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M@e

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I'm brand new to soap making and I need your feedback. I found a recipe online that I would like to use; however upon further research, learned that the soap will not be very cleansing. The recipe calls for 48oz Olive oil, 12 oz Shea butter, and 12 oz Sunflower oil.

I was thinking of swapping the Sunflower oil for Coconut oil in efforts to make it more cleansing. Does this sound reasonable? Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. THANKS!
 

shunt2011

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The first thing you need to do is run your recipe through a soap calculator. Any time you make changes you need to run it. Also, you should be measuring in grams not ounces for accuracy. I personally don't like that recipe. I dislike high olive oil and shea will cut any lather you get quite a bit. Coconut can be used 10-25%. Soap will clean with a 0 cleansing number.
 

earlene

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Even if you get a 'cleansing' number of zero, the resulting soap will still get you clean. That word 'cleansing' is really a misnomer. It should be 'stripping' as a higher cleansing number does really strip the skin of natural oils. For some people even an average cleansing number is too harsh on their skin, although for some it is not a problem.

The only way to find out how it works for your particular skin is to make it, let it cure sufficiently, then test it out. I would recommend making both recipes in very small batches so you can compare and decide for yourself which works best for your own skin.

Like shunt2011 says, always use a lye calculator for any recipe before making it. You can safely substitute oils, resize and ensure that you get the correct amount of lye for the recipe (sometimes typos do happen online and in print.) . FYI, for re-sizing a recipe, always use a lye calculator.

I have never made a soap with quite that recipe, so cannot say if my skin would like it or not, but for a brand new recipe, and someone new to soaping, that is far too big for a test batch. That recipe will make about 4 pounds of soap. A good size test batch for me is about 500 grams, which is about a pound of soap, or about 4 average sized bars. This is plenty for me to test out a new recipe. If I hate it, then I haven't lost a lot of money or ingredients. Plus I have more reason to make more soap and thus won't drown in soap as quickly.
 
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M@e

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The first thing you need to do is run your recipe through a soap calculator. Any time you make changes you need to run it. Also, you should be measuring in grams not ounces for accuracy. I personally don't like that recipe. I dislike high olive oil and shea will cut any lather you get quite a bit. Coconut can be used 10-25%. Soap will clean with a 0 cleansing number.
Shunt2011, I really appreciate your suggestions and feedback! Thanks so much.

I actually ran the recipe using 2 soap calculators and the 2nd one (TheSage-Lye Calculator) actually said that the recipe would be too moisturizing. I just re-entered the data using coconut oil instead of Sunflower and giving each oil 33%. Still, I would like to know any suggestions on a different oil maybe to use to make the soap more cleansing.

Even if you get a 'cleansing' number of zero, the resulting soap will still get you clean. That word 'cleansing' is really a misnomer. It should be 'stripping' as a higher cleansing number does really strip the skin of natural oils. For some people even an average cleansing number is too harsh on their skin, although for some it is not a problem.

The only way to find out how it works for your particular skin is to make it, let it cure sufficiently, then test it out. I would recommend making both recipes in very small batches so you can compare and decide for yourself which works best for your own skin.

Like shunt2011 says, always use a lye calculator for any recipe before making it. You can safely substitute oils, resize and ensure that you get the correct amount of lye for the recipe (sometimes typos do happen online and in print.) . FYI, for re-sizing a recipe, always use a lye calculator.

I have never made a soap with quite that recipe, so cannot say if my skin would like it or not, but for a brand new recipe, and someone new to soaping, that is far too big for a test batch. That recipe will make about 4 pounds of soap. A good size test batch for me is about 500 grams, which is about a pound of soap, or about 4 average sized bars. This is plenty for me to test out a new recipe. If I hate it, then I haven't lost a lot of money or ingredients. Plus I have more reason to make more soap and thus won't drown in soap as quickly.
Makes sense! Thanks for your feedback
 
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cmzaha

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I am with Shari that I would hate that recipe. Shea is fine in soap, but I find it best to keep it around 10%. I also emmesnsley hate high OO soaps but do love sunflower oil. I would not make a high percentage sunflower oil soap unless you know it is high oleic, many say it is prone to dos although I never had the problem even when I use regular sunflower. Make small test batches as mentioned above not 4lb batches. I would lower the OO to 55%, the Shea to 10%, Sunflower 20%, CO 15% or take 5% from the OO if you have access to castor. Most heath food stores carry castor in 16-32 oz bottles at a reasonably decent price. The little bottles found in pharmarcies are quite expensive for the size bottle. Not knowing where you hail from I cannot suggest where or what supplies to buy

If I were working with these ingredients I would add in lard, tallow or palm to produce a longer lasting soap. Unlike many I have trouble with dos using high lard and not high sunflower, go figure...:D
 

earlene

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Why do you want the soap to be more stripping? I mean stripping and not cleansing, because that is what my skin feels when I use too high of a cleansing number.

Well, anyway, if you want a higher cleansing number, you need to use oils with a higher cleansing number, which is derived from having more lauric and myristic acids in them. Just look in one of the soap/lye calculators you use and look at the numbers for each respective oil.

