Embracing the Ash

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

Tienne

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Messages
633
Reaction score
582
Location
Southern Sweden
I have been tinkering around, trying to come up with a clone of a brand-name Dead Sea Mud soap. (Am I allowed to mention the name of it? I'm new here, so I don't know, but it's name starts with an "A".)

Their ingredients list says it contains 80% Palm Oil and 20% Palm Kernel Oil.

At first I baulked over such a high amount of Palm Oil, but seeing that their soap is famous, then they must be doing something right, so I decided reluctantly to just go with it. So far, so good, but there was a problem... I live in Sweden and here it is simply impossible to get a hold of Palm Kernel Oil, so I dabbled around with a soap calculator for a while and came up with a recipe using other oils, that brings me as close as I could possible get to their soap quality numbers;

Their numbers are; 55, 14, 43, 14, 41, 46 and INS 161

My recipe's numbers are; 54, 14, 42, 14, 41, 46 and INS 165

Close enough! The recipe I make is at 5% SF, soaped at 50C and CPOP'ed uncovered for an hour. I unmold and cut it 12 hours later. It hits pH 8 / 9, just 24 hours later. It gives a really hard bar of soap, just the way I like it. Here's the recipe;

Palm Oil 77%
Coconut Oil 19%
Avocado Oil 4%
1 heaped Tbs (wet) DSM ppo

I add 1 capsule of Vitamin E ppo as well, just for luck. I scented it with "Energy" FO at 15 g ppo, but I reckon 10g ppo would have been sufficient. It's a very androgenous scent. Next time I'll probably go for something a little more "dusty" or earthy or powdery smelling, but it's okay.

The recipe is really easy to work with. It isn't in any hurry to trace, so it's a very relaxing recipe to deal with. I slurry up the DSM with a little of my weighed out (rain)water and add it to the recipe after emulsification and then I just SB'ed it until it reaches light to medium trace. (I don't want it too sloppy in case the mud settles towards the bottom, so I make sure it had just a little gooeyness to it before pouring. I also hold back pouring the last teensy bit of the slurried up mud in, just in case there's any grit at the bottom, which you don't want to get in the soap. There usually isn't, but it's better to be safe, than sandy. LOL I use my plastic SB for this recipe and don't use any metal utensils at all while making this soap, since it's rumoured that metal will de-charge the mud and ruin it's properties (or some such thing, but there you have it. )

I love this soap and so does my face... but there is ONE little aber dabei about this recipe, though. It has a tendency to create ash. Now, some proper soapers are probably going to be horrified, but I actually like this soap to ash! :clap: I think it gives this particular soap character and a nice silvery-looking contrast to the otherwise monotonous metallic grey/brownish colour. So I embrace the ash! If I can't beat it, I use it! 8)

I guess you could alcohol-spray the bazeezes out of the soap after pouring, in an attempt to fight off the ash, but I like that this recipe is stress free to make, so I'd rather just work with it and make it work for me. To get the most out of the ash, you don't want to pour at too heavy a trace or make a wildly textured top with big peaks and valleys. Ash can be finicky and it will have a tendency to show up unevenly and look blotchy. So it goes for smooth-topped versions as well. The ash won't appear uniformly and it just ends up looks mucky. You want a pour consistency where you keep the top level and can just make small delicate little swirls on top and the ash will be ever so obliging and show up neatly and evenly across the level top, giving it a little 3D look about it. (Well, it does for me anyway, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :grin: )

A few tips; This recipe wants to be gelled. I CPOP mine at 75C and preheat my mold before pouring to make sure I get a full and even gel and the ash top I like. I haven't tried just insulating, but you do not want to leave it ungelled. The ash will be horrendous looking and the soap won't get that rich look to it and the colour will have more of a greenish murky tint to it. Also, cure the cut bars upright, textured side up on a rack. If you lay them down you risk getting ash on the sides. That can of course be planed off, but better to just leave them standing upright for a few weeks to get the ash where you want it, that is on the top and on the top only.

This is my first post on the forum and I hope it hasn't been too long or boring or has put me in bad light, me being an ash-enabler and all... LOL... but all in all it's a very nice soap. It's a mild and gentle facial soap and it's very hard-wearing. I really like it and I hope you like it as well. I have read so many good tips and advice on this forum already and I had to wring my brain to think of something that I could contribute with and this is what I came up with.

