Does this 50% shea butter soap recipe sound good enough to make enough to sell?

Discussion in 'Recipe Feedback' started by aab1, May 30, 2014.

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  1. May 30, 2014 #1

    aab1

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    I want to switch from unrefined to organic refined shea butter (mostly for color and scent reasons) so I want to try a batch of high % shea butter to use up my unrefined shea.

    I was thinking of making just a small test batch for me but I'm wondering if anyone made something similar as I wonder if I should make a bigger batch and sell some.

    The recipe I came up with is:

    50% shea butter
    25% coconut oil
    15% olive oil
    5% cocoa butter
    5% castor oil

    Does that sound good enough to make a bigger batch?

    Thanks
     
  2. May 30, 2014 #2

    CaraBou

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    I like shea butter -- but not that much! I've never used more than about 20% and that was too much for me. I'm guessing it would cut the lather a lot, even with the 25% CO. So I'd recommend getting to know it pretty well before you sell so you can help set the expectations of your customers.
     
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  3. May 30, 2014 #3

    grayceworks

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    Try this:

    50% shea butter
    20% coconut oil
    15% olive oil
    7% cocoa butter
    8% castor oil

    Same bubbly, a bit more long-lasting, a tad more conditioning, less cleansing so it won't be as drying from the coconut.

    Always make a test batch before putting stuff up for sale... You may not like it, you may want to play with it more, you may want to adjust superfat, colors, scents (keeping in mind that the shea scent will come through). And remember, this needs a decent cure time to get decent lather, due to the high shea content. :) -- I'd say at LEAST 8wks, if not 12wks. I just opened a 6-month old bar of 35% shea/25% mango, and the lather is good and about even on bubbly and creamy now, it was minimal and lotion-y at 4wks.

    Also, if you decide you want to put this up for sale, you'll want to source the best cost on shea. ;) Soaper's Choice and Amazon are the 2 cheapest places I've found... Approx $3/lb.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2014
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  4. May 30, 2014 #4

    aab1

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    I've never used shea at over 10% before so I'll make a small test batch and see how I like it first, I'll have enough left to make ore after. If I try to sell it and they aren't great and a customer happens to buy only that soap and none of my tried and tested soaps they probably won't come back.
     
  5. May 30, 2014 #5

    aab1

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    I'll try that, for some reason I like adjusting my percentages in 5% increments lol, I'll stop doing that as I realize it limits the results I can achieve.
     
  6. May 30, 2014 #6

    shunt2011

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    I wouldn't use more than 30% Shea butter mostly because if you are looking at eventually selling it it could get costly. 25 CO would be fine depending on your superfat I use between 15-22% with no issues and superfat at 7-9%. I generally don't go over 10% shea as I've found it makes a lovely soap. Also, I wouldn't be selling something I just made without testing it after a good cure to see how it performs and how it lasts. That's my personal opinion anyway. I wouldn't want to sell something to a customer who may be disappointed and lose business.
     
  7. May 30, 2014 #7

    grayceworks

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    This is a recipe discussion that we've managed to spread out over about 3 threads lol. He's aware of the potential cost and possible drawbacks, but is experimenting with possible substitutes for palm that aren't lard or tallow, so he's testing mango and shea. :)
     
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  8. May 30, 2014 #8

    Lion Of Judah

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    what are you looking for in your bar with a high percentage of Shea Butter that high?
     
  9. May 30, 2014 #9

    aab1

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    To be honest, I'm looking at getting rid of my unrefined shea butter as soon as possible as I want to switch to refined. About the cost of making a high % shea bar, I'd only sell them to get rid of my unrefined shea and then discontinue that soap.

    I'll make a small test batch today and depending on how I like it (and how I like the refined shea that I'll receive shortly) I'll decide if I want to make another batch to sell or keep my unrefined shea for other soaps where the color and scent wouldn't bother me.
     
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  10. May 31, 2014 #10

    aab1

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    I just made this recipe with no additives and it smells like shea with a hint of cocoa and they're a greenish beige color. I made 6 of my flower shaped soaps with this batch. It traced surprisingly fast, just swirling my stick blender without turning it on almost got it to trace and it took just a few seconds of blending, luckily it remained liquid long enough to pour without issues.

    I'm anxious to try them, I should have made a small test soap to try sooner (I normally make small ones that I can try after 2-7 days to get an idea of how they are before a full cure). I probably won't be able to resist after 7 days or so and will try one.
     
  11. May 31, 2014 #11

    grayceworks

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    the color from the olive oil will probably lighten up with time, and it won't be so greenish anymore. might be a tad off-white from the cocoa butter. I love the smell of the natural shea in soap! I know I've mentioned that, but I just really really do. lol
     
  12. May 31, 2014 #12

    aab1

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    Already today they seem significantly closer to white than when I poured them, they're a very light yellow/beige, and were hard enough for me to unmold from my silicone molds.

    I would have though the 50% of green unrefined shea butter would contribute more to them being off white than the 15% olive oil, in any case for this batch I don't care about the color.

    I also like the scent of shea butter (maybe not as much as you lol), but my latest recipe of "unscented" soap (not the one from this thread) smells like shea even though I only used 5% which is why I want to try the refined shea.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2014
  13. Jun 3, 2014 #13

    aab1

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    After just over 3 days I couldn't wait to try them and tried one and I really like it, it's very hard like I like soaps to be and makes a dense creamy lather. I'll only like them even more after a proper cure.