Or refer to this link: http://soapee.com/oils

I suggest you first read this link on how to determine which fatty acids in a particular oil contributes to the 'cleansing' number: https://classicbells.com/soap/soapCalcNumbers.html

Also you may find this interesting regarding fatty acid profiles of soaps: https://www.modernsoapmaking.com/the-most-popular-fatty-acid-profiles-in-soapmaking/
 

M@e

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20620E92-EF08-45CD-8423-8C685A9B9C93.jpeg
I am with Shari that I would hate that recipe. Shea is fine in soap, but I find it best to keep it around 10%. I also emmesnsley hate high OO soaps but do love sunflower oil. I would not make a high percentage sunflower oil soap unless you know it is high oleic, many say it is prone to dos although I never had the problem even when I use regular sunflower. Make small test batches as mentioned above not 4lb batches. I would lower the OO to 55%, the Shea to 10%, Sunflower 20%, CO 15% or take 5% from the OO if you have access to castor. Most heath food stores carry castor in 16-32 oz bottles at a reasonably decent price. The little bottles found in pharmarcies are quite expensive for the size bottle. Not knowing where you hail from I cannot suggest where or what supplies to buy

If I were working with these ingredients I would add in lard, tallow or palm to produce a longer lasting soap. Unlike many I have trouble with dos using high lard and not high sunflower, go figure...:D
Thanks for your feedback! I created the attached recipe but I’m wondering if the hardness is too much... I will continue to work on it.
 

shunt2011

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I am with Shari that I would hate that recipe. Shea is fine in soap, but I find it best to keep it around 10%. I also emmesnsley hate high OO soaps but do love sunflower oil. I would not make a high percentage sunflower oil soap unless you know it is high oleic, many say it is prone to dos although I never had the problem even when I use regular sunflower. Make small test batches as mentioned above not 4lb batches. I would lower the OO to 55%, the Shea to 10%, Sunflower 20%, CO 15% or take 5% from the OO if you have access to castor. Most heath food stores carry castor in 16-32 oz bottles at a reasonably decent price. The little bottles found in pharmarcies are quite expensive for the size bottle. Not knowing where you hail from I cannot suggest where or what supplies to buy

If I were working with these ingredients I would add in lard, tallow or palm to produce a longer lasting soap. Unlike many I have trouble with dos using high lard and not high sunflower, go figure...:D

Cause you just want to be different.....;)
 

Saffron

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View attachment 29234

Thanks for your feedback! I created the attached recipe but I’m wondering if the hardness is too much... I will continue to work on it.
Hi there,
I see you've selected 'fractionated' coconut oil in your recipe in SoapCalc. Just to let you know that is oil which is liquid at room temperature. Is that what you'll be using in your soap? If your coconut oil is solid at room temperature then you need to select 'coconut oil, 76 degree'.
And by room temperature I mean up to 22 C, although my room is way colder than that at the moment!

Edited to add: Fractionated CO has a higher cleansing number in SoapCalc than 76 degrees CO. Change it to 76 degrees and you'll see a drop in the cleansing number for your recipe.
 

shunt2011

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Hi there,
I see you've selected 'fractionated' coconut oil in your recipe in SoapCalc. Just to let you know that is oil which is liquid at room temperature. Is that what you'll be using in your soap? If your coconut oil is solid at room temperature then you need to select 'coconut oil, 76 degree'.
And by room temperature I mean up to 22 C, although my room is way colder than that at the moment!

Edited to add: Fractionated CO has a higher cleansing number in SoapCalc than 76 degrees CO. Change it to 76 degrees and you'll see a drop in the cleansing number for your recipe.
Nice catch. I totally missed that.
 

M@e

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I would up the palm by 5% and lower the olive by 5. I say give it a try and see how you like it.
Ok thanks

I would up the palm by 5% and lower the olive by 5. I say give it a try and see how you like it.
Thanks!!

Hi there,
I see you've selected 'fractionated' coconut oil in your recipe in SoapCalc. Just to let you know that is oil which is liquid at room temperature. Is that what you'll be using in your soap? If your coconut oil is solid at room temperature then you need to select 'coconut oil, 76 degree'.
And by room temperature I mean up to 22 C, although my room is way colder than that at the moment!

Edited to add: Fractionated CO has a higher cleansing number in SoapCalc than 76 degrees CO. Change it to 76 degrees and you'll see a drop in the cleansing number for your recipe.
Thanks sooo much! Actually, SoapCalc offers 3 difference options for coconut oil and I didn’t know which to choose... so I guessed . Thanks for your insightful feedback!
 
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DeeAnna

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Most of the coconut oil you see in grocery stores is the 76 degree version. Some groceries are now carrying liquid coconut oil, and that's more or less fractionated coconut oil. It's more expensive than everyday 76 degree CO.

If you see both kinds in the grocery, one will be in a tallish bottle and is a clear liquid like water. That's the liquid coconut oil aka FCO. The other will be in a tub and is a white solid (76 degree) at typical US grocery store temperatures.

FCO is more typically used in lotions and other bath and beauty products. It's not nearly as nice in soap because soap made from FCO is more stripping and drying to the skin than regular coconut oil due to the different fatty acids in FCO.

The 92 degree coconut oil is another specialty product, and I'm not even sure where to find it, to be honest. I"ve never had a reason to look for it.
 

Jeanea

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View attachment 29234

Thanks for your feedback! I created the attached recipe but I’m wondering if the hardness is too much... I will continue to work on it.
I've never heard of too much hardness unless talking about salt bars. I think you are over thinking this a bit. You want a hard bar because otherwise the soap could be slimmy. You want a low cleansing number because we don't want the skin dry out severly to ash, you want conditioning, well just because.

I'm not good a explaining the science, but being that this will be your first soap. Rip the bandaid off, you may actually like it. Remember we all soap according to preference once we understand the science.
 

cmzaha

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Hardness in a bar does not necessarily mean long lasting. Put in 100% CO and you will see that you get a very hard bar of soap, but it is such a soluble soap it will not last long. This is why it is the "Sailors Soap", it will lather in salt water. Here is a good article written by our resident chemist DeeAnna https://classicbells.com/soap/soapCalcNumbers.html
 

Jeanea

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Thanks for posting that cmzaha. I could never explain all that. Now I can drill down a problem I was having with a recipe lately.
 

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