I'm not sure I know how to do this right, but I'll try to attach a few pictures of the soap. For comparison, you can see how the soap turns out when un-gelled and in single cavity molds. The gelled loaf version is to the left and the un-gelled single cavity soaps are to the right. Both were poured at the same time and made from the exact same batch of soap. See what I mean? The ash is having a field day on those un-gelled soaps!

So to make a long story short, (Ugh! Too late!) pour at a light to medium trace, keep the top level and just do some ever so slight texturing, gel, cure standing upright and then just relax... and embrace the ash. :smile:

-Tienne-

Tienne - Dead Sea Mud Soap (2).jpg


Tienne - Dead Sea Mud Soap (1).jpg


Tienne - Dead Sea Mud Soap 002.jpg


Tienne - Dead Sea Mud Soap 006.jpg
 

Moody Glenn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
291
Reaction score
293
Location
Northern Ohio USA
Now that's the spirit! Good for you Tienne. Your soap looks great with that extra dusting. I allow my soap to undergo a full gel and wait about 16 to 24 hour to unmold and cut. Most will have a slight dusting of ash. I eventually learned 'it's no big deal' and accept it. This is handmade soap so ash proves that it is.

PS: I also learned some fragrance oils greatly contribute to the development of ash. Some form much more while others less or not at all. I don't know why.... And before I forget - welcome to the forum! :wave:
 

Skatergirl46

Soaper on wheels
Supporting Member
Joined
May 27, 2013
Messages
753
Reaction score
338
Location
Huntington Beach, Ca.
I think those are pretty. I really like the color. I look at ash as something that just goes along with home made soap.
That said, I'm just a hobbyist. I don't generally make more than about 10 pounds a month. I certainly can sympathize with those of you who make a lot of soap to sell and have to clean every bar to make them look great for your tables.

I'm interested in hearing about what this soap is like once it's cured. Does the high conditioning of the Avocado Oil make up for the high cleansing of the Palm Oil and CO? Also, what is DSM?
 

Tienne

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Messages
633
Reaction score
582
Location
Southern Sweden
Oh, thank you all so much for your kind comments! After posting, I was worried if my post was silly and would be face-palmed behind the scenes. Whew! :lol:

Moody Glenn, I did not know that fragrance oils can contribute to ash! Boy, I sure hope that isn't the case with this one because this particular FO was on sale so I got 500 mls of the stuff I have to get through!

OMG... please don't let it be the FO... :shock: :lol:
 

Tienne

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Messages
633
Reaction score
582
Location
Southern Sweden
Skatergirl, I am hoping that because the numbers are very similar to the original, that this clone will end up with approximately the same qualities. That's my hope anyway! The soap is only about three weeks old but I have already snuck a lather and it seems to be okay even now! I'll post the outcome when it's around 8 weeks old and let you know. If anything, I am not so worried about it's mildness, I am more worried that it will be hard as a rock seeing that it's already very hard, but again, it has the same hardness index as the original, so I hope it will be just as nice as the real version. :smile:

(DSM is short for Dead Sea Mud.) :wink:

I am a home soaper, too. I don't have the confidence to sell anything. :oops:
 

Tienne

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Messages
633
Reaction score
582
Location
Southern Sweden
Wow, what a nice thing to say! Thank you so much, Skatergirl! That was so nice of you. :)

I wouldn't know where to start, though. I just give mine away, too.
 

kazmi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
1,381
Reaction score
417
Location
MI
Tienne I really like your soap! The swirls on top are so perfect! You'll have to let us know if you like it once its done curing. I've never used that high of palm oil before so I'm curious. My skin loves avocado so I use it in almost all of my soaps. I hope you enjoy it! and welcome to SMF!
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
12,667
Reaction score
1,774
Location
Ohio
After posting, I was worried if my post was silly and would be face-palmed behind the scenes.

Not at all! I thought it was a wonderful post and I enjoyed reading it. It's also generous of you to share your recipe. Your soap looks wonderful! I think the color and textured tops make them look elegant and professional. It definitely looks like soap you'd find in a spa or natural/health type store. I can see this as being a good seller when you start to sell.

I'm ambivalent about ash. I don't mind it on my "rustic" soap in which I use earthy colors and I actually like the effect. But I hate it when I get it on soap with a white/cream colored base and lighter colors.

