, bacteria, and other living cooties).

GSE has been debunked as a "natural" preservative. Optiphen is a decent preservative, but not for lye soap -- the pH is too high. I don't know of anyone who uses preservative in bar soap. Some soapers who make liquid soap do add preservative to the diluted soap. Liquid Germall Plus, Suttocide A, or Glydant Plus are really the only options out there for high pH products. More: http://www.makingskincare.com/preservatives/

If you want an antioxidant to protect against rancidity, look into using rosemary oleoresin (ROE). This is not rosemary essential oil, just to be clear. You measure a tiny bit of ROE, stir it into a small portion of oil, and then stir this mixture back into the main container of oil. Or you can add it to your soap batter when you make soap, although it's best if you use ROE to protect your oils right after you purchase them to get the best protection. More: http://classicbells.com/soap/ROE.html
 

IrishLass

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I have only been soaping a few months and trying several recipes to see what i like and what I don't like. Someone told me my soap would get rancid if not used in 6 months or so. Is this true?
Not necessarily. Many of us have soaps that are years old and doing just fine. I myself have soaps that are 10 years old and they are as good as the day I made them...only the scent has faded by now.

You might have something to worry about if you use a badly formulated recipe, or if you use oils that are expired or close to expiring, but barring those kinds of scenarios, soap can last a very long time indeed without going rancid- even those soaps that don't have any anti-oxidants or preservatives added to them.

For what it's worth, I've been making soap for 10 years and have never added a preservative or anti-oxidant to them, and I only ever had 1 batch go rancid......... because I made a poorly formulated recipe (way too much canola combined with a 23% superfat). Never did that again! lol


IrishLass :)
 

dillsandwitch

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debikers

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Thank you all so much for your help. I've watched several youtube videos, and never saw anyone use anything at all for a preservative, so I was confused when i saw "The Soapmakers Companion" and she used GSE in EVERY recipe. I do, however, realize that particular book is rather old, as she does not even know what a stick blender is!!! Thanks again for all of your help!!
 

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