Do short shelf life oils make short shelf life soaps?

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dibbles

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I usually add sodium citrate or EDTA to my soaps, and the majority of them are made with lard which has BHT added. Even though I have softened water, not everyone that I give soap to does so I use it as a chelator.
 

rjlnokom

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Here is a link to some articles written by SMF member DeeAnna. I gave you the link to the page because there is a lot of good information to be found there. Scroll down to the chelator and antioxidant sections for answers to your specific questions.

Thanks! I shall do that!
 

Zany_in_CO

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Would someone know much is the recommend measurement of both chemicals to be effective? And how about EDTA? Which is more effective between the two? EDTA or BHT + Sodium Citrate? And how much EDTA is recommend usage?
As I mentioned earlier, the reason EDTA, BHT, and Sodium Citrate aren't found in homemade soap recipes is because most soapers don't use those chemicals in soap, with the exception of SMF where some members add SC as a chelator, as Effy G mentioned, to reduce soap scum from the tub and shower. It really isn't necessary to produce fine soap.

If you go to the Beginners Forum and check out the links to recipes from various reliable sources, or even a random search of YouTube videos, like Soapmaking 101 and others, you won't find them. To avoid confusion, you might want to do a little more research -- from a variety of sources -- before getting on the Keven Dunn bandwagon, especially if that's the only book on soapmaking you've read.

Personally, I take Kevin Dunn's suggestions with a grain of salt. But that's just me... :D I'm not a fan, mainly because of situations like this where Newbies become confused about "preservatives" in soap, which isn't necessary at all, and using chemicals in soap which is Kevin's area of expertise, i.e., chemistry vs soapmaking.

HTH and good luck!
 
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As I mentioned earlier, the reason EDTA, BHT, and Sodium Citrate aren't found in homemade soap recipes is because most soapers don't use those chemicals in soap, with the exception of SMF where some members add SC as a chelator, as Effy G mentioned, to reduce soap scum from the tub and shower. It really isn't necessary to produce fine soap.

If you go to the Beginners Forum and check out the links to recipes from various reliable sources, or even a random search of YouTube videos, like Soapmaking 101 and others, you won't find them. To avoid confusion, you might want to do a little more research -- from a variety of sources -- before getting on the Keven Dunn bandwagon, especially if that's the only book on soapmaking you've read.

Personally, I take Kevin Dunn's suggestions with a grain of salt. But that's just me... :D I'm not a fan, mainly because of situations like this where Newbies become confused about "preservatives" in soap, which isn't necessary at all, and using chemicals in soap which is Kevin's area of expertise, i.e., chemistry vs soapmaking.

HTH and good luck!
Exactly!
 

IrishLass

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Ditto what the good Gent said^^^^. Based on my very hard water (of which the TDS, aka 'total dissolved solids' is nigh bordering on "unfit for human consumption" according to the EPA standards) my handmade soap is not as fine of a soap as it is compared to my batches with tetrasodium EDTA added to them. For what it's worth, I add .5% tetrasodium EDTA of the total batch weight to every batch of soap that I make. That's the absolute highest I'd ever go with it. As hard as my water is, it's amazing what wonders that little amount does for my soap. It makes it lather up better and with much less effort, and it cuts down on the annoying soap scum that forms in my shower and sink that comes part & parcel when using handmade lye-based soap in hard water.

As for DOS prevention, I've never had a problem with DOS (rancidity), not even in the years before I ever started adding EDTA. For me and the reason why I use EDTA, it just happens to be a nice, bonus side-effect. Lye-based soap is pretty resilient and is normally not in need of a preservative - the naturally higher pH keeps most nasties away. Your soap will be perfectly fine without one as long as your oils/fats are not rancid when you soap with them, and as long as you keep the more fragile-type oils/fats at a lower percentage in your formula (i.e., hemp, grapeseed, etc...).

From my notes that I've gathered over the years:

- EDTA alone works best for both soap scum and DOS
- Sodium Citrate alone is half as good for soap scum as EDTA and has no effect on DOS
- BHT and EDTA are excellent for soap scum and good to prevent DOS
- BHT and Sodium Citrate are half as good for soap scum as EDTA but the best to prevent DOS

The usage rate for a Sodium Citrate /BHT combo for DOS prevention is .05% of each as per your oil weight (i.e., .1% combined total). The BHT is best dissolved in your warmed fats. I've never used BHT, but my notes say to heat a portion of your oils to 160F , slowly stir the BHT into it until dissolved, then combine that with the rest of your oils before adding the lye solution.



..... and using chemicals in soap which is Kevin's area of expertise, i.e., chemistry vs soapmaking.

At it's heart, soapmaking is chemistry. Also, do not forget that lye is a chemical.


IrishLass :)
 

earlene

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Based on what Dr. Dunn's experiments showed here, the suggested amount of BHT and Sodium Citrate is 0.1% of your oil weight. *

Now, I cannot say more than what Dr. Dunn says in his paper, and I cannot tell you from experience about using BHT & Sodium Citrate, because I don't use them. I use ROE + EDTA because it is the second most effective combination (tied equally with BHT + EDTA), but I chose it because it does not contain BHT. When I was first making this decision I didn't want to have to make lye-adjustments that must be made with Sodium Citrate and wasn't convinced I wanted to use BHT.

Now I would not really have a problem with either of those things, but I am pretty sure I have enough EDTA to last me the rest of my lifetime of soaping. So I suspect I probably won't be trying BHT unless I get some for free sometime.