    I'm anxious to try your other shea mango butter soap recipe once I get my order.
     
  14. Jun 3, 2014 #14

    Carty812

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    Ohhhh. Put one on your site for sale. I wanna try now too. Sounds like a Devine bar. Wanna know what it's like after proper cure, never used that much butter in a bar.
     
  15. Jun 3, 2014 #15

    aab1

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    I will probably list about 3 of the 6 flower soaps I made but I mention the date they will be cured and they aren't purchasable until that date. I will likely make a larger batch very soon in my smaller bar shape that costs a lot less to ship as well as large bars.

    graceworks, do you think these would be sellable after a 30 day cure even though you recommend a longer cure? If not how long should they cure before being sold?
    .
    Edit: I washed my hands again with it and it has a really special feel, it's very slick like a 100% olive oil soap but in a hard bar that doesn't feel slimey.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014
  16. Jun 4, 2014 #16

    grayceworks

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    Knew you'd like it! Yes, they are definitely a 'luxury bar' and if ya sell em, probably should be priced as such, at least in my mind's eye. Especially if you do a variation with the mango too. BTW, those are just variations on my recipe, they're not my own final secret recipe, and I'm not selling soap -- yet -- so I don't mind if you make them your own for eventual production -- like I said, they're a starting point for you to fiddle with. :)

    I think you might want to keep testing the tester bar to really determine when you feel they're ready. I know they CAN be ready at 4-6wks, but I did get feedback on ones I gave to friends and family at 4wks about the lather. I like the rich creamy lather, they didn't.

    The exact same batch given to them again after another 8wks -- total 12wks -- was amazing. Got glowing reviews, 'what did you do different?' Etc. Also gave them time to stop ashing. But the lather, and feel, while still having that luxurious feel, also got more bubbles, which of course, was what they wanted in their soap lol.
     
  17. Jun 4, 2014 #17

    Ellacho

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    Adding too much of Shea butter might cause your soap to have " fat bloom." I usually add 5%-10% of shea butter(refined) in most of CP soaps. And I never had or seen the fat bloom problem until I added 30% of shea butter.

    Once I made the soap with 100% shea butter, the other time, adding just 30%, both times, my soaps had "fat bloom!" I didn't even know what fat bloom was until I posted on here. Thanks to Lin, who told me it was the fat bloom.

    I still don't know exactly why it happened but since then, I have been limiting shea butter under 20%.

    Read my thread regarding fat bloom:

    http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=44819
     
  18. Jun 4, 2014 #18

    grayceworks

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    Hi, I looked at your thread, and what you got on your high-shea bars is very similar to the ash I get on my high-shea bars. Mine does wash off, and also simply buffs off with a soft cloth. It IS a bit more fatty than some others, but is harmless on these bars. :) If you read this whole thread, and the related one, you'll see there's a method to the madness! :)
     
  19. Jun 4, 2014 #19

    Ellacho

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    Initially I thought it was ash too but unlikely ash, it was very grainy(tiny dots) when I touch the grains, they feel bit greasy, too. Usually, soda ash should react to a Phenolphthalein testing right away, right? Please correct me, if I am wrong. But when I test fat bloom with Phenolphthalein, it did not react at all. From that on, I knew mine was not the ash.

    Sadly, mine did not wash off with water or a cloth; I had to use a knife to shave off of it :(. At least I know it's the fat bloom now. It definitely helped me to rethink of about adding high shea butter or other butters.
     
  20. Jun 5, 2014 #20

    grayceworks

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    Well, I know cocoa butter is known for something similar, like Lin mentioned, even in chocolate, when it has gotten warm and then cooled again. It is harmless though. I wonder if all the other butters do that as well? I know my high-shea bars get ashy, and that it was a bit waxier when I wiped it off, than, say, my carrot bars, which have more OO, but I don't steam them, I just kinda buff them with a soft cloth, and don't worry about the nooks and crannies in the tops. I don't see it as a reason to avoid the high percent of shea though, because it's only happened to the 50% or higher bars in any great amount, and didn't cause any issues with use, beyond the first lathering. It's just cosmetic. But I know also, that for some, the cosmetic is a deal-breaker, if you have a specific look you strive for. :)

    Looking at your recipe, it wasn't just the 30% shea, you also had mango and coconut, and babassu, and you also had buttermilk. My carrot bars, which have almost no butters, only buttermilk and oils and a tiny bit of cocoa butter, get very similar ash. And I have a recipe 35 shea and 25 mango, with OO and others, that gets no ash whatsoever.

    So I don't think it's necessarily the shea, but a combination of things. What oils its combined with, what liquid is used, how much it heats up, did it gel? Overheat? As it cured, was it in a warm room? Cool room? My high-shea bars didn't get the waxy ash stuff all over until I had moved them from the very cool hallway to the fairly warm main living room area of our little apartment, after they'd already cured a couple months with almost no ash, leading me to think that just like chocolate that's gotten warm, then cooled, there's a temperature issue at play here as well, at least during cure-time. And since it seems like high-shea bars need more cure time than lard or palm to get a really good lather, that the window in which this could affect them could be longer, even up to 16wks maybe? Maybe longer? I'd have to play around with this more and see... hmmm
     

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