BTW, your pictures are professional looking, too. :grin:
 

Tienne

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Messages
633
Reaction score
582
Location
Southern Sweden
You're all just too kind. I'm so overwhelmed by all the kind and sweet responses. I wasn't expecting that. Thank you so much, guys! You all rock!! :razz:
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
2,253
Reaction score
738
Location
Mountains of Eastern Oregon
So you say don't use metal, so what did you cook it in? I normally use a SS pot.
I just retread and you cpop, I've never tried that do you think I would need to.
Are you using a powder or the actually mud, and where do you find it? Thanks
 
Last edited:

Tienne

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Messages
633
Reaction score
582
Location
Southern Sweden
Hi Pepsigirl!

The soap is just cold processed and then I put in the oven afterwards to make sure it gels. I would think just insulating the soap would be fine, as long as it gels, because as you can see, this recipe looks horrible un-gelled.

My soaping room is in the basement and it can get pretty cold down there, so I am always on my toes trying to keep both the batter and the poured soap warm. That's why I soap it at a pretty warm temp (and also because it has so much solid fat in it that I don't want it to start solidifying and giving me a false trace) and that's why I preheat my molds and CPOP as well, because I get so disappointed if the soap cools down too fast and I get a partial gel. I can live with ash, but I hate partial gels.

I'm not sure what you mean by retread?

Also, after thinking about, I realize that the soap batter did actually touch metal. I mixed it in a Pyrex bowl and I used a plastic stick blender BUT the blades on the SB are metal! Doh! :crazy:

That being said, I'm not sure I really believe that it matters. After all, the saponification process itself makes the batter itself chockerblock full of charged anions and kations swapping places and the soap molecule's "head" is also charged and polar, so I don't see how one could avoid de-charging the mud, if it is charged at all. (??) I dunno. Maybe someone else knows?

In any case, I'm not that worried about such things, but if one did want to go by the DSM "rules", then you could just SB until light trace and then banish the SB and then add the mud incorporating it using only some non-metallic utensil. :smile:

I use wet mud. I get it from here;

http://www.westlab.co.uk/natural-dead-sea-black-mineral-mud
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
2,253
Reaction score
738
Location
Mountains of Eastern Oregon
Hi Pepsigirl!

I'm not sure what you mean by retread?

Also, after thinking about, I realize that the soap batter did actually touch metal. I mixed it in a Pyrex bowl and I used a plastic stick blender BUT the blades on the SB are metal! Doh! :crazy:

That being said, I'm not sure I really believe that it matters. After all, the saponification process itself makes the batter itself chockerblock full of charged anions and kations swapping places and the soap molecule's "head" is also charged and polar, so I don't see how one could avoid de-charging the mud, if it is charged at all. (??) I dunno. Maybe someone else knows?

In any case, I'm not that worried about such things, but if one did want to go by the DSM "rules", then you could just SB until light trace and then banish the SB and then add the mud incorporating it using only some non-metallic utensil. :smile:

I use wet mud. I get it from here;

http://www.westlab.co.uk/natural-dead-sea-black-mineral-mud

LOL it was suppose to say reread not retread ! Silly "fill in the word" iPad.
Ok so I looked at that site thank you didn't order from them as I wanted someone in the states, but that site got me to a site and I ordered my mud! Thanks I'm looking forward to making it as I have several people in my family with skin issues.
 

Tienne

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Messages
633
Reaction score
582
Location
Southern Sweden
LOL! For a while there, I was thinking "Retreading must be some kind of process I haven't heard of before!!" and I was totally clueless about what THAT was all about. LOL So funny. :lol:

Autocorrect. Gotta love it. :D
 

Tienne

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Messages
633
Reaction score
582
Location
Southern Sweden
Please keep posting!

Debbyski, you silly goose! LOL Thanks, hunny. :)

(PS; Debbyski is a dear friend of mine who is totally stoked that I finally joined a social site where I can mingle with other serial soapers. She's not a soaper, so I reckon she's REALLY really happy now and hopeful that she's off the hook now, having to listen to me constantly talk about soap.) :lol:
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
12,667
Reaction score
1,774
Location
Ohio
She's not a soaper, so I reckon she's REALLY really happy now and hopeful that she's off the hook now, having to listen to me constantly talk about soap.)

No, she's not off the hook. She's a member now so I expect to see more posts from her about you teaching her how to make soap. Bwhahahaha! :twisted:
 

Latest posts

Top