* ETA, Thank you to IrishLass for the information about how much of each in the BHT + Sodium Citrate to use. I was unclear on the exact amounts.

Second ETA: strike-though for erroneous statement (I don't remember if I thought that at the time erroneously, or my mind is just too messed up from meds for sinus congestion to think straight; possibly both.)
 
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psfred

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I use EDTA and citrate with BHT in my soaps currently because I've had too much trouble with rancidity after six months or so. Only on the surface, and it washes off quickly, but it's annoying.

You must also use high purity water -- the presence of iron or magnesium seems to greatly accelerate rancidity, and well water typically has some of both. EDTA does NOT help in that case.

0.1 to 0.5% of EDTA, 0.1 to 0.2% of BHT and citrate seem to be the normal amounts.

That said, you never really know. I've had soaps that lasted 8 months with no issues and others that lasted three made from mostly the same ingredients, mostly commercial lard which has citrate and BHT in high enough amounts it never goes rancid on me. Didn't help much in the soap, every batch I made with it got spots eventually, even when it was just a small amount of superfat.
 

earlene

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You don't have to adjust the lye when using sodium citrate. You do have to adjust when using citric acid.


You are right, of course, dibbles! I seem to have come down with either a cold or am having allergy symptoms and my head isn't clear the last couple of days. I added the strike-though to the erroneous statement in my above post.
 

Zany_in_CO

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At it's heart, soapmaking is chemistry. Also, do not forget that lye is a chemical.
Your point is well made, Irish, but cooking, as I understand it, is also chemistry. And I'm just one of those people who never felt the need to know much about the chemistry of cooking or soapmaking and can still make a fine bar of soap, or a perfect soufflé.

On the other hand, I appreciate those with a chemical background that share their knowledge with the group. I remember, back in the day, there was always one soaper in every group, like RatXXX (Suzanne D) and others, with a background in chemistry that were popular because of what they brought to the group in the way of experimentation and thoughtful input that helped so many people, myself included, in so many ways, and for that, I am forever grateful. :) Most importantly, they never made soapers who weren't as well versed in the chemistry end of soapmaking feel bad.
 
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The cooking is a good analogy. I imagine if someone said that they but citric acid in to something, no one would be up in arms over chemical additives.

And yet sodium citrate is just citric acid which has reacted with sodium hydroxide. That is exactly the same as what happens when our oils react with sodium hydroxide - you don't have olive oil in your soap, you have sodium olivate.

So why is sodium olivate okay to have in a soap, but sodium citrate is not?
 
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It's all in how people perceive it to be whether it actually is that way or not. If you don't have the knowledge, then you have perceptions. They may or may not be correct. I agree so fully with Zany. I love cooking and soapmaking and can do both well without a great store of chemistry knowledge, but have much appreciation for those who can share their knowledge of chemistry.
 
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If you're making it for others then you can explain that sodium citrate is just citric acid reacted with the lye. If your using it for yourself then you can take a little bit of time to think about your perception. After all, citric acid reacted with lye to make sodium citrate - that's not bad.

But what gets my goat is when people tell others that something is bad based purely on their own misperceptions of something. By all means, don't use sodium citrate because "chemicals!". But I will not sit still while other people are given that same wonky thinking.
 

IrishLass

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Most importantly, they never made soapers who weren't as well versed in the chemistry end of soapmaking feel bad.

I wholeheartedly agree. But by the same token, we also need to be careful to not make soapers feel bad for wanting to know more of the 'behind-the-scenes' chemistry so as to make their fine soap even finer by using ingredients such as EDTA or BHT or sodium citrate.


IrishLass :)
 
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Soap is after all just salts made from various oils. Sodium X.

I use lard being a lardinator - and the lard I use has BHT in it. I also use Sodium Citrate @ 2%: oil weight and Sodium Acetate @ 2%: oil weight for most of my soap.
SC does soften the finished product and the reacted vinegar ( sodium acetate) hardens it back up for a longer lasting bar of soap. Since I have been using the combination along with a reasonably low superfat I have had no DOS in a couple of years.
Some of my oils *may* be past their "best by" date too.

So to address the original question - With proper chemistry in the kitchen or where ever you make your soap you can make a long storing and lasting soap with shorter shelf life oils. As long as the oils are saponified correctly.

Your mileage may vary.
 

Zany_in_CO

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The cooking is a good analogy. I imagine if someone said that they but citric acid in to something, no one would be up in arms over chemical additives.
OT (Off Topic) That reminded me of an easy appetizer we like to make that contains citric acid. So yummy and so easy to make! I just posted it in the recipe Forum. Here's a link:

https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/sweet-sour-meatballs.70604/

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming. :cool:
 
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rammeny

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Soap is after all just salts made from various oils. Sodium X.

I use lard being a lardinator - and the lard I use has BHT in it. I also use Sodium Citrate @ 2%: oil weight and Sodium Acetate @ 2%: oil weight for most of my soap.
SC does soften the finished product and the reacted vinegar ( sodium acetate) hardens it back up for a longer lasting bar of soap. Since I have been using the combination along with a reasonably low superfat I have had no DOS in a couple of years.
Some of my oils *may* be past their "best by" date too.

So to address the original question - With proper chemistry in the kitchen or where ever you make your soap you can make a long storing and lasting soap with shorter shelf life oils. As long as the oils are saponified correctly.

Your mileage may vary.
When do you add sodium acetate?
 

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